Progress Neighbourhood Plan


Progress and community involvement


These are the minutes of the Steering Group meetings.  The full complement of members has grown over the months, and initially comprised Sarah Harcus, David Davis-Berry and Pippa Unwin from the Parish Council, and Jim Fowler, Maggie Sharp, Jenny Reynolds, Pete Wade, Kate Kreke, David Rutherford, Helena Darbyshire and Ian Darbyshire . Sophia Lynch joined the group in February as secretary, but has since left, and at many of the meetings it can be seen that our District Councillor Ian Bramble also attended to offer help and advice.

In 2017 David Rutherford, Kate Kreke and Pippa Unwin left the group, but Peter Smith has joined it, and other members of the community have subsequently joined the individual working parties with responsibility for the various topics to be investigated.

Neighbourhood Plan – minutes October 2015



Neighbourhood Plan – minutes 10th February 2016

Neighbourhood Plan – minutes 24th February 2016






neighbourhood plan meeting 11th jan 2017

neighborhood plan meeting 8th March 2017

Neighbourhood Plan – minutes 4th April 2017

Neighbourhood Plan – minutes 25th April 2017

Neighbourhood Plan – minutes 25th July 2017

Neighbourhood Plan – minutes 29th August 2017

Full reports from all these NP meetings are given to the parish council at each monthly council meeting. These reports can all be viewed on the Parish Council downloads of the monthly minutes.

Initial Public Consultation

Food for thought.

As part of the consultation process for the development of the neighbourhood plan for the Aveton Gifford Parish, it is vital for the team tasked with drawing up the plan to ensure that the wider community:

  • Is kept fully informed of what is being proposed
  • Is able to make their views known throughout the process
  • Has opportunities to be actively involved in shaping the emerging Neighbourhood Plan
  • Is made aware of how their views have informed the draft Neighbourhood Plan

In order to meet these requirements, the Steering Group organised a public consultation day on 20th February 2016. This provided the opportunity to explain to the public what the neighbourhood plan is and gave people the opportunity to submit their views for inclusion in the development of the document. This day provided the bulk of comments which informed the next stage of the process, but in addition to this, further contributions continue to be sought and encouraged via the village website, Facebook and the village shop.


neighbourhood plan - first forum

The consultation was extremely well attended, and the Working Group would like to thank everyone who called in during the day to offer their support and ideas. The photo here shows just one of the boards, and the responses that were received; there was a great atmosphere and lots of lively discussion, assisted by some delicious home made biscuits to accompany tea and coffee. For anyone who missed this event, or anyone who did but now thinks of further points, there is still the opportunity to contribute via this AG website ;

After analysing the results from all the eight topics covered, plus the “Anything else you can suggest” board which was also full, the Steering Group was able to draw up a table of conclusions. A proportion of the comments did not fall into the remit of the Neighbourhood Plan, but did reflect concerns, and brought forward issues that could be addressed by the parish council. All of these comments were passed on to the council, and where possible, they have been resolved.


Funds were applied for and granted for the first stage of the Plan process. Amongst other things it paid for initial administrative costs, the Neighbourhood Plan banners were purchased, and also as a result of the answers submitted in the application, Aveton Gifford’s potential sites for development/housing qualified for a free assessment by a professional consultant,  Nick Chisholm Batten of AECOM.

Housing needs surveys

The first survey was the next stage of the public consultation process. Surveys were delivered to each household with their mAGpie magazines with the October (2016) edition. The forms could be completed in paper form or online using SurveyMonkey, and the date for return was initially set at 30th October, but this was extended by another month to catch late returns and initial reticence.

As work on various drafts of the Plan progressed, the NP Group was advised that a further Affordable Housing needs assessment for the parish would be required before writing the policies for Affordable Housing in the Plan. A drop-in event was held in the hall in October 2018 where interested parishioners could meet and register their interest with the Housing Enablers from South Hams and Devon County. This was attended by a number of interested parishioners.

Working groups and planning advice

Several smaller working groups were set up to investigate issues such as traffic, ecology, future planning, heritage. Draft policies have now been drawn up for all of these, and the committee  coordinated all of them into the first version of the Draft Plan put to the community for further consideration. This plan was then submitted to the planning department for informal comments – an important step to ensure that there were no glaring errors or issues that might have been missed, and to make sure that our plan would be on the right lines when it is finally submitted for its official audit.

Second public consultation

Friday 8th and Saturday 9th April 2017, in the village hall.

AGNP 2nd public consultation.       neighbourhood-plan-poster-please-send-in-your-survey

The2nd consultation housing responses two public consultation sessions were very well attended. They were held on Friday afternoon/evening, and again on Saturday morning so that as many people as pos2nd consultationsible could come along at a convenient time. There were seven topics open to discussion and comment, but the most popular of these were traffic and housing.

 Land and prospective housing sites – the suggested sites received many and varied comments and suggestions. These have been analysed and the results and responses to all the individual sites can be seen on the Second Consultation page.


Vision Statement.

This is an overview of how the community hopes to see itself in 15 years time. It should be appropriately and locally distinctive, including what the area should look like, the facilities that will be needed, and should indicate what it will be like for residents to live and work there.

Some parishes and towns are also required to produce Conservation Statements and Environmental Statements as well,  but we have been advised that the parish is not big enough and does not include areas that would require these two additional statements

Draft Plans

As a result of the Second Consultation which identified several promising sites, and after several months of work by the individual specialist groups to produce draft policies for their own topics, the committee drew up a first draft of the Plan;    This was submitted to the Local Planning Authority for their comments and suggestions, and further Draft Plans were then produced.

A firm Draft Plan was submitted for a third public consultation in May 2018 After analysis of the results from this consultation changes were made to the Draft, and further information and advice was sought from various approved planning officers. A new ruling regarding the status of the AONB in future planning decisions was also introduced at National level, and this too needed to be incorporated in our Plan. More changes and additions to our Draft Plan were required.

The latest Draft was produced in January 2019.   Aveton Gifford Neighbourhood Plan to 2034 v1.17

This will be submitted for comment to an approved planning consultant, and following his advice further changes may have to be made.

The NP Group has been advised to get the final Plan “proof-read” by an approved planning officer so that the wording and policies it contains will comply with national and JLP planning policies and regulations, and therefore will contain the intentions of the parishioners that can be enforced in future planning applications and decisions.


You can submit your comments via the comments box at the bottom of this page, or by contacting the group directly .

Several draft Plans will probably be produced, but there will be a further public consultation when a firm Plan can be submitted for further parish comment