The formal creation of the Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Plan took from April 2016 to May 2020 - highlights of this process are listed below. Further details can be found by reading the Minutes of the Steering Group and its Subgroups. Since then, the Weymouth Town Council has been researching and creating a Neighbourhood Plan for the whole of Weymouth; they have confirmed that their Plan will "respect and include" the Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Plan, so the benefits from the hard work by Sutton Pyntz's team will not be lost. The Sutton Poyntz Steering Group has representatives on the Weymouth Neighbourhood Planning team.

Weymouth Town Neighbourhood Plan - progress

September 2021 - A report on the initial opinion study has been published. A "call for sites" has been issued.

August 2021 - Weymouth's Neighbourhood Planning team conducted a walkabout of the Sutton Poyntz area. Notes are available here. This was the first in a series of walkabouts to allow members of the Neighbourhood Plan team to familiarise themselves with different localities within Weymouth.

July 2020 - Weymouth Town Council are now writing a Neighbourhood Plan for the whole of Weymouth, including Sutton Poyntz. Visit the Weymouth Town Council website for more information. One of their first tasks was an initial opinion survey, closing in January 2021.

Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Plan - creation

5th May 2020 - The Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Plan was formally MADE by Dorset Council; its Policies are now required to be considered as part of the process of assessing planning applications. Weymouth Town Council will be responsible for monitoring its effectiveness.

14th February 2020 - The Referendum was held on Thursday 13th February. The turnout was 47.4%, and 81% of those voting voted YES. As a result the Neighbourhood Plan will now be MADE (i.e. put into effect) by Dorset Council.

16th December 2019 - A date of Thursday 13th February 2020 has been chosen for the Referendum.

20th November 2019 - The Referendum Version was unanimously approved by Weymouth Town Council. This version will now go forward for approval by a local Referendum.

4th November 2019 - A final Referendum Version of the Neighbourhood Plan was delivered to the Town Council. This version incorporated all of the changes requested by the Examiner. This version will be checked by the Town Council, and if approved by them will be passed to the Dorset Council so that a Referendum can be organised.

2nd October 2019 - The Examiner's Report was received. This was generally favourable; the Examiner stated that a "transparent, fair and inclusive consultation process" had been followed, and concluded that "the Society and its members should feel proud of their work, and of the Plan which should help to guide the area’s future development in a positive way with the support of the local community". A number of specific changes were requested; of most significance:

  • the Policy on a Car Park was thought better as a Community Aspiration rather than a Policy;
  • the Policy on funding for traffic calming measures was not within the powers of the Plan, and was to be deleted; and
  • four of the recommended Local Green Spaces were not thought to satisfy the requirements, and were therefore to be deleted from the list.

29th August 2019 - An External Examiner has been appointed, who we understand has visited the area. A number of questions have been received from the Examiner, and answers have been provided as appropriate by the County Council, the Town Council and the Steering Group.

2nd August 2019 - A report was received of representations made during the consultation period 31st May to 12th July 2019.

20th May 2019 - The resubmitted documents have been accepted by Dorset Council as satisfying the initial conditions set out by the Localism Act. Dorset Council will now advertise the proposed Plan, and arrange for it to be Examined.

15th May 2019 - We have been asked by the new Weymouth Town Council to resubmit the Neighbourhood Plan on their behalf. Some slight changes are needed, recognising that it is now the Town Council's responsibility rather the Sutton Poyntz Society's. This is excellent news and we are grateful to the Town Council for the speed with which they have progressed this, given how much they have to do.

2nd April 2019 - The Neighbourhood Plan has been refused by Dorset Council, on the grounds that the creation of Weymouth Town Council causes our Neighbourhood Forum designation to cease (since where a Parish Council exists only it can be responsible for a Neighbourhood Plan). We expect that Weymouth Town Council will resubmit the Neighbourhood Plan on our behalf, probably once Councillor elections have taken place.

8th March 2019 - The Neighbourhood Plan, with supporting documents, were FORMALLY SUBMITTED to Weymouth & Portland Borough Council. All the submitted documents can be found on the Neighbourhood Plan documents page of this website. This concludes the drafting phase, after just under 3 years work.

