Thorpe Local Plan Representations
The Neighbourhood Forum agreed with the planning authority that it would take responsibility in its neighbourhood plan for modifying the Green Belt boundary of the village, which was inset from the Green Belt by the recently adopted Local Plan. We firstly played a crucial role in helping both parties to make the agreement and to adopt a robust site allocation process to justify the modification.
To make matters difficult, the plan making process was being tested by a proposal for 83 homes on land that was proposed to be allocated in the plan and removed from the Green Belt but for a much smaller scheme. The application was refused but the planning authority was not confident the plan status would sustain its refusal and so it recorded other reasons.
The appeal was undertaken by written reps in 2020, by which time the plan had been successfully examined but was one of many that could not go to referendum until May 2021. The Forum appointed us to make its representations to the appeal, which centred on the little-used ‘prematurity’ argument that is so often crucial to maintaining community confidence in neighbourhood planning. Our contribution made all the difference as the appeal was dismissed on that ground alone, with the Inspector rejecting the other reasons. The plan was made following its successful referendum.