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Hermitage Neighbourhood Plan

Development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Hermitage

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


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.

Post examination

The examiner's report on the Hermitage Neighbourhood Plan, also known as a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), is not binding. It is the responsibility of West Berkshire District Council to ultimately decide if the examiner's recommendations should be followed or not. Officers will now consider each of the recommendations in the examiner's report and produced a Decision Statement.

At a meeting of Council on 29 February 2023, Councillors will be asked to endorse the Decision Statement. 

Independent examination

At a meeting of Council on Thursday 5 October 2023, Councillors agreed that the Hermitage NDP, can proceed to independent examination.  

Andrew Mead was  appointed to carry out the independent examination of the Hermitage 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 16 October 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] .

On 9 November 2023, the examiner issued his final report which can be viewed Icon for pdf here [306KB] . This recommends that subject to a modification, the Hermitage NDP can proceed to referendum.

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

Hermitage Parish Council submitted the Hermitage NDP to West Berkshire District Council on 17 February 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 Hermitage 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 Hermitage NDP are as follows:

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

West Berkshire District Council's comments on the submitted NDP can be viewed Icon for pdf here [1MB] .

Consultation on the Draft Neighbourhood Plan for Hermitage (Regulation 14 pre-submission consultation)

On Monday 24 October 2022, Hermitage Parish Council published the first draft of the neighbourhood plan for consultation (also known as the Regulation 14 consultation). The consultation closed on Monday 5 December 2022.

The document that was consulted on can be viewed Icon for pdf here [8MB]

Please note that this consultation was the responsibility of Hermitage Parish Council and not West Berkshire District Council. Any queries about this consultation should be directed to the Hermitage 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 undertook screening for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA). You can read the Icon for pdf screening report [1MB] and Icon for pdf decision notice [277KB] 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 the Parish of Hermitage was designated on 26 April 2019; you can Icon for pdf view the Designation Notice online, here [919KB] . This is the first formal stage in the preparation of a neighbourhood plan.

In order to prepare a neighbourhood plan, parish or town councils must notify West Berkshire Council of their intention to designate a neighbourhood area. You can read the Icon for pdf Hermitage Neighbourhood Area application form [609KB] .

Hermitage Parish Council have set up a website containing more information about their forthcoming neighbourhood plan.


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