What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan lets the local community guide the development of their area for years ahead, in our case until the year 2030. As well as housing and employment sites, it can cover many other issues that are important to local people such as the economy, environment, heritage and transport.
When completed, a Neighbourhood Plan forms part of the formal Planning structure and will be taken into account when assessing the suitability of new development proposals. It must support the main objectives of the West Dorset “Local Plan” but is allowed to decide details on local grounds.
What is the area covered by the Plan?
How did it start?
The local councils for Bridport and its four surrounding parishes agreed to work together and formed a Local Council Joint Committee which meets four times a year to monitor the project. The Joint Committee appointed a Steering Group of representatives from all the parish areas to meet frequently to lead the delivery of the plan. A key part of this process is involvement of the public in all aspects of the plan development.
What has happened so far?
The Neighbourhood Plan was launched in November 2014 at Bridport Town Hall when many members of the public turned up to say what aspects of future development were most important to them. This led to a series of consultations which took place all summer at public events and gave the Steering Group a good idea of peoples’ wishes on a range of subjects. In response to the consultation, we also revised our Vision and Objectives. To address the issues raised in the consultation and take forward each of the objectives, a series of Working Groups was then formed to research, gather evidence and document the results and in November 2015, with the help of more volunteers from the public, they began this work.
In July and August 2017, the group ran a major consultation, attempting to reach every household in the Neighbourhood Plan area to provide a summary of the emerging priorities and asking views on whether they were 'on the right tracks'. More details on this consultation and the results can be found here. The group is now developing the draft Neighbourhood Plan, which will once again be made widely available for public consultation.
How can I take part?
This is a genuine community initiative and we welcome offers of help. Please get in touch using the contact details on the site. Also, anyone can attend and contribute to Steering Group meetings, whose schedule is published here