Ridge has been working with the Hardwicke Neighbourhood Development Group (NDG) since February 2014 when the Hardwicke Neighbourhood Area was designated by resolution of the Council’s Environment Committee. Ridge’s involvement has been to provide advice on both the procedure and policies for the plan, which has incorporated numerous meetings with both members of the Parish Council, the NDG and the local community. A huge amount of work was put into the plan by these groups to ensure the smooth delivery of the plan.A submission version of the Hardwicke Neighbourhood Development Plan (HNDP) was accepted by the Council on 8th February 2017, under regulation 15 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended).Following submission of the HNDP to the local authority, Stroud District Council publicised the Plan and its supporting documents and invited representations during the consultation period 1st March to 12th April 2017.An examination, undertaken by an independent examiner, concluded on 9th June 2017 with the submission of the Examiner’s Report recommending that the HNDP, once modified, should proceed to a referendum. The examiner also recommended that the area for the referendum should not extend beyond the Neighbourhood Area to which the plan relates.On 30th June 2017 the Council published a Decision Statement under Regulation 18(2) outlining all the Examiner’s modifications and confirming the Council’s Environment Committee’s consideration and decision on them. The Decision Statement also outlined the Council’s decision that ‘the plan’, as modified, meets the basic conditions, is compatible with the Convention rights, complies with the definition of a neighbourhood development plan and the provisions that can be made by a neighbourhood plan; and should proceed to a referendum. The Council confirmed that it did not consider it necessary to extend the referendum area.
On 10th August 2017, the Hardwicke Neighbourhood Plan successfully passed referendum with 87.2% voting in favour of the Hardwicke Neighbourhood Plan being used to help to decide planning applications in the Hardwicke Parish Neighbourhood Area.
On 19th October 2017, Stroud District Council brought the Hardwicke Neighbourhood Plan into legal force to become part of the statutory Development Plan for Stroud District Council. It will sit alongside the other adopted Local Plans that together form the Development Plan.
Clerk to Hardwicke Parish Council confirmed;
‘Ridge has been instrumental to the success of the HNDP, steering the Hardwicke Neighbourhood Development Plan Group through the Neighbourhood plan process. Providing continued and consistent professional advice to the Group, Ridge’s involvement is a testimony to their in-depth professional knowledge and credibility. Throughout the process, Ridge has demonstrated a clear ability to work with community groups and has succeeded in developing those groups to have a clearer understanding of complex planning legislation.’
For a copy of the Decision Statement and HNDP, please click on the links below;