Pilning & Severn Beach Neighbourhood Plan
Background to Neighbourhood Planning
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.
Establishing the P&SB Neighbourhood Plan
At the end of 2020, Pilning & 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 (NPSG), 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 NPSG. Monthly newsletters are published in the Parish magazine In View.
The NPSG 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. The NPSG has a Terms of Reference and a Project Plan, both of which are regularly updated and can be found on this site.
In July 2021 grant funding to support the evidence building phase of the project was first obtained from Locality, the national membership network supporting local community organisations. Locality also provides free technical support to undertake studies and produce documents required in the NP process.
In November 2021, a Housing Needs Assessment report was produced by Locality, which provided evidence that some new housing is required in the Parish.
In December 2021, following a significant publicity campaign, a survey was issued to all households to get the views of Parish residents. Results were presented in a public event in March 2022 and the results can be seen on this website. The views of local businesses, groups and organisations were obtained in the summer of 2022.
By September 2022, the NPSG completed a Character Assessment of all areas of the Parish to characterise what we already have. This was used as an input to the production of a Design Codes and Guidelines report by Locality, which considers existing buildings and how any new buildings should be designed.
At the start of 2023, Locality prepared a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) scoping document and commenced an Evaluation of Potential Sites for Development. Sources for potential sites have come from ‘Calls for Sites’ by both the NPSG and SGC, and proposals from within the NPSG. Evaluation will consider suitability, availability and viability of sites.
The main output from the NP process will be a document called a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), which contains the vision, objectives and the all-important policies that will influence planning. These have been drafted and presented at public events in the spring and summer of 2023 together with maps of potential sites.
Flood risk and Green Belt have emerged as significant issues to be overcome in delivering the NP. We are currently working on this with the help of specialist consultants. Having shortlisted potential sites, the SEA and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) are being progressed.
When finalised, the NDP will go out to consultation, amended as necessary and 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. We aim for completion by the end of 2024.
The NP is important in reflecting what the community wishes to see in the way of policies and proposals for developing and improving our area, with the appropriate amenities and infrastructure, whilst ensuring the Parish remains sustainable. As well as this website, we will communicate with residents through newsletters and public presentations. Should you wish to receive information by email, please contact us to be added to our mailing list.
Although now in the latter stages of its work, the NPSG would welcome additional members or volunteers with appropriate skills, experiences or enthusiasm. 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