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Neighbourhood planning in Bermondsey

When the Localism Bill was first published in November 2010, the Government announced a programme of pilot projects where local authorities could work with community groups to explore some of the principles of neighbourhood planning in advance of the proposals becoming law. Southwark was selected by the government's Department for Communities and Local Government as one of these neighbourhood planning front runner authorities and since then, Southwark Council has been working with groups in Bermondsey to prepare neighbourhood plans for their areas.

Old Bermondsey Village Neighbourhood Forum

Update - August 2015: The decision to approve the designation of the Old Bermondsey Village Neighbourhood Forum was taken by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and New Homes on August 5th 2015. A five-working day call-in period has passed where Councillors had the opportunity to raise concerns about the decision. The decision was not called-in, meaning the Old Bermondsey Village Neighbourhood Forum is now formally designated.

We received an application on 23 February 2015, seeking Neighbourhood Forum status from Old Bermondsey Village Forum.  Consultation on this application ran from Friday 13 March to Friday 24 April 2015.  The application documents can be found here.  A sample of the consultation letter and the press advert can be found here.

The officer report (and appendices), which recommends a decision for the Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Transport to make, can be found here

Non-Key Decision and Mediation

The Non-Key Decision regarding the designation of the Old Bermondsey Village Neighbourhood Forum was taken on 5 June 2015 with an Effective date from 16 June 2015. The decision made was to defer the designation of the Old Bermondsey Village Neighbourhood Forum as a Neighbourhood Forum. Officers requested to seek Mediation with the proposed forum and submit a further report as soon as mediation had concluded.

Mediation took place between Old Bermondsey Village Neighbourhood Forum and the council on Monday 15 June 2015 where a Mediation Agreement was agreed by all parties that set out the steps required for the Old Bermondsey Village Neighbourhood Forum to be designated as Neighbourhood Forum. The agreement is available to view and download here.

Officers have prepared a further report recommending the appointment of the Old Bermondsey Village Neighbourhood Forum following the steps set out the Mediation Agreement. The decision, made by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and New Homes (previously known as the Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Transport) was consulted on for 10 working days, closing on the 23rd of July 2015.

Representations received during the consultation on the recommendation to designate the Old Bermondsey Village Neighbourhood Forum can be found at the top of the Bermondsey neighbourhood planning downloads page here. The most recent report, its appendices and information about the decision can be found here

The decision to approve the Old Bermondsey Neighbourhood Village Forum was taken on the 5th of August 2015. This was followed by a five-working day call-in period where councillors could raise any concerns. No concerns were raised meaning the Old Bermondsey Village Neighbourhood Forum is formally designated.

Past Bermondsey Neighbourhood Area applications

In 2012 we received two applications to designate Neighbourhood Areas in Bermondsey: one from the Bermondsey Neighbourhood Forum and one from the Bermondsey Village Action Group (BVAG).  Establishing the 'neighbourhood area' is the first step in the process of preparing a neighbourhood plan for Bermondsey. 

We previously consulted on these applications from 23rd January 2013 to 5 March 2013, and a further consultation from Friday 7 February to Friday 21 March 2014.    You can view the comments we received on the applications.

Non-Key Decision

A non-key decision was taken by an individual cabinet member to designate a Neighbourhood Area, known as Area A, and the decision was subject of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 20 October 2014.  The documents relating to the decision can be viewed here.

The two outcomes of the Scrutiny meeting were:

1. That the decision need not be referred back to the cabinet member

2. That the cabinet member and officers be urged to engage with the two existing groups and the wider community, including housing estates, in respect of the designated Neighbourhood Area (referred to in the report as Area A)

A meeting took place on 11 February 2015 to discuss taking Area A forward to a neighbourhood plan.  On 13 February 2015 the Council wrote to the attendees with a summary of the meeting, you can read the letter here.  

Further information

Further information about progress on neighbourhood planning in Bermondsey is available at:

Draft minutes of the Scrutiny meeting will be published shortly.

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London SE1P 5LX

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