Broadstairs and St Peters Neighbourhood Plan - Proposed Modification

Background information and reasons for this consultation

Under the Localism Act 2011, Neighbourhood plans can be prepared by local communities and are led by Town or Parish Councils or a Neighbourhood Forum in areas which do not have a Town or Parish Council. If Thanet Council adopt a neighbourhood plan it would have the same significance as other Development Plan Documents (eg the Local Plan) for the district.

On 18th June 2015 Cabinet resolved to approve a neighbourhood plan area for Broadstairs & St Peters in order that the Town Council could prepare a neighbourhood plan for that area.

Since then, Broadstairs & St Peters Town Council have prepared a neighbourhood plan. It has been formally submitted to the Council and examined by an independent Examiner. The Council has received the Examiners report which includes recommendations for modifications to the neighbourhood plan to enable it to meet the necessary requirements, and recommends that it be subject to a referendum.  The Council considers that the neighbourhood plan, as modified by the Examiners recommendations and the Councils modifications, can proceed to referendum.

At this stage in the process, the Council has to form a view as to whether or not the neighbourhood plan meets the Basic Conditions and can proceed to referendum. 

The draft Neighbourhood Plan is generally supported - it has been positively prepared, and includes policies that generally conform with the emerging Local Plan. It is encouraging to see that the Town Council has included policies which would be too detailed or too specific for the Local Plan, and has a good evidence base to support them. For example, Important Views and Vistas and Seafront Character Zones identify particular local views and characteristics that are important to small specific areas. The neighbourhood plan also includes a policy for Areas of High Townscape Value - this policy is in the 2006 adopted local plan but was not carried forward in the emerging local plan as the Council did not have a sufficient evidence base to justify them on a district wide basis, whereas the Town Council can do so on a neighbourhood plan basis

However, at a Cabinet meeting on 25th July 2019, the decision was made to propose additional modifications to the draft neighbourhood plan so that it meets the Basic Conditions.

The Basic Conditions require a neighbourhood plan to 'have regard to national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State'  and that a neighbourhood plan must be 'in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan for the area', ie, the Councils adopted Thanet Local Plan 2006 and also the emerging Thanet Local Plan 2031.

The Broadstairs & St Peters Neighbourhood Plan allocates a number of Local Green Spaces (LGS).  The Thanet Local Plan also allocates a number of Local Green Spaces.  The criteria for allocating LGSs is set out in national policy and is the same regardless of whether being considered for a neighbourhood plan or a local plan.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets the criteria for the designation of Local Green Spaces (para 100): 

'The Local Green Space designation should only be used where the green space is:

(a) in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves;

(b) demonstrably special to a local community and holds a particular local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquillity or richness of its wildlife; and

(c) local in character and is not an extensive tract of land.’

Proposed LGS sites were submitted to the Council during the Preferred Options Revisions consultation (20th January - 17th March 2017) and assessed for their suitability for allocation in the Local Plan.  This included the Fairfield Road/Rumsfield Road and Reading Street sites which Broadstairs Town Council subsequently considered suitable for LGS allocation in their neighbourhood plan.

Fairfield Road/Rumfields Road was submitted to the Council under a slightly different name of ‘Cross-roads of Fairfield Road and Bromstone Road’. The Council did not include this site for allocation in the Local Plan as a Local Green Space for the following reason: ‘Possibly highway land on a busy roundabout. Site does not meet the NPPF criteria for designation’.

The Reading Street site was not included in the Local Plan for the following reason: ‘Site is part of the grass verge adjacent to the highway. Site does not meet the NPPF criteria for designation'.

Because these two sites have been considered inappropriate for designation in the Local Plan, their designation in the neighbourhood plan would also not be considered appropriate, would not be in general conformity with the emerging Local Plan, so would fail the Basic Conditions.

The Council is therefore proposing modifications to the Neighbourhood Plan to delete the two LGS allocations, which, together with the changes suggested by the Examiner, will enable the plan to meet the Basic Conditions and proceed to referendum.

Please comment here on the proposed modifications

Last modified by Jo Wadey - Thanet District Council 5 months ago