Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group Meeting
20 September 2017, 6pm, at Bridport Town Council Offices (Mountfield)
Present: Phyllida Culpin - Chair (Allington), Bob Driscoll (Symondsbury), Glenn Crawford (Bridport), Richard Toft (Climate Change), Steve Spear (Bradpole).
Also in Attendance: Sal Robinson, Katy Graham (Project Manager), Anna Lovell (POPP), Colin Baker (Bradpole), Tricia Dendle (Bradpole).
Phyllida reminded everyone of the Register of Interests and asked if anyone had any changes. She said that she is now a non-executive director of Magna Housing and this has been added to her Register of Interests.
Raja is home and is getting out and about but will not be involved in the Plan for a while. Gavin Fryer has been seriously ill but is home and progressing well.
Richard Nicholls (BLAP), Sue Fryer (Land Use), Gavin Fryer (Land Use), Richard Freer (Allington), Maureen Jackson (BLAP), Margaret Toft (Climate Change).
2. Minutes of last meeting.
The minutes were AGREED.
3. Matters arising from the minutes.
Richard Toft has agreed to join the Steering Group – this needs to be ratified by the Joint Council Committee, which meets on 26 September.
Phyllida has met with Bob Gillis (Bridport Town Council Clerk) and Sarah Williams (BTC Leader) regarding Town Council officers delivering the consultation leaflets instead of councillors, as per all the other parishes, which appears to show a lack of commitment from BTC councillors to the Neighbourhood Plan. It has been agreed that the Neighbourhood Plan will be raised at BTC Planning meetings and that councillors will be urged to attend the “all councils” meeting on 31 October.
4. Consultation Report – initial thoughts from Working Groups and next stages.
Katy has prepared and sent out 2 reports from the consultation responses. Each Working Group will receive a report giving the comments received – these need to be looked at by the groups to make sure that nothing has been raised which alters the draft intentions or which should be included in some way.
Some people did not receive a copy of the leaflet – the only way around that would be to pay to use the Royal Mail service
Include a pre-paid envelope for replies?
If there are other issues that Steering Group members and others have come across, perhaps from feedback they have received, please let Katy know and they can be added to the consultation report.
The next consultation is the extremely important Regulation 14 one and serious consideration is required as to how it is conducted: -
Distribute the whole document?
Distribute a leaflet and invite people to attend events?
Katy reported that WDDC has 2 new Community Development Workers who are particularly interested in working in the areas that are traditionally ‘hard to reach’ including Skilling and Court Orchard. They will be meeting with Katy soon to look at ways they may be able to help with engaging residents in these areas in the Neighbourhood Plan process.
Initial thoughts from Working Groups regarding the consultation results: -
Climate Change – the results appear to be a vote of confidence. Richard T wants to do more work on Flood Risk and, with ReGen, revisit the evidence base, look at the outcome from other NPs and investigate the lack of consistency between NP Inspectors. This work will probably not be free – Richard T to ask ReGen for a costing.
Environment – again, this appears to be a vote of confidence
Transport – Colin Divall has offered to work through the results
Economy – the main sticking point appears to be the Bridport town boundary
Community Facilities – no issues – Bridport Environment Group has queried the lack of information on health, education and social care – the Plan needs to make it clear that these are not within the scope of a NP as they are strategic matters, but important to make sure that any new development has access to all of these services.
Housing – the affordable / low cost housing proposals appear to be supported
Glenn and Jim will go through the comments – some intentions may need rewording. There are issues around allocating land outside the defined development boundary – this needs more investigation of the responses.
The Housing Working Group is not going to recommend any allocation of land but available land could be used for affordable / low cost housing – this needs careful wording.
The issue of Key Worker and older person’s housing is being progressed with WDDC.
Phyllida asked the Working Group representatives and Steering Group members whether they agreed that the Neighbourhood Plan would not seek to allocate any new sites, and there was unanimous agreement.
The Strategic Environmental Assessment process can now commence and the screening consultation with statutory bodies will be on the basis that no new sites are going to be allocated for development.
One of the key sticking points that was reflected very strongly in the consultation is the requirement for at least 35% of development being affordable – West Dorset has been achieving just 17% yet North Dorset has 40%. It would be useful to discuss with WDDC why there is such a difference and what we can do through the Neighbourhood Plan to strengthen this requirement.
Katy is meeting with Jan Farnan to discuss converting intentions into policies and the evidence base to support the policies.
Additional work required: -
Design guidelines for housing (this could include shop fronts/signage guidance for the Environment group) – it will be necessary to buy in help with this – Jim Tigg to draw up term of reference.
Climate Change – Richard Toft is looking into whether more information is needed on local flood risk and would like to contact RegenSW about their experiences with other Neighbourhood Plans.
Transport – on hold till Richard F is available.
This additional work will not delay the production of the plan or impact the timeline.
AGREED that WDDC are asked to start the SEA process as soon as possible.
5. All Councils meeting 31 October.
All Parish and Town, District and County Councillors are invited plus Steering Group members – Working Group leads can invite their members as appropriate.
This is a briefing meeting for councillors and as such does not need to be open to the public at this stage. It is important to involve councillors as their role will become more and more important.
A clear agenda and a firm chairman are required – this will be dealt with by the JCC.
The Steering Group will consider the content at the next meeting on 18 October. ALL WORKING GROUPS MUST HAVE COMPLETED THE ANALYSIS OF THE CONSULTATION RESULTS PRIOR TO THIS MEETING.
6. Public participation / any other business.
Sal spoke of the important DCLG consultation on at the way housing need is calculated.
There is a meeting with Haywards about the St Michael’s development – Katy to send details to all.
Richard T spoke about a one day conference “working together of a Stronger Civil Society” – Katy will circulate details. The West Dorset Local Plan consultation response document has been published.
7. Next meeting.
The next Steering Group meeting will be on Wednesday 18 October, 6 pm at Mountfield.