Sonning Common Neighbourhood Plan Review

The proposals herein were ratified by the Parish Council on 17 June 2013 – Minute 14/035 refers.

Introduction:
In late 2011 the Parish Council agreed to undertake a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) and on 19th December 2011 wrote to SODC to this effect. Work began in January 2012 with the formation of a Neighbourhood Development Plan Working Party (NDPWP). The NDP needed to provide a plan which would be compliant to national policy (NPPF) and in “general conformity with the strategic policy of the development plan for the area” (i.e. the SODC Core Strategy)

Fourteen sites arising from the SODC SHLAA process were considered for development.
Experienced consultants were appointed. A series of public meetings have been held to enable residents to share their views and to assess materials provided by the working party as the process progressed. Local people were invited to undertake surveys in a format drafted by our consultants. In the interests of balance, care was taken that surveys for each site included residents from a number of parts of the locality and not just those who lived adjacent to the given site.

The survey data was carefully captured and each survey given a unique reference. The data was then summarised by site, bringing together all verbatim comments and input in a structured way. Using input on methodology from proven external sources and input from our consultants, a balanced evaluation structure was put in place to assess the sites according to residents’ input and factual data. These evaluations covered a sound range of appropriate planning criteria. In some cases landowners indicated that they did not wish their land to be considered for development.

The NDP has also:-
• Arranged a housing survey independently administered through ORCC. Assessed data on local housing stock. Identified needs for lower end 1-3 bedroom homes including some bungalows to re-balance the housing stock and meet local needs;
• Undertaken a Business survey;
• Evolved and distributed and invited feedback on a Vision Statement for the NDP;
• Considered a wide range of local needs including for employment land, sports and recreation, the village centre and traffic/movement;
• Publicised meetings and evolving output widely.

Evaluation of sites also considered an evolving Spatial Vision for the outer shape of the village for the future. Following the evaluation, recommendations were put together and put to public meetings in February 2013. These meetings included a review of the village, the landscape setting all around the village and presentations of the sites with photographic images and the evaluations and recommendations. Following the well attended meetings residents were invited to provide written feedback on the recommendations.

In addition the evaluation ranking for each criterion for each site was audited by mixed groups of residents who had themselves undertaken a number of surveys. Where any query was raised the evaluation ranking for that criterion was re-assessed, explanation of the point provided and where appropriate modifications were made. Returns were sourced from landowners and information therein was reviewed.

Following the review process in February the NDP Working Party has carefully reviewed the position and come to the conclusion that the recommendations below should go forward to the Parish Council to be confirmed as interim decisions. These proposals identify the sites for shortlisting as the focus of NDPWP attention in the next phase of the NDP process and indicate the potential uses to be considered for those sites.

It should be noted that no site is promised development and if it should unexpectedly transpire that the short-listed sites cannot fulfil the development needs of our NDP, then sites initially set aside may need to be reconsidered.

The Proposals:

Below is the list of proposals made by the Sonning Common Neighbourhood Development Plan Working Party to public meetings held on 7 and 9 February 2013 which the Parish Council has approved.

SON 1 Proposal: This is the largest of all the sites put forward for development and as such it would not make sense to use all of it for any one purpose. The Proposal is two-fold:

First, the upper half (probably 10 acres) of SON 1 should be considered for use as amenity green space i.e. informal grassed recreation land without formal pitches or organised team sports use. This would give the north of the village the kind of open space that the Millennium Green provides in the south.

Second, in the event that SON 2 was developed for housing, there could be access to this site and to this end, the lower SE quadrant of SON 1 could be considered for a small area of housing in keeping with the nearby properties of Lambourne Road.

SON 2 Proposal: Whilst acknowledging the challenges to find suitable access routes, SON 2 should be considered as a possible site for housing.

SON 3 Proposal: This site should be included as a possible site for development. Choices of use to be considered to include one or more of the following:-
• Housing
• Community centre / sports hall and playing pitches
• Amenity green space (informal grassed recreation land without formal pitches or organised team sports use)
• Office space

SON 4 Proposal: This site should not be developed for any purpose (Owners’ request).

SON 5 Proposal: This site is to be set aside and not included in the next design stage of our NDP.

SON 6 Proposal: Only part of this site should be developed in order to retain the village envelope. The proposal is for a small, mixed size, housing ribbon development linking 56 to 80 Kennylands Road.

SON 7 Proposal: This site has potential for development and should be included in the next design phase of our NDP. It offers scope for housing, a small-company office development, or sports/recreation use.

SON 8 Proposal: This site should be considered in the next design phase of the NDP for potential wider sports hall and recreation use only.

SON 9 Proposal: This site has potential for a number of development options and should go forward into the next design phase of our NDP. Consideration should be given to sports/recreation use, a small-company office development, or housing.

SON 10 Proposal: This site is to be aside and not included in the next design stage of our NDP.

SON 11 Proposal: Only part of the site should be considered for development. There is potential to develop the strip of land running along the Peppard Road stretching from the northern boundary of Reddish Manor to the Blackmore Lane / Peppard Road junction.

SON 12 Proposal: SON 12 should not be considered as a site for development of any kind

SON 13 Proposal: This site should not be developed for any purpose (Owners’ request).

SON 14 Proposal: This site should not be developed for any purpose (Owners’ request).

NOTE:
SON 15: Since the above proposals for SONs 1-14 were presented, a further site, that of the Chiltern Edge School now referred to as SON15, has been put forward and has just been surveyed for the NDPWP but as yet no proposal has been put forward.

Note 1st August 2013:
The proposals for SON 15 will be put forward for ratification by Sonning Common Parish Council at their September meeting.