The Neighbourhood Plan
Norton St Philip Parish Council submitted their Neighbourhood Plan to Mendip District Council for examination under Part 5 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended) in 2019.
The Neighbourhood Plan for Norton St Philip (the Plan) was considered by Cabinet on 2nd September 2019 with a recommendation that the modified Plan should proceed to a local referendum and Cabinet resolved to accept the recommendation.
This decision was subsequently challenged by way of a Judicial Review. Following hearings in the High Court and Court of Appeal, the Cabinet decision to approve the Norton St Philip Neighbourhood Plan and allow it to proceed to referendum was quashed on 2nd October 2020.
On 1st March 2021 Cabinet agreed to carry out consultation on further modifications to the Plan, together with the earlier modifications identified by the Examiner and at the Cabinet meeting of 2nd September 2019. These proposed modifications are set out in Appendix 1 which can be viewed below:
Norton St Philip further modifications, Appendix, March 2021.pdf
Consultation took place from 3rd March to 23rd April 2021. The representations can be found on this page.
The Mendip District Council cabinet report of 1st March 2021 set out an intention to bring a report back as soon as possible to consider responses to the consultation before determining whether the Plan (as modified) should proceed to a referendum.
An additional housing site was proposed in the Local Plan Part II Main Modifications in Norton St Phillip and evidence considered with other sites in a second round of public examination hearings in Nov/Dec 2020. The Inspector’s Report will be considered in the Council’s recommendations on the Neighbourhood Plan as it expects to receive this soon.
Representations Received in Response to Further Modifications Consultation
View and download PDFs of the letters of representation
Injunction and Judicial Review
This Neighbourhood Plan was subject to a Judicial Review challenging the decision of Council Cabinet made on 2nd September 2019 to accept the examiners report and allow the neighbourhood plan to proceed to referendum. The High Court Judgement dismissing this challenge on all grounds can be found in this PDF document. An application to the Court of Appeal was made on 1st June 2020 and heard on 28th July. View the Grounds of Appeal document.
Judgement was received on 2nd October 2020 and can be viewed Judgement received on 2nd October 2020 – 1259.
It upholds the Councils position on 3 substantive grounds of appeal. The judgement concludes that:
- 10 Local Green Spaces are lawfully designated by the Plan
- the Neighbourhood Plan Examiner had sufficient expertise and experience and understood the policy background to the Plan
- the Neighbourhood Plan did not misinterpret strategic policies in the development plan.
However, the judgement rules that policy 5, setting out the types of development that may be permitted within the Local Green Spaces, is more restrictive than national policy and the additional restrictions had not been sufficiently justified in the Plan.
As policy 5 is not considered lawful, the Council’s decision to submit the Plan to referendum is therefore quashed – see decision order.
The Council is now considering how best to support the community in Norton St Philip and to move towards an amended Neighbourhood Plan, on which a referendum can be held when Covid restrictions allow. Any changes to the plan will be subject to additional consultation.
Referendum Documents - September 2019
The plan and supporting documents which were subject to injunction and legal challenge can be found below.
The Neighbourhood Plan (September 2019) as modified: Norton St Philip Neighbourhood Plan with modifications
The Character Assessment (September 2019) as modified: Character Assessment – as modified
Summary of representations made at regulation 16: Reg 16 Summary of Responses
The Examiners report and Neighbourhood Plan as submitted are available below.
Norton St Philip Neighbourhood Plan Examination Report
Norton St Philip Parish Council submitted their Neighbourhood Plan to Mendip District Council for examination under Part 5 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended) and consultation was carried out under Regulation 16 between Friday 1st March 2019 and Friday 12th April 2019. Representations were received during this period. An examination of the plan has been carried out and the Examination Report was received on 19th July 2019 and is available to view below:
Examiner Report for Norton St Philip
The Documents submitted for Examination are listed below:
- Norton St Philip Neighbourhood Plan
- Norton St Philip Neighbourhood Plan Appendices
- Basic Conditions Statement
- Neighbourhood Plan Area
- Consultation Statement
- Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Screening Report and HRA Screening Report
Evidence Base documents
Character assessment Chapters – 1-5
Character assessment Chapters – 6 Character Areas
Character assessment Chapters – References
Representations received in response to Reg 16 consultation
1 Roy Clarke on behalf of Bina Ford – Redacted
2 Coal Authority Response received 01.04.2019 – Redacted
3 Lochailort Investments – Redacted
4 Natural England – Redacted
5 Rocke Associates on behalf of Bell Hill Garage – Redacted
6 Historic England – Redacted
7 John Oliver – Redacted
8 Cllr Linda Oliver – Redacted
9 Rights of Way Somerset Council – Redacted
Qualifying Body response to representations received
On 9th April 2018 Mendip District Council resolved that the Norton St Philip Neighbourhood Area be designated in accordance with Section 61G of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended for the purposes of Neighbourhood Planning.
The “qualifying body” applying for designation is Norton St Philip Parish Council.
Copies of the Decision Report and Area Application are available to download below: