We ran a consultation from February to April 2012 on the Publication Version. 27 individuals or organisation sent in comments – evidence we feel that the 306 people who wrote in on the draft Plan and the 800+ people who came to visit our exhibitions last summer, felt they had been listened to. Bill Hitchins, Chairman of the Dartmoor National Park Authority has said: ‘The low number of representations received during the last round of consultation is testament to the extensive public, stakeholder and Member engagement in the earlier stages of preparing the Plan. The National Park Authority would like to thank those individuals and organisations for engaging so positively with the process.’
So what happens now?
At their meeting of the 4th May the Authority agreed to ‘submit’ the Plan to the Secretary of State. An Inspector has now been appointed who will consider the plan at an independent examination this summer. The Inspector will consider the whether the Plan is ‘sound’ – looking at whether it is consistent with National Policy, justified and effective. You can follow the examination process on our web site, and find out more about how we have prepared the Plan.
But, we still need your comments!
During the consultation the government published the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – this sets the national context for local plans. We are now giving you an opportunity to comment on whether the DMD is consistent with the NPPF (i.e. do our policies fit with the new national ones). Further to this, two new proposed development sites, one at Buckfastleigh (Devonia Products mill site) and one at Yelverton (Gratton Cross) were submitted during consultation on the Publication Version of the document. These sites hadn’t been considered before and we need to know what you think about these sites before they are discussed during the examination. There is therefore an opportunity for comments to be made on these sites, we must receive your comments by Wednesday 4th July 2012.
So that’s an update for now! It’s a complicated process adopting a new local plan, but we are confident that the outcome will be comprehensive set of policies to conserve and enhance the Dartmoor National Park we all know and love. We would anticipate being able to adopt the Plan by the end of the 2012.