The Parish Council is currently developing a Neighbourhood Plan. The current draft Plan is here. The Plan sets planning and land use policies for the parish, working within the framework of the Vale’s Local Plan 2031.
Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Plan development is led by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.
The Group has a membership drawn from members of the parish council and local volunteers:
|Priscilla Dudding||Chair of Group, parish council member|
|Chris Henderson||Parish council member|
|Lynda Pasquire Crowley||Parish council member|
|Jenny Standen||Parish council chair|
|Ian Yorston||Parish council member|
The Group’s Terms of Reference are here
Strategic Environmental Assessment
At a late stage of plan preparation, the Vale of White Horse District Council determined that some of the proposals in our draft Neighbourhood Plan trigger the requirement under European legislation for a formal strategic environmental assessment (SEA). The proposals concerned are ones that deal with the Radley Lakes area. AECOM are undertaking the SEA for us, paid for through the central government Localities programme.
As a first step in the process, AECOM have produced a draft SEA scoping report here. It presents a review of evidence from various sources, before establishing a list of key issues and objectives that should be a focus of (i.e. provide a methodological ‘framework’ for) subsequent assessment work. The focus of assessment will be exploring ‘reasonable alternatives’. Subsequent to assessment work, an SEA (or ‘Environmental’) report will be prepared and published for consultation alongside an amended Draft Plan.
Views are sought on the SEA scope (i.e. the SEA framework and the detailed evidence review), and views are also welcome on reasonable alternatives. Comments should be sent to the Parish Clerk by 5 June.
Formal consultation: December 2016
The Parish Council published a draft Neighbourhood Plan for formal consultation on 16 December 2016. The draft Plan, supporting documents and responses are on a separate page here.
Local consultation and exhibition: 21/22 May
More about this consultation is here.
Four topic groups
An open meeting was held on 21 October 2015, attended by over 40 people. Four topic groups were established to develop ideas on the following themes.
- The shape and cohesion of Radley village, including the location of the village hall, the community shop, open space and other possible facilities.
- Infrastructure priorities: roads and other transport provision, sewerage and flood prevention, the primary school.
- The requirements of parishioners neighbouring the South Kennington site in relation to plans for that area.
- Opportunities and challenges around Thrupp Lane.
Some work has also been done on the fifth theme of housing design, mix and tenure.
These groups have all produced initial reports. Their minutes, reports and working papers are here. They form the basis of the May 2016 consultation.
More help needed
We are always looking for more people to help with the work, which can range from writing policy papers to counting traffic to distributing and collecting questionnaires. If you’d like to be involved, please contact Priscilla Dudding (Priscilla.email@example.com) or Jane Dymock, Clerk to the Parish Council (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood Plans complement Local Plans. Between them, these plans provide the policy framework against which individual planning applications are decided. They deal in broad terms with the quantity and nature of development which will be allowed, associated infrastructure requirements, areas designated as suitable for development and other areas designated for protection, and building design and layout principles.
Local Plans are made at district council level, in our case the Vale of White Horse District Council, which covers a triangular area stretching from Shrivenham and Watchfield to the west to Cumnor and Botley to the north and Blewbury and Harwell to the south. A new Local Plan is in preparation.
Neighbourhood Plans are made at parish council level and cover the whole or part of the parish area. They are optional.
The District Council’s Local Plan is the master document. A Neighbourhood Plan cannot prevent development that is proposed in the Local Plan, or conflict with the Local Plan on strategic matters. But it can influence where new homes, shops, and other development should be located within the parish, and include policies on things like design standards and associated infrastructure requirements.
Radley’s Neighbourhood Plan will build on work done for the Parish Plan 2011 – see box.
Parish Plan 2011 and Neighbourhood Planning
The Radley Parish Plan 2011 was based on a comprehensive survey of villagers’ views and priorities undertaken in 2010/2011, and contained a list of 19 actions for the Parish Council to pursue. It covered a range of local development, transport, environment, social and community issues.
The Neighbourhood Plan will have statutory force under the Localism Act 2011 and as such will carry more weight in planning decisions. We will build on the work done for the Parish Plan in developing the new document.
Why are we doing a Neighbourhood Plan?
There are 3 main reasons why the Parish Council believes that it should prepare a Neighbourhood Plan.
- It will give the community a say in the design, location and type of any major new housing development required to be accommodated in the village under the new Local Plan, and a say in what new community facilities should be provided, and where.
- It will increase the Parish Council’s share of the Community Infrastructure Levy from 15% to 25%.
- It will provide a framework to inform the Parish Council’s decisions on priorities for new or improved infrastructure should major development go ahead.
The case for a Neighbourhood Plan will be re-assessed if the new Local Plan is not confirmed following the current independent Inspection.
What is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)?
CIL is a new tax on development which will come into force in the Vale of White Horse area once the Local Plan is confirmed. It will raise money from developers towards the costs of providing associated infrastructure – improved roads, schools, drains etc. In the Vale, it will replace the pre-existing s.106 agreements as a source of developer funding in most areas and for most types of infrastructure.
Under the current rates proposed by the Vale, the amount of CIL payable by developers will be in the order of £10k to £12k per new dwelling built. Social housing is exempt.
15% of the money raised by CIL passes to the parish council, subject to an annual ceiling of £100 per existing dwelling in the parish (which works out at around £95k in Radley’s case). For parishes with a Neighbourhood Plan in place, the parish council share rises to 25%, and there is no ceiling. This means that, with a Neighbourhood Plan in place, parish receipts from development on the South Kennington and White’s Lane sites could be in the order of £700k over the development period.
Parish councils are required by law to undertake certain procedural steps before they can put a Neighbourhood Plan in place. These include:
- Formal consultation on the draft plan. This involves seeking the views of (i) ‘statutory consultees’ – ie the district and county council, Environment Agency, Natural England and English Heritage; (ii) other important local interests such as neighbouring parishes, landowners and community organisations; and (iii) the wider public.
- Submission to the Vale District Council for checking that the plan complies with legal requirements.
- Independent examination by an Inspector whose job is to ensure that the plan conforms with European obligations, national planning guidelines, the strategic Local Plan policies and the achievement of sustainable development.
- A referendum in which anyone registered to vote in the parish is entitled to vote. The plan will succeed only if it gains support from over 50% of those voting.
|October 15 – March 16:||Set up working groups and develop proposals under 5 key themes|
|Mid-February to end April:||Develop thinking from topic groups and prepare material for consultation|
|Mid May 16:||First consultation. Exhibition w/e 21/22 May. Qu’naire collection over following fortnight|
|June – August 16:||Analyse consultation responses, modify proposals accordingly and prepare draft Neighbourhood Plan|
|*September 2016:||Consult VOWHDC on draft plan|
|*October 2016:||Formal consultation on draft plan|
|*December 2016:||Submit plan for (a) checking by district council and (b) independent examination|
* Plans for all these stages may need to be revised to reflect the emerging position on the Local Plan
Radley Neighbourhood Plan boundaries
The Parish Council’s application to have the whole parish included in the area to be covered by its Neighbourhood Plan was modified by the Vale to exclude a 24 hectare site between Peachcroft Farm and the A 4183 Oxford Road which is proposed as a strategic housing site in the Local Plan. The PC is currently working on this basis.
Abingdon Town Council Neighbourhood Plan
Abingdon Town Council have published proposals for their own Neighbourhood Plan boundary which includes land within Radley, Sunningwell and St Helens Without parishes. Most of the land affected is earmarked for development as the North West Abingdon and North Abingdon strategic housing sites. The Parish Council believes that Abingdon’s proposal to take over part of our parish is premature, and is pressing for a meeting between all four councils.