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Neighbourhood Plan

The Neighbourhood Plan is a document that has been written by and for the community to help guide future development within the Parish of Great Barton. It explains what residents and businesses expect to see happen in the Parish. It will help us to ensure that we get the right sort of development that will protect and enhance the character of our village and still meet the needs of our growing population. 

The final document has been written and has passed all of the relevant checks. It is has become an official document (a made Plan) that will be used by West Suffolk Council to determine planning applications against. This is an important document and the help of residents in that process is much appreciated.

In 2016 a Working Group set up by  the Parish Council commenced the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan. There are several stages involved in writing a Neighbourhood Plan. These are:  

 Stage 1 - Designation of Neighbourhood Area

Stages 2 to 4 - Information Gathering

Stage 5 - Pre-Submission Consultation on Draft Plan

The Consultation on the Pre-submission Draft Plan was held from Saturday 18 January 2020 until Monday 2 March 2020. Details of the consultation can be found on the Pre-Submission Consultation webpage.

We have completed our analysis of the response forms (around 100) received from residents of Great Barton together with responses from a number of statutory bodies, developers and their agents. The response rate has been very high when compared to other Neighbourhood Plans and there has been overwhelming support for the draft Neighbourhood Plan (NP) from the residents of Great Barton Parish. Many of the comments received do not require any amendments to the policies within the draft NP. In some incidences there are some typographical errors that need correction, some updating of information previously provided to the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group and points of clarification.

Responses to each comment have been drafted and those comments that merit a minor amendment to the draft Neighbourhood Plan have been identified and a schedule of modifications has been prepared. This is to be found at Appendix 7 of the Consultation Statement. 

Stage 6 - Submission of amended Plan to West Suffolk Council and further Consultation by West Suffolk Council

Following the Pre-Submission Consultation the amended Plan together with supporting documents were submitted to West Suffolk Council (WSC) on 8 May 2020. WSC assessed the plan in accordance with the relevant legislation and approved receipt. WSC Council were keen to hear the views of people who live, work and carry out business in the area. The consultation period ran from Wednesday 10 June (9am) to Wednesday 19 August (5pm) 2020.

Full details of the consultation can be found on West Suffolk Council's website. Please click on the link below. 

Great Barton submission consultation - Wednesday 10 June (9am) to Wednesday 19 August (5pm) 2020

The documents submitted to West Suffolk Council are as follows. To view the document please click on the title. 

Submission Neighbourhood Plan

Consultation Statement

Basic Conditions Statement

West Suffolk Council have screened the Plan to determine whether it needs a Strategic Environmental Assessment or Habitats Regulations Assessment. In both instances it was concluded that an Assessment was not needed and the determination is below:

Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitats Regulations Assessment Screening Opinion

Supporting Documents

The Evidence Documents produced before the Pre-Submission consultation continue to be relevant to the Plan and the updated documents are available below 

Housing Needs Assessment

Design Guidelines April 2020

Local Green Space Assessment  May 2020

Buildings of Local Significance

Appraisal of Views May 2020


Stage 7 – Independent Examination of Plan

West Suffolk Council has appointed Andrew Ashcroft MRTPI to carry out the examination of the submission Great Barton Neighbourhood Plan (Regulation 17 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012).

An information note from the Examiner can be found by clicking the title below:

Information Note from the Independent Examiner - 18 August 2020

West Suffolk Council have also published on their website the 17 responses that were received during the consultation period. Please click on the titles below to view the responses:

Consultation Responses to the Great Barton Submission Neighbourhood Plan

Historic England Response

The Examiner issued a Clarification Note on 1 September 2020. This note sets out his initial comments on the submitted Plan. It also sets out areas where he would find it helpful to have some further clarification. For the avoidance of any doubt, matters of clarification are entirely normal at this early stage of the examination process.  Please click on the titles below to see the Examiner's Clarification Note and the responses from West Suffolk Council and Great Barton Parish Council.

Independent Examiner's Clarification Note

West Suffolk Council's Response to Examiner's Clarification Note - 14 September 2020

Great Barton PC Response to Examiner's Clarification Note - 21 September 2020


Stage 8 – Post-examination Modifications

The Independent Examiner issued his report on the Submission Great Barton Neighbourhood Plan on 23 October 2020. The report concludes that subject to a series of recommended modifications set out in the report, the Great Barton Neighbourhood Plan meets all the necessary legal requirements and should proceed to referendum. The Examiner's Report can be found by clicking the link below:

Examiner's Report on the Submission Great Barton Neighbourhood Plan

The Examiner commented that 

" The Plan is a first-class example of a neighbourhood plan. It has been written and presented in an exemplary fashion."   

West Suffolk Council as the local planning authority has considered each of the Examiner's recommendations and the reasons for them and they are satisfied the plan as modified meets the basic conditions. They issued a decision statement on 26 November 2020 to approve the Plan, as modified for the Referendum. 

A copy of the decision statement on the Neighbourhood Plan can be found by clicking the link below:

Decision Statement

A copy of the Referendum version of the Neighbourhood Plan that incorporates the Examiner's recommended modifications can be found by clicking the link below:

Referendum Neighbourhood Plan 

The plan now has significant weight in the determination of planning decisions, in line with the government guidance issued in April of this year.


9 - Parish Referendum

The Great Barton Neighbourhood Development Plan proceeded to a public referendum on Thursday 6 May 2021. If a referendum results in more than half those voting (i.e. 50% + 1) in favour of the proposal, West Suffolk Council must formally adopt the plan as soon as reasonably practicable. A total of 779 votes were cast and 88% of those who voted were in favour of the proposal. Information on the Referendum can be found on West Suffolk Council's website by clicking the link below:

Neighbourhood Plan Referendum

The results of the Referendum can be found by clicking the link below:

Declaration of the Results of the Referendum


10 - Making (adoption) of Plan by West Suffolk Council    

This is the stage we have now reached.

The Plan was taken to the West Suffolk Council Meeting on 22 June 2021 where it was "made" (adopted).  The decision statement can be found by clicking thet link below:

Great Barton Neighbourhood Plan Decision Statement

A copy of the Made Neighbourhood Plan can be found by clicking the link below:

Great Barton Neighbourhood Plan Made Version June 2021