Neighbourhood Plan referendum - please vote!

Malcolm Blackmore
👍 1

Mon 14 Jun, 17:59

I'm wondering what 6% opposed were actually about?! Perhaps we have Developers' shills amongst us.

Congratulations to the workers from our Town who did this most excellent piece of work. Yes, I actually read it cover to PDFcover one night and couldn't think of much to fault it on. Your work should be appreciated by everyone here in Charlbury.

It's just a pity that our lifetime ration of democracy is limited to about 5 or so general election crosses, and a small, but greater proportion, of crosses for somewhat teethless local powers to affect our lives.

Wendy Bailey
👍 3

Sat 12 Jun, 08:50

I was disappointed to learn that although 94% positive vote, in fact only 24% voted. 

Gareth Epps

Sat 12 Jun, 08:08

CIL is the Community Infrastructure Levy, a mechanism which is more or less self-explanatory; developers pay a chunk of money on developments to fund key local infrastructure at a flat rate.

It was developed because Section 106 funding (an older mechanism and part of the planning process) doesn’t cover all aspects of infrastructure.

More information in Richard’s original post.

Angus B

Fri 11 Jun, 23:30

Richard, please would you explain what ‘CIL’ and ‘S106’ are and also what the implications are if the former is abandoned.

Richard Fairhurst
(site admin)
👍 2

Fri 11 Jun, 10:56

On CIL – there is a rather opaque note in recent WODC minutes that states “Officers are currently in the process of determining the most appropriate way forward in light of the CIL consultation responses received in autumn 2020 (around 170 responses) responses to the draft Developer Contributions SPD received in December 2020, the supporting CIL evidence base as well as the Government’s stated intention to abolish CIL (and Section 106) and replace it with a new, nationally set, value-based flat rate charge. Further updates on the proposed way forward in respect of CIL will therefore be published on the Council’s website in due course.”

So I wouldn’t be astonished if they abandon the currently proposed CIL schedule (for the second time…) and just keep going with S106 until the Government’s intentions become clear.

Peter Kenrick
👍 9

Fri 11 Jun, 09:23

Thank you Gareth for your kind words.  I would like to add my own thanks to all of the willing volunteers of Charlbury who helped us to pull together the information and evidence for the plan and especially to the steering group team who worked hard with me to get the plan through all of its complex legal stages.  Thanks too to everyone who engaged with the plan process in various ways to let us know your thoughts and ensure that the plan represents the wishes and aspirations of the community.  And of course, thanks to all who turned out to the referendum yesterday to support the plan.  We wouldn’t have got here without all of your input and Charlbury wouldn’t have this legal foothold in the planning system. Now we just have to be vigilant to ensure that the plan is followed.  A great day for Charlbury.   Thank you all.

Gareth Epps
👍 8

Thu 10 Jun, 23:15

Hopefully you will all have seen the news that the Neighbourhood Plan has been adopted with a resounding 94% in favour.

Thanks to Peter Kenrick and all those who worked for so long to make this happen.  It will give Charlbury much more of a say in decisions that affect us.

Matthew - to answer your question, which is a good one, we do not know until the legislation has been published.  I hope it doesn’t.  But like West Oxfordshire’s bizarre decision to exempt developers from paying Community Infrastructure Levy, it might affect us and the Town Council will let people know if this is the case.  We are concerned about what we have heard so far.

Matthew Greenfield
👍 2

Thu 10 Jun, 17:58 (last edited on Fri 11 Jun, 07:59)

Many thanks to all who have put so much work into formulating this Neighbourhood Plan for Charlbury. I can't imagine why anyone would vote against it so assume it will be approved.

Does anyone know if the proposed new Planning Bill will affect the Charlbury Neighbourhood Plan as the aim is to bypass local planning objections. Are we protected by being a AONB? Some details of the legislation here:

Charlie M

Thu 10 Jun, 16:33 (last edited on Thu 10 Jun, 16:35)

I have been to vote, and I urge all others to do so ... even though in view of what has happened in places like Hixet Wood, it is rather a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. I hope I am wrong.

stephen cavell

Thu 10 Jun, 10:29

 What % of the electorate must vote for the result to be valid?

I am looking forward to a yes vote.

Richard Fairhurst
(site admin)
👍 3

Thu 10 Jun, 09:20 (last edited on Thu 10 Jun, 09:29)

And the upshot of that is that West Oxfordshire would use solely its own Local Plan for determining planning applications, which isn’t tailored to the particular needs of Charlbury.

Effectively you can think of the Neighbourhood Plan as a ‘cheat sheet’ for the WODC planning department – it’s a set of rules setting out Charlbury’s particular circumstances for them to have by their side when assessing planning applications. A no vote would mean they won’t be able to use that sheet.

Claire Wilding
👍 6

Thu 10 Jun, 08:43

The consequence of a no vote would be that there is no Neighbourhood Plan. 

Alan Wilson

Wed 9 Jun, 21:37

I find it slightly curious that although I have seen the consequences of a yes vote spelled out two or three times, I have seen absolutely no mention at all of the consequences of a no vote.

Richard Fairhurst
(site admin)
👍 9

Wed 9 Jun, 20:59

Thursday is the referendum on Charlbury’s Neighbourhood Plan.

One of those quirks of electoral legislation means that the Town Council has to keep schtum about the referendum, which is probably why you haven’t seen people campaigning about it. Happily I’ve stood down from the Town Council so can say whatever I like!

It’s a terrific piece of work – our one and only chance to get the character and vibrancy of Charlbury written into the planning rules. Basically, if the plan is approved in the referendum, then the Neighbourhood Plan document written by many Charlbury people over the past five years becomes part of the planning rules for any future developments in Charlbury. That means that new developments have to pay more heed to affordable housing; that there’s more protection for shops and other businesses in the town centre; that Charlbury’s historic character is recognised and conserved; that green spaces and play areas are preserved; and much more.

It also means that in the future, subject to the district council pulling its finger out on Community Infrastructure Levy (long story), a greater percentage of developer contributions will stay in Charlbury rather than being spent elsewhere in the district. 

You can read the full document at (click on ‘Referendum’ and then ‘Charlbury Neighbourhood Plan Referendum Version’). If you don’t have time to read the full thing – it’s pretty in-depth – then the blue boxes headed “Policy” are the meat of it all. 

Lots of people, a few from the Town Council but mostly from the wider community, have been working really hard on this. Please do go out and vote for it tomorrow.

The polling station will be open in the Memorial Hall from 7am to 10pm – you will have hopefully received a polling card, though you don’t need to take it with you. Even if you didn’t receive a card, if you were able to vote at the recent local elections, you can vote in the referendum. The question on the ballot paper is “Do you want West Oxfordshire District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Charlbury to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”.

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