The Uplyme Neighbourhood Plan Group and Parish Council have taken another major step forward toward adoption of the Uplyme Neighbourhood Plan.
As East Devon District Council’s ward member for Trinity, I cannot praise the work of the Uplyme Neighbourhood Plan Group enough. Their efforts and achievement, in presenting such a thoughtful, comprehensive and well reasoned plan for inspection, should not be underestimated. The challenge of recognising the importance of protecting our valuable natural environment yet, at the same time, proposing policies and identifying specific sites for development to meet local needs, is complex. The diligence with which this has been tackled is demonstrated in the Strategic Environmental Assessment, so well received by Natural England.
Enthusiastic local volunteers have been working on the Uplyme Neighbourhood Plan since September 2013. The document, which gives us a say about the scale and nature of development in our area, tackles a range of topics and sets out policies to protect important green spaces in the parish, as well as the allocation of four sites for predominantly affordable housing.
A final draft has been submitted to East Devon District Council for formal consultation over a six week period. This concludes on 27 January 2017. Following this the Plan will go before an independent examiner, who will inspect the plan against a series of basic conditions.
East Devon District Council is inviting residents who have not already commented on Uplyme’s Neighbourhood Plan to visit the consultation page on the East Devon website where they can view the Plan and its supporting documents and give their views on the proposed document via a feedback form, which the council would like to encourage residents to use for any comments.Any representations received will be made publicly available on the East Devon website and copies will also be sent to the Examiner for consideration.
The Uplyme Neighbourhood Plan is the fifth Neighbourhood Plan in East Devon to reach this stage of the process. Other plans that have gone this far (and further) include: Lympstone, Stockland, Bishops Clyst and East Budleigh with Bicton.
A Neighbourhood Plan is a planning policy document which, if fully supported by members of the local community via a referendum, can become part of East Devon’s development plan for the district. Once ‘made’, the Plan would be used by the council’s Development Management Committee when considering planning applications within the parish.
My colleague, Councillor Mark Williamson, East Devon District Council’s Lead Councillor on Neighbourhood Planning, said:
“I am very pleased to see the progress made by colleagues in Uplyme on the production of their Neighbourhood Plan. This beautiful part of our District shows how important it is for local people to decide how to protect their environment while at the same time meeting the needs of the community for, for example, affordable housing and local employment. I look forward to seeing the results of their work and wish them well as they see through the final stages of the process.”
I urge all Uplyme residents and businesses to take the chance to consider the plan and add comment prior to the final draft being submitted for inspection.