PRESS RELEASE: November 2021
Wymondham Neighbourhood Plan – Pre-Submission Consultation
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“Neighbourhood Plan for Wymondham reaches important milestone”
After nearly 18 months of hard work and consultation, a team made up of a range of local community representatives, residents and elected Town Councillors has produced a draft version of the Wymondham Neighbourhood Plan and would like the community to tell us what you think. This ‘pre-submission consultation’ draft Plan will be available for comment from the start of December until 26th January 2022. Copies of the document will be available online on the Town Council website (Neighbourhood Plan (wymondhamtowncouncil.org)). Alternatively, hard copies can be viewed in the Town Council reception and the Library from the 1st December.
The Neighbourhood Plan Team has been meeting every few months since 2020 and many residents have kindly dedicated lots of time and energy to the Plan’s development. Over that period the Team has:
- Undertaken background research on local social, economic and environmental conditions in Wymondham and the surrounding area
- Undertaken initial community consultation to understand local aspirations, concerns and ideas (Winter 2020/21)
- Been on a series of structured ‘walkabouts’ led by specialists to understand different areas within the town and particular issues of interest or concern
- Held workshops to discuss different aspects of life in Wymondham and to develop policies
- Undertaken a second round of community consultation to test a draft vision, objectives and draft policies for the Neighbourhood Plan (Summer 2021). The draft policies we prepared reflected what you had told us earlier in the year and were all well supported.
A series of policies have been developed and the Plan is now ready for what is referred to as the ‘pre-submission consultation stage’. Reflecting your feedback from previous consultation events, amongst other things, policies focus on:
- Protecting and enhancing the town centre including Wymondham’s many historic buildings
- Protecting important views of the Abbey from around the town such as from Chapel Lane and protecting important views out into the countryside
- Improving access to the countryside and increasing the provision of ‘green infrastructure’
After this current consultation the Plan will be revised in light of community feedback and a number of ‘submission documents’ will be prepared. The Town Council will then submit the Plan and these documents to South Norfolk Council who will oversee the completion of the process which includes an independent examination and a local referendum.
To view draft Neighbourhood plan please click here 211130 Pre Submission Draft Wym Nhood Plan LR vFINAL.pdf
The Pre-Submission Consultation has now ended.
What is Neighbourhood Planning?
Neighbourhood Planning is a new community-led planning initiative that has emerged from the Localism Act. It gives local people new rights to help shape the development of the communities they live in. Neighbourhood Plans allow communities to set out planning policies on the development and use of land in the ‘neighbourhood area’ which in Wymondham’s case is the civil parish.
Any policies included within a Neighbourhood Plan need to conform to strategic planning policies and guidance at the local and national level; this means that it cannot be used as a mechanism to undermine established planning policies or planning permissions. But local neighbourhood plans can be used to provide additional detail and guidance on issues that cannot be addressed in more strategic documents.
Wymondham Neighbourhood Plan – Progress Update & Policy Ideas Consultation
First of all, thank you to everyone who took the time to provide feedback on the online consultation earlier this year; nearly 300 people responded to the online questionnaire and we were thrilled to receive around 250 different ideas about your vision for Wymondham in the future.
In 2020 the Town Council set up a Neighbourhood Plan Working Group to produce the Neighbourhood Plan. The group includes local residents, leaders of different community groups and a number of Councillors. Since undertaking the consultation at the start of the year, this group has met a number of times, undertaken various site visits and held two policy development workshops. Emerging from these workshops are a series of initial policies and a suggested vision and set of objectives for the Neighbourhood Plan and we would like your feedback before we take these ideas any further.
We would be grateful if you could spend some time completing the following questionnaire please:
We have also attached to this post some information panels to provide you with further background information. The survey will run until the 22nd September 2021.
To view the information panels please click on the following link Consultation displays.pdf
In addition to the online survey, the same information will be available as exhibition panels at Wymondham Library and Town Council offices, you will also be able to provide your feedback at these two venues. The panels will be up from the 1st – 15th September 2021. Once the team have gathered all of your feedback, the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group will then reflect on your comments before producing a first draft of the full Neighbourhood Plan later in the year. That document will once again be the subject of public consultation so that you can feedback at every step in the process.
PRESS RELEASE: APRIL 2020
Designation of Wymondham Neighbourhood Area
The Town Council is pleased to report that South Norfolk Council has confirmed the designation of Wymondham as a Neighbourhood Area. This means that the Town Council is now able to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for its area. The application and a map showing the area can be viewed on the South Norfolk Council website.
Neighbourhood Plans were introduced in 2011 by the Localism Act. They give communities an opportunity to have a genuine say about the future of their area. Many Parishes across Norfolk have already taken the opportunity to prepare Plans for their patch and there are some fantastic examples out there of what creative Plans can do.
Responsibility for preparing a Neighbourhood Plan in this case rests with Town Council who will be pulling together a team of stakeholders and community representatives over the next few weeks to help develop the Plan. Recognising the current Government guidance around COVID-19, for the time being work is limited to start-up preparations and background research. There will be numerous ways for the community to get involved in due course via exhibitions and public consultation which are central to preparing a plan but we will only look to organise these when the Government guidance changes and it becomes appropriate to do so.
Once a Neighbourhood Plan is adopted it forms part of the wider Development Plan which means it must be taken into account when assessing planning applications for new development in that area. Unlike other non-statutory documents that may have been prepared in the past, this means it has genuine weight to influence change. Neighbourhood Plans cannot be used to block development or deviate significantly from adopted strategic policy; but what they can do is help to ensure the local views are genuinely reflected in planning policy and that the local character and individuality of places such as Wymondham are represented.
Preparing a Plan from start to finish is likely to take over a year. We will be updating the community about key steps in the process and how and when everyone can get involved in due course. In the meantime, keep an eye on the town notice boards and the Town Council website https://www.wymondhamtowncouncil.org/ for further updates and information.