And the work goes on …

It may seem to many that the Neighbourhood Plan has been going on forever, and that things seem to have gone quiet. In fact, the Review Group (see my previous article) has just completed a thorough examination of the feedback we received to the formal Regulation 14 Plan.  Now individual Working Groups are making changes to the policies and text within each individual chapter.  So once again I am trying to forecast dates for the next steps in the process:

  • Reg 14 plan changes complete by the end of March;
  • Draft Reg 15 plan given independent ‘Health Check’;
  • Draft Reg 15 plan amended and submitted to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council;
  • TWBC review the plan;
  • TWBC undertake Strategic Environmental Assessment;
  • Draft Reg 15 plan amended if required;
  • Consultation on Reg 15 Plan;
  • Draft Reg 15 plan amended becomes Reg 16 plan;
  • Reg 16 plan submitted to Independent Examiner;
  • Reg 16 plan amended if required;
  • Parish Referendum on final Reg 16 plan.

When will it end? That is a question your hard-pressed team ask all the time.  We hope the health check will be done by mid-May; the TWBC review will take around ten weeks including the six-week consultation on the draft Reg 15 plan; the independent examiner will need at least two months to do their work.  So my hope is that TWBC will be able to hold the referendum in late autumn and we should have completed our work by December, although, as with all forecasts, this is subject to change!

Paul Tolhurst

Chair, Benenden NDP Steering Group