The Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan has been made by and for residents. The aim is for the Plan to be adopted, so that future planning applications will have to follow the rules within the Plan. This means that the Plan will have to go through a long process before it can be adopted.
Firstly, residents and organisations will have the chance to make comments - this is the consultation that the council is running on the Plan now. Secondly, the Plan will need to be examined by an independent person with planning experience. The examiner will consider all the comments and look at the Plan carefully to make sure it complies with national laws and policies. The examiner will then write a report for the Forum and the council in which they will recommend certain changes to make sure the Plan is sound (i.e. complies with law and policy). They will also say whether the Plan can proceed to referendum.
The council will then consider whether they want to accept these recommendations and if it can proceed to referendum. If the council does not agree with the examiner, they will have to provide a good reason why not. The Forum can also still decide if they agree with the council's changes and can always withdraw the Plan.
If the council agrees that the Plan should go to referendum, the council will then organise this referendum. Residents of Whitburn will be invited to vote. If the Plan receives more than 50% of 'yes' votes, it will be adopted. It will then be used to determine planning applications.
There are some important steps to go through, but we are hoping that by April next year we will have an adopted Plan that works for Whitburn.
As you might remember, the Forum consulted on a draft neighbourhood plan earlier this year. We received lots of comments and support from residents. We then worked with a planning consultant to include these comments into the final Plan and to make sure the Plan was in line with national rules and policies on neighbourhood planning.
We also took some advice from experts on our sewerage and air quality policies, and we made some changes to the wording and the evidence documents.
We now have a good plan that hopefully has a good chance of being adopted. But before then, there are many more steps to take, which will be explained in the next post. The first step is that the council is inviting residents and others to comment on the plan through its website: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/57607/Whitburn-Neighbourhood-Planning
The deadline is 19 November. Please leave you feedback and provide your support for the plan if you can.
The Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum is happy to announce that we have now finished the Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan and have submitted it to the council. This means that the council is now running a public consultation, on which residents, businesses and other organisations can comment.
The Plan is made by and for residents and through its policies we want to ensure that any future development will make the village a better place.
The consultation runs until 19 November, You can find out all the documents and ways to comment on the council's website.