Charfield Railway Station

The possibility or impossibility of re-opening Charfield Railway Station, closed since the mid-sixties, has been debated for decades. This week’s Gazette offers a new perspective to the issue. You can read about it here.

The Charfield Neighbourhood Plan is moving from concept into construction, and the matter of Charfield Railway Station will certainly be covered in the final Plan. As such, the Neighbourhood Plan working group would be most interested in hearing all viewpoints from residents of Charfield, and you can give them by emailing the Parish Clerk.

What’s the value of a Neighbourhood Plan?

We received this the other day, and it’s worth us putting it here. One of the questions we were asked in early community engagement was about the value of a neighbourhood plan. The importance of the NP in this case is clear, and we believe it is as important for Charfield that our plan moves forward.

The communities secretary has refused an application for 200 homes on a site at Lydney in Gloucestershire, against an inspector’s recommendation of approval, after he concluded that, amongst other factors weighing against the proposal, the development would be in conflict with a neighbourhood plan.

Forest of Dean District Council had refused outline planning permission for the scheme which would have delivered up to 200 homes, including up to 20 serviced self-build plots, and up to 37 retirement apartments and a community building.

Following an appeal and an inspector’s subsequent recommendation of approval, the application was recovered by Greg Clark because the appeal involved a potential conflict with a neighbourhood plan.

A decision letter issued this week said that Clark considered that the council’s lack of a five-year housing land supply “and the contributions that the appeal proposal would make to increasing the supply of market and affordable housing weigh substantively in favour of the appeal”.

“Also weighing in favour of the appeal are the social, economic and environmental benefits identified by the Inspector”, the letter said.

But the letter went on to say that “weighing against the appeal … is the conflict with the emerging [site allocations document] and emerging Lydney Neighbourhood Development Plan (LNDP), to which he gives moderate weight; and the adverse impact on landscape and character to which he also gives moderate weight. He also gives limited weight to traffic impacts and the adverse effect upon air quality…”

Overall, the letter said that Clark considered “that the adverse impacts of the appeal proposal would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole”.

It continued: “He therefore concludes that that there are no material considerations that indicate that the proposal should be determined other than in accordance with the development plan.”

Neighbourhood Plan Area out to Consultation

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 15.30.22“South Gloucestershire Council have had their first request from a Parish Council that they wish to do a Neighbourhood Development Plan.

We write to notify you that a 5 week consultation commenced today (9th December 2015) for the proposed Charfield Neighbourhood Plan Area. It follows there parish boundary and the Neighbourhood Area Notice being consulted on can be viewed on our Neighbourhood Planning webpages here.

We would be grateful for any comments regarding this proposed area by 13th January 2016.

Comments should be sent to PlanningLDF@southglos.gov.uk

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to us at 01454 863464.

Jane Wormald
Planning Officer”

Proposed Consultation Dates

CNP_iconWe have received the preliminary dates from South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), for the consultation on the new Charfield Neighbourhood Plan and the Charfield Neighbourhood Area (NA). This consultation is not the doorstep consultation(s) that will take place once we are building the CNP proper, but the formal consultation on the application for a Neighbourhood Planning Area (NPA).

  • NPA Consultation begins : 9th December 2015
  • NPA Consultation ends : 13th January 2016
  • SGC decision on Charfield NA : 27th January 2016

Notices will shortly appear around the parish (mainly on the village noticeboards) to advertise this consultation, and information will also appear on the SGC web site. Ours is the first NPA to be consulted on in South Gloucestershire, and so it would be a good thing for as many people as possible to respond (positively!) to the consultation.