1st March 2019 - A meeting was held with Nick Cardnell, other representatives of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, and Jane Biscombe (Clerk to Weymouth Town Council). This meeting did not identify any remaining changes that would be needed before submission of the Neighbourhood Plan and other documents. It was noted however, that legal opinion had been taken, and suggested that once the Town Council comes into being, the Sutton Poyntz Society's designation as a Neighbourhood Forum will cease, and any documents they have submitted as a Neighbourhood Forum will become void. The Neighbourhood Plan would then need to be resubmitted by the Town Council. The Steering Group discussed this by email after the meeting, and agreed that the documents should be submitted anyway before the end of March, in the expectation that the Town Council, once it comes into being, will resubmit them to the new Dorset Council.

19th February 2019 - The Steering Group considered and agreed changes to the Neighbourhood Plan resulting from the Regulation 14 Consultation, particularly relating to the Housing & Planning and Heritage sections. The Steering Group also approved the Basic Conditions Statement, drafted for us by Brian Wilson, and the Consultation Statement (including the responses to the Regulation 14 consultation representations. Final changes to these documents will be implemented, and then shown to Nick Cardnell to ensure that the Local Authority have no remaining concerns. The documents will then be formally submitted to the Local Authority.

22nd January 2019 - The Steering Group reviewed the most important of the responses to the Regulation 14 Consultation, in particular that from the Local Authority, along with responses and proposed changes to the Neighbourhood Plan, as drafted by the Subgroups. A number of changes were agreed, and it was proposed that final versions would be submitted to the Steering Group's February meeting for agreement. The Basic Conditions document was being drafted by Brian Wilson, and the Consultation Document by Peter Dye.

11th January 2019 - The Regulation 14 Consultation closed on 24th December, with a total of 37 representations received. These have been combined into a single document, with space for responses. The task of writing responses, and of redrafting the Neighbourhood Plan where necessary, has been allocated to the relevant Subgroups. All responses are required in time for discussion at the Steering Group meeting on the 22nd January.

18th December 2018 - The Steering Group met as normal, and reviewed the 12 representations that have been received so far, (from Wessex Water, Dorset County Council Highways and 10 residents). Some draft responses had already been written, and other representations were allocated to the appropriate Subgroup to draft responses. Responses and changes to the Neighbourhood Plan are to be drafted for review at the Steering Group's next meeting (N.B. changed to 22 January), so that the revised Neighbourhood Plan can be submitted shortly after the February meeting.

6th November 2018 - The draft Neighbourhood Plan was approved by the Steering Group for publication, along with a Newsletter and consultation form. These will now be printed for distribution. The Regulation 14 Consultation will last from 8th November to 24th December 2018.

4th October 2018 - At the Heritage Open Meeting, there was a useful discussion between householders and the Heritage Consultant. It was agreed to remove two properties from the list, as they do not have as much original material as the draft Report suggested. Three properties which had been omitted from the draft list would be looked at again. It was agreed that an entry for Silver Street would be drafted, focusing on the near-unique layout of the "street" itself rather than on the individual properties.

25th September 2018 - A draft Heritage Report had been circulated to all the householders concerned, and a number of representations had been received as a result. The Consultant was writing a response, and it was agreed to hold a meeting where the householders could meet the Consultant for their concerns about methodology and accuracy to be addressed. A meeting had been held with Wessex Water to discuss their concerns about a number of matters; as a result it had been agreed not to include the Museum building as an Asset of Community Value. The main policies for the Housing & Planning section were now broadly agreed, but some of the detailed wording was proving controversial, and the value of the Flooding policy was under debate.

28th August 2018 - The question of monitoring of the Neighbourhood Plan once it is made was discussed. Monitoring metrics need to be built in to the Plan, and the question of who would be responsible for monitoring was raised. The Heritage consultant had visited the village to collect evidence, and the Report would be issued in draft shortly.

17th July 2018 - The Weymouth & Portland grant money had been received, and the Groundworks grant had been approved. Following comments from the Borough Council Officer, there was some discussion of how to set an aspiration or target for growth in the Neighbourhood Plan. The present draft has "up to 20"; "at least 20" does not comply with the Survey results, but "about 20" might overcome the concerns and would maintain the level of growth in the last two decades.. It was agreed not to say anything on affordable housing sites.

19th June 2018 - Various meetings and correspondence had been held with landowners, to gain an understanding of their aspirations. Guided by the results of the Stage 2 Consultation, there is no proposal that the Neighbourhood Plan should seek to vary the Development Boundary; information received suggest the Local Plan revision will also maintain the existing Development Boundary.

