Pilning & Severn Beach Neighbourhood Plan

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The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 came into force on the 6th April 2012. These regulations provide for local communities to be able to produce a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) for their local area, putting in place planning policies for the future development and growth of the neighbourhood. These policies have material weight when planning decisions are being made; they can help to resist unwanted development and to promote the type of development the community wishes to see. 

NPs inform and guide planning decisions, standing alongside the planning development documents of the local authorities to form the Local Plan. South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) is preparing an up-to-date Local Plan (see SGC Local Plan page here) which provides the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area. Additionally, and over-arching that, is a Spatial Development Strategy for the West of England, setting out the best way forward on strategic planning policies for the sub-region. 

At the end of 2020, Pilning and Severn Beach Parish Council decided to initiate the process of producing a Neighbourhood Plan. An application for the Parish to be designated as a Neighbourhood Area was made and accepted by SGC. 

An independent Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, comprising of several volunteers from across the Parish and representatives of the Parish Council, was set up to take the process forward. The list of current members can be found on the NP pages of this website, which have been set up to be the public interface for the group. Monthly newsletters are also published in the Parish magazine. A Service Level Agreement with SGC and the Steering Group’s Terms of Reference have been established. 

The Steering Group identified what it considered to be the key issues for the NP. These showed there were good reasons for developing a NP and a formal decision was made to proceed with the process. A Project Plan was prepared and in July 2021 a grant was obtained from Locality to support the evidence building phase of the NP.

In November 2021, with technical support from Locality, a Housing Needs Assessment report was produced, which provided evidence that some new housing is required. In December 2021, following a significant publicity campaign, a survey was issued to all households to get the views of Parish residents.  

Further work on building the evidence base will include obtaining views of local businesses and groups, and conducting further studies for establishing Design Codes and for characterising the Parish. The evidence will be used to develop aims and objectives, which will, after further public engagement, become the policies in the final Neighbourhood Development Plan. This document will also contain the recommended sites for different types of development. These will have been evaluated through a formal process for; suitability, availability and viability.

The Neighbourhood Development Plan will be subject to independent examination to ensure it conforms to National Policy and does not contradict or repeat policies in the Local Plan. A community referendum will then be organised. If more than 50% of the votes received are in favour of adopting the NP, it will become part of the Local Plan for planning related matters and will have the same legal status. 

The NP is important in reflecting what the community wishes to see in the way of visions, aims, planning policies and proposals for developing and improving our area, with the appropriate infrastructure, whilst ensuring the Parish remains sustainable. 

This website is used to hold information on the developments and progress of the NP as it comes together and will host the NP itself as it moves through inspection and referendum. 

Although having already commenced its work, the NP Steering Group would welcome additional volunteers with appropriate skills, experiences or enthusiasm to join the group. Furthermore, volunteers will be needed to help in the data gathering and publicity activities. 

If you would like to join the group or offer your services as a volunteer at any stage, please use the ‘contact us’ tab on this website. 

Pilning & Severn Beach Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

March 2022