Blewbury Neighbourhood Plan

Referendum approves Plan!

The referendum result:
562 votes cast
531 in favour (94.5%)
31 against
42.9% turnout

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Referendum – Thurs. 24 Nov.

All registered voters living in Blewbury Parish can vote on the Neighbourhood Plan at Blewbury Village Hall, from 7am to 10pm.

* YOUR VOTE COUNTS – DON’T FORGET TO USE IT ON 24 NOVEMBER *

Although only a simple majority of those voting is required to approve or reject the Plan, a good turnout will help to make the result more convincing. There have been cases where developers have sought to discredit a Neighbourhood Plan on the basis of a low turnout.

The full text of the Plan is on our website, along with its appendices, the independent examiner’s report and a selection of other information: blewburyneighbourhoodplan.org.

There are also printed copies of the Plan at:

  • The Post Office
  • The Red Lion
  • The Blueberry
  • Style Acre

If you have any queries or would like more information, please contact us at blewburyndp@outlook.com.

The Blewbury Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

Neighbourhood Plan passes exam! Referendum next!

Updated 6 October:

We are pleased to say that the independent examiner appointed by the Vale of White Horse District Council to review our Plan has endorsed it. As expected, he has asked us to make some minor revisions but the substance of our policies remains intact. The examiner was extremely complimentary about both the village and the Plan. His report is available here.

The final text of the Plan, with the revisions requested by the examiner, is available via our documents page. We also have a version showing full details of where the text has been changed, along with explanations.

The final stage of the process will be the village referendum, organised by the Vale. This will take place on Thursday, 24 November. More information will be circulated in due course, and we will keep you informed via the Bulletin, posters, Facebook and the Bulletin’s Stop Press.

Progress with the Neighbourhood Plan

As part of the legal process, our final draft plan was open for consultation for six weeks on the Vale of White Horse District Council website. We are delighted to say that no negative comments on our proposed policies were received, and at the time of preparing this note (17 August) the Plan is about to be reviewed by an external Examiner.

The Examiner will in particular be checking that our policies are practical and do not conflict with those of the Vale or with national policy. He may require us to make some changes, but all being well this process will be completed by the end of September.

The final hurdle will be a referendum within the village. Provided we receive support for our proposal from a simple majority of those voting, the plan will be “made” and our policies will be incorporated into the planning policies of Vale.

The referendum will be organised by the Vale and we have been warned that it may not be possible for it to happen before late autumn. We will obviously press for an early referendum and keep you informed of progress via the Bulletin, this website, Facebook and the Bulletin’s stop press.

Nearly there!

The Blewbury Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

The Plan has been submitted!

We have now updated the Plan as a result of the consultation with the village and statutory bodies. All the feedback received was constructive and the few changes made have strengthened the Plan. Thanks to everyone who commented! It has now been submitted to the Vale along with its appendices.
We have also prepared two additional reports that are required: one sets out the overall consultation process and the other explains how our plan fits in with the policies of the Vale, UK planning laws and other regulations.
Our documents page has the current versions of all the relevant documents.
We now have a further 6 week consultation period in which comments and objections to the Plan (if any!) can be registered with the Vale – it runs from 16th June to 28th July. After this an inspector is appointed and all being well we hope that the final step, a referendum of the village, will take place in late summer or autumn. Assuming a majority vote in favour, the Plan will be “made” and form part the Development Plan for the District, with equivalent status to the Vale’s Local Plan.
It is quite a process but we’re nearly there! Thank you once again for your support and encouragement.
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

Preparing to submit the Plan

We are currently digesting the feedback from the public consultation period as well as the responses from the statutory bodies. The feedback has been very supportive and there were some helpful, positive suggestions. Based on them, we are doing a bit of fine tuning of the Plan, but no major changes have been proposed. 

Two technical reports also need to be submitted: a summary of how the village has been consulted and a detailed description of how the Plan complies with all the legally required conditions. Work on these is well underway. 

We will submit the final plan and reports to the Vale as soon as we can. Once the Vale has agreed the Plan, they will appoint an independent inspector to carry out a review. 

If there are no unexpected problems, we hope to complete the Plan in the summer or early autumn. The final stage of the process will be a village referendum. Everyone in the village who is on the electoral roll is entitled to vote and, if the Plan is approved by a simple majority of those voting, it will be incorporated into the Vale of White Horse planning policies.

This has been a very long process, and the encouragement and understanding that we have received from the village throughout has really helped to keep us going.

Thank you for your feedback on the Plan!

The six week consultation period for the community to comment on the Neighbourhood Plan ended on 14 March. We are delighted with the feedback received. We have had over 40 comments, almost all of which are supportive of the Plan and some included helpful suggestions.

We are now waiting for the statutory bodies (like the Department of Transport) to respond – they have until the end of March to do so.

The steering group will analyse the comments and make any changes to the Plan that we think appropriate. Assuming these changes do not affect the substance of the proposed policies, we will then submit the final Plan (plus two technical reports) to the Vale. Once the Vale has agreed the Plan, they will appoint an independent inspector to carry out a review.

If all of this goes well – and there could easily be hiccups along the way – we will complete the Plan in the summer or early autumn. The final stage of the process will be a village referendum. Everyone in the village who is on the electoral roll is entitled to vote and, if the Plan is approved by a simple majority of those voting, it will be incorporated into the Vale of White Horse planning policies.

Thank you again for all the goodwill and support that we have received from the village throughout the process.

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

Informal events for info and comments

We are holding some informal events to answer your questions, explain the complex rules that the Plan has to follow, and above all listen to your opinions and suggestions. These events are as follows – drop in at any time:

  • Friday 19th February, 8–10 pm, Red Lion
  • Wednesday 24th February, 2–4 pm, Style Acre
  • Sunday 6th March, 2–4 pm, Vale Room (Village Hall)

The full Plan and related materials are available on our consultation page. Printed copies of the Plan are available at the Post Office*, school*, pre-school*, surgery, the Melland Room at the Rec., the Benefice Centre, both pubs, Style Acre, 39 Dibleys* and Ladycroft Park office*. You will be able to sign for the copies kept at the starred places* and borrow them for 24 hours.

Your Comments Please!

During the six-week village consultation on the draft Neighbourhood Plan we need your comments! It will start on Monday 1st February and end on Monday  14th March 2016.

The full Plan and related materials are available on our consultation page. Printed copies of the Plan will also be available at the Post Office*, school*, pre-school*, surgery, the Melland Room at the Rec., the Benefice Centre, both pubs, Style Acre, Dibleys office* and Ladycroft Park*. You will be able to sign for the copies kept at the starred places* and borrow them for 24 hours.

Everyone in the village will have a chance to review and discuss the proposed Plan, and to offer comments and suggestions. We’ll then update the draft based on your feedback before it is submitted to the Vale of White Horse District Council to be examined.

If you possibly can, come to our public event in the Village Hall on Sunday, 7th February from 2–5 pm.
We’ll have a brief presentation of the Plan at 3 pm with open discussion. There will be posters, and time for plenty of informal questions before and after; come at any time

In the following weeks we will be holding informal events to answer your questions, explain the complex rules that the Plan has to follow, and above all listen to your opinions and suggestions. These informal events will be publicised on our website, Facebook, on posters around the village, and the Bulletin’s “Stop Press” email service.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is available as well, with printed copies available at the places listed above. These cover common themes regarding the Plan and the process we have to go through before approval.

All comments and suggestions regarding the Plan are very welcome! Comments can be made at the public events, via our website, or by filling in a form at the Post Office.

Remember, this is your Plan and it will only be adopted if a majority agree to it in the village referendum after the Vale has examined it, so please take the time to read it and to have your say.

Progress Meeting on 22 Nov. 2015

Posters from the Progress Meeting on Sunday 22 November 2015 

Thanks to everyone for coming out on a cold grey Sunday afternoon, and for the lively interest and discussion. Here are links to the material that was displayed:

The full Landscape Assessment is available as three pdf files: the main report and its appendices, an interesting set of maps, and photographs illustrating the different areas that were assessed. For a quick summary start at page 11.

For the Housing Needs Survey, you can download the full results as well as a short summary of the hundreds of comments people wrote for the open-ended questions.

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group