Examination & Referendum
It is the responsibility of the local authority to organise and cover the costs of the independent examination and referendum. The independent examiner will be appointed by the local authority with the consent of the qualifying body.
The independent examination will consider the submitted documents and any comments made during the consultation period on the submitted plan proposal. The independent examiner will examine whether the plan meets the ‘Basic Conditions’ and other relevant legal requirements, (e.g. consultation).
The independent examiner (Anne Skippers) has recommended that modifications are needed to the plan before it can proceed to the referendum. These were provided in the Fact Check version of her report.
The local planning authority (HDC) must make modifications to the plan if, with those modifications, the plan could comply with the Basic Conditions. This is being done on conjunction with the NP Working Group to ensure local community input.
The Parish Council may withdraw the plan if it is unhappy with modifications being made.
If the plan is found to be satisfactory (i.e. complies with the key legal requirements) with modifications if necessary, then the local authority must arrange for the referendum to take place. It must give at least 28 working days notice of the referendum before the date of the referendum.
The qualifying body may campaign before the referendum, subject to rules over expenses. If more than 50% of those voting in the referendum vote ‘yes’ then HDC will bring the plan into legal force.
Once a Neighbourhood Plan is made (i.e. brought into legal force by the local authority), it will be used to determine planning applications and guide planning decisions in the neighbourhood area.
Having a plan and waiting for development is one thing, but elements of the plan will need active interventions on the part of the community, the local planning authority, developers and other key stakeholders.