22nd February 2016

Present:  Carole Girling (Chair), Sarah Edwards (Secretary), Andrew Bateman, Bob Hughes, Simon Leech, Teresa Noel, Paul Oatway, Adrian Ragbourne, Eden Thomson, Tanya Trenholm, Steve Gillan, Beth Gillan.


Apologies:  Ros Cole, Lorna Cowan, Simon Farrington, Peter Noel, Jeff Prosser, Bernard Rogers.


The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.


There was a general discussion about an event yesterday at St Andrew’s Church, at which CG and PO gave a talk about the work of the Group.  Members of the Group had had little or no notice of the meeting.  PO explained that it was a “celebrating Charmouth” meeting organised by the Church, and therefore it was for the Church to advertise it.  CG stated that there had been about fifty people at the meeting, and it had been a useful forum for explaining the work of the Group.


SE queried how interaction between the Group and the Parish Council will work. Councillors attend Group meetings as facilitators; what is the role of the Chair of the Group who has been co-opted onto the planning sub-committee?  There was a general discussion about the requirement for the Council to be informed of the work and expenditure of the Group, and for the Group to be aware of planning policies.  The Chair would not vote on planning decisions. PO pointed out that the role of a Steering Group is clear in law. It was agreed that minutes should in future include a reminder that Councillors attending Group meetings are there in an advisory/facilitatory role.  The draft terms of reference were discussed and amendments suggested (see attached amended draft).


CG said that she, PO and SE had attended a Local Plan Seminar arranged by the District Council.  It gave a very general overview about how the Local Plan had been drawn up and its contents.  One particularly useful item was a brief demonstration of the interactive map that can be found on the WWDC website (see http://www.planvu.co.uk/wdwp or https://www.dorsetforyou.com/jointlocalplan/west/weymouth ).  It was stressed that a Neighbourhood Plan must be evidence based, so it will be important to keep a record of sources of information.  ET suggested that a standard method of recording information should be adopted (ET and SE to liaise). Relevant documents will be kept in files in the Clerk’s office.


In response to questions, PO outlined the stages in producing a Neighbourhood Plan.  The Plan is likely to take one to two years to complete, with consultation with as many people as possible throughout that period. Once the draft Plan has been completed, the procedure is a formal consultation period, submission to the District Council, independent examination, a referendum (organised by the District Council) and adoption  into the Local Plan (assuming that all these stages have a positive outcome). There is funding available, for example for consultants, and PO will talk to the Financial Officer to clarify this.  He will also talk to the Clerk about declarations of interest and other transparency issues and will feed back to the Group at the next meeting.


There was a wide-ranging discussion on communication and consultation. Suggestions included a questionnaire for tourists (AR has copy of one issued a few years ago), and posters about the Neighbourhood Plan – perhaps the school could hold a competition to design one?   PO will set up a Facebook page, and  DC will put copies of the minutes on the Charmouth web page.  ET queried whether names should be redacted if minutes were to be placed on the internet; PO will discuss this with the Clerk.  It was agreed that consultation with organisations and individuals  should be as wide as possible.  It would be difficult to enlarge the present committee, as meetings would become unwieldy, but once the preliminary stages of the work  have progressed,  regular public meetings will provide a forum for input, and interested parties could join sub-committees.  It was agreed that communications from or on behalf of the Group should go through the Chair.  Anything for consideration by the Group can be emailed to CG or SE.  Anything sent out on behalf of the Group must go through the Clerk.


SE suggested that the Group should adopt the format of the West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland Local Plan (see attached), which is in fact very similar to the outcome of discussions at a previous meeting. This was agreed. 


TN produced copies of a mind map she had created and talked the Group through it.  She pointed out the need to look at current demographics and extrapolate from there.


It was agreed that:

SL and TT will look at demographics and housing

ET and SE will look at natural environment

TT, BG and SG will look at facilities

PD and AR will look at transport and tourism

TN will look at transport and employment

CG, AB and RC will look at communication

Members of the Group who were not present at the meeting are asked to volunteer to help in whichever area they have expertise/an interest.


It was agreed that meetings should normally end by 9pm.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 31st March at 7.30pm, venue to be notified.

The meeting ended at 9.40pm







AB Andrew Bateman; ABr Alan Brownjohn; DC David Clifford; RC Ros Cole; LC Lorna Cowan; PD Phil Davidson; SE Sarah Edwards; SF Simon Farrington; CF Chris Fraser; BG Beth Gillan; SG Steve Gillan; CG Carole Girling; BH Bob Hughes; SL Simon Leech; TN Teresa Noel; PN Peter Noel; PO Paul Oatway; JP Jeff Prosser; AR Adrian Ragbourne;  BR Bernard Rogers; ET Eden Thomson;  TT Tanya Trenholm; TW Tim Warin

Working Group Headings

(from West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland Local Plan 2015)


Environment and Climate Change – which is about protecting and enhancing our natural environment, our built heritage, protecting ourselves from natural and man-made disasters and achieving high quality and sustainability in design.


Achieving a Sustainable Pattern of Development  - which sets the overall level of growth in the plan period, and the overarching approach to how this growth is distributed across the plan area


Economy – which looks at the need to protect existing employment sites, our approach to retail and (town centre) village development, tourism and rural enterprise.


Housing – which considers the policies needed on providing affordable and open market housing and how this might differ depending on the location and type of units proposed, and the need for particular types of housing development such as care accommodation


Community Needs and Infrastructure – which sets out our approach to a wide range of community facilities and infrastructure, including specific policies for public open space, sport and recreation facilities, education and training facilities, transport, renewable energy, telecommunications and broadband.


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