Dear residents of Axminster, we need your help!
Axminster does not have a Neighbourhood Plan, which means that, as a community, we have less control over which planning applications are approved or refused. We need to change that so that the people of Axminster are in a better position to determine our future.
Last year, we asked for your views to help us begin writing a Neighbourhood Plan for Axminster. Your valuable feedback has informed our approach to drafting the emerging plan's policies. However, we are committed to getting this right, so we need to ensure that we are still on the right track, and we would like to hear from you again!
But what is a Neighbourhood Plan, and why does it matter?
There are three pieces of legislation that a planning applicant must comply with (large developer or an individual homeowner):
- The National Planning Policy Framework (set by the central government),
- The district-wide Local Plan (East Devon District Council) and
- The Neighbourhood Plan (developed by the community).
Each document serves its own purpose and must accord with those set by the authority above. Each cannot contradict those policies above it or stray into the remit of areas covered by other statutory bodies. However, each provides a new layer of influence over how house building and place-shaping are delivered and what associated infrastructure the community thinks should accompany it. The plan that is most specific to a town or parish area is the Neighbourhood Plan.
If a planning application is submitted to EDDC (the planning authority for our area) and it accords with all three of these planning documents, it will be considered favourably. However, failure to comply with these policies by the applicant could lead to a refusal of the planning application.
Having a strategic and well-written Neighbourhood Plan is crucial for Axminster's long-term future because it gives our community more say over which applications are successful, what we as a community need and how our town should grow in a sustainable way that works best for all of its existing and future residents and businesses.
How can you help?
You can help us by participating in our policies consultation, which is live until midnight on the 5th of November, 2023. CONSULTATION NOW CLOSED.
We cannot consult on some parts of what might become the final plan right now. East Devon District Council and Axminster Town Council are currently waiting for Central Government to finalise any changes they want to make to the national planning legislation first. However, we can still do a lot of work in the meantime.
Your feedback is crucial. We ask that you take a few minutes to review the draft policies in our survey and let us know if you are happy with each.
As you consider each policy, we recommend that you refer to the following two documents, which will give you the context and background behind each of the draft policies:
Please provide feedback via our online consultation. Alternatively, you can pick up a hard copy of the survey, 'Our Vision, Aims & Objectives and Policies' and 'Analysis' documents from the Axminster Town Council office at the Axminster Guildhall, located on West Street. Office opening hours are: 9am - 4pm, Monday - Thursday.
Please accept our sincere thanks to those who do decide to participate. We could not do it without you!
This consultation will run between the 7th of October and midnight on the 5th of November 2023.
Please note. All responses must have been submitted and received by Axminster Town Council by the closing date to be considered by the working group as part of their ongoing work.