We have created a Neighbourhood Plan for Goudhurst.
Our journey began on 22nd September 2016 at a public meeting in Goudhurst Village Hall attended by some 238 residents. The benefits of a Neighbourhood Plan was outlined and, on a show od hands, there was 100% agreement that a Neighbourhood Development Plan would benefit the parish. Our intention was formally registered and subsequently accepted by TWBC.
The activity is sponsored by Goudhurst Parish Council but the plan is being developed by a group of volunteers.
A Steering group led by Colin Willis was created 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:
- The area covered was designated in November 2016 and approved by TWBC.
- The evidence base was built by the working groups
- Questionnaires for both residents and businesses were developed and disributed. There were 1,156 responses completed representing around 50% of the Parish. A Full analysis of both questionnaires was published and the results were included in the Questionnaire Results Exhibition in St Mary’s Church Goudhurst and and Christ Church Kilndown. The results exhibition was open from mid July until the start of September.
- Public workshops were held to review the questionnaire responses and identify policy priorities
- The draft plan was published as part of the pre-submission (Regulation 14) public consultation process. This was a six week process and feedback was reviewed and amendments made as required. A summary of the responses was created.
- The updated plan, along with the supporting documents have now passed to TWBC. They are responsible for the Regulation 15 public consultation 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.
Our Neighbourhood Development Plan sets out a shared vision for the community supported by local planning policies that enable residents to have real influence over the type of development that is approved in Goudhurst and where development can take place.
During the process there were some of the key questions about the plan published: