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In late 2011 Freshford and Limpley Stoke Parish Councils decided to develop a joint Neighbourhood Plan under the terms of the Localism Act 2011, to provide a legal basis for residents to determine the future for our community. This project attracted considerable interest as the first Neighbourhood to span a county boundary - between B&NES and Wiltshire. This led to a grant being made available to give the Councils the resources necessary to make a plan worthy of this exceptional community.
The Neighbourhood Plan project is evolving in stages - as residents' wishes become clearer and as professional advice is received. This page is designed to act as an index to the content on this site relating to each of these stages as they arise.
- Jan/Feb 2012 - Community meetings and workshops to start to identify residents' wishes and issues.
- June 2012 - Launch of the Neighbourhood Plan project and recruitment of four Working Groups to consider different aspects.
- July to November 2012 - The Working Groups embark on a series of meetings and investigations.
- Sept/Oct 2012 - Widespread engagement with residents to answer questions and to generate comments and suggestions.
- November 2012 - Preparation of interim reports by Working Groups.
- Feb/March 2013 - Distribution to every household of the questionnaire 'Making Progress' to gauge residents' views on ideas being considered for the Neighbourhood Plan.
- April 2013 - Publication of detailed quantitative analysis of questionnaire responses along with all additional comments supplied by respondents.
- July 2013 - Draft Neighbourhood Plan open for Community Consultation prior to submission to Lead Councils for validation.
- October 2013 - Extensive review of Draft Neighbourhood Plan in the light of comments received and input from Lead Councils. Revised Draft will be submitted for formal consultation - expected date early 2014. For more information see Update.
- January 2014 - The Public Notice announcing the community consultation is shown here. The Revised Draft Neighbourhood Plan is now published for formal consultation from 11th January to 22nd February 2014.
- June 2014 - Stephen Williams MP, Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, is briefed on progress of Neighbourhood Plan.
- July 2014 - On completion of the local consultation process, the Draft Neighbourhood Plan is finally submitted to B&NES and Wiltshire Councils for their review and consultation. The next stage will be a review by an independent inspector and then, subject to any comments made, to a referendum among the community. The timetable for these stages will be published as soon as they become clear.
- B&NES and Wiltshire Councils validate the submitted Draft Plan and offer it for consultation from 27th October 2014 to 5.00 pm on 10th December 2014.
- January 2015 - the Neighbourhood Plan is under review by the independent Examiner - Janet Cheesley MRTPI, who has already undertaken three independent Examinations of rural Neighbourhood Plans. Her report is expected in February.
- The Independent Examiner's Report was published on 10th February 2015 and can be viewed here. Following receipt of the examiner’s report, Wiltshire Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council have jointly published a Decision Statement. Wiltshire Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council are satisfied that the Neighbourhood Plan as modified complies with the legal requirements and can proceed to referendum. The Decision Statement can be viewed here. The letter formally notifying the Freshford and Limpley Stoke Parish Councils of the Decision can be viewed here.
- The final draft of the Freshford and Limpley Stoke Neighbourhood Plan - incorporating the recommendations of the Independent Examiner and as accepted by Wiltshire Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council - can be viewed here.
- The Referendum has been announced for 10th September 2015. Please click here to visit the Referendum page.
- The Referendum took place as scheduled on 10th September 2015. There was an excellent turnout of over 50% of residents. Of those voting 74.36% approved the Neighbourhood Plan and 25.64% voted against - a majority in favour of the Plan of almost 3 to 1. The official Declaration of Result can be viewed here.