WELCOME TO THE BOUGHTON AND DUNKIRK NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN WEBSITE

The Neighbourhood Plan has been produced by the Boughton and Dunkirk Neighbourhood Plan Group, a Working Group set up in 2013, by the two Parish Councils (as qualifying bodies).

A working team of Jeff Tutt, chair of Dunkirk Parish Council, Terry Fitchett from Boughton PC and residents from both communities, including Frances Holliday, Julian Owen, Peter Williams, the late John Peto; and, from time to time, many other Parish Councillors and residents contributed. A planning consultant has advised the group, and many others have participated in the responses to surveys and questionnaires.

Neighbourhood planning was introduced through the Localism Act 2011. Neighbourhood planning legislation came into effect in April 2012. From 2013, when we started, it has been a collaborative effort by members of both parish councils and many other volunteers from within our community. It has been a herculean task with disappointingly little help from an apparently overstretched Swale Borough Council.

The Boughton and Dunkirk Neighbourhood Plan is now ready for consultation. The consultation period runs for eight weeks from 15th March – 14th May 2021. *Minor alteration to a walk (page 40) as it was on private land. We apologise for this and have removed/changed the walk*

To download the full plan, please use the ‘Draft Plan’ tab. You can access all of the background documents from the tab marked ‘Plan Background Documents’.

We welcome your comments and responses, please see the ‘Plan Consultation Response Form’ tab.

Swale’s adopted local plan identified sufficient sites to meet general housing needs elsewhere in the Borough, and we were able to concentrate on meeting the expressed needs of our local residents and their families in a sustainable way. The local plan had already pinpointed sites at Boughton sufficient for 33 houses, 40% of which have to be affordable housing, and a further six houses on a third site.

We are proposing just one new site, suitable for up to 12 homes, being made up of two adjoining land parcels in the centre of Boughton. We intend that they will be reserved for local needs, with strict conditions attached. All other sites will be protected from development, and the special qualities of our surrounding landscape will be respected. We have aimed for all assessments and draft policies to be compliant with National Planning Policy Framework, Swale Borough Planning Policies (Swale LP 2008 and Bearing Fruits 2031), EU and human rights legislation.

We look forward to hearing your comments and views on this draft Plan.

Jeff Tutt    NP Chairman.

 

AS A REMINDER: WHAT IS A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN (NP)?

Neighbourhood planning was introduced through the Localism Act 2011. Neighbourhood planning legislation came into effect in April 2012.

This is a new type of planning document prepared by local communities. In line with Government guidelines, it will be evidence led and will demonstrate an element of sustainability in any development. It will promote environmental protection and contribute to the integration of environmental, social and economic considerations but, most importantly, it will be prepared by members of our community to protect and enhance the built environment for nearly 20 years (until 2038).

It is important to remember that a Neighbourhood Plan will only be able to give the most to our communities if it is developed in concert with Swale Borough Council. They have been tasked by the Government to supply help and officer time in the preparation, consultation, and submission to an independent examiner. They will also organise a referendum and (if approved by you) its adoption – inclusion into the Local Plan.

Below is a short list of some of the issues you raised. Please note some of the wording is historic from the dates of the surveys.

The results of surveys and questionnaires can be found in the ‘Background Document Additional Evidence’ tab.

Parking Survey

We have been looking at the main complaint we received through the questionnaire – Parking in The Street.

You may have seen some of us up and down The Street with tape measures and cameras. Many of you have told us that parking is the biggest problem, in Boughton at least. We need to collect evidence as to the level and type of the problems. Is it an inability to find a parking space or people parking where they shouldn’t? Is it difficulty passing parked vehicles or do the alternate vehicle slow down cars that might require speed bumps if it was an open road. Do we need yellow lines? Do we need off street parking? If there was off street parking who would use it? Always more questions, but we are trying desperately to find solutions.

We have also undertaken a specific parking survey for local residents in The Street and neighbouring roads to ask about their parking habits/requirements. This has nothing to do with the yellow lines consultation by Swale Borough Council.

Character Assessment

We are currently undertaking assessments of the three Conservation Areas (all in Boughton), with the help of Swale’s conservation officer. We will also be looking at all other areas in both Parishes, each with a special or different character.

What do you think makes Boughton and Dunkirk Special? Which bits must be preserved and given extra protection and which bits need some TLC? Make you thoughts count by contacting us through the website. We have templates available (so we all look and score the same things) and we welcome anyone filling these in with us. Please contact secretary@boughtonanddunkirkneighbourhoodplan.org.uk if you are interested in participating.

Housing Survey (October 2014)

The (closed) housing needs survey has been collated and the results interpreted, to inform the Plan.

We must start by expressing our thanks to you all. Over 25% of the surveys delivered were returned. This is an amazing response rate and it indicates just how many people want to have an input and help create the plan.

The initial results can be seen in the Housing Survey tab above

Neighbourhood Plan Questionnaire (May 2014)

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete and return their questionnaires earlier in the year. There were certainly a number of interesting thoughts for us to go through! The summary of results from each question are shown at the link above.

We had a fantastic response of over 21% – more than one in five households, and they will form the core of YOUR plan. The winners of the prize draw were Gerry Dickson, John Bower and Mrs J Chapman.

What happens next?

A consultation document will be produced setting out the main areas you want the Plan to cover (taken from the Questionnaire results). We will also be meeting with groups within the community to be sure we clearly understand your wishes.

We hope to keep you informed on progress and gather your opinions on a range of subjects that will affect the parishes for many years to come.

Our plan will be designed to run in parallel with Swale Borough Councils (SBC) new Local Plan 2013 – 2031*, but most importantly will reflect local opinion. *revised to 2038*

WHAT CAN A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN DO?

A neighbourhood plan adds to SBC’s local plan. It is a development led plan that will be designed by local people for our local needs.

The plan can be detailed or general, depending on what local people want. Neighbourhood plans allow local people to get the right type of development for their community.

A neighbourhood development plan establishes general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood and can establish where new homes and offices should be built and what they should look like.

This is the first-time local people will be able to have a real say in local planning issues – something that most people have asked for. Do not waste this once in a lifetime opportunity.