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Neighbourhood Development Plan

Latest Stage:

Finally, after three years of research and public consultation throughout the parish, the Neighbourhood Development Plan has reached the Referendum stage ...

All parishioners are invited to vote on the proposed Plan on 18th May and, for this purpose, Herefordshire Council will be manning an official Polling Station in The Plough Inn from 8am - 10pm.

Previously all parish households received an envelope containing a variety of documents prepared by the NDP Group in cahoots with our appointed Planning Consultant, Claire Rawlings.  These documents advised of all relevant findings and decisions throughout the past three years in the form of the 'Draft Plan' etc and a Comments Form was included for feedback from the community. 

Please, please, please find a few minutes to visit the polling station on 18th May and vote on the proposed plan ... your votes are vital to the future protection and enhancement of our parish.


An Important Note from the NDP Chairman - 15 March 2016:

Our Draft Neighbourhood Plan

"Dear resident

Our Neighbourhood Development Plan will help set planning policies for the Parish of Little Dewchurch until 2031. When adopted, the Plan will be part of the statutory planning framework which will help guide future development. This draft Plan has been produced over recent months by a Steering Group, a sub-committee, of the Parish Council, consisting of councillors and other residents, following consultation events and activities with residents in 2014 and 2015.

The draft is published for public consultation, which runs from 28th March 2016. A copy is being provided to every household in the Parish so that every resident can read it and has the opportunity to comment on it. Copies are also being provided to neighbouring Parishes and as required to other key Stakeholders.

The costs of developing the Plan to date and producing the copies of it for the consultation have been met entirely from grants obtained by the Parish Council.

We want to hear your views on the draft Plan before it is submitted for examination by an independent Inspector. After this, there will be a referendum of all electors of the Parish to decide whether the Plan should be adopted.

Comments should be sent in writing, and should include the name and address of the person making the comments. As this is a statutory consultation, all comments submitted will be available publicly. A form is available for comments, which is enclosed and is also available on the website.

All comments must be received by 5pm on 16th May 2016.

Our community faces many challenges and opportunities in common with other rural communities in Herefordshire. This Plan sets a Vision for our community, Little Dewchurch, to address these issues and sets out planning policies for sustainable development in our neighbourhood. The policies have evolved from the Questionnaires sent to you and the Feedback Briefing meetings that you have attended. They are of course more detailed than the outline proposals, and some changes have been made in order to have clear and feasible planning policies. Also, following the public inspection of the Herefordshire Core Strategy in February 2015, a number of modifications had to be made to that document, including to rural housing policies, which have had a knock-on effect for our Neighbourhood Plan. 2

One of the changes is the proposal to extend the defined settlement boundary for the Little Dewchurch Village, as this has been found to be the most unambiguous way of defining where housing will be permitted, and this is now the preferred approach in the Herefordshire Core Strategy. Another change has been the indicative target for the number of new homes, which has been increased for all rural communities in Herefordshire in order to meet the stated overall housing growth target. Our target is now based on a proportion of all homes in the Parish – not just targets for the village– so all housing development throughout the Parish will contribute to meeting it.

Although this draft Neighbourhood Plan is a fairly lengthy and detailed document, please will you read through it and think about any comments you may wish to make. It is perhaps the most important document for our neighbourhood in a generation.

On behalf of the NDP Steering Group and the Parish Council"

Background to the NDP:
In 2011 Little Dewchurch was identified by the Government as one of the many rural parishes "suitable for development" in order to meet the new housing needs throughout the UK.  As such the Parish Council was told that areas suitable for housing development within the parish must be identified in order to meet the required development criteria (an additional 18% of the existing 2011 parish housing, which equates to 26 houses) and a Plan should be drawn up to demonstrate the democratic opinion of parishioners which should show not only how the requisite new houses should be designed and where they should be built, but also to identify an specific areas parishioners felt should be preserved and not developed. 

In 2011 a small development of 10 houses (The Furrows) was built near The Plough Inn and these formed part of the requisite 18%, thus reducing the development need in the parish to 16 houses. 

In order to carry out detailed studies, consultations with parishioners, analysis of opinions, site considerations & surveys, etc a Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group was formed under the auspices of the Parish Council and a professional Planning consultant was appointed to advise the Group and develop the Plan.

The existing residential boundary of the village centre is already full to capacity with no room for infill, therefore, following the issue of a questionnaire in 2014 to every parishioner over the age of 16, the professionally and independently analysed responses showed several potential sites for development bordering the residential boundary and these sites are currently under consideration by the NDP Group and its planning consultant.
There is a guide to affordable housing for parish councils available from Herefordshire Council
The map below shows the development boundary within Little Dewchurch
Little Dewchurch Development boundary

(Three new affordable houses have now been built as part of the 10 house development at The Plough Inn (The Furrows) rented out via Homepoint but with priority to those with a strong local connection).