This is Datchet's plan; it's an opportunity for us all to say how we’d like our village to develop and it needs everyone’s help to get it off the ground. Its content will be driven by our views, aspirations, wants and needs. The first stage is to engage everyone in the process so that we all understand the scope and limitations of the plan and have the opportunity to participate in its production. To do this, the Datchet Neighbourhood Plan team has produced an explanatory leaflet which is being distributed at local venues and events, and is available at several outlets in the village. You can also download a copy here. There have also been sessions with local groups, such as the Women's Institute, and we've had feedback from children and their parents through projects at local schools. If you'd like to arrange a session with your local group, please contact us. See also the 'What is a Neighbourhood Plan' section of this website.
Stage 2: Gathering feedback
A Neighbourhood Plan is community-led. Finding out what people think, and drawing on their knowledge, is an essential part of creating our plan. The Neighbourhood Plan team set up an online survey (open from April to July) asking everyone who lives or works in the village, what they like and dislike about Datchet, what they'd like to change and what they want to keep. Analysis of the survey results will allow us to gather information and identify key issues and themes for the Plan. (Leaflets and paper versions of the survey were also available at The Bridge, the Library, The Royal Stag and the Thames Valley Athletics Centre, and were handed out at village events.)
To increase awareness of the survey, we:
ran a social media campaign on Facebook and on this website.
put up posters in shop windows, on notice boards, at bus stops and at the railway station.
published articles in The Link magazine which is distributed to every house in the village.
distributed leaflets and survey forms at busy locations such as Tesco and the railway station.
We have also been attending local events including the Cemetery Chapel Open Day, the Easter Egg Hunt and the Cancer Awareness evening. More recently, we were at the annual Village Fete, the Evelyn Ellis Veteran Car Rally on The Green, and at the Big Barbecue Boogie on the Green..
Survey results A summary of this survey in pdf format is also available here. You can read the feedback from our subsequent surveys in the 'Surveys' section of this website. See main menu above.
Stage 3: Developing the evidence base
Neighbourhood plans are about the use and development of land. If they are to be relevant and address local issues effectively, they need to be based on a clear understanding of the place they relate to; this is a statutory requirement of the National Planning Policy Framework. Evidence is required on social, economic and environmental conditions and issues. Datchet's Neighbourhood Plan team has already started to gather this type of information which will be used in conjunction with feedback from the survey. For more details, see the Evidence section of this website. The team has also been organising a series of Character Assessment walks throughout the village, inviting residents to join in. The purpose of these is to look at what works well and what could be improved. Click here for more information about Character Assessments. On Sunday 27 January 2019, we presented our draft Character Assessments and their findings in the Village Hall, Allen Way. The community was invited to come along and tell us what we've got right and what we've missed.
Stage 4: Identifying issues
The next step was to focus on the key issues which have been raised by the survey or highlighted in the early evidence gathering. For example, the Plan might consider subjects such as how we maintain and improve the character of Datchet; how we safeguard our environment and open spaces; how we encourage local businesses and shops; how we protect our heritage, and how we meet our housing and infrastructure needs, and so on. When this evidence was gathered, work began on writing the Plan.
How we put the plan together
As part of the process of developing a plan, the DNP team has to produce a Consultation Statement. This was written in July 2022 and explains how the Plan has been put together. It contains details of the persons and bodies who were consulted about the proposed neighbourhood development plan and how they were consulted. It also summarises the main issues and concerns raised, and describes how these issues and concerns have been considered and, where relevant, addressed in the proposed Neighbourhood Plan. The Plan then has to go through a Consultation Process, independent examination, and then a public referendum.
Key stages in creating a Neighbourhood Plan
This flow chart, produced by Locality, shows the key stages involved in neighbourhood planning