A major consultation on the draft NP was held in October 2016
The consultation took the form of:
- A summary leaflet on the main points of interest in the Neighbourhood Plan.
- The release of the draft Neighbourhood Plan document.
- A questionnaire.
- Meetings as required but including the October Parish Council meeting.
The following material is available here now:
- Publicity flyer advertising the exhibitions.
- Exhibition Boards.
- Summary of the Neighbourhood Plan.
- The draft Neighbourhood Plan document.
Outcome of the Consultation
The results of the consultation can be viewed here, but a super summary is reproduced below.
A short summary is reproduced below:
Neighbourhood Plan update Consultation Results – Summary Of Findings
The autumn 2016 consultations drew in over 450 residents and their families across two Saturday exhibitions held at the Orpen Hall. Around 50 comments were generated by the exhibitions themselves, and 190 valid questionnaires were returned, around 120 via the paper-based surveys and the remaining 80 generated via the Survey Monkey electronic questionnaire. The Steering Group has been hard at work coding in the paper-based questionnaires into Survey Monkey and analysing all the responses. A full data report is on www.westbergholt-pc.gov.uk. However, the following is a more digestible summary.
The overall support for the introduction of a Neighbourhood Plan was very positive with an amazing 99% support in the very important and important categories.
Support for Policy areas is shown below. Note this is an average for each of the many policies under each category.
|Policy area||Strongly support or|
|Neutral (%)||Oppose or fully|
|General Village & Community||95||4||1|
|Planning & Housing||78||13||9|
|Business and Commerce||81||14||5|
|Sports and Recreation||86||12||2|
From the table above, it can be seen that the support for nearly all policies is overwhelmingly in favour. Areas which have slightly less support include those covering housing and planning matters, business and commerce and sports and recreation. The Steering Group will be looking closely at the comments received to find ways of improving the policy statements to better reflect respondents’ views. Over 300 individual comments were generated. All have been read and have been captured in the data report. Many are simply articulations of practical aspects needing to be considered when implementing particular policies, or when these lead to projects or planning applications in specific locations – these aspects are important and will be used to further develop the robustness of the plan and hopefully its acceptability.
The Steering Group will now be working on a final draft reflecting the views of the consultations and looking to see where comments received need to be reflected in the final version of the NP, a consultation on which will be carried out in May or June. After this final consultation, the Neighbourhood Plan will be submitted to Colchester Borough Council for their consideration, before examination by an independent Inspector, and finally put to the community for a referendum. We have contacted all residents who indicated that they would like to learn more about our work, but if there are readers who wish to discuss any aspect of the NP process, then feel free to contact either myself or the Steering Group Secretary Laura Walkingshaw. Both our contact details can be found on the inside page of the Bulletin. In closing the NP Steering Group would like to thank those who attended the exhibitions and /or who responded to the consultation.