Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Plan

In 2016, the Sutton Poyntz Society proposed to the village that a Neighbourhood Plan should be written and adopted for Sutton Poyntz. A first Newsletter was distributed around the village in February 2016, and support was received from the Society's membership and from the Borough Council. A Steering Group was created, to draft a Plan, which went through all the phases and was finally agreed and 'made' in May 2020. The approved Neighbourhood Plan is available here. This section of our village website explains what a Neighbourhood Plan is, and gives further information about the process by which it was created.

Use the links here to see the Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Area, a short summary of our work in creating the Plan, as well as Steering Group Minutes, Newsletters, and other documents.

Weymouth Town Neighbourhood Plan

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, including Minutes of their meetings, or our own progress page for a short summary. They have confirmed that the Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Plan will be "respected and included", so the benefits from the hard work by Sutton Poyntz's team will not be lost. The Sutton Poyntz Steering Group has representatives on the Weymouth Neighbourhood Planning team.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

The concept of a Neighbourhood Plan was introduced in the 2011 Localism Act (follow these links for a "short" guide, or the full Act). It allows a Neighbourhood "to say where they think new houses, businesses and shops should go – and what they should look like". This is done by the local community generating a development plan for its geographical area. When this Plan is approved (by means of a referendum and a formal Inspection), it sits below the Local Plan (in this case the West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland Local Plan), and is used by the Planning Authority, along with the Local Plan, in evaluating planning applications.

What area was included?

See the Neighbourhood map for how we drew the boundary.

What is the process for developing a Neighbourhood Plan?

There is good advice from the West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council on the process. The steps are:

  • The local community (in this case the Sutton Poyntz Society) submit a proposal to the Local Authority. The proposal sets out the geographical area proposed as the Neighbourhood (see our map), and also the body, known as a Neighbourhood Forum, that will write the Neighbourhood Plan. In this case, we hope that the Sutton Poyntz Society will be able to act as Neighbourhood Forum, although the Forum may need to be a new body created for the purpose;
  • This proposal is publicised and assessed by the Local Authority;
  • When the proposal is approved, the Neighbourhood Forum with assistance from the Local Authority will draft the Neighbourhood Plan. This stage will take some time, and has to include significant consultation with people living in the area, those working in the area, and with landowners and other business proprietors. The Neighbourhood Plan will set out a vision for how the area is to develop in the short term (probably 15 to 20 years), and policies that will achieve that vision;
  • At the end of the drafting phase, the Neighbourhood Forum carries out a more formal consultation with the local community, allowing people 6 weeks to put in their response. The draft Plan is modified if thought necessary, and a consultation report is written. The final draft is then submitted to the Local Authority;
  • The Local Authority then appoint an Inspector to check the Neighbourhood Plan against a number of criteria. These are:
    • that the Plan is in accordance with National, EU, and Local policy;
    • that it has due regard to heritage assets in the area, and to conservation area policy;
    • that proper consultation has been carried out at all stages; and
    • that the Plan contributes to sustainable development for the Neighbourhood.
  • After any final modifications, the Local Authority then run a referendum, to obtain formal approval of the Plan by the local community;
  • If a majority vote for the new Neighbourhood Plan, it is then formally adopted by the Local Authority, and is then used alongside the Local Plan in deciding planning applications.

Key documents will be published on this website as they are created.

Who was involved?

Invitations were issued for anyone living or working in the village to join the Steering Group; a list of members of the Steering Group and its subgroups is available.

This website was used as a repository for all our key documents (newsletters, minutes, working papers, policies, presentation material as well as the Plan itself and associated documents). Comments were welcomed at any time, via a "Contact Us" link.