This report was presented at the SBNF AGM in Sept 2021.
Part 1 - Overview of Action - March 2018 to July 2021
2018: work focussed on developing Draft Neighbourhood Plan Policies
Resumed meetings with ADC planning officers on evolving Draft Policies developed by working groups
But the Forum had no money - therefore professional support was pro-bono i.e. work at no charge
Locality announced increased grant levels – Forum applied for final grant for consultancy input, website and community engagement
2019: preparation of First Draft Neighbourhood Plan
Brought draft policies together to produce first Draft Plan
May - submitted first Draft Plan to ADC planners for comments
no point going to consultation on policies that are not acceptable to ADC
September - finally received ADC comments - started working through them
Attempt to hold AGM failed because of objections to 19 days notice by email rather than the 21 days stated in the constitution (although the AGM date was published on the website a month before the event).
Ran out of time – 5 year term expired – had to prepare application for re-designation
2020 – 2021 Neighbourhood Forum in Limbo
February 2020 - Submitted application for re-designation Very few people were aware of the consultation due to the lockdown.
April 2020 - Covid lockdown restrictions
July 2020 Adur-Worthing JSC
postponed decision because of concerns about alleged governance issues, but JSC did not read our application, did not look at the evidence and did not discuss the substantial progress of work on Draft Neighbourhood Plan.
Autumn 2020 and early 2021 - discussions to resolve JSC concerns with:
SBRA and County Councillor Kevin Boram
July 2021 JSC Committee agree re-designation
- AGM required within 2 months - and here we are!
Part 2 - the Redevelopment of the toilet block and the future of Beach Green
1. Starting point in 2015 – ‘no change’ was not an option for the Neighbourhood Plan
The starting point in the Boxpark story was the Council’s long-established requirement for redevelopment of the toilet block site. Adur Council was committed to redevelopment before the NP work got underway in 2015. Planning law does not allow the NP to alter existing ADC policy commitments – therefore: - ‘no change’ was never an option - the redevelopment of the toilet block must be included in the development of the NP
2. The evolving draft Neighbourhood Plan and the future of Beach Green
When dealing with development proposals for the toilet block, the Council took account of our surveys and resident comments compiled by SBNF - this evidence was the basis of draft planning brief in November 2016.
The developers simply accessed this information on our website along with the Draft Beach Green Master Plan - which includes the re-development of the site as one of several suggested proposals for the improvement of Beach Green as a whole.
In 2017, a resident briefly volunteered to be SBNF secretary and she disclosed one of her clients was Boxpark. She enquired if SBNF would support their planning application. We declined to do so and she resigned.
Planning permission has since been given, which was granted without our support
Planning law does not allow the Neighbourhood Plan to influence the operation of a café/restaurant - so the Forum has expressed no view on this issue.
PART 3 Work needed to complete the Neighbourhood Plan
Click here to see a full overview of the Project Plan, including key milestones, outcomes and stakeholders >
Agree a Work Programme and Budget with ADC Planners as the basis of:
an application for final funds from Locality
supplementary funds from ADC
any other funding sources
Go through the Draft Plan with Adur Planning Officers’ to check that we have responded satisfactorily to their detailed comments and clarify misunderstandings
Organise small group meetings with stakeholders on key issues – including proposals for Beach Green, Plan implementation and monitoring
Hold a public exhibition and/or workshops to consult on the Draft Plan
Finalise Draft Plan as the legally required Regulation 14 Draft Consultation
Revise in light of consultation to submit as Regulation 16 Draft Plan to Adur Council
All this will require a lot of community engagement work and volunteers would be very welcome – we need a new Community Engagement Officer and the engagement working group to implement the engagement strategy (click for details).
From the Regulation 16 Draft onwards it is the responsibility of Adur Council to complete the process of making the Neighbourhood Plan
· The Regulation 16 Consultation
· The appointment of an Independent Examiner
· Arranging the Examination of the Plan
· Organising the Referendum