img_4790-copyPlace Studio and its associate consultants had a big and positive impact on the development of our NDP. At every step they have been available for advice and telephone/email consultations and always responded quickly with help and guidance. We also get regular appraisals of our work to date and policy guidance for future progress and action. Their calm professionalism has kept us going and focused during many difficult moments.”    Barrie Greenwood, Parish Councillor and Working Group Chair.

SON 2 towards Ashford Avenue and Lambourne Road

Sonning Common Neighbourhood Plan

  • Neighbourhood Planning

Client: Sonning Common Parish Council

Sonning Common is a large village in South Oxfordshire, just north of Reading and almost surrounded by (but not actually within) an AONB. Its location and facilities placed it under considerable development pressure.

The work was complicated because, at the outset, there was no adopted Local Plan. Attention had to be given to developers who were trying hard to force through applications before the plan could carry any weight.

At the end of September 2016, residents of the village voted overwhelmingly for their Neighbourhood Plan to be ‘made’ part of the Local Plan following a referendum. A 47.6% turnout generated a 94% vote in support of the plan – both very high figures by national standards.

Place Studio were selected to work on this Neighbourhood Plan because of our approach of providing professional support to enable the community to prepare and write the plan themselves. This is a cost effective way to work towards a truly local, community-led plan. Our team guided the working group and contributed to the structure and content of this Plan. We helped to organise their first public meetings and workshops and have guided the community to do their own evidence base collection, as well as undertaking some of the more complex evidence collection tasks on their behalf.

We have also provided pre-application advice on proposals that were coming forward as the plan was in preparation.