Boughton Monchelsea Neighbourhood Plan
We have now reached an important and exciting stage in the development of our Neighbourhood Plan for Boughton Monchelsea. The Plan (along with other accompanying documents required by law) has been submitted to Maidstone Borough Council. The next steps are for MBC to organise a formal consultation, and all the comments submitted at that stage will be considered by an independent Examiner. You can find out more about this process below. However, we submitted the Plan in March and MBC have been unable to start the formal consultation due to the restrictions on daily activity which came into place at this time. This is frustrating for us but we are in touch with the Council and they will progress things as soon as possible and practical. We will provide a further update as soon as we can.
You can see all the documents we have submitted below, and here is a brief explanation of each.
Neighbourhood Plan draft March 2020 – this sets out planning policies which, if we are successful in the independent Examination and subsequent referendum, will be used by MBC to help make planning decisions in the parish.
Consultation Statement and Appendices 2019 – this describes all the community consultation the Parish Council have carried out on the Plan as it was drafted, and how your comments have shaped its contents.
Basic Conditions Statement 2020 - a Neighbourhood Plan has to meet various legal requirements, known as the “Basic Conditions”. This document explains how the Plan complies. It also lists all the publicly available sources of information used to help develop the Plan.
Environmental Statement 2019 – this is another legal requirement, and it explains why key national bodies consider that the Plan does not require a Strategic Environmental Assessment or a Habitats Regulation Assessment.
We have also submitted key pieces of information and reports which were compiled specifically for Boughton Monchelsea to help us develop the Plan:
Colvin and Moggridge, Boughton Monchelsea Landscape Management and Masterplan 2018 – this report was prepared by landscape architects to help the Parish Council understand, maintain and improve the landscape of the parish in partnership with landowners.
Colvin and Moggridge, Boughton Monchelsea Priority Local Landscape 2019 – this report by landscape architects identifies an area of high quality landscape which is proposed for protection in the Neighbourhood Plan
Boughton Monchelsea Housing Needs Survey 2018, Action for Rural Communities Kent – this report supports the Plan’s policies on housing
A folder of additional parish-specific Evidence on Flood Risk, MBC Housing Register and Housing Density – these are shorter documents which support the Plan’s policies on locally important topics
What Happens Next?
MBC will check all the documents, they will then arrange and carry out a further formal consultation, which has been delayed due to COVID-19 as explained above. An independent Examiner will then be appointed who will review the documents and all the comments made during the consultation, and issue a final report.
Any final changes to the plan will then be made and MBC will organise a local referendum in the parish. National regulations resulting from COVID-19 mean that this will not be before May 2021. A simple majority in favour would mean that the plan is adopted and becomes part of the development plan used by MBC to make planning decisions.
We are working towards formal adoption of the plan in 2021 and will continue to keep you updated on progress.
On behalf of the Parish Council I would like to thank you for your input to date and hope we can rely on your continued support in getting our Neighbourhood Plan adopted, thus allowing us to properly influence and manage any future development in our parish.
Cllr Doug Smith
Chairman of Boughton Monchelsea Parish Council Planning Committee