Why have a Neighbourhood Plan for Overton?
Our present understanding is that Basingstoke & Deane Borough council is proposing that 270 houses will be built in Overton over the next 15 years. As a Parish, we cannot decide what the number will be. In the past, the Council planners would have decided where the houses would go, how many would be ‘affordable’, the number per acre, their size, quality, design, and everything else.
Changes to the law now mean Parish Councils can make those decisions through a Neighbourhood Plan. We can influence the future of our own village. It is too good an opportunity to miss.
The plan is not just about the new houses. It is about all aspects of village life and how the new houses will fit with what we want our village to be in fifteen years’ time.
If you are interested in being involved with the Nieghbourhood Plan please contact the project manager, Brian Elkins
What area will the plan cover?
The plan will cover the area of the Overton Civil Parish – see map
See the application for the designation of a Neighbourhood Area
Who will write the plan?
Overton Parish Council (OPC) asked people to join a Neighbourhood Planning Group. As this number grew, it was divided into sub-groups and Brian Elkins was appointed project manager in April. It is separate from the OPC for the duration of the project but works closely with it.
What will the constraints be?
Our plan has to fit with higher level plans, policies and the law.
How will we do it?
We have to follow a set of rules. It starts with consulting residents and stakeholders about what they want the village to be like in fifteen years’ time.
A survey on that was done in 2012 which is very helpful but we will be expected to bring this up to date.
From your responses, a vision statement will be written along with a set of objectives for achieving it. The objectives lead to detailed policies for the Parish Council and developers to follow.
Stakeholders are groups and bodies with an interest in the outcome. They include local employers, shopkeepers, farmers, businesses, bus and train companies, utility companies, landowners, clubs, societies and more.
The evidence base includes the numbers we use to describe the Parish and the results of the consultations.
At every point, we will required to
- Provide evidence for every statement we have made.
- Give reasons for our conclusions.
- Explain what options were available and why a particular choice was made.
- To show that what we propose is sustainable.
Sustainability is key to the whole planning process. Basically it means that our plan should hand Overton on to our children and grandchildren as an even better place than it is now.The word has many shades of meaning. It is certainly about the quality of life – homes, opportunities for learning, jobs, prosperity, shopping, getting around, health, enjoyment, a sense of community and so on, but it is also about the environment – global warming, pollution, use of resources and recycling – which will affect everyone on the planet.Nearer home, there are environmental issues about the natural world surrounding us- biodiversity, building on the flood plain, solar energy and waste disposal which our plan must also address.
When does it have to be ready?
We can decide but the sooner we do it the better. We can then fend off developers who want to get planning permission for yet more sites!
What happens then?
The Borough officers will check that we have followed the rules correctly and given them the evidence they need. If we have, it then goes to a referendum of everyone entitled to vote who lives in the Parish. The result is decided on a simple majority of those who vote. A majority ‘No’ vote will NOT reduce the number of houses to be built. It will mean our future will be decided by others.
We will keep you posted with more information and how you will be able to give your views.