NDP passes Examination stage

The Allensmore Neighbourhood Development Plan has successfully passed through the examination stage – the last stage before it’s put to a referendum.

The final examiner’s report was received on 23rd March 2020. The report is very positive and she generally suggests changes that either clarify and/or strengthen our policies. The modifications recommended by the Examiner and accepted by Herefordshire Council have been applied to the Allensmore Neighbourhood Development Plan; the latest version of the plan is here.

However, plans for the referendum are on hold during the current Coronavirus situation. Read more here.

Allensmore NDP completes the Regulation 16 stage

The Neighbourhood Development plan has successfully completed the Regulation 16 stage. The consultation period which ran from 7th October until 18th November 2019.

Further details can be seen here.

The steering group has carefully considered the comments received and their responses can be downloaded here.

The plan now proceeds to the Examination Stage – an examiner will be appointed shortly.

This formal part of the process can be followed on the Herefordshire Council website.

Allensmore NDP progresses to Regulation 16 Consultation

Following the approval of the draft Neighbourhood Development Plan by the Allensmore Parish Council at their last meeting on 19th September, the plan has now been submitted to Herefordshire Council for the final (Regulation 16) Consultation, examination and (eventual) referendum..Thank you to everyone who has helped and contributed during the lengthy process to get to this stage!

We have received the following acknowledgement back from Herefordshire Council:

Allensmore Parish Council have submitted their Regulation 16 Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) to Herefordshire Council for consultation.

The plan, along with accompanying documents can be viewed at:


Once adopted, this NDP will become a Statutory Development Plan Document the same as the Core Strategy.

The consultation runs from 7 October 2019 to 18 November 2019.

Nick Chapman

Chair Allensmore NDP Steering Group

Allensmore Neighbourhood Development Plan

All the responses to the most recent consultation (“Regulation 14”) were discussed at the last Steering Group meeting on 19th August and following some small amendments, the documents were submitted to the Parish Council for approval at their next meeting on 19th September. As no matters have arisen since the last meeting, the Steering Group meeting planned for next Monday 16th September will not be required and has been cancelled.

Following the approval by the Parish Council next week, the documents will be submitted to Herefordshire Council for them to complete the final stages before the referendum to seek residents’ formal approval for the draft plan to gain full legal status in future planning decisions.

                Nick Chapman, chair of the Allensmore NDP Steering Group

Allensmore NDP Steering Group meeting 19th August 2019

Following our recent NDP “Regulation 14” consultation (see results on the Parish Council website www.allensmore.org.uk), the Steering Group will be having a meeting next Monday, 19th August. The main agenda item is to sign off the final version of the NDP for the Parish Council to approve at their meeting in September after which we will make the final submission to Herefordshire Council. This will lead to the final stage; a referendum to ask residents if they accept the plan so it is legally binding when planning decisions are made.

Full agenda of the Steering Group meeting is below.

Allensmore Parish Council

Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) Steering Group

Meeting 25: Monday 19th August 2019 at 8pm



1.0     Apologies

2.0     Declaration of Interest

3.0     Open Session: 15 minutes for residents to raise queries regarding the NDP.  Please note: we may not be able to give complete answers on the night.

4.0     Approval of Minutes: Meeting 23, Monday 13th May 2019

5.0     Finance

6.0     Approval of Regulation 16 submission documents

7.0     Correspondence/Communications

8.0     ‘Allensmore Matters’ community engagement

– For information, brief update on non-planning items arising from NDP consultations

9.0     Items for Next Agenda

10.0   Next scheduled meeting: Monday 16th September 2019

Allensmore Neighbourhood Development Plan Regulation 14 consultation update

NDP Regulation 14 Consultation

Following the Allensmore Parish Council’s approval of the draft Neighbourhood Development Plan at their meeting on 23rd May 2019, it was submitted to Herefordshire Council and other “statutory consultees” for formal public consultation under Regulation 14 of the Town and Country Planning, England, Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012. The consultation period was from Monday 27th May 2019 to Friday 12th July 2019 – the period being 6 weeks and 5 days.

We had a total of 23 responses, 7 from the statutory consultees and 16 from the public. Here are some key points from the responses:

  • Herefordshire Council commented: “overall the plan is well written and well researched … it is clear that the plan takes a positive approach towards identifying settlement boundaries and allocation of housing in line with the Core Strategy”. All our draft policies are deemed to be in conformity with the Core Strategy.
  • There were further positive comments from Welsh Water, Historic England and Kilpeck Parish Council.
  • The Environment Agency commented on the surface water flooding risk.
  • Responses from Natural England and the Coal Authority made no specific comments.

The majority of public responses were extremely supportive which is very pleasing to report.

Several responses commented on the draft settlement boundaries, suggesting three amendments to extend the boundaries to include land owned by the respondents.

All the responses were discussed at length by the NDP Steering Group at their meeting on July 15th 2019. A couple of minor changes to the NDP were agreed at this meeting:

  • In response to comments from Herefordshire Council and the Environment Agency, flood risk maps have now been included in the NDP.
  • We agreed with the Herefordshire Council advice to add the following statement to policies A4 (Criteria for development) and A6 (conversion of former agricultural buildings): “Consideration should be given to the possibility of encountering contamination on sites as a result of former uses and specialist advice be sought should any be encountered”.

The Steering Group made a unanimous decision not to enlarge any of the settlement boundaries. There are several reasons for this decision:

  • The draft settlement boundaries were originally drawn up in discussions with Kirkwells and Herefordshire Council consultants and are endorsed by Herefordshire Council in their Regulation 14 consultation response.
  • We wish to retain the character of the settlements and reject any “double depth” development – policies that are supported by a significant majority of respondents in previous consultations.
  • One of the sites that was suggested for inclusion came forward during the call for sites process and was deemed to be unsuitable by the independent assessors AECOM, whose report was formally and unanimously accepted by the Steering Group.
  • None of the other suggested areas came forward during the call for sites process.
  • The draft NDP preferred sites already deliver the minimum growth target with additional contingency.
  • The draft settlement boundaries were overwhelmingly supported by local residents in previous consultations.
  • There are considerable drainage challenges in some of the areas where respondents have suggested changes.

A full report of all the responses together with the Steering Group’s considerations is published on the Allensmore Parish Council website www.allensmore.org.uk.

Next Actions

The next stage is to prepare the final version of the NDP and supporting documents for approval by Allensmore Parish Council at their next meeting. It will then be submitted to Herefordshire Council for them to carry out the Regulation 16 Consultation and organise the referendum for local residents.

Recent Planning Applications

Although the draft NDP has now completed the Regulation 14 stage and therefore carries some increased importance in planning decisions, it can still be overridden by the Planning Committee.

We are very disappointed that this happened during a recent planning application when a site, deemed unsuitable in the draft NDP (as recommended by our independent assessors AECOM), was given outline planning approval. This was also despite the strong representations of our Parish Council at the decision-making meeting.

This underlines the importance of completing the NDP as soon as the necessary lengthy processes permit and bringing it before residents to ratify in a referendum. Until this happens, the NDP will not have full legal authority when any future planning decisions are made.

Nick Chapman, Allensmore NDP Steering Group – July 2019