The Steering Group have agreed, after discussion with the Parish Council, that they will have the Pre-submission draft of the Neighbourhood Plan ready for submission to them in time for the September Council meeting. This was longer than had been intended but it was felt that that with the August recess, other Council business may not provide the necessary space in the meeting timetable for the Plan to be considered and for the subsequent required statutory consultation with the community and adjoining parishes to be undertaken.

The AECOM (AECOM provide free technical support to Neighbourhood Plan Groups) report on the site assessment process used for the Plan had been favourable and the Dorset Environmental Ecology report on the various sites has also now been received.

It has been decided to incorporate the Climate Change Objectives and Policies within the Environment Section of the draft as this seems a more practical approach and this work is being done. The provision of photographs and maps is underway, and it is proposed to produce a less “technical” summary version to accompany the main document as this, it is felt, will make the plan more “user friendly”.

The period for the Government’s Locality grant has now expired and the “End of Term” report which details how the funding has been used has been submitted. Not all the approved amount has been taken up and it is intended to apply for further grant aid (the 5th grant) in the near future to help with minor outstanding issues of the draft and enable the production of the final document once the pre-submission consultation process has been completed.

The momentum to compete the plan is gathering speed - our consultant has now completed her review of the text of our draft document and has recommended a number of changes where our proposed policies require clarification or expansion. We are now working on these and are also beginning to produce the various appendices and supporting documents that will be required.

Dorset County have undertaken their Ecology survey (this is an essential contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment) of the selected sites and AECOM, who are providing technical assistance as part of the Locality Grant package, have now met us as part of their review of our site selection criteria and processes.

Our volunteers have previously provided a number of photographs and maps and we will be seeking their help once more to amend or update these in the light of the proposed changes to the draft document.

The next big step is for The Parish Council to consult on the draft Neighbourhood Plan – the statutory Pre - Submission Consultation – and we are hopeful that we will have progressed to a point to enable them to do this in mid-May.

The consultation period is for 6 weeks and we will then use the feedback to amend or review the draft document before finalising it, and the supporting information, for submission to Dorset Council in order that the review by the Independent Examiner can take place. Once this has been done, they will call a referendum so that the community can vote whether to accept the plan.

Y&RI Neighbourhood Plan Group

We have now written to all the landowners offering them the chance to explain their proposals to the Steering Group and we have now met all those who wanted to do this. We are now able to complete our assessments of the various sites and to select those which should be included. We had a meeting at the beginning on the New Year to finalise this.

Under the regulations, the Parish Council must arrange a consultation on the draft of the Neighbourhood Plan – the pre-submission document – once the outstanding work has been completed. This enables the community and the District Council to comment on the proposals (the statutory time period for this consultation is 6 weeks) and for these to be considered in producing the final submission document - it is hoped to be able to be ready to undertake this consultation exercise by February or early March.

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