In line with Regulation 18(2) of the neighbourhood planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended) Blackpool Council (the 'Council') have produced this 'Decision Statement' in relation to the Marton Moss Neighbourhood plan (the 'Plan').
The Marton Moss neighbourhood Plan Area was designated by the Council on 26 March 2019. Following initial engagement, Marton Moss Neighbourhood Forum (the 'Forum') carried out statutory consultation (Regulation 14). The Forum subsequently submitted the Plan and supporting documents to the Council.
The Council published the Plan for a period of six weeks from 17th October to 28th November 2022. Following the publication period, the Council submitted the Plan for independent examination. The main purpose of the independent examination is to assess whether or not the plan satisfies certain "Basic Conditions" and other legal requirements which must be met before it can proceed to a local referendum.
The independent examination was held from February to March 2023. The examination was carried out through written representations.
The Council received a report into the examination of the Marton Moss Neighbourhood plan by the Independent examiner dated 29th March 2023 (Examiner's Report). The Examiner concluded that the Plan, subject to modifications, meets the Basic Conditions and other relevant legal requirements. The modifications are set out in the appendix to the Examiner's report and the reasoning for the recommendations is given within the main body of the report.
Following receipt of the Examiner's Report, the Plan has been modified in accordance with the recommendations.
The Council's Decision
The decision was made by the Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Planning on 6th June 2023.
The Council has considered each of the recommendations and the reasons given for them in the Examiner's Report as required by Regulation 12 of Schedule 4B of the Town and country Planning Act 1990. The Council endorses all of the recommended modifications and the reasons given for them. The Council is satisfied that the Plan, as modified to accord with the recommendations in the Examiner's Report, meets the legal requirements and basic conditions as set out in legislation.
Proceeding with the referendum would be to the benefit of adopting localism within the district, enabling communities to shape their area. It would enable the community as a whole to decide if the Plan should be used by the Council for determining planning applications.
The independent Examiner has scrutinised the Plan to determine if it meets the Basic Conditions and the plan is ready to proceed to Referendum. It is considered that the Inspectors modifications are necessary for the plan to meet the Basic Conditions. Therefore the Council has determined that the modified Plan should proceed to referendum.
The Decision Statement along with the Examiners Report, the plan documents and the Council's Cabinet member Report and decision to proceed to referendum are available to view and download from the Council's website: www.blackpool.gov.uk/martonmossnp
They can also be viewed by prior arrangement at Customer First, Municipal Buildings, Corporation Street, Blackpool during normal opening times (by appointment only - contact 01253 477477).