Neighbourhood Plan consultation info

Lenham Parish Council submitted the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan to Maidstone Borough Council on 19 December 2019, the next stage in the process is a public consultation which the Borough Council will organise. The consultation will run for six weeks between 14 February and the 27 March 2020.

During this time the Parish Council will be supporting Maidstone’s consultation process with a number of local information sessions where you will be able to learn more about the plan, what it contains, how the process works and how you can make your representation to Maidstone Borough Council if you have comments about the plan that you would like to make. The information about how to do this will be published once the consultation period begins.

The local information days will take place on the following dates:

  • Saturday 22 February 10:00h – 16:00h Lenham Community Centre
  • Saturday 7 March 11:00h – 15:00h Charing Heath and Lenham Heath Memorial Hall
  • Saturday 14 March 11:00h – 15:00h St Edmund’s Hall, Platts Heath

Once the consultation period is over Maidstone Borough Council will collect all the information and feedback it has received and pass this on to an independent examiner.

Independent Examination

The Parish Council is in discussion with Maidstone Borough Council and will jointly decide on someone who is able to undertake the examination of Lenham’s plan.

The independent examiner’s role is limited to testing whether or not a neighbourhood plan meets the basic conditions, and other matters, set out in paragraph 8 of Schedule 4B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended). The independent examiner is not testing the soundness of the neighbourhood plan or examining other material considerations or details the plan sets out.

If you wish to make your views known to the independent examiner, or who wish to submit evidence for the examiner to consider, you can do this by submitting written representations to Maidstone Borough Council during the statutory consultation. The information about how to do this will be published once the consultation period begins.

Once the independent examiner has finished the detailed work to ensure that the neighbourhood plan complies with the various regulations and has been properly compiled the examiner will make a recommendation to Maidstone Borough Council whether or not the plan should go forward for a local referendum.

The Local Referendum

A referendum about the neighbourhood plan is like a local election and will be organised by Maidstone Borough Council. If you are entitled to vote in a local election, then you will be entitled to take part in this local referendum about Lenham’s Neighbourhood Plan.

The date for the referendum will be set by Maidstone Borough Council, so that is not known yet.

The important part is that for the neighbourhood plan to be adopted, or “made” in the language of planning, a simple majority of those who vote have to be in favour.

Once the plan has been voted on in the local referendum, and if it is adopted (or “made”), then the plan comes into effect and the Parish Council will be able to have a greater influence on what happens in terms of development across the parish.