Examiner gives thumbs up to South Marston Neighbourhood Plan

Your Parish Council is pleased to announce that The South Marston Neighbourhood Plan has passed one more hurdle with the independent examiner judging it as ‘sound’ in planning terms. Following a very lengthy examination stage, the final report has now been published (South Marston NP Final Report 7.4.17).

The examiner complimented the plan, commenting ‘I can see that the Parish Council and its volunteers have put in a great deal of hard work into the submission of the plan and the supporting documents. The plan is well presented and clear; and seeks to represent the local community’s aspirations, which it does well’.

The examiner recommended that 7 of the original 14 policies in the plan should be adopted without change. A further 4 policies should be adopted in the amended versions agreed by the Borough and the Parish Council in September 2016. The remaining policies have been proposed for amendment in line with wording proposed by the major developers in South Marston. None of these proposed amendments should seriously impact on the integrity of the policies which reflect what villagers said were their priorities during the many consultations that led up to the plan submission in January 2016.

The next stage is for Swindon Borough to agree to the amendments as recommended by the examiner and then the plan will be ready to submit to a referendum of parish residents. If the referendum vote produces a simple majority vote in favour of the plan, it will become a key document in decisions on the raft of planning applications anticipated in the parish over the next few years.

Parish Councillors will be holding another information event in May on the same date as the Annual Parish Meeting. This will provide updates on the current position relating to development in our parish and the contribution of various organisations to village life.

The March 2017 report from the independent examiner is here.

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