On 22nd September there was a public meeting in Goudhurst Village Hall attended by some 238 residents. The overall concept of the plan was outlined and there was 100% agreement that a Neighbourhood Development Plan would benefit the parish. Our intention was formally registered and subsequently accepted by TWBC.
There is a steering group led by Colin Willis and 5 working groups tasked with building our evidence base. To complete our plan we will need to navigate five stages to deliver our plan:
- Designate the area to be covered. This was completed in November 2016 and approved by TWBC.
- Prepare the evidence base. This is where we are now. This involves documenting our community gathering an evidence base that will be used to support the identification of projects and the building of planning policies. The opinion of residents is a key component of this and working groups are creating questions for inclusion in a questionnaire that will be distributed in May/June. To complete this phase there will be a series of workshops which will build the policies and identify projects and community activities. We expect to begin this process in September.
- Once the plan is complete it will be published in draft as part of the pre-submission (regulation 14) process. This is a six week process and feedback will be reviewed and amendments made if required.
- The plan is then passed to TWBC to verify it meets legislative requirements. It is then publicised for six weeks after which an independent examiner is appointed
- The plan is independently reviewed and this can involve a public meeting.
- If all of the previous steps have completed successfully TWBC will arrange a referendum in the parish to vote on acceptance or rejection of the NDP. If passed it will be incorporated into the TWBC local plan.
We expect the overall process to be completed in the middle of 2018.