15th May 2018 - The death had been announced of Susan Higham, a valued member of the Steering Group. The funding position had been relieved by a grant agreed by the Borough Council, which would allow further consultancy and the necessary printing. Drafts of all the Neighbourhood Plan sections were considered, as was a draft of the Consultation Report.

17th April 2018 - The Steering Group had corresponded with all people who own land outside the development boundary. As a result, a group of local landowners attended the Steering Group meeting. Consultants' reports had been received on Key Views and Local Green Space; these were discussed, with contributions by the landowners. It was noted that the rules on grant funding had been changed, as a result of which we no longer qualify for the enhanced grant; our access to further consultancy was therefore under question.

20th March 2018 - Peter Dye was appointed unanimously as replacement Chairman of the Steering Group. The Subgroup analysing the Stage 2 Survey responses had nearly completed their work, and a draft Newsletter was approved, along with more detailed outputs to be published on the website. Most other Subgroups had now produced drafts of their Chapters for the Neighbourhood Plan document. Comments will be fed back, to allow these Chapters to be agreed at the April Steering Group meeting.

24th February 2018 - Katrina Blee announced that she was stepping down as Chairman and from the Steering Group, as a result of accusations that had been made against her by another member of the Steering Group. The Steering Group owes Katrina a huge debt of gratitude for the enormous amount of work she has put into the Neighbourhood Plan process, and the leadership she has given. A number of members of the Steering Group wrote emails thanking her for what she had done, and asking her to reconsider, but she had thought very carefully before deciding on her course of action. Finding a replacement was not going to be easy.

20th February 2018 - Letters had been written to all landowners who owned land outside the Development Boundary, and a number of responses had been received. These would be considered along with the Stage 2 Survey responses. Work continues in the various Subgroups to analyse the data and to start writing the Neighbourhood Plan itself. A contract for an assessment of Green Infrastructure was agreed, bar a few final details. The form in which Declarations of Interest would be published was agreed - these will be available for all members of the Steering Group and Subgroups. As well as all the Neighbourhood Planning Minutes and documents available via this website, a full record of email traffic concerning neighbourhood Planning is now available for inspection on request.

5th January 2018 - The Stage 2 Consultation period ended on Friday 5th January (although there is still time to send in your survey forms). The response was over 50% of the village's adult population, which is a great result - thank you to all of you who completed survey forms. A subgroup will now start the work of analysing these responses, which will be used in deciding what village policies should be included in the Neighbourhood Plan itself.

1st December 2017 - The Sutton Poyntz Place Appraisal is published as a consultative document. In addition a Stage 2 Consultation starts, consisting of a detailed Stage 2 Survey, which we hope as many people as possible living and/or working in Sutton Poyntz will complete and return, and a Housing Needs Survey which can be completed (one per household) by households who believe they may have new or additional accommodation needs in the next 5 or so years. The Place Appraisal and survey documents are available via our Documents page.

17th November 2017 - Newsletter 4 was distributed; this describes progress over the last 6 months or so, and advises villagers of the Surveys that are about to be sent out.

31st October 2017 - Additional content had been provided by all the subgroups for the Place Appraisal, dealing with the 'what next' and 'so what' questions. This would form a new Opportunities and Recommendations section at the end of the Place Appraisal. The timing of a Tree Survey was discussed, and it was decided to wait until after the village survey, when it would be clearer how important the village considered its trees to be. Content for the village survey was more or less complete, and a new editorial subgroup was appointed to finalise this, a Housing Needs Survey, and a Newsletter, all of which would be published with the Place Appraisal at the beginning of December.

17th October 2017 - Quotes had been obtained for a Tree Survey, which may be necessary as it appears the Local Authority is unable to give trees much protection; the survey would help to identify the individual trees and groups of trees that contribute most to village amenity. Mike Haine had very nobly volunteered to take the Place Appraisal document and make the presentation much more attractive and professional; the results so far were judged to be outstanding. Further work had been done on the next village survey, which would be conducted over the month of December, with responses to be submitted by 5th January. To make sure everything is ready for this by 1st December, an additional meeting on 31st October was scheduled.

