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What Next for the Shiplake Neighbourhood Plan (NP)?

We should like to thank you for your support and involvement with the neighbourhood plan to date, particularly the 300 people who were able to attend the recent public exhibition.

We decided early in 2017 that we should develop an NP, as the parish faced a very large number of developer led speculative planning applications for many hundreds of houses in a variety of unacceptable locations. This was due to the absence of a clear strategy on Housing and a deficiency in Housing land supply from SODC.

To ensure we met the requirements of SODC’s emerging new Local Plan for housing, requiring a minimum of 5% growth for smaller villages, we embarked on the production of the NP for the parish. Implicit in doing so is providing new homes to meet the requirements of the villages in locations preferred by residents.

Importantly, insofar as it is possible, the plan would protect the parish from speculative planning applications of developers to build whatever, wherever and however many they wish e.g the recent Retirement Village application on the green fields along the A4155.

We certainly want to avoid other Thames Farm scenarios by ensuring that we have a clear statement of where new houses can and should go as part of SODC’s adopted policy for the determination of local planning applications.

What follows is an important update on where we are now and what happens next. So far, developing the plan has involved thousands of hours of effort on the part of the NP Steering Group members. We would appreciate everyone taking the opportunity to update themselves on its progress. Any questions, check out the website and/or please respond by clicking on: np2017@shiplakevillages.com.  

Given the imperative to develop the plan, the Steering Group (SG) set itself a very ambitious target to produce it by the end of 2017, ready for public consultation, statutory review and, ultimately, for approval at a referendum for registered voters. Realistically we aimed to have an approved ‘made’ plan in the May/June 2018 timeframe.

How far have we got? The plan was on schedule to meet the end of year target. An unanticipated requirement has arisen, however, to provide a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Hitherto these have only been requested by SODC for sites or plans of 200 or more houses.

An SEA examines the impact of plans and projects and the different ways they can be achieved in the local environment. We await SODC’s decision on whether we require one and the SG is obtaining quotations for the task. The production of the plan has, therefore, been delayed by approx. 3 months to the end of March 2018, unless other factors further inhibit progress.

The SG updates the parish council on a monthly basis and all residents on the progress of the plan via the website. Best advice has been sought from SODC’s Neighbourhood Plan team along with their approval of our proposals.  The responses from the NP Survey Questionnaire, undertaken earlier in 2017, have also been extremely important in developing the recommendations within the plan. Click on the link below to access much of this information in the Council section of the website, with quick links to ‘Articles and Latest News’, ‘Documents’, ‘FAQ’s’ and ‘Forum (NP section)’: www.shiplakevillages.com/index.php?pid=339.

What has been done and what can you expect to see? This was summarised in the presentations at the two-day open exhibition at Memorial Hall in November, which can be viewed on the villages website and is covered in the November issue of Shiplake News with its Shiplake Neighbourhood Plan Special Supplement.  You can also access this via the website link above or, perhaps, ask for one of the remaining copies from The Corner Shop or Keith’s, the butcher, in Lower Shiplake. Of the 300 residents attending the exhibition, 73% approved the plan’s recommendations. The SG is currently taking into consideration the responses from the Open Exhibition and additional ones received since, via email and the website. Again, the above link will give you access to the new website pages for more information.

Next Steps

  • To publish the Final Report on the Shiplake Village Plan Survey, including the analysis of the 5,000+ open ended comments received.
  • To complete the Landscape Character Assessment related to retaining ‘Green Gaps’ between the villages and Henley.
  • To commission a consultancy report on the potential for and viability of a ‘Shared Space’ initiative for the centre of Lower Shiplake.
  • To commission, as necessary, a consultancy report for the Strategic Environmental Assessment.
  • To obtain approval for SG’s final recommendations from the parish council.
  • To complete the Shiplake Villages Neighbourhood Plan for parish council approval and public consultation. 

Your support is essential to make the Neighbourhood Plan a success. Many thanks for all the notes of appreciation expressed in the questionnaire responses.

Our very best wishes for 2018.

David Pheasant - Shiplake Parish Council & NP Steering Group

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Overnight Closure of Level Crossing & December 2017 Planning Report

PLEASE NOTE:The level crossing will be removed for inspection/maintenance and replaced on Monday 8th & Tuesday 9th January between midnight and 05:00am. The crossing will be closed during these periods with a traffic management system in place.

The December 2017 Planning Report is available by clicking here: Planning Report December 2017. More details of an application can be accessed via the SODC website link provided in the planning section of this website.

Details of prior planning reports can be found in the relevant month's approved council meeting minutes published on this website.

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Neighbourhood Plan Special Supplement in Shiplake News

You can now view the special supplement electronically by clicking here: Shiplake News Nov 2017.

It is 4 page feature in the centre of the newsletter. It includes a full update on the current status of the development of the neighbourhood plan and references the successful Open Exhibition, held earlier this month, with  conclusions drawn from it and the resident survey in June.

Hard copies will delivered to residents in the coming week with the special supplement separated from the main body of the newsletter. Keep it for future reference as more information becomes available via the website. It should be easy to keep up to date on the neighbourhood plan in shaping the future of Shiplake.

The newsletter, of course, gives you the chance to catch up with everything that is happening in Shiplake as we enter the festive season.  

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Forum Digest

New Thread: Shiplake College - It's More Than A Boathouse Dinner - Saturday 17 March 2018
Date: 18/01/2018

Reply: Stolen Primroses.
Date: 14/01/2018 Crime Reference number is 43180013689. With regards to the crime you have

New Thread: Stolen Primroses.
Date: 14/01/2018

New Thread: Stray / lost black labrador
Date: 12/01/2018

Reply: Tree Preservation Orders
Date: 12/01/2018 Hello Ray, thanks for the information, I have been meaning to have preservation

Reply: Village Services
Date: 11/01/2018 I have received a letter via 2nd class mail from Susan Clarke with a Shiplake