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Site Assessment Commissioned


In June, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group commissioned AECOM to carry out an assessment of the sites we identified in our consultations as potentially developable.


The scope of this work is:


·        Undertake a site visit

·        Completion of site assessment proformas for 21 sites - this will include a high level assessment of the key sites (S1, S2, S13, S17 and S18) against the purposes of the green belt

·        Consolidation of results

·        Indicative housing capacities

·        Indicative levels of CIL for the green belt sites


We anticipate that the report will be ready by early November.


This work is being undertaken through a Locality UK scheme. Our Neighbourhood Plan qualifies because it is a complex plan, given that we are potentially making site allocation recommendations and have not been given a 'target' number of housing units by the District Plan. This assessment is funded by Locality UK.


Village Meeting - 24 May 2017


On 24 May the Neighbourhood Plan Team held a meeting at the School to report back on progress with the plan and provide an opportunity for residents to contribute to the development of the plan and emerging policies. Over 40 people attended. Members of the Steering Group gave presentations on progress with the plan, the outcome of the consultation (see Stage 2 feedback, left) held at the end of November, and set out possible options for the future strategy of the plan. Download a copy of the presentation slides used here.


It was emphasised that decisions on the plan and policies should emerge from the views of people in the village. The key findings of the latest consultation were set out and would provide a sound evidence base for the development of the plan. A summary of the results are available. The Group responded to points raised from the floor and provided more detailed numerical evidence where it was available.  


The information on what amenities were needed was discussed and how the development strategy might be able to achieve delivery or funding. As a guide, details of what had been delivered from the Gatekeeper development were considered. It was agreed that further specialist advice would need to be commissioned to support the case for the amount of community developments which could be achieved and how it would impact on the viability of development.


Whilst there was a strong desire for no green belt development it was agreed that the development of the available brownfield sites would be likely to achieve only around 20 units. It was agreed that there would be a need for limited greenbelt development. It is proposed that a greenbelt assessment would need to be commissioned to consider the appropriateness of development in the greenbelt.


A schedule of possible areas for policy development was discussed and would be given further consideration by the Steering Group. There was overall support for the work carried out so far by the Neighbourhood Plan Group and further guidance was given on how the future strategy could develop. It was agreed that a further meeting would be arranged once the outcome of the technical work and specialist advice had been received.


Woodhall Estate Exhibition - May 2017


Recently, residents may have received a flyer from the Woodhall Estate advertising an exhibition which will be hosted by them in the village in May 2017. The exhibition is regarding possible housing development in Watton-at-Stone on their land.


In response to this, the Watton-at-Stone Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group would like to make the following statement:


"The Parish Council and Neighbourhood Plan steering committee wish to make it very clear that they have not 'engaged' Woodhall Estate to put forward land for development. The Estate team has had a few meetings with the Neighbourhood Plan team but they have not had any greater degree of access to them or insight into their emerging thinking than anyone else, and is certainly not being preferred over any other option. The process of deciding whether any land (and if so, which plot) might properly be released from the greenbelt remains very much under discussion. Following the public consultations, professional advice on the greenbelt issue is being sought. No decisions have yet been made. Woodhall has apologised for this misleading error in their flyer."


Friday 28th April 2017

The second round of consultation has now finished. We have collated all the comments we have receieved from the community and these can be seen in the attached feedback document.





The 2nd round consultation survey is now closed.









NP presentation Stage 2 engagement boards


Stage 2 feedback Stage 1 engagement boards Stage 2 feedback NP presentation 24 May 2017