23rd September - The Steering Group meeting on the 19th and the all-day Workshop on the 23rd made good progress towards the next village survey. Feedback from the Consultants on the draft Place Appraisal suggested that this had been good at capturing the quality of the village as it is now, but needed to focus in addition on the challenges and opportunities for the village in the immediate future, as a key source that villagers could then use in answering the next village survey. The detailed questions for the survey were in an advanced stage of drafting, and the Consultants gave useful feedback. The project plan and timetable for developing the Neighbourhood Plan were reassessed in view of the work done to write a Place Appraisal and also bearing in mind the possible impact of Local Government reorganisation, with the creation of a Weymouth Town Council in April 2019.

15th August 2017 - The Transport subgroup had arranged a bus use survey and had also met with a Highways Authority representative. A Workshop was being arranged for Saturday 23rd September with the Consultants, to assist with detailed planning for the next village survey, to finalise the content of the Place Appraisal, and to help plan the rest of the programme; all Steering Group and subgroup members were invited to the workshop.

18th July 2017 - A first draft of the Place Appraisal had just been made available, and Steering Group members were invited to send in their comments. Advice had been received from the Consultants on how to manage contacts with landowners; after discussion, there were still some issues that needed clarification, and a meeting with the Consultants had been arranged for September; this would be an opportunity for all the subgroups to ask questions. It was agreed to disband the Land Use & Conservation subgroup, whose remit was adequately covered by other subgroups. A traffic survey, to be conducted using County Council equipment, was approved.

20th June 2017 - Most the Focal Topic subgroups had held meetings. The Place Appraisal subgroup had conducted a walk-about with one of the Consultants, which had been extremely useful; they intended to produce a draft document before the Steering Group's next meeting. Dropbox is being used for sharing documents. The Housing and Planning subgroup raised some questions in the context of dealings with landowners for which advice from the Consultants was to be obtained.

16th May 2017 - Several of the Focal Topic subgroups reported on their initial meetings and progress; in particular the Transport subgroup had carried out a survey of traffic and bus use. The Place Appraisal subgroup will be meeting in early June with one of the Consultants, to carry out a village walk from which the structure of the Place Appraisal document will be decided. Terms of Reference were agreed for all the subgroups.

18th April 2017 - The Place Appraisal subgroup had met twice since the last Steering Group meeting, and had also met with Nick Cardnell, the Borough Council's appointed Liaison Officer, to investigate the availability of material. It was agreed that the Focal Topic subgroups should start work in parallel with the Place Appraisal work - although they will depend to some extent on the Place Appraisal document when it is completed, they can start to formulate more detailed questions for the next round of consultation. Members of the Steering Group were allocated to Focal Topics, but other subgroup members will be sought to ensure wide representation. The Housing & Planning subgroup was asked to formulate a Stakeholder Consultation policy, for use in dealings with local landowners. The second round of grant funding has been approved.

21st March 2017 - A subgroup met earlier in the month to ensure that our Neighbourhood Planning activity has a robust archiving policy, with both hard-copy and electronic archiving of important material. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group meeting on 21/3/2017 was attended by the two Consultants; at their recommendation, it was agreed that a "Place Appraisal" document should be written, capturing what the village's special character is now, and how it became like that. A team was appointed to write this Place Appraisal.

3rd March 2017 - A third Newsletter was published, with the results of the analysis of the Consultation questionnaire in the second Newsletter. The Steering Group are now using this data and analysis to generate a Vision Statement, a set of Plan Objectives, and a set of topics for more detailed study which will be carried out by Subgroups.

17th January 2017 - As a result of bids and presentations from the two consultancy firms that responded, the Steering Group appointed Brian Wilson Associates as support consultants to our Neighbourhood Planning activities. The first tranche of government grant had now been received to allow us to proceed with this. The Steering Group also created a subgroup to carry out the analysis of the consultation responses - this analysis would be audited by the consultants.

14th November - The Steering Group drew up a draft specification to issue to potential consultants. The first task would be an analysis of the consultation responses. The first tranche of government grant money had been approved, but not yet received. Work was under way to assemble a list of landowners who would need to be consulted with.

4th November - The first consultation period ended. We received over 70 completed forms, from about 80 villagers. Along with people who attended the Open Days, we probably got information from more than 100 villagers. All this information is now being transcribed so that the Steering Group can start the process of analysing it and identifying the village's key themes and topics.

