East Devon continues to be one of most active districts in UK with 40 Neighbourhood Plans in production

East Budleigh with Bicton Parish Council’s neighbourhood plan has been submitted to East Devon District Council and is currently being consulted on for a period of six weeks – the required statutory period for consultations.

Once the consultation (which commenced on 5 September) has concluded on 17 October, the council will submit the neighbourhood plan to an independent examiner, who will inspect the plan against a series of basic conditions, which the plan must meet.

If the examiner concludes that the plan meets the basic conditions, it will proceed to a local referendum, where should more than half of the electors in the local area vote in favour of the plan, it will become part of the statutory development plan for East Devon.

East Budleigh with Bicton’s Neighbourhood Plan and its supporting documents, together with a form for comments, can be found on the East Devon website.

The District Council’s Development Management team will refer to East Budleigh with Bicton’s neighbourhood plan when considering planning applications within the two parishes, but it will only carry full weight if it is considered to have met the basic conditions by the examiner and been agreed by the community through the referendum.

The council is keen to encourage anyone wanting to make a representation to take this opportunity to comment.

Any representations received for the consultation will be made publicly available on the website - copies will also be sent to the examiner for them to consider.

This is the fourth plan in East Devon to reach this stage of the process - the others being Lympstone’s Neighbourhood Plan, which was ‘made’ last year following a successful referendum, Stockland, which is approaching a referendum and Bishops Clyst, which is currently being considered by an examiner.

East Budleigh with Bicton is an interesting case as the parish council only started producing the plan in June 2015, which means they have completed it in little over a year. This bucks the trend of most other Neighbourhood Plans in the district, which are generally taking around two to three years to produce. East Devon now has a total of 40 plans in production, making it one of the most active districts in the country.

Councillor Mark Williamson, East Devon District Council’s Neighbourhood Planning Member Champion, said:

East Budleigh with Bicton have shown that with commitment and hard work a draft Neighbourhood Plan can be produced in just over a year. This is a remarkable achievement. It shows how important such a plan can be in shaping, developing and protecting communities. I hope that all residents will fully engage with the consultation. Congratulations to all concerned.