Cass Associates’ first neighbourhood plan received ‘yes’ vote at recent referendum
84% of residents of Neston voted ‘yes’ in favour of whether the Neston NP should become part of the statutory development plan for the Neston Neighbourhood Plan Area in a referendum on 5 May. The plan will be used, alongside the Cheshire West and Chester Local Plan, as the basis for making decisions on planning applications in the area.
Neston Town Council took the decision to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan in 2012. It established a Community Steering Group (CSG) and a number of Task and Finish groups to undertake this task. In May 2014 the Town Council commissioned Cass Associates to assist with producing the Neighbourhood Plan and supporting documents.
Cass Associates worked closely with the CSG and liaised with Cheshire West and Chester Council to produce a draft Neighbourhood Plan and Sustainability Appraisal in January 2015. Cass Associates also assisted in preparing consultation leaflets and advising statutory consultees of the consultation process.
Following the consultation exercise Cass Associates liaised with the CSG in analysing the 278 responses received and proposing changes to the Neighbourhood Plan. The Submission Version Neighbourhood Plan and supporting documents were submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council in September 2015. 14 responses were received and taken into consideration by the Examiner when the Neighbourhood Plan was examined in February 2016. It was dealt with through written representations and found, subject to minor modifications, to meet the ‘basic conditions’. Cass Associates made the ‘recommended’ changes to the Neighbourhood Plan completing the Referendum Version of the Neighbourhood Plan in March 2016.
Peter Hamilton, Partner at Cass Associates said ‘I am delighted for the CSG, the Town Council and the community within Neston that the Neighbourhood Plan has received such overwhelming support at the Referendum. It is testament to the hard work of members of the CSG and others in the community that have volunteered their time to the cause. I hope that the Neighbourhood Plan will deliver more locally-based decisions on planning applications in the future and provide a platform to progress locally-derived projects for the benefit of Neston, its community and its environment’.
The Neston Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed here on the Neston Town Council website.