Neighbourhood Plan: what now?

Despite the draft Neighbourhood Plan being hurried through the decision-making stage with what some considered unnecessary haste, everything has now gone quiet, and a steering group meeting scheduled for 19 August to consider the responses to the May/June consultation has been cancelled.

At the last steering group meeting, on 23 July, key events were:

  1. A preliminary report on the 203 responses to the statutory consultation on the pre-submission draft of the Plan. The Faversham Creek Trust and Brents Community Association representatives also gave a brief report on the 462 responses to the LET’S MAKE THE CREEK WORK FOR FAVERSHAM survey (Annex B to the meeting minutes). Neither of these gave a ringing endorsement to the draft Plan, with the statutory consultation showing just 58 people supporting the plan as drafted.
  2. The introduction of independent consultants Feria Urbanism, led by Richard Eastham, who have been appointed by Swale Borough Council. They will make recommendations to be considered by the steering group. The outcome of this process will be a revised “submission draft” of the plan. This will go to SBC, which will conduct a further 6-week consultation.

As indicated on its website, the Feria consultancy is closed from 25 July to 1 September, and Richard Eastham is away. It is understood that, during this period, team member Isabelle Haddow will be going through the documentation relating to the plan and drawing up recommendations, which will be reviewed by Richard Eastham when he returns in September, before being presented to the steering group.

The next steering group meeting, originally scheduled for 19 August, has therefore been postponed until September. The date has not yet been agreed.

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