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Street Vote Development Orders

6th February 2024

Dorset CPRE responds to open Consultation on Street Vote Development Orders

Whilst we welcome the opportunity that Street Vote Development Orders provide for local communities to take a pro-active role in facilitating development in their neighbourhoods, we are concerned that the system is open to being gamed by property speculators. We strongly believe that Local Planning Authorities are best placed to make decisions on development proposals in their area and are strongly opposed to the further centralisation of town planning as proposed in Street Vote Development Orders.

Our comments are set out below on the Government’s proposals for the operation of Street Vote Development Orders:-

  • Who can submit a proposal? – in our opinion it is essential that the qualifying group is purely comprised of persons who are local residents. Second homeowners, property speculators/Landlords should not have the ability to submit a proposal.
  • Engaging the community – It is essential that the qualifying group engages with the wider community from the outset. Proof of engagement should be submitted together with the proposal. As a minimum street residents should be provided with a written notice informing them of the proposal, with further details of the proposal being provided both digitally online and via a public consultation event.

The majority of rural villages have active Parish Councils. Where a Street Vote Development Order is proposed in a village with a Parish Council, the Parish Council should be engaged in formulating the proposal.

  • Relationship with the Local Development Plan/Examination – Proposals should be assessed/approved prior to the public referendum by the Local Planning Authority, not the Planning Inspectorate as proposed. We do not support the proposal that Street Vote Development Orders should be able to go beyond that which is permitted in the Local Plan.
  • Referendum/Approval Thresholds – voting in the referendum should be limited to full-time local residents. For a proposal to be approved in our opinion 80% of those eligible to vote should be in favour.

The consultation closed on 2nd February.

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