It may seem to some that Oxspring’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) has been talked about forever without any obvious signs that the end is in sight. At last, however, a significant milestone has been reached. The Parish Council and Steering Group have taken the Plan as far as we can for now. The final stages will be undertaken by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC), from the Regulation 16 Public Consultation to Examination, Referendum and Adoption.
As a reminder for those who may have forgotten, or do not know, BMBC started to prepare a Local Plan sometime after we had already begun preliminary preparations on Oxspring’s Neighbourhood Development Plan. In order for our Plan to comply with the Government’s Regulations on Neighbourhood Plans it makes for sense for the BMBC Local Plan to have been through its Examination process before Oxspring’s NDP is submitted for Examination. Briefly, the reason for this is so that any issues or potential changes which could impact on Oxspring’s NDP have been highlighted and dealt with. If we were to proceed with our NDP at an earlier stage a review of Oxspring’s NDP may then be required which could incur unwanted further delays and unnecessary additional expenditure.
BMBC propose submitting their Local Plan to the next stage this autumn with a view to it having been Examined and Adopted by the summer of next year (2017). As soon as the Examiner’s report is available on the BMBC Local Plan Oxspring Parish Council will submit the Neighbourhood Development Plan to BMBC. They will then proceed to the Regulation 16 Public Consultation and Examination; if all goes smoothly, a referendum should be held in the village in the autumn of next year (2017) with the NDP being adopted by the end of the year.
We can appreciate that by next year people may have forgotten all about the Oxspring NDP and with that in mind a campaign will be launched in the late spring to rekindle interest and keep everyone up to date with developments. Any relevant information will also be put on the NDP and Parish Council Websites. This has been a long and often frustrating process but, though it may still seem some way off, the end is in sight.