30th/31st October - Open Days at the Mission Hall. 66 villagers came along over the 2 days, and were able to discuss the proposed Neighbourhood Plan with members of the Steering Group and with one another. We finished with about 400 responses on post-it notes (including ticks to show agreement with previously written notes), plus a number of completed Newsletter forms. The Consultation exercise finishes on November 4th, after which the Steering Group will analyse the responses.

24th October - A Training Workshop was held for Steering Group members. This workshop was provided by AECOM, as part of the Government's support programme available to Neighbourhood Forums.

22nd October - All copies of Newsletter 2 should have been distributed to villagers. The Newsletter asks for the attached consultation form to be returned by 4th November.

18th October - The Steering Group met again, to arrange distribution of Newsletter 2, the Open Days at the Mission Hall on 30th/31st October, and the Training Workshop for Steering Group members on 24th October.

20th September - The Borough Council approved our application for Neighbourhood Forum status and for our Neighbourhood Area. The Steering Group held another meeting, and agreed the wording and timing for the next Consultation Newsletter.

16th August - The Steering Group met again, to plan the first round of publicity and consultation on the contents of the Plan. This will take place towards the end of October.

5th August 2016 - The Borough Council's consultation period ended. We understand some of the "statutory consultees" put in helpful representations. The Council Officers will write a report, which we understand will recommend approval of our application, for decision at the Borough Council Management Meeting on 20th September.

19th July 2016 - The Steering Group brain-stormed the likely components of a Neighbourhood Plan, along with how the consultation process might be conducted. An application has been submitted for Technical Assistance on project planning and budgeting.

21st June 2016 - The Steering Group was given a talk about the process leading to the Cerne Valley Neighbourhood Plan (the first to be formally adopted in Dorset) by Fred Horsington and Jo Witherden. The next meeting (19th July) will attempt to scope the likely contents of our own Plan, so that we can decide what contractor assistance is likely to be needed.

10th June 2016 - Weymouth & Portland Borough Council formally started the Consultation process on our Application. You can view the relevant documents on the DorsetForYou website; that site also allows you to submit your own comment to our application. The Consultation period ends on the 5th August 2016. We would welcome as many comments as possible, both positive and negative, to help us to assess local views. In the meantime, the Steering Group will seek suitable training and plan the process of gathering information and writing the Plan, so that it is well placed to start quickly when formal approval is granted.

9th June 2016 - A short second meeting of the Steering Group appointed Katrina Blee as Chairman and Mark Cribb as Secretary. Other members of the Steering Group are: Chris Balfe, Liz Brierley, Bill Davidson, Peter Dye, Bill Egerton, Tony Ferrari, Keith Johnson, Huw Llewellyn, Colin Marsh, Andrew Price and Doug & Polly Watson.

27th May 2016 - The formal Application for a Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Area, with the Sutton Poyntz Society to be designated as Neighbourhood Forum, was submitted to the Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, who as Local Planning Authority have the power to designate Neighbourhood Areas and Forums. The application was submitted along with copies of the Sutton Poyntz Society's Constitution and Terms of Reference for the Steering Group. Extensive consultation on these documents had already been conducted with Council Officers, to ensure that they would be likely to be accepted.

17th May 2016 - The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group met for the first time. The Steering Group will be the body responsible for actually writing the Neighbourhood Plan, and for the consultation needed during the drafting phase. Minutes of Steering Group meetings will be published here.

13th April 2016 - At the Sutton Poyntz Society's AGM, the membership approved the Committee's recommendation to write a Neighbourhood Plan for Sutton Poyntz. The Committee will now write Terms of Reference for a Working Party which will be set up to submit the applications for a Neighbourhood Area, and then to write the Plan. The AGM also approved changes to the Society's Constitution which are necessary in order for the Society to act as a Neighbourhood Forum. This revised Constitution has already been discussed with Borough Council Officers, and we believe there should be no problem now with an application to act as a Neighbourhood Forum.

The AGM also debated a slight change to the Neighbourhood Area next to the southern part of Puddledock Lane. As a result a number of houses in that area with Sutton Poyntz postcodes have been added to the Neighbourhood Area (see the map for details).

February 2016 - The Sutton Poyntz Society had agreed in principle that it wanted to generate a Neighbourhood Plan, and had held various discussions with Borough Council Officers. At this point, we published our first Newsletter, so that we could ascertain whether there was general support for the idea.