The community is invited to take part in a public consultation on an important planning document helping to shape future development and growth within the Datchet Parish.
The draft Datchet Neighbourhood Plan has been produced by local people on the Datchet Neighbourhood Plan group, on behalf of the parish council, following a process of community and stakeholder engagement and consultation.
Neighbourhood plans allow communities to develop a shared vision for their specific areas, giving more control over the type, location, size and design of development. Adding detail to planning policies already set in the Borough Local Plan, neighbourhood plans are used to help decide planning applications.
With Datchet’s draft plan now submitted to the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, the council as local planning authority is required to hold a public consultation to check that the plan meets the four basic conditions and other legal requirements as set out in planning law.
These basic conditions are that the plan must have regard to national policy, contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, be in general conformity with the strategic policies in the development plan, and be compatible with EU obligations.
People can comment over six weeks, from today (Monday 5 September) to Monday, 17 October. During this time, comments can be made online, by email or by letter, preferably using the response form. To view the draft plan and submit comments online, visit http://consult.rbwm.gov.uk/portal
Hard copies of the draft plan and response forms are also available at Datchet Library in Horton Road, Datchet Parish Council Office in Allen Way, and the Bridge Café on The Green. Comments or completed forms can be emailed to email@example.com or posted to Planning Policy, Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, Town Hall, St Ives Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1RF.
After this latest consultation, the council will pass the draft plan, supporting documents and consultation responses to an appointed independent examiner to consider whether the proposed plan meets the basic conditions and suggest any changes required. The next stage would then be a parish-wide local referendum to gauge local support.
Councillor Phil Haseler, Cabinet member for planning, parking, highways and transport, said: “Neighbourhood plans are produced by communities themselves and give them more control over the type, location, size and design of development in their area, complementing the policies already set in the Borough Local Plan. There are already a number of adopted neighbourhood plans in the Royal Borough.
“The Datchet group has engaged with the community to shape a draft plan, and thanks must go to that team and everyone who has contributed to the process so far. As the Local Planning Authority, we are required to run this next stage of the process and we would encourage everyone to take part in the consultation.”
Alison Crampin, local resident and chair of the Datchet Neighbourhood Plan group, said: “We have listened carefully to the planning issues raised by the community and their concerns that any future development should not adversely impact the existing settlement.
“As a result, Datchet’s Neighbourhood Plan aims to safeguard our heritage; maintain, protect and enhance our green spaces and promote biodiversity; and ensure that new housing is of high quality, reflecting the character of the village. Any new development should be sustainable and sensitively designed to minimise flood risk and climate change, and improve transport and movement within Datchet.”