Final version of the neighbourhood plan

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Neighbourhood planning

In May 2012 the Parish Council applied for permission to carry out a Neighbourhood Plan (see all documents below). The clerk soon realised there would be much work that could be shared with neighbouring parishes to help them through their plans and so invited ten parishes to work together in procuring consultants, sharing ideas and helping each other at every stage. Although every parish was to produce an individual plan there were cost and time savings to be had, enabling many smaller parishes to embark on a plan who would otherwise not have considered it.

Dunkeswell launched their Neighbourhood Plan and held two preliminary events on Thursday 29th May 2014 from 11am – 7pm at The Aviator, Dunkeswell Airfield and Tuesday 3rd June 2014 from 11am – 7pm at Throgmorton Community Hall, Highfield. In August 2014 we sent questionaires to all residents and businesses in the parish asking for views on issues raised at our launch events and matters previously raised in our Parish Plan 2011.

We have since conducted many meetings and informal sessions to hear more from our community, trying to reach residents of all ages, businesses and visitors to ensure we are being truly representative, including a Public Neighbourhood Planning Housing Forum on the 11th October 2014 at the Throgmorton hall. Having worked hard to ensure we had heard the views of as many people as possible we drafted aims and objectives which we tested at a Public Open Day on Saturday 15th November 2014, we were glad that there was broad support for all areas and strong support for many.

Our Plan was virtually complete at the same time as the East Devon District Council Local Plan was undergoing its Inspection during 2015/16. It was important that our plan policies were in line with the most current Local Plan so the Dunkeswell Neighbourhood Plan was purposefully paused awaiting the outcome of the Government Inspectors report. Once the Local Plan was finalised we resumed, made changes as were necessary and then underwent a full reconsultation to ensure our outcomes were still valid and aspirations unchanged.  This process completed in early 2017 and we submitted our draft to EDDC to pass to the Government Inspector. Your plan was amended in line with the Inspectors comments and was subject to a referendum where we needed more than 50% of parishioners who voted to be in favour of the plan in order for it to be adopted. At our referendum held on 19th October 2017 89% of those who voted were in favour of the plan.

Below are the documents and evidence of our consultation, we are more than happy for any other parish who is undergoing this process to use this resource, borrow wording and templates, or ideas.

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Carried out a consultation on the East Devon District Council – Village Development Plan which ended in November 2012 and made a response to the District Council concerning Dunkeswell, which follows on and included views from the recent parish plan, see file below.

Next we needed to help the community understand what a Neighbourhood Plan was and why we should do one, we had just completed a very comprehensive Parish Plan and it was important to define just how a Neighbourhood Plan would be different.

Supporting evidence

We gathered local evidence to support our Plan…

We used local evidence, relevant issues from the recently completed Parish Plan and the launch events as well as known local and rural topics to form separate questionnaires for individuals, farms and businesses …

We asked people for more information where we needed more information about the outcomes of our questionnaires …

Youth Consultation – Young Families Consultation – Older residents Consultations all took place at regular Groups (outcomes documented separately).

We identified Aims and Objectives and prepared a Vision Statement based on our findings – we held events to ask people if we had it right, if we missed anything and how strongly they felt on each subject…

We prepared our first Draft of the Neighbourhood Plan for Dunkeswell and asked for comments, we asked more questions and held consultation events and checked again what we were unclear on …


We paused for the outcome of the EDDC Local Plan Inspection then resumed our work taking in to account the new Local Plan and how it might affect our plan  -we reconsulted on Version 2 …

(Our same Plan, but updated in line with the 2016 EDDC Local Plan and parishioner and consultee comments as well as consideration given to the Government Inspectors views on other recently submitted plans.)

After an interlude to allow the Local Plan process to complete, we reconsulted as above and the Steering Group were then tasked with ensuring all comments and minor changes as a result were translated with the help of the consultant to reflect community wishes and that nothing was lost by the revisions, there were minor wording tweaks and much discussion which resulted in the following version being submitted to EDDC in March 2017 for Inspection together with the following supporting documents as listed below:

After the Inspection of our Dunkeswell Neighbourhood Plan in the summer of 2017 the final Referendum Version was produced in line with the Inspectors Report.


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