Agenda item

Wray-with-Botton Neighbourhood Plan decision to proceed to referendum

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)


Report of the Director of Economic Growth and Regeneration



(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)


Cabinet received a report from the Director of Economic Growth and Regeneration, which sought approval for the Wray-with-Botton Neighbourhood Plan to proceed to referendum at the earliest possible opportunity.


The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:



Option 1: Accept the modifications of the Examiner, issue a decision statement to this effect and approve the Neighbourhood Plan to go forward to referendum.

Option 2: Reject some of the modifications of the Examiner and delegate authority to the Planning Manager to publish the decision.

Option 3: Reject all of the modifications of the Examiner.


This would be to the benefit of adopting localism within the district, enabling communities to shape their area. It would enable the community as a whole to decide if the plan should be sued by the Council for determining planning applications.

That the plan could be prepared in line with (or closer in line with) the original intentions of the Neighbourhood Plan sub group.

None known. Rejection of all the modifications would mean rejection of the plan on the basis that the Council could not be satisfied that the Plan could met the basic conditions required by Schedule 4B Town and Country Planning Act 1990.



None known

Officers and the Neighbourhood Plan sub group have agreed the modifications are acceptable and that the plan is suitable to be the subject of a referendum.


Rejecting modifications may remove clarity, factual correctness or compatibility with other local authority plans or policies. It could also lead to the Basic Conditions requirement not being met.


Rejecting modification will require further consideration by officers as to the suitability of the plan and further consideration by Council.


The Neighbourhood Plan would not be made.


None known

Removal of some of the modification may lead to the Plan not meeting the basic conditions and to the ultimate decision that the plan should not be progressed.


Removal of some of the Examiner’s recommendations may also create ambiguity and uncertainty in the application of the Plan. This could lead to legal challenge and difficulty in the application of planning policy to planning decisions.

The Plan, with the Examiners’ recommendations, is agreeable to the Neighbourhood group. To reject the Plan by not accepting the modifications could be suggest to public law challenge. 


                     The preferred option is Option 1. Given the level of work undertaken by the Neighbourhood Plan Sub Group alongside the extensive consultation that took place prior to the Examination of the plan it is considered that subject to the outcome of the referendum that it is the will of the community of the Parish of Wray-with-Botton for a neighbourhood plan to be prepared. The independent Examiner has scrutinised the plan in making an assessment as to whether it meets the Basic Conditions and subject to modification is of the view that the plan is ready to proceed to Referendum. 


                      In conclusion it is the opinion of the Planning Manager that the Wray-with-Botton Neighbourhood Plan is ready to proceed to referendum, subject to modifications as recommended by the Examiner being made.


Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Warriner:-


“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”


Councillors then voted:-


Resolved unanimously:


(1)          That the proposed changes to the Neighbourhood Plan, as set out in Appendix C to the report be endorsed and a decision statement be issued to inform interested parties that the modified Neighbourhood Plan should proceed to Referendum as soon as reasonably possible.

(2)          That Cabinet agrees to the advance funding of the Referendum, which will be claimed back from the Government in due course.


Officers responsible for effecting the decision:


Director of Economic Growth and Regeneration

Director for Corporate Services


Reasons for making the decision:


The aim of the referendum is to give the people of Wray-with-Botton community a vote on whether they support the Neighbourhood Plan.   Neighbourhood Planning contributes to the Council’s corporate plan priorities, in particular, sustainable economic growth.  Once adopted, neighbourhood plans will form part of the Council’s Lancaster District Local Plan.

Supporting documents: