Progress – February 2021

Unfortunately, Covid has again rather slowed progress with completing our Plan although we have been successful in our application for further Technical Support from Locality / AECOM in the form of a Habitats Regulations Assessment (this is needed due to the way wastewater is treated and subsequently eventually drained into Somerset Levels and Moors). We have also been successful in applying for a “Facilitation Package” and AECOM have appointed a Conservation Consultant who will review the selected development sites in the light of the concerns raised by Dorset Council.

We are pleased to report that the Habitats Assessment has been completed and the conservation work is underway although as it is necessary to visit the sites an initial desktop study is being undertaken pending the easing of travel restrictions.

We requested additional parish funding for this additional work and although this has been granted it is now unlikely, due to this further support from Locality, that we will need this at this time. We would like to retain this access to additional funding for the time being until the end of the 2020/2021 Financial Year and to continue to retain the £500 identified within the 2021 / 2022 precept.  

As reported previously, we are grateful to all those who responded to the Community Consultation in September / October, and the return of approximately 20% was felt to be a good for this sort of initiative. We hope to be able to provide some feedback on the results of this in the near future.

With the need to revise the NP plan to take into account the recommendations made and to arrange both the Habitats Assessment and the Conservation review and the ongoing Covid problems we have to accept that it is unlikely that the plan would be ready for YRIPC adoption and formal submission before April at the earliest.

A decision we have made is to close the standalone Neighbourhood Plan Website. With the demise of the NP Steering Group and the taking in house of the completion of the Plan it is felt that it has served its purpose particularly as it replicated the details and information available on the Parish Website. We are grateful to Anne King and to John Ferretter for their work with this.

We have also recently renewed our subscription to Parish on Line which enables to have access to their mapping facilities and for us to make the necessary revisions to the maps we are using in the Plan document. An additional bonus has meant that our mapping expert is also able to use the system to provide maps for the drivers who are working for the Sherborne Food Bank and we have been happy to support this initiative in this way.