South Somerset District Executive met this morning to discuss the application for the Civil Parish Boundary of East Coker to be designated as a Neighbourhood Plan area.
The application was put to the District Executive with a recommendation to approve by SSDC Officer Jo Wilkins. The recommendation was ‘The land that currently forms the Civil Parish of East Coker be designated a Neighbourhood Area for the purposes of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan as set out in the Localism Act 2011′.
East Coker Parish Councillor Kath Wilson spoke on behalf of the East Coker Neighbourhood Planning Group . Kath explained that the NP Group are fully aware of the proposed SSDC Local Plan, and were happy to collaborate with it in whatever form it takes when adopted. The East Coker Neighbourhood Plan will be subservient to the SSDC Local Plan and must be agreement with this overarching plan. It was made clear that the NP Group are fully informed with the NP rules and guidance laid down by the Government. At appropriate times, neighbouring parishes including Brympton and Yeovil Town Council will be consulted on the development of the plan. This consultation is required to ensure the development of a robust plan.
District Councillor Peter Seib agreed with counsel’s advice was that there were no reasons to prevent the area being designated. Others spoke particularly about the inclusion of the Wraxhill area, part of which is in the Civil Parish of East Coker, but again it was agreed that there was no reason for the application not to be approved.
All members of the District Executive were in favour with the exception of one who abstained .
SSDC Leader, Cllr Ric Pallister thought that others would learn from East Coker proceeding through the process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan.
SSDC will now publicise that the Civil Parish of East Coker has been designated as a Neighbourhood Plan area. This will appear on their website and by any other manner they think is likely to bring the decision to the attention of the people who live and work in the application area.
East Coker Parish Council and the East Coker Neighbourhood Planning Group wish to thank District Councillors Cathy Bakewell and Gina Seaton for their advice and support in this application.
The development of the Neighbourhood Plan can now start in earnest. We will be holding a free launch event, and will soon be asking you to complete a questionnaire which allow you to give us your thoughts on East Coker and its future. Look out for further information on both of these in the coming weeks.