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Cold Ash Neighbourhood Plan

Development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Cold Ash

Consultation status Results expected
Start date: 2023-07-21
End date: 2023-09-01
Results 2023-10-30
Ward: Cold Ash

Activity closed.


You can find general information about developing a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) and resources to help you develop one for your community on our NDP webpage.

Independent examination

At a meeting of Council on Thursday 5 October 2023, Councillors agreed that the Cold Ash Neighbourhood Plan, also known as a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), can proceed to independent examination.  

Andrew Mead has been appointed to carry out the independent examination of the Cold Ash NDP. The purpose of the examination is to determine if the plan meets the five basic conditions in Paragraph 8(2) of Schedule 4B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, with or without modifications.

On 1 November 2023, the examiner issued a letter setting out the procedural matters for the examination. You can view the examiners letter Icon for pdf here [204KB] .

The examiner issued questions seeking clarification on several matters on 13 November 2023. You can view the questions  Icon for pdf here [189KB] . The responses from both West Berkshire District Council and Cold Ash Parish Council were published on 27 November 2023, and can be viewed below:

On 28 November 2023, a further response from Cold Ash Parish Council was published. It can be viewed Icon for pdf here [156KB] .

Consultation on the submitted Neighbourhood Plan for Cold Ash (Regulation 16 consultation)

Cold Ash Parish Council submitted the Cold Ash NDP to West Berkshire District Council on 20 June 2023. After submission, responsibility for taking the plan forward lies with the local planning authority. 

Once a plan has been submitted to the local planning authority it must be checked to ensure it complies with the relevant legislation. Icon for pdf You can view the Legal Compliance Check of the Cold Ash NDP here [176KB] which confirms that the plan complies with the relevant legislation. 

The Council published the submitted plan and its supporting documents for a 6-week consultation which ran between Friday 21 July and Friday 1 September 2023. The consultation documents consisted of: 

Other supporting evidence documents used to shape the Cold Ash NDP are as follows:

You can view a summary of the consultation responses received, together with the responses in full, below:

West Berkshire District Council's comments on the submitted NDP can be viewed Icon for pdf here [981KB] .

Consultation on the draft neighbourhood plan for Cold Ash (regulation 14 pre-submission consultation)

On 1 March 2023, Cold Ash Parish Council published the first draft of the neighbourhood plan for consultation (also known as the Regulation 14 consultation). The consultation finished at 5pm on 19 April 2023. 

You can find further details about the consultation on the Cold Ash Parish Council's Neighbourhood Plan website.

Please note that this consultation was the responsibility of Cold Ash Parish Council and not West Berkshire Council. Any queries should be directed to the Cold Ash Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, a sub-group of the Parish Council, who can be contacted by email:


Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitats Regulations Assessment

West Berkshire Council have undertaken screening for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA). The first screening was published on 13 December 2021 and you can read the Icon for pdf decision notice [85KB] and Icon for pdf screening report [2MB] online.

On 16 March 2022, Natural England designated the hydrological catchment of the River Lambourn (which is a Special Area of Conservation) as a Nutrient Neutrality Zone (NNZ) due to the unfavourable condition of the watercourse because of unnaturally high levels of phosphorus. The NNZ covers the northern and western parts of Cold Ash Parish, and the draft plan was re-screened to consider its impact upon the NNZ. 

The second screening was published on 29 November 2022 and you can read the Icon for pdf decision notice [277KB]  and Icon for pdf screening report [1MB]  online.

SEA is required for all plans which may have a significant effect on the environment. A SEA aims to protect the environment at a high level, and ensures the environment is considered during the preparation of plans. This promotes sustainable development.

Not all neighbourhood plans will require a SEA to be carried out. To decide if a SEA is required, a screening exercise is used to look at proposals in an emerging neighbourhood plan, and see if a significant effect is likely.

A HRA is required to determine if a neighbourhood plan would have a significant impact upon the integrity of nature conservation sites of international importance, such as Ramsar Sites, Special Areas of Conservation, and Special Protection Areas. If a plan is likely to result in significant impacts, then an assessment referred to as an Appropriate Assessment must be undertaken.


Neighbourhood Area Designation

A Neighbourhood Area for Cold Ash parish was designated on 19 March 2018; you can Icon for pdf view the Designated Notice online, here [730KB] .

This is the first formal stage in the preparation of a neighbourhood plan, and the designation now allows Cold Ash Parish Council to commence work on a neighbourhood plan. The parish council have set up a website containing more information about their forthcoming neighbourhood plan.

In order to prepare a neighbourhood plan, town or parish council's must notify West Berkshire Council of their intention to designate a neighbourhood area. You can read the Icon for pdf Cold Ash Neighbourhood Area application form online [384KB] .


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