Overview of Progress - What has happened so far?

March 2023 

On 7th March 2023, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council agreed to proceed to a referendum on the Ecchinswell, Bishops Green and Sydmonton Neighbourhood Plan. As required by the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 as amended, a Decision Statement has been published which can be found here.

All the details and next steps for our plan can be seen on the dedicated B&D BC webpage. 

We expect the referendum to be held in May alongside the Local Elections. 

February 2023 

The Examiner's report was issued on 6th February 2023 and can be viewed here. It reccomends that the plan (subject to some minor changes) will meet Basic Conditions and should proceed to referendum.  The PC will review the report at their meting on 8th Feb.


January 2023 

 Examination of the plan commenced on 6th January 2023 as can be seen on the B&D BC webpage for the ES&BG NP and specifically here.


November and December 2022 

The ES&BG Neighbourhood Plan was published by Basingstoke & Deane on 7th November 2022.  This marked the start of the formal (Regulation 16) 6 week consultaion that is required before the plan is Examined.   All detail of the plan can be seen on thededicated pages on the B&D BC website here. The consultation concluded on 19th Decemeber 2022.  All the representations from the consultaion can be seen here.  The NP steering team reviewed these and on behalf of the parish council have made a series of comments taking into acount the recent decision by B&D BC to approve the Woodside View Planning application.  The plan will now move into Examination.


September & October 2022

The Pre-Submission Consultaion was completed in early October.  Feedback from statutory consultees and residents is summarised here.  From this the team has consulted with B&DC Planning to address a number of points raised and amended the plan documents.  The amendments retain the direction of the proposed policies but revise some of the wording to ensure successful examination.  In addition, a number of new documents have been produced including a Consultation Satement and a Basic Conditions Statement. These documents demonstate how the plan has been developed based on the inputs of residents and stakeholders and also complies with the various national and borough regulations.  On Friday 21st October, the Parish Council agreed that the plan and supporting documents were ready for submission to B&DC for the formal processes of publication consultation and examination.  The ES&BG Neighbourhood Plan was formally submitted on Monday 24th October 2022 - this is announced here.


August 2022

August saw completion of all the documentation to enable initiation of the 6 week Regulation 14 Pre-Submission Consultation process for our Neighbourhood Plan.  Comments from residents are an important part of this process.  We have distributed a leaflet to all homes highlighting the key points of the plan and giving links to a website where the full set of documents can be viewed.  We hope that most residents will be able to find time to look through this.  It is important that as many people as possible make comments either supporting the plan and/or suggesting improvements and/or expressing any concerns. Please can you do this by no later than 1700 Friday 7th October 2022 ideally by email to yjr ES&BG NP email: n.plan.esbg@gmail.com with a copy to: clerk@ecchinswell-pc.gov.uk .

We are aware that some residents may prefer to look at a paper copy of the plan documents rather than the on-line version so we also want to remind you that we are offering drop-in sessions for this as follows:

Thur 15th Sept 2022 1730-1930 Ecchinswell Village Hall

Wed 21st Sept 2022 1730-1930 Bishops Green Village Hall

Sat 24th Sept 2022 1300-1500 Royal Oak Garden

Members of the Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Team will be present to answer questions and take comments.


 July 2022 

July has been dominated by the development of the plan document and supporting evidence ready for the various stages of consultation and examination.  We now have a full set of draft documents that are now being reviewed and refined with the help of our consultant, B&D BC and AECOM (the independent body that has been doing sustainability and design code work for us.

Our objective is to initiate the Regulation 14 Pre-Submission Consultation in late August and if this goes well, submit for examination in October.

We will be sharing the full plan with the community from late August and looking for any comments  residents might have.

June 2022 

June has seen the NP team focused on

   a) finalising the site selection for the extra homes envisaged in the plan in line with the options shared with the community,

   b) drafting the extensive doocumentation for the next stage of the process....this is the detailed plan which is based on the building blocks that were strongly supported by the community in the May consultation.

 This will all come together as the full draft plan that is then submitted for "Regulation 14 Pre-Submission Consultaion" which will be a further opportunity for community review/comment as well as review by various statutory consultees.  We hope to reach this milestone within the next few weeks.


May 2022 

 The main feature of May's activity was the Community Consultation held on 26/27/28th in the Village Halls.  A large number of residents joined and spent significant time reviewing the overall direction and key components for the plan that have been built from responses to the Consultastion last September.  Overall there was strong support for what was presented and this combined with taking account of the various comments should enable us to develop the detailed documentation now required.  Our thanks to all who attended and particulalry to those who helped make the events run smoothly and answered residents' questions.

A summary of the findings is posted here

The next steps are for us to finalise the site selection for the modest number of extra homes planned for each settlement over the plan period and to work on drafting the first full version of the plan for what is known as Regulation 14 Pre-Submission Consultation.


April 2022

The Call for Sites process has continued with more detailed work on assessment of the various options added.

Drafting of policies and supporting evidence has also continued.

Significant work started on the prepartion of material to be shared with the community at the consultation sessions scheduled for the end of May.  This will be an important occasion for the plan in that the the team will be seeking support for the basic components of the plan which can then be taken forward into the first formal draft ready for statutory consultation during Q3.

We have also had confirmation that Locality have received continuing financial support of 2022-23 Neighbourhood Planning from central Government so we have applied for the money required for us to complete the project.  This should come through in early May.


March 2022

Good progress this month. 

We have continueed the Call for Sites process arriving at a list of potentially viable sites that have now been submitted for a Sustainabilty Assessment by AECOM (the external consultant we are using for this and some other work).

We have also had the formal kick-off and field visit for another project with AECOM on Design Codes/Standards for future housing - this part of the plan will ensure any new developments are properly in keeping with the rural character of our settlements. 

