There was a discussion at our Frome event in October 2014 about Neighbourhood Plans and their significance when still in draft form i.e. not yet reached the referendum.
Doug Roseaman attended the event for the Devizes Partnership. Devizes’ Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted to the Local Authority but is yet to have the referendum.
Doug updated us on how the adjudication on a large housing development outside their planning boundary has been resolved by the Secretary of State. At appeal, the Inspector had approved it.
The Secretary of State agreed with the great majority of his rationale, including the fact that the development boundry wasn’t sacrosanct as there wasn’t enough land allocation within the boundry to meet the housing numbers required.
However, he ultimately turned it down by giving preeminence to the provisions within the Neighbourhood Plan, notwithstanding that the Plan had only got as far as the Local Authority and was still within their publicity period, before Inspector review and referendum.
He also mentioned the importance of Neighbourhood Planning – “the Sec of State has given significant weight to the opportunity which the neighbourhood plan process gives local people to ensure they get the right types of development for their community” and disagrees with the Inspector’s view that the shortfall of housing land locally should outweigh the Neighbourhood Plan’s provisions.
This must give a significant degree of strength and encouragement to the Neighbourhood Plan process and provinence. Albeit there is a possibility of a Court of Appeal adjudication to come, if the developer chooses to go on that bit further.
You can view the Secretary of State’s judgement below.