The Plan is now entering the final stages of the process defined by the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.
Once we have a decision from South Gloucestershire Council regarding the need or otherwise to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) we will be taking the following actions.
1 – If a SEA is required – we will assign the work to Consultants. It will take around 3 months to obtain the report which if deemed required will be part of the evidence we have to supply with the Plan when it is submitted.
If SEA not required we will receive an exemption letter and will not have this time penalty .
2 – Pre Submission Consultation – This is a mandatory requirement Regulation 14 of the Regulations.
This will be a formal consultation with the community where the plan is publicised :-
- details of the proposals for a neighbourhood development plan;
- details of where and when the proposals for a neighbourhood development plan may be inspected;
- details of how to make representations; and
- the date by which those representations must be received, being not less than 6 weeks from the date on which the draft proposal is first publicised;
Representations will be considered and the Plan possibly modified to accordingly reflect.
3 – At the same time Consultation and Basic conditions statements will be written – these are part of the evidence that has to be submitted with the plan .
4 – The Plan and evidence will then be submitted to South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).(Regulation 15 )
5 – SGC will check the submitted documents for conformity to the basic condition.
6 – If SGC are satisfied they will publish and formally consult with the local community . This will be the opportunity for those members of the community who wish to make representations regarding the plan to formally comment. (Regulation 16) These comments will also form part of the evidence base when all the documentation presented is sent for Independent examination.
Notwithstanding the elapsed time should an SEA be required the process until the end of Regulation 16 is going to be something in the order of 5 months.
If all of this goes to plan, the appointment of an Independent Examiner should be possible in the Autumn by which time another status report will have been published.