We will publish a short summary of our progress here, with the latest news at the top of the page. Further details can be found by reading the Minutes of the Steering Group and its Subgroups.

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 questsionnaire 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.