To consider a report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration requesting the making (adopting) of the the Cullompton Neighbourhood Plan in order to meet the requirements of the relevant Acts and Regulations.
The Cabinet had before it a *report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration requesting the making (adopting) of the Cullompton Neighbourhood Plan in order to meet the requirements of the relevant Acts and Regulations.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration outlined the contents of the report stating that the Cullompton Neighbourhood Plan had been prepared by Cullompton Town Council and was one of four neighbourhood plans currently being prepared in Mid Devon, the others being for Tiverton, Crediton and Silverton.
The Cullompton Neighbourhood Plan included a vision statement, and 39 planning policies covering a range of planning matters for the period to 2033. The neighbourhood plan recognised that Cullompton would be the strategic focus of new development in Mid Devon, and it was supportive of the principle of the Culm Garden Village.
He outlined the work that had taken place to reach the examination stages of the process and that the examiner’s report had been received on 1st July 2020 and that this concluded that, subject to the recommended modifications, the Cullompton Neighbourhood Plan met basic conditions and could proceed to a referendum.
The referendum for the Cullompton Neighbourhood Plan was held on Thursday 6th May 2021 alongside other elections. The result of the referendum was that 87.3% of the votes recorded were cast in favour of a ‘yes’ to the question: “Do you want Mid Devon District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Cullompton to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
Since more than 50% of voters were in favour of the Cullompton Neighbourhood Plan the plan attains the same legal status as a local plan and therefore becomes part of the statutory development plan for the area. In accordance with legislative requirements the Council must adopt the neighbourhood plan and bring it into force.
The Council may refuse to make the neighbourhood plan it if considers that making it would be a breach, or would otherwise be compatible with, any EU obligations or any human rights obligations. Officers held the view that the making of the neighbourhood plan would not breach those obligations. The Council must decide whether to make, or refuse to make, the neighbourhood plan and it was recommended that the neighbourhood plan be made. There was no opportunity at this stage to seek to amend the contents of the neighbourhood plan or make further representations to it.
Consideration was given to:
· That the neighbourhood plan provided local thinking for local policies
· The work of local councillors and volunteers to produce the plan
· Whether any funding was available following the removal of the Community Infrastructure Levy – it was suggested that S106 monies would be available for local projects and that the Government intended to replace the Community Infrastructure Levy with a National Infrastructure Levy at some point and therefore funding opportunities may be available