Effingham Parish Council (EPC) are delighted to report that following a successful examination, Effingham’s Neighbourhood Plan is now well on the road to adoption. The Independent Examiner recommended that subject to minor modifications the Plan should proceed to a formal referendum of Effingham residents.
Commenting upon The Plan, examiner Peter Biggers, BSc Hons MRTPI confirmed:
- The Neighbourhood Plan conforms to all relevant national policies
- The Plan will contribute to the achievement of sustainable development
- The Plan is in general conformity to the Guildford Local Plan
- The Plan does not breach any EU obligations
- The Plan meets all the requirements set out in the neighbourhood planning regulations.
Mr Biggers added: “The extent of interest and participation by residents in The Plan at the various stages is impressive and I am satisfied from the evidence that the communication and consultation which took place provided full opportunity for the community’s participation.”
The two principal modifications to the plan relate to site allocations, one of which will now be deleted but may come forward again once the new Guildford Local Plan is adopted, whilst the other sees a reduction in the number of homes felt to constitute ‘limited infilling’ on the Church Street site.
All other aspects of the plan have been approved and indeed strengthened.
Commenting on behalf of EPC Chairman Arnold Pindar said: “We are extremely pleased to receive such a positive endorsement for our Plan, which is the culmination of several years of hard work by residents. We now look forward to the final stage and a hopefully successful referendum result.”
Paula Moss, Chair of Effingham Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Group, added: “After so much hard work by so many people it was pleasing to see the examiner comment in such a positive fashion about the Plan. It is unusual for any neighbourhood plan to go through the process without significant changes so we were anticipating some modifications. We do feel that the integrity of the Plan remains intact and if anything we are grateful to the Examiner in providing his expertise to strengthen some of the core policies. We look forward to the final stage of the process with great enthusiasm.”
Explaining the next step in the adoption of The Neighbourhood Plan, Borough Councillor Liz Hogger commented: “It will now be the responsibility of Guildford Borough Council to make the final modifications before arranging for the Neighbourhood Plan to be put to a referendum. Effingham residents will have the final say, but we are very optimistic it will gain approval, given the overwhelming support shown by residents in a previous survey. If supported at the referendum, the Plan would then be adopted and must be accorded significant weight in all planning decisions impacting upon Effingham.”
The Examiner’s report and other information about the Effingham Neighbourhood Plan can be found on the Guildford Borough Council website at https://www.guildford.gov.uk/effingham.