The Final Furlongs… Claverham Neighbourhood Plan Examination


As one of the final stages in the almost interminable process of creating a Neighbourhood Plan, our Plan has been subject to independent Examination and a final report was issued to North Somerset Council 3rd October 2017.

Quoting verbatim from North Somerset Council website:

Yatton Parish Council, with help from the local community, are preparing two separate Neighbourhood Development Plans; one for Yatton and one for Claverham. This will help to shape the Parish over the next 15 years. The neighbourhood areas (one each for Yatton and Claverham) were designated on 24 April 2015.

The Claverham Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to North Somerset Council on 9 May 2017. Executive on 20 June agreed North Somerset comments on the Plan and gave authorisation to arrange an independent examination.

The plan was subject to six weeks formal consultation arranged by North Somerset Council from 23 June to 4 August 2017. All responses to this were forwarded to the examiner Mr Andrew Ashcroft. He has considered the plan against the “basic conditions” set out in the planning act. On 28 April 2017 he issued the following clarification note for the Neighbourhood Plan group to respond to. The response to this is also be (sic) published below.

Mr Ashcroft has now submitted his report to North Somerset Council and this will be considered at Executive on 24 October 2017. He has recommended that the Plan with modifications will pass the necessary basic conditions and can therefore go forward to referendum within the Plan area.

So, we await North Somerset Council Executive’s decision on 24th October.

Some Further Information

If, as we here hope, the decision is that the Plan can proceed to Referendum then any necessary modifications arising from examination will be published and made and the Referendum organised.

If you wish to see the Examiner’s report (and/or his initial clarification queries) please go to Claverham Neighbourhood Plan (on NSC Website).

The report to the Executive on 24th October setting out the recommendation to go forward with amendments and the Referendum is here:Report to Executive 24th October

Timing of the next stages

The recent changes in legislation makes opportunities for the Secretary of State to enforce time limitations as introduced in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 by which the remainder of stages have to occur unless a delay is specifically sanctioned by the Qualifying Body (Yatton Parish Council as represented by Claverham future). This process was introduced to encourage Local Planning Authorities to speed up their parts in the Neighbourhood Planning Process.

The time limitations, which North Somerset are working to comply with, can be found in Government Response to Consultation Neighbourhood Planning September 2016

Some of the new time limits  (currently in use until the Secretary of State may choose otherwise):

LPA making a decision on a referendum following receipt of the Examiner’s report

…there should be a time period of five weeks (from the date the authority receive the examiner’s report) for local planning authorities to make a decision on whether the draft neighbourhood plan or Order meets the basic conditions and other legal tests (or would do with modifications) and whether a referendum must be held.

The exceptions to this would be when:

  • a local planning authority proposes to make a decision which differs from that recommended by the examiner; or
  • a local planning authority and a neighbourhood group agree that more time than the proposed five week period will be required to reach a decision.


LPA setting the date of the Referendum

…The time period within which a LPA must set the date for a referendum will be 56 working days for standard referendums and 84 working days for business referendums. This would allow 28 working days in all cases for the local authority to prepare the Information Statement. The 84 day limit will apply in two additional circumstances: where the neighbourhood planning area and referendum area falls within more than one local planning authority area and where the local planning authority is not the “principal authority” responsible for arranging the referendum, as with Mayoral Development Corporations or National Park Authorities. Exceptions to time limits will apply as set out in the consultation (First, where a neighbourhood planning referendum can be combined with another poll that is due to be held within three 11 months of the end of the 10 or 14 week period described above. Secondly, where there are unresolved legal challenges to the decision to hold a referendum. Thirdly, where a local planning authority and the neighbourhood group agree an alternative time period.)

LPA making the Plan

…a plan should be made within eight weeks of the date of the referendum or referendums, unless there are unresolved legal challenges to the decision to hold either referendum or around the conduct of either referendum.

We will publish the Executive decision on the 24th as soon as it appears in the public domain.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.