Since 2014 and at one time or another, no fewer than 32 volunteers have been involved in helping to develop the Neighbourhood Plan (NP). The 108 residents who attended the November 2015 update morning got a further insight into the many processes (statutory and others) and sheer volume of work that the plan has entailed. It was also hugely encouraging for those involved to again receive such unanimous support for their efforts, and the Neighbourhood Plan.
The plan is now taking shape and should be ready for the six week residents’ consultation period at the end of April 2016 (the specific date will be advertised). This is when residents, developers and other interested bodies may provide feedback and comment on the draft plan. Any necessary amendments will then be made before the plan goes forward to the South Downs National Park (SDNP) for their six week scrutiny and consultation period. Thereafter the plan progresses forward to other statutory bodies before it gets to the Government Examiner who finally approves it for a residents’ referendum, which is still some way off.
Of immediate importance and interest is that residents will finally see a draft plan that will determine how the places where we live and work will develop over time
A full timeline which also shows the many stages is available on the NP web site where you can see this and other information: www.eastmeon.org.uk.
Where compliance allows, the guiding principles from residents’ feedback over the past few years has been;
- Small dwellings of 2 to 3 bedrooms, for young families and down-sizers.
- No large scale developments – (maximum 5/6 dwellings)
- Sympathetic and high quality design.
- Protect green spaces and landscape views.
- Any development should not add to existing drainage problems.
- Minimise traffic issues.
These important views have also been part of the criteria for assessing all suggested housing development sites. They will also be supported by robust policies which will be binding if accepted as being compliant with the SDNP Local Plan (and of course the all-important ‘examiner’). We have some confidence that these policies are sensible and can be accepted.
East Meon will have to take it’s share of regional development and residents expressed a wish for more options for moving to smaller houses within the village The plan’s goal is also to have minimum impact on residents, the village and the landscape environment.
East Meon Parish council
East Meon Residents Group.
RECENT NEWS – 27/10/2015:
“East Meon Parish Council welcomes and supports the range of policies designed to ensure the protection of the National Park in accordance with its purposes. It notes the provision in SP23 for the allocation of sites for approximately 15 housing units in East Meon. The East Meon Neighbourhood Plan is being prepared with the objective of making such provision, but any allocation will need to have regard to the constraints imposed by the outstanding and unique landscape surrounding the village and the setting of the village within it.”
The Neighbourhood Plan is moving forward and with much work already completed, the NP is on track and momentum will pick up as we move into Winter. As plan sponsors the Parish Council Steering Group met with a newly formed ‘Leadership Group’ of four residents which furthers the organisation needed to bring the process to a successful outcome.
This leadership group (LG) of George Thompson, Steve Ridgeon, Chris Moor & Clint Hanson reside across the village so we have a representative balance by location. They will also be supported by existing and new volunteers who they can call upon as tasks and specific projects are required.
The Parish Council will continue to be the ‘steering group’ with the primary focus and responsibility on NP processes and consistency within the policies of the SDNP Local Plan. Both the LG & SG will liaise closely. The latest information will always be available on http://www.eastmeon.org.uk/neighbourhood-plan/