Alcester Neighbourhood Development Plan
2011: The Localism Act of 2011 introduced three new tools to help local communities shape planning in their area including the development of a neighbourhood plan. This aims to establish a vision and general planning policies, as well as proposals for the future development and use of land in a local area. A Neighbourhood plan forms part of the district’s local development plan (Core Strategy), and will be a significant consideration when decisions are made on planning applications within the plan’s area.
As a Town Council, Alcester Town Council is the qualifying body to publish the Neighbourhood plan for the parish of Alcester.
2012: A third draft of the Core Strategy and accompanying Sustainability Appraisal was also published for consultation in February 2012.
February 2013: An initial Strategic Planning Group was created, made up of Alcester Town Council Councillors, to oversee the plan drafting process.
July 2013: Stratford-on-Avon District Council published an Intended Proposed Submission Core Strategy. It contained new proposals for a Canal Quarter Regeneration Zone in Stratford and a New Settlement at Gaydon/Lighthorne Heath.
August 2013: In the latest draft of the Stratford District Core Strategy Document, Alcester was allocated two areas of land for future development for the duration of the Core Strategy (until 2028). There are planning applications on both which went to appeal and were allowed.
January 2014: Stratford-on-Avon District Council Cabinet approved the Designated Neighbourhood Plan Area, as submitted by Alcester Town Council in June 2013. This was the first formal hurdle towards the creation of the plan to identify the area to which the policies in the plan will relate. The Designated Area is the whole of the Parish of Alcester, which was the maximum area the plan could cover, based on the recent boundary review which was published in 2013 but does not come into full effect until 2015.
February 2014: Stratford-on-Avon District Council carried out a Further Focused Consultation on a small number of specific matters: changing the plan period to 2011 – 2031; changing the housing requirement to 10,800 homes over this period; and site options for meeting the proposed increase in the housing requirement.
May 2014: Stratford District Council have approved the latest version of the emerging draft core strategy. The Strategic Planning working group have a draft Alcester Neighbourhood Plan written and are beginning meetings with the neighbouring parishes to outline the Alcester Neighbourhood Plan and the impact it will have for the surrounding areas.
June 2014: “Our Alcester” community engagement group launched with a new website and social media sites. AGS students on their community day conducted a stage one questionnaire.
The Proposed Submission Core Strategy was also published in June 2014 with a six week period for all interested parties to make representations on the legal compliance and soundness of the Plan. It was submitted to the Secretary of State in September 2014.
September 2014: Alcester Town Councillors take “Our Alcester Roadshow” out and about and conduct another two surveys in their next phase of community engagement.
January 2015: Examination hearings of the Stratford-on-Avon District Core Strategy were held in January and the Examination Inspector published an Interim Report in March 2015.
March 2015: Government grant secured towards the work in producing a Neighbourhood Plan and a consultant employed to look at the work done so far and set the direction for the next stage of producing a draft plan. An Alcester Town Plan and Neighbourhood Plan Questionnaire were delivered to every household in the Parish.
May 2015: Following the election the remaining and new Councillors voted to become a Health and Well-being Council as part of its Localism agenda.
June 2015: The results of the household Questionnaire published in the ATC Summer Newsletter and ATC now at a stage to prepare the draft Neighbourhood Plan.
August 2015: Stratford-on-Avon District Councillors have adopted 21 Core Strategy policies on an interim basis for the purpose of development management. These polices within the Core Strategy are seen by the District Council as crucial to the process of guiding the future development of the District. They are also crucial to the Alcester Neighbourhood Plan.
October 2015: Proposed modifications to the Stratford-on-Avon District Core Strategy, in response to the Inspector’s Interim Conclusions, consulted on in August 2015, have been submitted, with representations, to the Inspector.
January 2016: The Stratford-on-Avon District Core Strategy Examination Hearings have been resumed.
April 2016: The schedule of main modifications to the Stratford-on-Avon District Core Strategy is presented for consultation ending in May.
July 2016: Stratford-on-Avon District Core Strategy adopted in July 2016.
August 2017: Alcester Housing Needs Survey and Report carried out by Warwickshire Rural Community Council on behalf of Alcester Town Council.
September 2017: Emerging Policies document sent to all homes in the parish requesting views by 30 September 2017. Mr Neil Pearce, Avon Planning Services Ltd appointed as a consultant to assist with the process.
February 2018: NDP Steering Group re-formed and new draft plan reviewed.
March 2018: Working Groups established to draft objectives and policies- Housing and Built Environment, Economy, Transport and Infrastructure, Community, Leisure and Well-being and Natural Environment.
May 2018: Neighbourhood Planning Grant secured. Project Plan, Vision and Objectives and Policies section agreed.
June 2018: Draft NDP with Planning Consultant for ‘Health check’.
September 2018– Launch of Regulation 14 Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012- formal pre-submission period of public consultation.
November 2018- Public consultation closed and responses evaluated by the Steering Group.
March 2019- Following responses to the public consultation in the autumn, and actions agreed by the Steering Group, the NDP has been amended and sent to the Planning Consultant who will draft the Basic Conditions Statement. Consultation Statement drafted by the Town Council.
April 2019- Submission version of the NDP submitted to Stratford on Avon District Council on 10 April under Regulation 15, together with additional documents.
July 2019– SDC Regulation 16 public consultation closed.
September 2019– Regulation 16 consultation responses evaluated by SDC. Alcester Town Council accepted invitation to comment on responses. Draft NDP documentation sent to Examiner.
January 2020- Independent Examiner’s Report received. Steering Group met to accept and agree minor recommendations. NDP updated and sent to SDC.
March 2020- SDC accepted the examiner’s recommended modifications on the NDP and issued the decision that the plan should proceed to referendum. Due to the current public health emergency this had to be postponed until 2021.
May 2021– Referendum. The Alcester NDP successfully passed referendum.
July 2021- SDC adopted the ‘made’ version of the Alcester NDP on 12 July 2021.
For further information please see the SDC Alcester Neighbourhood Plan page