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Referendum Questions and Answers

Updated: 04.05.21

As questions are received we will publish these and the answers given. We will not identify the source but reserve the right to edit details as appropriate. The reason for the edits will be shown.

Questions will be collated under Common themes.

Q – Dear Sir/ Madam, regarding the ballot papers sent out recently, in order to make my decision could you let me know if the neighbourhood plan advocates cancelling the proposed incinerator or not and will it be seeking to limit building on the few green spaces remaining and current allotments. I’m finding the plan document difficult to fathom. Thank you.

A – Thank you for your enquiry. Portland Community Partnership are currently preparing some summary sheets which you may find helpful details will be available on their website www.portlandcommunitypartnership.co.uk shortly.

Incinerator (Waste to Fuel) Project
The Neighbourhood Plan sets out a series of policies within the strategic framework of the areas Development Plan. The development plan includes the current Local Plan and Minerals And Waste Plan. At the Independent Examination confirmation was made with the Local Planning Authority that this application is a Minerals and Waste matter. It is understood that the application is scheduled to be heard by the relevant committee at Dorset Council in October 2021.

If made policies in the Neighbourhood Plan will carry material weight if relevant.

Green Spaces and Allotments and Housing

There are policies in the Plan which refer to the safeguarding or replacement of green spaces and allotments. The focus is to encourage a brownfield first approach to housing development however this can be subject to viability and issues with the status of the Local Plan. Currently the Local Plan cannot demonstrate a five year land supply and as such the area is more vulnerable to ad hoc proposals. If made however and the Neighbourhood Plan can demonstrate an active approach to meeting housing needs then there maybe consideration that within the  Plan’s area that only a three year supply has to be demonstrated. There is also technical reference to the housing delivery rate but in essence the key issue is that a made Neighbourhood Plan does present a better  opportunity to manage the process.

Please feel free to make further enquiry if required.

(some slight editing to correct some technical elements)

Housing

Q- Dear Sir,
I’ve been told that if we vote for the Neighbourhood Plan on 6th May and it gets agreed, it will mean that Dorset Council will have the ability to allow planning permission, and buildings anywhere on the Island that suits them; is this true?

A- Thankyou for your email.The Neighbourhood Plan does have to take a proactive approach to housing but if agreed then it would become part of the Area Development Plan and as such decisions on numbers, where and design etc would carry more planning weight. One of the benefits of the Neighbourhood Plan is that issues of employment sites and infrastructure can be also be considered as well as protecting green spaces. The Local Plan (adopted by West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland in 2015) is required to show a rolling 5 year housing supply and, because it is currently unable to do so, then there is a real danger of further ad hoc proposals however, with the Neighbourhood Plan in place there is a greater degree of control as it is only required to show a 3 year rolling supply.

General

Q – Hi,
I’ve read about the Neighbourhood Plan, but can’t find out what actions are being proposed. In a nutshell, what are we voting for on Thursday ? Is it to have a plan that hasn’t been fully developed yet, or, to implement the plan that, as far as I can see, has no actions or proposals?

A – Thank you for your enquiry. The Plan sets out a series of land development policies which will assist with directing future proposals on Portland. If the plan is confirmed at referendum then these policies will carry material consideration in planning decisions. Information about these can be found via this link to the Portland Community Partnership, Portland Dorset UK.