South Cerney Parish Neighbourhood Plan
1. What is Neighbourhood Planning?

Neighbourhood Planning is a chance for us, the people of South Cerney Parish, to develop a shared vision for our Parish and to help shape the development and growth of the local area. We can identify what views and buildings matter most to the community and which deserve the greatest protection from development. We can also say where new homes, shops and offices could be built and what those new buildings should look like. Additionally we can identify the need for new infrastructure such as cycleways and footpaths.

2. What must a Neighbourhood Plan do?

A neighbourhood plan should support the strategic development needs and policies set out in the CDC Local Plan (Cotswold District Council). It must also be consistent with national planning policy as set out in the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework).

3. How do we build a Neighbourhood Plan?

The preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan requires that we undertake research, listen to local views, test our proposals with the community and when that process has been completed the draft plan is presented for Examination by an Independent Examiner. If it passes that hurdle, the final step is that the whole Parish has an opportunity to approve or to reject the Plan in a local Referendum.

4. What happens to the Neighbourhood Plan when approved?

If the Plan passes the earlier stages of development, local consultation, modifications related to feedback, independent examination stages, etc. it will become part of the statutory development plan covering all planning developments in South Cerney. The responsibility for planning decisions remains with CDC but they are required by law to take into account the views expressed in the Neighbourhood Plan in arriving at their decisions.

5. What's in it for us, financially speaking?

There is a financial incentive for the Parish in having a Neighbourhood Plan in place. Developers of larger proposals will be required to make payments for community benefits in the form of a CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy). If South Cerney has a Neighbourhood Plan in place, the percentage of the CIL that goes back to the Parish for spending on community schemes goes up from 15% to 25%. The remainder goes to CDC for community schemes across the District.

6. Apart from financial, what other benefits are there?

The question is perhaps best asked in the negative, i.e. what happens if we don’t have one? In the absence of a Neighbourhood Plan, speculative development proposals can be brought forward that may not mesh with the community’s views or preferences for development in the Parish. Proposals would simply be tested against the CDC Local Plan and national policy, which has a presumption in favour of sustainable development, making it much harder to reject applications even where the local community oppose them.

7. What does it cover?

It must cover all land development activities within the Parish Boundary, whether industrial, residential, commercial, etc. The designated Neighbourhood Area is the Parish of South Cerney with Cerney Wick, including the Duke of Gloucester Barracks.

8. What doesn't it cover?

It cannot prevent all development in the Parish. Such an approach would be inconsistent with the policies in the CDC Local Plan and national planning policy.

9. How much does it cost?

A great deal of time and effort, plus some professional activities funded by grants.

10. Who puts it together?

You do! The Plan is being developed by residents of the Parish. The Steering Group are all residents of South Cerney, working as a sub-committee of the Parish Council. It has Parish Councillors and other residents involved. You can help in many ways. Please contact us if you would like to get involved. We need your local knowledge and enthusiasm.

11. What happens now?

First steps required the Parish to register the intention to produce a Neighbourhood Plan to CDC. This was done by South Cerney Parish Council at the beginning of 2016. The Designated Area covers all the land within the South Cerney Parish boundary. This includes the villages of South Cerney, Cerney Wick and the Duke of Gloucester Barracks. A Household Survey / Questionnaire has been compiled to gauge your views on how you would like to see South Cerney develop over the next 15 years. This will help to inform the development of the Plan. At the same time, Character Assessments are underway to help identify the characteristics of the Parish, identify key views and areas that should be protected. It will also identify areas where development might be possible or improvements would be welcomed. Public consultations will follow the analysis of the questionnaire survey and the Character Assessments. Additional consultations will follow once draft policies have been prepared to ensure that the evolving NP meets the expectations of the Parish.

12. How can I get involved?
13. When did it start?

The Act of Parliament setting up Neighbourhood Development Planning came about through the Localism Act in 2011. South Cerney began the process early in 2016 with the application by the Parish Council to CDC to register the South Cerney Parish as a designated Neighbourhood. The neighbourhood designation was granted on 10th March 2016. The Steering Group was also set up at that time.

14. Are we alone in this?

Far from it. Communities and parishes large and small, up and down the country are developing or have produced their Neighbourhood Development Plans and received approval. Neighbouring communities and parishes such as Ashton Keynes, Cricklade and Somerford Keynes are all busy and are at different stages in the development of their Neighbourhood Plans.

15. What support is available?

We are also supported by Local and National Government organisations such as GRCC (Gloucestershire Rural Community Council). They are helping us with the production and analysis of the Household Questionnaire/Survey, providing evidence to help us develop the Plan and are guiding us through the Plan process.

16. I run a business in the village. How will it impact me?

The Neighbourhood Plan must address all possible developments or changes in the parish, including residential and commercial or business activities. We will be asking local businesses to complete a survey form early in the New Year (2017) as part of the parish wide consultation process.

17. I live at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks. How will you consider my views?

All residents of South Cerney are welcome to comment. The Household Questionnaire is available in the January edition of Cerney News, which is delivered to the camp. Additional copies can be requested from the Parish Clerk or collected from the Post Office. You can also download a copy from this website.