Bramley Parish Council
Bramley Neighbourhood Plan
Under the Localism Act, local communities are able to take a much greater level of control of significant decisions affecting their area. Bramley Parish is embarking on the production of two important documents with legal force in planning:
- the Bramley Neighbourhood Plan (BNP) sponsored by Bramley Parish Council; and
- the Bramley Design Statement (BDS) sponsored by the Bramley Village Society.
These documents follow a set structure nationally and allow Bramley to take greater control of what gets developed where in the parish, and how, to the year 2032. They will allow Bramley to have more influence with Waverley Borough Council. To help you gauge what we are working towards you can view a recently approved neighbourhood plan for a similar sized rural surrey village at the following link:
Bramley Neighbourhood Plan (BNP)
What is it?
The BNP states what houses will be allowed where, what criteria will be used to assess planning applications for new housing, what policies will control, e.g. parking, what Bramley’s attitude will be towards, e.g. applications for new mobile phone masts. It is a broad document that sets policies that will control any and all development in Bramley until 2032. Once agreed, and ultimately it has to be agreed through a referendum locally in which you will all have the opportunity to vote, it essentially becomes planning law for Bramley.
What is the current status?
The first part of the consultation was the Housing Needs Survey to which many of you responded. The Neighbourhood Plan Committee has taken that and other evidence documents such as the current Bramley Parish Plan and the draft Waverley Local Plan and prepared a DRAFT initial document for you to review. Because this is a broad document with legal force to a prescribed format, the draft document is approximately 75 pages supported by further draft documents containing appendices, evidence and maps. If Bramley does not generate its own Neighbourhood Plan then many planning decisions affecting the Parish will be governed by the Waverley Local Plan, which although a thorough document lacks the level of local input that a Neighbourhood plan provides.
How can you contribute?
A preliminary draft document for consultation that summarises the evidence and presents you with draft policies for comment is available by following the links below:
We welcome comments on any and all of it but in particular our experience locally is that the following topics are likely to be the most controversial. So, if you do not wish to read the whole document please refer to these sections:
- We need to balance increases in traffic, parking issues and ensuring we maintain the rural character of the parish against the lack of smaller, more affordable homes particularly for young people. Are we willing, and how far are we willing, to accept a moderate level of sustainable housing development of smaller homes to allow younger people to afford property (rental or purchase)?
Look at sections 8 and 9 of the draft Report.
- The Wey and Arun Canal Trust has recently identified a route alongside the Downs Link as its preferred route through Bramley village. The plan needs to determine whether Bramley supports the Wey and Arun Canal Trust’s draft proposal.
Look at section 11 starting from paragraph 11.5.
- Poor mobile phone reception was a major issue in the Bramley Parish Plan, but new masts to fix this problem have seen significant opposition from Bramley residents.
See section 13, starting at paragraph 13.20 for the Committee’s draft conclusion from the consultations to date.
- Traffic and parking is the biggest issue in Bramley according to the Bramley Parish Plan and the Housing Needs Survey. While the actions that can be taken locally are relatively limited (Bramley cannot shut down the A281 or build a new access road to the A3 south of Bramley for example), the plan can define policies to mitigate the issues and the infrastructure policies are in section 13.
The text has paragraph numbers throughout so you can refer to sections if you wish to provide feedback, e.g. 7.1.4. Also the key questions we would like to ask you are red text so you can flick through the text and spot them.
Please email back any comments at all - however large or small - to [email protected]. Format of comments do not matter. General or specific comments are all welcome. All comments will be acknowledged personally.
Reviewing your input will be the following members of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee if you wish to know who will see your comments: Bob Stern (Chairman of the BNP Committee), Richard Farr (Secretary of Bramley Village Society) and Patrick Molineux (Chairman of Parish Council Planning Committee). Your comments will be treated confidentially and will not be referenced more widely.
Please recognise that this is an early draft designed to elicit your input. The draft builds on the consultations to date and is the Neighbourhood Plan Committee’s attempt to interpret the findings of the Housing Needs Survey and other evidence documents. If you see things that you do not like, let us know. NOTHING is finalised or more than an initial draft at this point. Many sections are incomplete or only half drafted where we need more input. Some points may be contentious. The documents you see are INITIAL DRAFTS to provoke discussion and input because we need to offer you something to look at: they are not a fait accompli!
The Neighbourhood Plan and Design Statement are significant, important documents that will, substantially, affect how Bramley develops in the period to 2032. They have the legal force to prevent development or to allow it. Bramley does not need to do either document, but then the decisions will be taken outside Bramley by Waverley or Surrey. These documents place greater control of the decisions within Bramley. If you can spare the time to review the documents and give your thoughts, however long or brief, please do so.