Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Area

The Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan forms part of the Development Plan and is used in determining planning applications for Bracknell Town parish.

The Plan was ‘made’ by Bracknell Forest Council on 27 October 2021.

Referendum

At the Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan referendum held on Thursday 9 September 2021, more than half of the local community of Bracknell Town Parish that voted were in favour of the council using the Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan to help decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area.

The referendum on the Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan was based on the designated Bracknell Town Parish Neighbourhood Area. The full results can be viewed in the declaration of result of poll.

In line with the Section 38(3A) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended), the Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan came into legal force as part of the Development Plan for Bracknell Town Parish with immediate effect after approval at referendum.

Post Examination Decision Statement

The Examiner recommended that the submitted neighbourhood plan should proceed to a referendum if the modifications put forward within the Examiner’s Report are implemented. The Examiner has not recommended that the referendum area should be extended.

Having considered the recommendations made in the Examiner’s report and the reasons for them, the council, with the consent of Bracknell Town Council, decided to accept the recommended modifications and send the Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan to referendum based on the designated Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Area.

Updated government guidance (Planning Practice Guidance) made it clear that where a local planning authority had issued a ‘Decision Statement’ detailing its intention to send a neighbourhood plan to referendum, the policies could be given significant weight in decision-making, so far as they were material to an application.

Examination

Following the close of the submission consultation (Regulation 16), an Examiner was appointed. The Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan and other supporting documents were submitted for independent Examination (Regulation 17). 

The council received the Examiner’s report on 23 April 2020.

Hearing 

Following an initial assessment of the plan and accompanying documents, the examiner decided to hold a public hearing on Tuesday 14 May 2019 at Bracknell Town Council’s offices, Brooke House.

Following that hearing, the examiner issued ‘Interim Conclusions’ and gave the Town Council 3 options. The Town Council decided to follow option 1. This was to reconfigure the submitted documents.

Additional consultation on amended Plan 

In response to the Examiner’s ‘Interim Conclusions’ (June 2019), Bracknell Town Council submitted an amended Plan, and Schedule of Changes. The Examiner then issued ‘Further Comments’ (November 2019):

Letter from Bracknell Town Council enclosing amended Plan (October 2019)

Amended Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan (Document 1 of 2)

Amended Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan (Document 2 of 2)

Amended Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan (Schedule of Changes)

Examiner’s Further Comments (November 2019)

BFC letter to Examiner re. consultation arrangements (November 2019)

A focused consultation (for those who commented at the Regulation 16 stage, please see list of respondents below) was held  between Monday 18 November and Monday 16 December 2019.

In response to the focused consultation, the following comments were received, which were sent to the Examiner.

Focused consultation responses

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Following the focused consultation, the Examiner issued ‘Mapping and Document Issues’ (February 2020), which  required the Town Council to address some specific requirements before the Examiner could issue their final report.

Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan submission consultation

Bracknell Town Council, as the ‘qualifying body’, has prepared a Neighbourhood Development Plan (the Plan) for its area with the help of the local community.

The Plan sets out objectives for the future. It contains planning policies to guide the development and use of land in Bracknell Town.

The council held a 6-week public consultation on the proposed Plan in line with Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended) between Monday 7 January and Monday 18 February 2019. The consultation has closed.

An independent examiner has been appointed to undertake the examination. All written comments received during the consultation period will be sent to the examiner.

Copies of the proposed Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan and supporting documents are still available to view on the consultation portal.

Submission consultation responses

Pre-submission consultation

Bracknell Town Council undertook a pre-submission (Regulation 14) consultation on the draft Plan between 9 June and 20 August 2018.

Designation of Bracknell Town Parish Neighbourhood Area

Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Area was designated by Bracknell Forest Council on 11 February 2014.

Bracknell Town Council applied for designation of the neighbourhood plan area in October 2013. A consultation on the proposal was carried out during November and December 2013.

SEA and HRA screening decision

Whilst sustainability appraisals are not required for neighbourhood planning, it is possible that environmental assessments, in line with European obligations, may be triggered. These environmental assessments are a ‘Strategic Environment Assessment’ (SEA) and a ‘Habitats Regulation Assessment’ (HRA).

Bracknell Town Council provided information in 2018 on their draft Neighbourhood Plan to Bracknell Forest Council to determine whether these environmental assessments were required.

The screening opinion produced by the council was subject to a 5-week consultation with Historic England, Natural England and the Environment Agency.

The screening decision concluded that the Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan did not need to be subject to a SEA and did not require an Appropriate Assessment to be undertaken.

More information

Further information on the Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan can be found on the Bracknell Town Council website.

Contact information

Planning Policy Team

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