Frustration over  Bray Parish Neighbourhood Plan delay

Tara O'Connor

Tara O'Connor

Frustration has been expressed by the team behind Bray Parish Neighbourhood Plan (BPNP) at the lack of progress made.

The plan was submitted to the Royal Borough in October after five -and-a-half years of work.

It was drawn up by the community to help shape development in the area and will feed into the larger Borough Local Plan (BLP).

The council is now responsible for certain aspects of the plan including appointing an independent examiner and organising public consultation.

The plan’s committee last met with the borough council on March 23, when they say it was

decided that consultation on the neighbourhood plan would be triggered by placing an advert in the Advertiser.

Before this can happen the examiner needs to be appointed – but the committee is still waiting.

Steve Adams, chairman of the BPNP steering group, has been involved in creating the plan since its inception in 2011.

The 72-year-old said at the meeting in March they were told an examiner would be appointed within two weeks.

When this did not happen the group sought advice from an independent QC.

“It is the local authority’s duty to work with the parish and the neighbourhood planning group in agreeing who the examiner will be,” said Steve.

He says on May 15 he emailed the borough’s planning department with a suggested criteria for the examiner.

When he did not hear from them he got back in touch on June 8.

In an email to the borough’s head of planning Jenifer Jackson, Steve said: “In the absence of any response from you, and setting to one side for the moment the gross discourtesy

inherent in such arrant disregard by officers of councillors’ express wishes, we accept that in the absence of any response you are content with these criteria and accept them.”

The Royal Borough told the Advertiser progressing the BPNP had been delayed due to purdah during the general election period.

A spokesman said: “In addition, the council had wanted to check a procedural matter with the parish council, which included taking legal advice.”

A meeting between the two parties was held on Tuesday.

“The council will now wait for the parish council to respond to the outcome of that meeting,” the spokesman added.


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