11 OCTOBER UPDATE
We are delighted that the examiner has published their report and recommended that the NP proceeds to referendum, subject to minor modifications. The report and further information can be found here:
18 JULY UPDATE
There has been a delay to the NP Examination due to an incomplete screening assessment. This is now in order and the updated documents are available to view below, with the (very small) amendment to the Strategic Environmental Assessment. Updated hard copy documents can accessed at Woolton Hill Church Hall in meeting room 3, East Woodhay Village Hall in the foyer, and from Peter Brunsden in East End.
A new consultation period starts 18 July until 05 September 2022.
23 MAY 2022 UPDATE
Following completion of the Regulation 16 consultation the independent examiner has performed a high level review of all the submitted documents.
Unfortunately the examiner has identified that the BDBC environmental assessment document does not cover the specific conditions required to assess the part of the River Test catchment area in the parish. This means that the BDBC produced document does not meet a legal requirement for the NP. The impact area is a very small part of the parish (the area around Pilot Hill) but it is a legal requirement introduced in 2018. Therefore, BDBC must perform an assessment of the area and consult the relevant environmental agencies with the results. The examiner has stopped reviewing the NP and will not recommence the review until these stages have been completed.
The updated environmental review of the area has already been completed but EWPC have been informed by BDBC that the environmental bodies consultation will take 5 weeks.
BDBC have also highlighted there is likely to be a need to repeat the Regulation 16 consultation for the NP due to the update of this single BDBC assessment document. This would mean a further 6 weeks delay. So in total the delay to the overall process would likely be a minimum of 12 weeks. EWPC have challenged the need to BDBC to repeat the Regulation 16 consultation for such a small environmental assessment update. All the other documents would remain unchanged (including the NP).
EWPC will have a clearer view of the total delay in the coming weeks.
13 MAY 2022 UPDATE
As recently communicated Neighbourhood Plan is now in the examination stage. The examiner has undertaken a high level assessment of the NP. Unfortunately the examiner has found a problem with the environmental assessment of the Parish.
The examiner has written an open letter (this can be found on the BDBC website) to the parish council and BDBC. This states that one of the supporting environmental assessments carried out by BDBC on our behalf, does not cover the specific conditions required to assess the part of the River Test catchment area in the parish. This means we do not meet a legal Basic Condition. The impact area she refers to is a very small part of the parish, but it is a legal requirement introduced in 2018 and an environmental assessment has to be carried out. The examiner outlined the choices we have moving forward.
We clearly wish to achieve our objective of a live NP for the community. We have therefore formally confirmed to BDBC that we wish them to perform the work to update the assessment and if they are supportive of this (which they said they are). However, this update has a timing impact on the examination. The examiner has said she will delay the continuation of the examination until the update is complete. She has also indicated that she wishes the update to go to consultation with the required environmental bodies. All of this will delay the NP. At the moment we have no understanding for how long the delay will be.
We have asked BDBC to urgently come back to us with the likely timing implications. We also would like to understand how this part of the environmental assessment was missed.
As soon as we get further clarification we will communicate this.
01 MAY 2022 UPDATE
Another milestone in the EWPC NP process has been completed with the closure of the Regulation 16 consultation period on Tuesday 3rd May. We have now moved into the next phase of the process which is the examination phase.
The NP will now be examined by an independent inspector, called an examiner. The examiner was appointed during the Regulation 16 Consultation. This phase has a legal process to be followed. EWPC, being the NP qualifying body, are the primary responders to the examiner in this process. EWPC will be supported by BDBC through the process. There is no set time for this phase, but the examiner will wish for the process to move forward as quickly as possible.
During the consultation, stakeholders have been able to send representations to BDBC. BDBC will now send these representations to the examiner and will publish them on their website for any stakeholder to view.
The examiner will soon send a commencement email to BDBC and EWPC outlining the next steps. EWPC will receive these representations in the commencement email.
The examiner will outline the process to be followed for EWPC to respond to the representations. EWPC will be given two weeks to make any response. There is no requirement for EWPC to answer every representation.
Following this, the examiner will examine the NP and come to a view over any modifications needed - a number of detailed questions may be asked and specific documents or emails requested. Some information may need to be placed online to be viewed by all stakeholders.
When the plan has been examined, BDBC will receive a draft fact check version of the inspectors report. BDBC and EWPC will be required to review the fact check version and provide further comments to the examiner.
BDBC and EWPC will then receive the final report which will be published on the BDBC website. At this stage final agreed changes will be made to the NP to ensure it reflects the comments received and changes have been actioned.
The examiner will then approve (or not) the NP for it to go to referendum.