We are now at the stage of preparing the draft Plan which when completed will go through a formal ratification process involving the Parish Council, SODC and an external Examiner before finally being subject to a referendum in the village in May 2017.
A large amount of evidence has been gathered during the consultation phase on all aspects of the Plan, and a formal Landscape Capacity Study has been commissioned from external consultants Bramhill which assesses each of the potential development sites but solely from the perspective of visual impact.
The detailed site selection process has reached the stage of an interim allocation of sites. Each of the proposed sites has been assessed and an interim site allocation made by reference to a matrix of Objectives and Criteria, to produce an overall initial ranking of the sites, with four sites as being suitable for development and allocation by the Neighbourhood Plan. The objectives and criteria were formulated in part as a consequence of a set of site selection priorities which were determined by the village during the consultation process and can be found here.
During this process, landowners were invited to meet with members of the Steering Group and given the opportunity to suggest changes to their proposals which may mitigate negative features that have been identified during the site scoring process.
A Landscape Capacity Supplemental Study, with associated Terms of Reference, was commissioned to consider comments and proposals from the public and developers. Developer documentation supplied to Bramhill for this study can be found here.
To meet the deadline of the exhibition on the 10th December (see below) and to ensure that the most up to date and complete picture was presented to the village, the potential effect of any developer proposals or comments from the public were included in the site assessment based on a verbal draft of the Landscape Capacity Supplementary Study. supplementary report from Bramhill, along with an interim Flood Sequential test. The confirmed detailed assessments for each site, updated to reflect the conclusions of the Landscape Capacity Supplementary Study can be found here. The full Flood Sequential Test is currently being finalised and will be published in due course.
On 10th December, there was an Exhibition in the Village Hall at which the results of all of this process were displayed. This day was attended by over 350 people, including John Howell MP, and whilst the decisions to accept or not accept certain sites were undoubtedly contentious for some, the universal view was that the presentation was enormously professional. All of the materials presented on that day can be found here
The next few months will be focused on developing the four plan documents that together forma complete plan submission, they are:
The Goring on Thames Neighbourhood Plan
The Goring on Thames Neighbourhood Plan Basic Conditions Statement
The Goring on Thames Neighbourhood Plan Sustainability Appraisal
The Goring on Thames Neighbourhood Plan Consultation Report.
When these documents have reached a complete and comprehensive draft status they will be submitted to the Goring on Thames Parish Council for a six-week minimum public consultation.
Following any revision, they will be submitted by the Goring on Thames Parish Council to SODC, who will undertake a further six-week consultation.
After this they will be submitted to a government examiner for review.
If successful the plan will be put to the village in a referendum and, if voted for by a simple majority of those who vote, will be “made” by SODC and become an integral part of the local planning framework.
For details of the plan time line and roadmap see below.