NP Review

There is no statutory requirement to review neighbourhood plans.

Nevertheless there are certain factors that obliged us to consider doing so:

  • Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (B&DBC) lost their 5 year land supply in June 2018.  As at Dec 2021 it is assessed as 4.5 years.

  • This means that the policy 'presumption in favour of sustainable development' applies and, among other things, many policies in the Local Plan are considered out of date.

  • This gives greater latitude to those who wish to apply for speculative planning applications, as was demonstrated by Falcon Developments' application for 35 houses on Harts Lane in 2019.

  • With the loss of the 5 year land supply neighbourhood plans have only 2 years worth of validity or 'protection' before their policies are also considered out of date.

  • Burghclere's neighbourhood plan was made in May 2021 and will lose its protection in May 2023.

  • B&DBC is developing a new Local Plan.  The Local Plan Update (LPU) will not complete before the end of 2024.

  • The 5 year land supply is not expected to be recovered until the new Local Plan is complete.

  • Assuming no further delay to the LPU, that leaves a ~1.5 year gap during which time we have lost our protection and are therefore vulnerable to further speculative development.

Neighbourhood Plan review

There are several options in reviewing neighbourhood plans.

  • Minor modification.  This is essentially for minor typographical errors, updating inconsistencies and adding information for clarification.  No consultation needs to be undertaken and thus there would be no requirement for an examination or referendum. Non-material updates can be agreed between the parish council and Borough Council and the adoption/made date of the original plan would still apply.

  • Material modification.  This would be considered as a change which does not alter the overall strategy of the plan but adds additional details to the existing policies. This method would require a Regulation 16 consultation to be undertaken and an examination. The parish council and Borough Council need to submit a statement to the examiner indicating whether they consider the modifications to be of a material or substantial nature. It will be the examiner who makes the final decision as to whether the modifications would require a referendum (if seen as substantial) or the plan could just move to made/adoption within a 5 week period.

  • Substantial modification.  If considering including additional site allocations, a new or changes to a settlement boundary, or new policy areas, these might constitute a substantial review. The plan would be required to follow the same process as our first neighbourhood plan i.e. regulation 16, examination and referendum. The plan will also need a successful referendum result to be 'made'.

Complicating the situation further, the proposed allocation of housing for Burghclere in the current draft of the LPU (15 houses) has been met through our existing neighbourhood plan.  There is therefore no formal requirement to provide more in either the current or future plan, unless the target changes as the LPU matures.  This is something we continue to watch closely.

Given the uncertainty, and the very real risk of further speculative development in the parish from May 2023, the parish council has decided to review the neighbourhood plan and is considering what new policies might be incorporated taking into account new government initiatives.  At this juncture it is uncertain whether any such changes would be considered 'Material' or Substantial'.

Further information on how we will proceed will be logged and registered on this website with new pages added as required.