Compton Parish Council, alongside its residents, have been working together to create a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) to help shape the growth and improvement of the local area.
In 2017, Compton Parish Council indicated that they wished to produce a neighbourhood plan which is a formal planning document that allows local people to shape the future of the areas in which they live. A steering group was established and they produced a draft plan which was consulted on between November and December 2020.
The NDP is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area covering a period up to 2037, consistent with national planning policies and the West Berkshire Council Local Plan.
The NDP includes a number of policies covering a range of themes that are important to the community of Compton and seeks to:
- Ensure new development meets the needs of the local community and presents a well-designed natural and built environment;
- Maintain open countryside of the Parish to protect the character and identity of Compton within the setting of the area of natural beauty (AONB); and
- Safeguard and improve local community facilities and greenspaces, looking beyond the planning system to other additional community actions that will help deliver the objectives of the NDP and its policies.
Cllr Richard Somner, Executive Member for Planning, Transport and Countryside at West Berkshire Council, said: “Neighbourhood Planning is a powerful tool which local communities can use to shape the future of their local areas for important aspects.
“The Compton neighbourhood plan does not propose to allocate any sites for development, but it does provide additional planning policies to those in the Local Plan on issues important to the local community such as biodiversity, sustainable transport, design, local green space, and community facilities.
“I welcome this consultation on the Compton neighbourhood plan which is the result of years of hard work from the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and positive engagement with the District Council.”
Compton Parish Council said: “We wish to thank all the member of the Steering Group, past and present, for their hard work involved in the plan. The Council would like to thank all the members of the parish who took the time to visit the events, fill out questionnaires and provide feedback, the outcome of which is the submitted Compton Neighbourhood Development Plan.”
David Aldis, from Compton Steering Groups, added: “The Steering Group wishes to place on record their thanks to the many members of the Parish who took the time to respond positively to the Steering Group’s meetings, consultations, public events and surveys. We received a very good rate of response to our major survey and this, along with much interaction with the Parish, has resulted in the formulation of a detailed and comprehensive document that you have for examination and public consultation. We also wish to thank Aaron Smith, Holly Snyder and all the team at Fowler Architecture and Planning, without whose professional expertise we would not have been able to complete the process. We also thank Laila Bassett and Bryan Little at West Berkshire Council for their guidance throughout.”
Now the neighbourhood plan has been formally submitted to West Berkshire Council as the local planning authority (LPA), the responsibility for taking the process forward lies with the LPA.
The plan has been checked that it is legally compliant and now comments from residents and businesses can be accepted via a public consultation. The consultation is now open, closing at 4:30pm on Friday 16 July. More information can be found here: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/comptonnp.
While the plan is undergoing consultation West Berkshire Council, in conjunction with Compton Parish Council, will appoint an independent examiner who will go through all the representations received.
The timings for the examination and the stages after this are very much dependent upon a number of factors but if timescales are met, and the plan is successful at referendum, it is likely that the NDP will be adopted in late 2021 or early 2022.