NHP Update March 2021

Neighbourhood Plan_10 March 2021.pdf

Otham Neighbourhood Plan

We have recently received the report of the independent Examiner into the Neighbourhood Plan. We are delighted that he has recommended that the Plan, with some amendments, proceed to local referendum.

Now that the report has been received, the Neighbourhood Plan will be given “significant weight” by MBC in planning decisions in the parish. This is a great step forward in making sure that the views of local people are taken into account in planning decisions.

We would like to thank all the local volunteers who have worked on the Neighbourhood Plan and supported it through to this important stage.

The Examiner has endorsed our approach to planning policies for the protection of landscapes and heritage in the parish, for the allocation of protected green spaces, for the protection of the countryside surrounding the village, for the design of new houses, for reducing light pollution from new development, for promoting walking and cycling and other issues which local people consider important. He has recommended some amendments to make the Plan clearer and more aligned with national and local MBC planning policy, and has replaced the anti-coalescence policy with a 'Protecting The Countryside' policy. it is normal for Examiners to make some recommended changes to neighbourhood plans.

You can read the Examiner’s Report below.

It is also available on the MBC website.

NHP Examiner Report 040321.docx

What Happens Next?

MBC’s Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee will formally consider the Examiner’s recommendations on 13 April. If agreed, the amended Neighbourhood Plan will proceed to a local referendum organised by MBC and involving voters in the parish.

If there is a positive vote for the Neighbourhood Plan it will be adopted by MBC as a part of their development plan and will be given full weight in planning decisions as set out in law.