Drafting of policies and other components of the plan are also progressing with the objective of sharing with the community in consultation events scheduled for late May (dates are now fixed for 26/27/28 May). 


February 2022

February has been spent progressing the Call for Sites process reviewing responses from landowners offering potential sites and developing a long-list of sites for further evaluation which will include a Strategic Environmental Appraisal (SEA).

Early drafts of policies and development of the supporting evidence base is also progressing.

In addition, we have kicked off work on a parish-wide SEA for whichAECOM have prepared a scoping report that has gone for consultation with the Environment Agency and Historic/Natural England.  Design Code work for all future development is also getting underway.

We are targeting for some public consultation on the draft plan around May or June - watch this space!


January 2022

 Based on the September consultation, indications of housing need in the parish  from Basingstoke & Deane Housing Dept and on the luikely allocation of 15 extra homes for the parish as part of the B&D BC Local Plan update, we have initiated a "Call for Sites" process to identify suitable locations. You can see more detail here.


November & December 2021

The team have been undertaking more technical work to understand what we will have to develop and submit in a plan that will ultimately secure approval. We are learning from other parishes that have been through similar journeys (especially our neighbours in Burghclere) and from our consultant. We now have a long list of documents and materials that will need to be developed – we have gained some new members in the extended team to help us with this – more hands are always welcome!

We have also published on this website the vision and policies that have been developed from the consultations we held in September. We are confident these reflect the views of the large number of residents who contributed…please read the document and let us have any comments or questions.

We have also had dialogue with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on the development of our plan and the links to their work on an update to their “Local Plan” for the Borough. There is a key meeting coming up on their “Spatial Policy for Rural Settlements” which will influence our plan. This meeting has been delayed several times but is now set for 6th January 2022.


October 2021

 A quieter month with a focus on consolidating the inputs from the community received at the September consultations and a further series of engagements with Basingstoke and Deane on the latest steps in their Local Plan Update which will have influence on our Neighbourhood Plan.  The team is also evaluating Government initiatives on "First Homes" and "Nature Recovery" that will need to be embraced in our plan

September 2021 

 Important steps this month

We have had two meetings with our consultant oneil homer: 

The first was an inception meeting that laid out how we will work the project with them over the next 12-18 months.  Our objective is to have a "made plan" ready for referendum by around October 2022.  The final approval by referendum is likely to be combined with Local Elections in May 2023.

The second meeting started the preparation of a vision for our neighbourhood Plan.  The team's input to this will be augmented by the thoughts and opinions of residents gained from the Community Consultation events and ultimately tested with residents via the draft plan. 


The big news for September was the Community Consultation events held at the Village Halls on 24th and 25th September.  More than 100 residents attended and enthusiastically gave us their thoughts and opinions at or soon after these events.  Nearly 1500 written comments or supportive "votes" were collected.  An overview of the findings is here.

We have also had some input from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on the update of their Local Plan.  We are ensuring that the development of our Neighbourhood Plan is well aligned to the emerging direction of this update process. 

 August 2021

 Simon Willson - an Ecchinswell resident - has joined the Steering Team - welcome Simon!

We have selected and appointed oneil homer as consultants to help us develop our plan.  They have a good track record of helping similar parishes with their plans - a good example of this is their work with Burghclere on the successful development and approval of their plan.

There have been a few more pop-up events to build awareness of the project and preparations are now underway for the big consultation events that will take place in the village halls on 24th and 25th of September.  Watch out for the invitations that will be delivered to all homes in the parish and please make every effort to attend.

The photo competition has now closed. There was a rather small number of entries but winners have been selected and are being contacted.

July 2021 

 Various pop-up events have taken place to inform residents about work on the plan and to build awareness of the Community Consultations on 24 and 25 September

Interviews with businesses based in the parish and key stakeholders are being set up

A short list of consultants has bee identified to help us with progressing the details of the plan in line with procedures and format laid down by the authorities.  Interviews to select the preferred support partner are set for early August.

Grants to support the process are being sought from Locality (a government body that supports neighbourhood plans).  All being well, the grants will cover the most/all of the costs so there will be minimal draw on Parish Council funds 

June 2021

Logo competition completed - lots of praise for the great work by all the children (well done!!) and a winner selected (congratulations Leo and thanks to the external judges)

Logo has now been incorporated in most communications material and you will see lots of coasters with the log that will remind you to participate in developing the plan 

Two exhibitions of logos held in Village Halls and used to build awareness of the NP project and discuss development of the parish over the next 10 years - more pop-up consultation events to follow

Plan set up for big community consultation sessions on Sept 24th and 25th in the Village Halls - please note these dates

Photo competition launched so we have a bank of photos of the parish to use in the plan - get snapping! - deadline 20th August

May 2021

More detailed planning of Community Consultation including pop-events

Planning for business and stakeholder consultation 

First contacts with potential consultants to help with plan development

Initial application for a grant from Locality to help fund plan development

Learning from experience of another Neighbourhood Plan - Twyford (near Winchester)

Launch of Logo Competition 

April 2021 

Initial meetings to plan first wave of consultations with the community about how people see living in the parish today and what is important for the future

Formation of Steering Group to lead the process

March 2021

Launch of the plan to all Parish residents via email, website, social media and a leaflet to every household

First wave of volunteers recruited 

First (zoom) meeting of volunteers 

February 2021

 Parish Council agrees need for a plan to be developed

Basingstoke & Deane approve our application to develop a neighbourhood Plan 

Launch materials developed to engage the parish

January 2021

First meetings to gather a team

Sharing of experience from Burghclere Parish neighbourhood Plan which is nearly complete