The Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan has reached a major milestone following publication of the independent Examiner’s report.

This follows more than six years demanding work and dedication by a team of residents, representatives of local organisations, parish councillors and staff to develop the plan and set out a positive vision for Stone Parish that effectively reflects the needs and aspirations of the community.

The plan contains policies to support vital parish objectives, such as:

  • creating a sustainable walking and cycling neighbourhood,
  • improving air quality through implementation of green buffers, tree, and hedge planting,
  • supporting delivery of infrastructure for health and wellbeing including a medical centre and dentistry services,
  • protecting existing green spaces and increasing access to new green spaces,
  • creating a green corridor along London Road,
  • enhancing Stone Recreation Ground
  • strengthening the offering at Horns Cross as a vital neighbourhood centre,
  • and supporting ‘whole-lifetime parish residency’ where no one should be required to move out of the parish because their needs change.

Stone Recreation Ground

The examination of the plan was carried out by Ann Skippers, a chartered town planner with over thirty years’ experience. Ann was also the President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in 2010.

Ann was very complimentary about the plan, confirming that ‘policies in the plan go further than the existing planning framework at borough level, providing enhanced benefits to parish residents.’

She considered it necessary to recommend some modifications to ensure the Plan is clear and precise and provides a practical framework for decision-making as required by national policy and guidance. These do not significantly or substantially alter the overall nature of the Plan.

Subject to those modifications, she concluded the Plan meets the basic conditions and all other requirements and therefore recommended it to go forward to a referendum.

Dartford Borough Council has decided to accept all the recommendations in the Examiner’s Report and carry out a referendum on the modified Neighbourhood Plan. The referendum will be for local government electors in the Neighbourhood Plan Area who are on the register of electors. This will take place on 26 May 2022.

Formal adoption of the plan and implementation of the policies can only happen if residents support the plan at referendum. A ‘Yes’ vote by more than 50% of voters will see the plan become a part of the local planning framework, meaning it will carry statutory weight when planning applications for the parish are considered.

Adoption of the neighbourhood plan will also result in increased sums of development tax being directly invested in Stone Parish to deliver the benefits and objectives outlined in the plan.

Make sure to follow the parish council on social media or sign up to our mailing list to keep updated regarding the referendum.

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