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NP Supplementary Survey June / July 2019

Dear Resident

YOUR views on major changes to proposed Shiplake Neighbourhood Plan are IMPORTANT

The Shiplake Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (SG) and Shiplake Parish Council (SPC) have given careful consideration to the impact of a number of recent legislative changes that affect the villages and the Neighbourhood Plan (NP):

Specifically: A revised National Planning Policy Framework (February 2019) has changed a number of policies and guidelines and SODC has a revised Local Plan (January 2019), all of which have major implications for developments in smaller villages and NPs. Perhaps most importantly, new District policies mean smaller villages no longer have housing allocations and can have lower dwelling densities to protect the character of the villages.

Additionally: The Thames Farm final decision to grant planning permission for 95 houses on the northwest boundary of the parish, contiguous with the Lower Shiplake settlement, has a serious impact on future development in the villages.

Initially the NP was required to address an allocation of a 5% increase in dwellings (33 homes) by 2034 and to have a plan to meet the housing needs of the villages. The proposed plan therefore designated sites within and on the edge of the built-up areas of the villages for specific types of development – a process known as site selection/allocation. Although this allocation has now been withdrawn, the increase in the number of dwellings will almost certainly exceed 33 homes by 2034 as a result of normal organic growth. The villages do, however, have challenges in the context of ‘housing mix’, specifically the need for smaller houses for younger residents and ‘down-sizers’.

In order to address the above factors and their impact, significant changes to the NP are being put forward by the SG and SPC. The proposal is that the NP should be changed from a basis of ‘site allocation’ to a ‘criteria-based’ plan, where each proposed development would be measured against specific policies.

A development plan based on such policies would give robust protection to the character and landscape of the villages, whilst addressing the housing needs and long-term sustainability of the villages.

Throughout the development of the NP the views of residents have been important when significant changes to the plan have been proposed. By completing the short questionnaire that follows with simple ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ responses, you will be giving the confirmation needed to make these changes.

NOTE: Different types of policies support different types of Neighbourhood Plans and different objectives within those plans. This may seem a little confusing but should become clear when answering the questions.

The three most common types of planning policies and how they relate to NPs are:

  • Generic – simple policies which apply universally to developments across the entire neighbourhood plan area.

  • Criteria-based – policies with a series of requirements that should be met by all development proposals. In changing to an NP that does not have site selection we need policies to cover topics not in the prior proposed site-based plan. A criteria-policy based NP can help shape future development with the incorporation of robust, positively worded policies appropriate to the specific character of the villages.

  • Site-allocation – policies applicable to particular areas of land (sites) allocated for possible development.

NP Supplementary Survey: 29th June - 14th July 2019

This survey seeks the views of all residents within the boundaries of Shiplake parish. Your input will be treated as confidential and remain anonymous.

The questions, with topic notes, refer to specific policy requirements to which we seek your confirmation of the changes proposed. Add comment, should you wish, at the end of the survey in the last section.

Should you have any queries, email: np2019@shiplakevillages.com.

THE SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED