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Agenda item

Hermitage Neighbourhood Development Plan (C4432)

Purpose: To seek approval of the submission of the Hermitage Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) for independent examination.


Council considered the report (agenda item 19) that sought approval of the submission of the Hermitage Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) for independent examination.


MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Tony Vickers and seconded by Councillor Heather Codling to resolve that the Hermitage NDP could be sent for independent examination under Regulation 17 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.


Councillor Tony Vickers in introducing the report said that it was important to remember that the working groups were carried out on the basis of administrative boundaries and not necessarily settlement boundaries. It had been agreed about a year ago that the Council would have to look at our administrative boundaries and it was not known what affect this would have on neighbourhood plans. It was still right that the Council adopted neighbourhood plans post being rightly initiated and led throughout by local communities, not just local councils but also volunteers on steering groups. The plans had to come to Council at set points for approval and involved a lot of officer time. It was sensible to undertake a tendering process for a number of plans that were going through the process. The Parishes would retain their right to choose their examiner from within the group of consortiums that won the tender. Over the last few years in Hermitage there had been a lot of development so there was no additional allocation of residential or employment land in the report. The final report would be brought back to Council for approval to go out to referendum.


Councillor Carolyne Culver mentioned that there had recently been a referendum on the Compton Neighbourhood Development Plan and she appreciated how much hard work went into them from volunteers in the community and officers. As she had raised many times at the Western Area Planning Committee, she highlighted the importance of addressing housing mixture and introducing more affordable housing and social rent housing. There was also a need for smaller properties for young people or the elderly who wished to downsize. She mentioned that in paragraph 6.1 there was a word missing and went on to welcome that they had identified six green spaces to protect. She was pleased to see the cycle out was being extended and it was hoped that this could go from Newbury into Oxfordshire. The report mentioned that road and traffic issues could not be included in the plan but they had been included in the Cold Ash one, it was recommended that it was made clear to our volunteers what could or could not be included so we had consistency across the plans.


Councillor Heather Codling in seconding the motion said that she thought it had been Hermitage’s choice not to look at traffic. She commended the work they had done as the plan captured the diversity of the village. It was a large village with a lot of new housing, it was in the countryside and AONB. Although the village had grown it was important to maintain its character along with being aware of modern living requirements.


The Motion was put to the meeting and duly RESOLVED.

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