Winchfield Parish Council
Neighbourhood Plans give local communities more control over the type, location, size, pace and design of development in their area. Once ratified by the community through a referendum, these Plans become part of the development plan for the area and must be taken into account when planning applications are determined.
On August 11, 2014, Winchfield Parish Council decided to go ahead with the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan for Winchfield. Over the ensuing months, which involved consultation sessions with the whole community, the team worked diligently to draw up the Plan documents.
Our thanks go to everyone who responded to the Pre-Submission Consultation on the Winchfield Neighbourhood Development Plan which ended on April 29, 2016. Following this consultation, the Parish Council as the ‘qualifying body’ amended the Plan and submitted it to Hart District Council which carried out a further consultation which closed on September 2, 2016. Following the six-week public consultation, the proposed Plan was submitted for independent examination.
The Examiner's Report was received on October 4. Andrew Ashcroft MRTPI concluded: "The Plan proposes a series of policies and seeks to bring forward positive and sustainable development in the plan area. There is a very clear focus on safeguarding local character and promoting distinctive housing development. It also includes a series of Watch Points. The Plan has been significantly underpinned by community support and engagement. It is clear that all sections of the community have been actively engaged in its preparation. Subject to a series of recommended modifications set out in this report I have concluded that the Winchfield Neighbourhood Plan meets all the necessary legal requirements and should proceed to referendum."
It is well worth reading his report in full on the link below. He said of his visit to Winchfield: "I drove initially to the car parking area adjacent to the iconic St Mary’s church. I could see why it features so heavily in both the Plan itself and other documents and publications about the village. It is a stunning piece of Norman architecture."
Another extract states: "I am satisfied that the content and the form of the Plan is fit for purpose. It is thorough and distinctive to the Plan area. The wider community and the Parish Council have spent considerable time and energy in identifying the issues and objectives that they wish to be included in their Plan. This gets to the heart of the localism agenda."
All the Examiner's proposed modifications were implemented into the Plan which was then ratified by parish councillors at a meeting of Winchfield Parish Council on October 24. The modifications were approved by Hart's Cabinet on December 1 and it was agreed to proceed to a local referendum.
Result of referendum on Thursday, February 2
The question asked was: “Do you want Hart District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Winchfield Parish to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
“The village has spoken with one voice,” said Cllr Andrew Renshaw, chairman of Winchfield Parish Council. “This was a fantastic result and a great endorsement of the plan by the majority of the community."
The Winchfield Neighbourhood Development Plan was ‘made’ (brought into legal force) by Hart Council on March 30 and now forms part of the Hart Development Plan to be used in the determination of planning applications relating to land in Winchfield Parish.
Copies of the Winchfield Neighbourhood Development Plan and supporting documents can be viewed on Hart District Council’s website http://www.hart.gov.uk/winchfield
The Plan is also here: