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Extracts from Neighbourhood Plan Groups:
Secretary Wymondham and Edmondthorpe NP Group:
‘Creating a Neighbourhood Plan is a steep learning curve for any Parish Council. We could not have successfully completed ours without YourLocale: they provided expert, objective and timely advice while guiding us through the process and were committed to helping us achieve a successful outcome’.
Secretary Great Easton NP Group:
‘Gary Kirk was our primary contact and he demonstrated a very sound knowledge of the relevant professional skills. YourLocale are now employing a small number of specialist consultants, including planning and the environment, who bring important additional specialist knowledge, which we utilised. Competence and quality - first class’.
Chair HNDP Committee:
‘Gary and his colleagues at Yourlocale steered the Hungarton committee through the process and provided invaluable professional support at every level and at every stage from the initial planning to the finished document.
We most certainly could not have achieved the successful end result so efficiently without this support and Gary’s unfailing good humour. I’m delighted to recommend them to any council undertaking the important step of developing a Neighbourhood Plan.’
Secretary Waltham on the Wolds and Thorpe Arnold NP Group
We made one big mistake - not engaging Gary and his YourLocale colleagues at an earlier stage in the process - we’d have got there much sooner. They have been invaluable in moulding the Plan to achieve a really successful outcome and Gary, in particular, has repeatedly gone that extra mile in overcoming obstacles as they arose. Unreservedly recommended!
Chair of Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Committee - Broughton and Old Dalby:
We are very grateful for YourLocale's contribution to our Neighbourhood Plan over the last 18 months - we most definitely couldn’t have done it without your advice and guidance!
Great Bowden Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Committee
We knew that we wanted to develop a neighbourhood plan but we had no idea how to go about it until YourLocale showed us the way!
We may well have been able to develop a neighbourhood plan without the help of YourLocale but it would have taken us at least twice as long and we would have lost a lot of hair!
Gary and his team were a huge help to us not only with their expertise but, also, because we were made to feel comfortable during the process when we were forever asking for comments on various issues and help with technical matters.
For me, it was this accessibility to Gary and his team that was so important. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble!
Medbourne Neighbourhood Advisory Committee
Without YourLocale we would have struggled to deliver the Medbourne Neighbourhood Plan. Gary’s knowledge of the process and technical requirements was invaluable, as was his diplomacy, pragmatism and unwavering encouragement. I would confidently recommend YourLocale to any PC contemplating undertaking a Neighbourhood Plan.
Extracts from Independent Examination reports:
Broughton and Old Dalby:
The Neighbourhood Plan Group and the Parish Council are to be congratulated for producing a well-focused and locally distinctive neighbourhood plan which has been produced in a very timely fashion. The policies cover the matters which are clearly of importance to the communities of the settlements that make up the Plan area.
‘The Parish Council and its neighbourhood plan group are to be congratulated on producing a well-written, coherent and evidence-based plan.’
‘The neighbourhood plan group have faced a challenging task in producing such a well written, locally distinct neighbourhood plan in less than two years and should be congratulated for their drive and their commitment’.
Wymondham and Edmondthorpe:
‘The Parish Council and its neighbourhood plan group are to be congratulated on producing a well-written, coherent and evidence-based plan which has grasped the challenge of having to allocate land for additional housing, into what is a picture book English village’.
‘I must highlight and pay tribute to the work done by the team to specifically engage with the 12 to 17-year age-group, which generated a commendable 19 questionnaire responses from that cohort of village residents as well as the work carried out with the pupils of St Peter’s Primary School. This is evidence of genuine attempts to engage with groups who do not normally interface with the planning system’.
‘The Steering Group and the Parish Council are to be congratulated for producing a well-focused and locally distinctive neighbourhood plan. The policies cover the matters which are of importance to the community and address the challenges of accommodating new residential development into the village of Wymondham’.
East Langton Neighbourhood Plan:
I commend the Draft NDP for being well written, logical, clear, appropriately concise and intelligible to a reasonably intelligent lay reader with no expertise in town and country planning
Clawson, Hose and Harby:
‘The [Consultation] Statement and its various appendices provide a very useful flavour of the issues that were generated during the production of the Plan and how they were incorporated into the submitted Plan. This provides a high degree of assurance’.
‘It is clear that the submitted Plan has been prepared within what was the evolving context of the Local Plan. In doing so it has used up-to-date information and research that has underpinned the emerging Local Plan. This is good practice and reflects key elements in Planning Practice Guidance on this matter’.
‘Having considered all the evidence and representations available as part of the examination I am satisfied that the submitted Plan has had regard to national planning policies and guidance in general terms. It sets out a positive vision for the future of the plan area within the context of its historic character. At its heart are a suite of policies that aim to safeguard its character and appearance and to promote sensitive development appropriate to size of the settlements concerned. It includes policies to safeguard the countryside and important ecological sites. It promotes sensitive economic growth and diversification. Table 1 of the Basic Conditions Statement is particularly effective in terms of mapping the Plan policies with the appropriate paragraphs in the NPPF’.
‘I am satisfied that the content and the form of the Plan is fit for purpose. It is distinctive and proportionate to the Plan area. The wider community and the Parish Council have spent time and energy in identifying the issues and objectives that they wish to be included in their Plan. This sits at the heart of the localism agenda’.
‘The Plan addresses biodiversity in a comprehensive and very impressive way’.
‘This policy sets out a distinctive approach to the protection of woodland, trees and hedges. The supporting text provides helpful evidence and contextual information to the policy. The policy is very well-constructed’.
‘This policy offers support both for additional or enhanced community facilities. It reflects identified community needs. The policy includes four locally distinctive criteria. The policy has a second part that offers support for play areas in different parts of the Plan area. The policy is beautifully-constructed. It meets the basic conditions’.
Melton Borough Council
Local Planning Authority:
‘Firstly, we would like to thank you for your hard work to date. I speak for both of us when I say how incredibly impressed we were with the draft neighbourhood plan, to such an extent that we are even rethinking some Local Plan Policies as we believe your document has handled them so well’.
Newarke and Sherwood
Local Planning Authority:
As an exemplar, the Wymondham and Edmondthorpe Neighbourhood Plan (adopted) in the Borough of Melton includes a 580 word preamble ‘Neighbourhood Plan Policies for the Natural and Historical Environment’ which begins at the prehistoric era, and works through to the Roman, Saxon, Medieval and Industrial age. This outlines the historic settlement pattern and the shape of the surrounding landscape, from the open field system to the C18-C19 enclosure patterns.
Comment from Examiner on neighbourhood plan currently under examination:
The Plan is very well-presented and written. It provides a clear and distinctive vision for the neighbourhood area. In particular it addresses precisely the type of issues that would be expected to be considered in a neighbourhood area with a rich built heritage.
The layout and presentation of the Plan is excellent. The various maps add to its depth and interest. It inspires confidence that it has been professionally prepared and can eventually become a part of the development plan in Harborough District.