Newbury’s neighbourhood development plan – February 2024 update

Newbury’s NDP – the timeline

On 12 July 2021, Newbury Town Council (NTC) resolved to undertake a neighbourhood development plan (NDP) for the parish of Newbury.

The purpose of this post is not to try to replicate the Newbury NDP (NNDP) website. Penny Post is working with the NNDP steering group to help promote the work over the next few years and we shall be providing summaries of the key events in the form of a timeline. Information about the work of the NNDP team will also be found in our Newbury Area Weekly News column which is updated every week.

• For general information about the NNDP, including a map showing the area it covers, see the Background section at the foot of this post.

February 2024 update

As I’ve mentioned several times before, neighbourhood development plans must be community-led exercises and must be able to demonstrate a high level of local engagement. The problem with them, though, is that not only are they often very dry and technical pieces of work but also for long periods they disappear from public view altogether. This may be because of fact-finding research, waiting for reports from consultants and studying the results or delays caused by parent authority or statutory consultees. It’s slightly like expecting people to be interested in a very complex and arcane legal case which, sometimes for months at a time, appears to adjourn its work. Many could be forgiven for thinking that the whole project had been abandoned altogether.

Newbury’s is at one such hiatus. At present, work is being done by the steering group’s consultants on looking at specific parts of the town where more work might need to be done. Once that’s been received (which is expected in March), the NDP team will consider the results and then go public on what help, opinions to volunteering help it requires. Until then, rest assured that the work continues. To put it another way, the train is in a tunnel; and moving forward, though perhaps at a slower speed than some might wish.

September 2023 update

Please click here to see the agenda and papers of the meeting of the steering group on19 September 2023.

July 2023 update

Please click here to see the agenda and papers of the meeting of the steering group on 4 July 2023.

March 2023 update

Please click here to see the agenda and papers of the meeting of the steering group on 20 March 2023.

December 2022 update

The closing date for the NNDP consultation (see October and November 2022 sections below for more on this) has been extended to 31 January 2023.

Please click here to take part in the survey.

November 2022 update

Councillor Nigel Foot, the Chairman of the Steering Group working on the NDP said, “Let’s hear what you think Newbury needs in the future. The survey covers car parking, public transport, traffic, shopping, leisure, culture and sports. We also want your views on the climate emergency, community facilities, conservation, housing and employment.

“It’s really important that we hear your views. This will help us to bring in policies that work for the people and communities who live, work, study and play in Newbury.”

Please click here to take part in the survey.

October 2022 update

The first task is to find out what residents want to NDP to focus on. To this end, the NNDP steering group has set up a survey. This is an opportunity for you to share your views and help to shape the future of Newbury. The results will be used to help guide and finalise the vision and objectives for the NDP. We’ll also be consulting the public at other key stages as the NDP progresses. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete.

A summary of responses will be made public. Personal information will be removed from all published material and original forms destroyed in accordance with GDPR requirements, once data has been collated and anonymised.

Please click here to take part in the survey.

For further information, please email NDP@newbury.gov.uk. The survey closes on 30 November 2022.

Background

What is an NDP?

the Gov.uk website defines a NDP as follows:

Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided…Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to ensure that they get the right types of development for their community where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area.

Through an NDP, the people of Newbury will have the opportunity to influence and shape the future of their town for years to come.

Note that NDPs must comply with the district’s local plan and so cannot prevent development. Once completed, they become as much part of the local plan as if the planning authority had written it itself.

• How can I find out more about NDPs, including Newbury’s?

We’ve written an article on the subject which you can see here: this also includes a number of links to further sources of information.

You can also visit the Newbury NDP (NNDP) website for more information on NDPs, and Newbury’s in particular. 

• What area does Newbury’s NDP cover?

The parish of Newbury (see the map alongside). This was confirmed by West Berkshire Council (WBC) in its designation notice of 5 August 2021.

As a the map shows, as the designated area is the parish, the area of the NDP excludes places which are part of Newbury for practical, if not administrative, purposes. For example, Speen, Donnington, Clay Hill, Stroud Green and the area around the Racecourse are parts of adjacent parishes and so not included in the exercise. 

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