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Thursday, 23 June 2011

confused about all our plans in Wootton Bassett and Cricklade?

In Wootton Bassett and Cricklade, Lyneham and Purton we have many new and exciting initiatives - Our community led plans, campus project and neighbourhood planning projects and the links between them can seem confusing and its worth finding out a bit more, these Q and A's may help unravel some of the confusion, if you have any further questions, do add yours and we will try to find a solution together.

  1. a.       What is the difference between a town/parish plan and a community plan, if there are differences between the two elements, how are they resolved ?
  2. b.      What are the timescales associated with each element of the overall plan ?

In the case of Cricklade, the Town Plan Group was not Town Council led but community led. The Group was expected to complete its Town Plan by September 2013. This would then inform the Town Council’s Business Plan and the Town Council’s current Development Plan would then cease to exist.

  1. c.       What is a neighbourhood plan, is it a plan for the community area of Wootton Bassett and Cricklade and how does it feed into the core strategy in terms of timescales ?

The essential difference between a neighbourhood plan (NP) and a community plan (CP) was that the CP could be address any number of issues of interest to a local community and could be used to help influence the delivery of services by the council and other agencies.  A CP did not have any legal force and could not address spatial planning (land use) issues. A NP was intended to solely address local spatial planning issues, would have legal force and could be informed by a community plan.

A neighbourhood plan (NP) could also be a NP for a single parish or town or a wider area - such as the whole community area (CA) or potentially just a part of this – such as the rural buffer. The CA could thus have just one or multiple NPs. There would need to be further discussion and sufficient agreement to decide how to progress this.

Wiltshire Council’s submission to DCLG to pilot NP in Wiltshire was based upon preparing one NP for the Wootton Bassett and Cricklade CA (and one for Warminister). This would have officer support from Wiltshire Council. Any decision to prepare more than one NP for the CA would have resource implications.

The envisaged replacement working group for the RBZ was expected to play a role in helping to formulate a core policy to submit, during the consultation process, for possible inclusion into the WCS - for the protection of the open countryside/rural buffer area – as part of its work in developing a Neighbourhood Plan for the CA. Spatial planning officers had expressed support for this way forward at Wiltshire Cabinet on 24 May.

 It was envisaged (subject to the final form of the Localism Act) that any NP would require approval in a local referendum before it could be adopted by Wiltshire Council.

  1. d.      Clarity that the Shadow COB’s only focus relates to services provided by Wiltshire Council, but there are elements that cross over town parish responsibilities, can they be segregated ?
  Campuses could include service provision by both Wiltshire Council and other service providers such as, for example, the NHS.
        Within ‘Cricklade for example, should there be an overall steering committee or alternatively a programme manager to ensure each element of the various plans are delivering to time and within their overall scope ?
Programme management, it was considered, fell largely within the sphere of influence of the community-led Town Plan Group.  Some overlap of membership with the COB would help facilitate co-ordination.
g.       How do the groups link together – need to avoid consultation overload.
  1. h.      Is it possible to combine/share consultations between groups

Each of the groups had a well defined task and, that while there were links between the groups and their activities, each would need to maintain a clear focus on its specific task otherwise group members would likely become confused and feel overloaded.

It would be up to each group, where possible, to share and make use of, where practicable and sensible, information gathered by others.

There is a need for a replacement of the Community Area Plan (CAP) in 2015 and it was recognised that suggestions for inclusion in the CAP would likely emerge from the work of the various groups.  For the present, the groups should be encouraged to concentrate on their own individual tasks, so as to maintain clarity of purpose and focus, and to prevent any sense of ‘overloading’ that might otherwise occur.

  1. i.        What about timescales and timing issues in relation to consultations on the draft Core Strategy and the work of the Shadow COBs.

Regarding the timescales for the Wiltshire Core Strategy (WCS) and Neighbourhood Plans (NP) there was absolutely no time conflict.

It was considered important that each parish/town should make its own representations on the draft WCS independently of progress or work that might be undertaken by the proposed NP working group.

All that was required, in respect of any NP was that this must be in conformity with the Wiltshire Core Strategy but it could proceed quite independently and on its own timescale.

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