Happy New Year

The NDP team will be providing regular updates on the progress on the Neighbourhood Development Plan over the coming months in order to bring everyone up-to-date on our progress and hopefully get some feedback from you all in return.

Your core NDP team have been meeting every two weeks to get the NDP moving forward.  We have met with Bluestone (http://www.bluestoneplanning.co.uk/neighbourhood-planning/) who are the company we have partnered with to help us produce the NDP and our main focus is the character appraisal of the village which will form a key part of the plan. A Character Appraisal is used to describe the local appearance and ‘feel’ that the area has, in order to aid with design codes and policies within the Neighbourhood Development Plan.  We have taken lots of photos of the village and its houses (big shout out to Ruth Gaunt, Lesley Cadger and Amanda Gregory for taking these), and they will provide context to the character appraisal. We have also started updating the NDP document itself with the feedback given to us by Bluestone and I hope the next draft will be available early 2020.

You might wonder why we need an NDP, well the key benefits are;

  • It gives us, the residents of Sutton Benger and Draycot Cerne more say and control over our community
  • It can protect areas from types of change (such as too much of one type of business)
  • It can include policies to influence new building design or alterations to existing buildings.
  • It can protect or propose the creation of open spaces (Green Gaps, Nature reserves/wildlife corridors, allotments, sports pitches, play areas, parks and gardens, and important historic assets)
  • It enables the local community to retain more of the money collected from development, to spend on local projects.
  • It enables us to ensure we protect the things we value the most
  • It enables to manage change effectively and ensure they benefit our community.

If you are interested in helping us in any way then please contact us. We are always looking for people to help out and it doesn’t necessarily mean a big commitment.  We appreciate not everyone has the time to attend lots of meetings and write whole documents; but, there are lots of small standalone pieces of work that need doing which may very well fit in with your areas of expertise or interest.

Wishing you all a happy new year

SB NDP Group


December Update

2019 was a very busy year for the NDP team, as well as partnering with Bluestone a specialist planning company who will help us complete the neighbourhood plan we also saw the stepping down of all the core team. It’s taken me a long time to get to grips with the website so I can finally post this, but a very much overdue thanks to Jo Watchman, Kathy Smedley, Paul Chartier and Baz Worth for all the hard work they put in to get the NDP to the point it’s at now.

Moving on we have a new core team comprising of Nicola Hayward, Ruth Gaunt, Jake West and David Thompson.  We are working hard to get up to speed with the NDP and look forward to sharing updates on our progress via this website and the Parish Magazine.

If you have any questions or queries or would like to get involved please email us.

Do you have an opinion on the most valued ‘views’ and vistas in the parish?

Sutton Benger - Character

The Parish Council and NDP team are canvasing your views on… your most valued views!

As part of the NPD process, a consultant is drafting up a Character Appraisal of our Parish. She has asked us to ask YOU if there are particular views that you really value want to see protected from future changes / development. For example, the might be the view from your bedroom window, or the one in front of your house, or even one you see on your fave dog walk. We all have one, I’m sure.

If you want to register your own ‘views on views’, why not take a snap with your phone and post your pics (and details of the location) on our facebook group.

We’d like to receive your feedback by Monday 9th of June.

Thank you.

Can you help? Project managers, data analysts & legal beagles needed!

Here at Team NDP, we could do with MORE help from the good folks of the parish if we’re going to make this plan happen.  


Are you a bit of a super-hero with a little bit of time on your hands?

Do you have skills to offer as a project manager? Maybe you’ve got planning or legal expertise?

Or, perhaps you have number-crunching data skills? Are you any good at analysing information?

Whatever your skill set, we’d like to hear from you.

Please do drop us a line at suttonbengerNDP@icloud.com

We welcome support from all corners of this splendid parish.

Thanks !

Chairman’s Progress Update: Jan 2017

If you don’t generally read our NDP Updates in the Parish Newsletter – why not take a read of our Chairman Barry Worth’s most recent (Jan 2017) update below. 

Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) Public Open Meeting

There was a well-attended Public Open Meeting in the Sutton Benger Village Hall on Wednesday the 23rd November 2016.  Parishioners were updated with regard to the data collected during the NDP Survey and also the way in which the NDP will be completed and the likely timescale.  The presentation is available at: http://bigplan.suttonbengerparishcouncil.gov.uk/meetings/Additionally, a hard copy of the presentation is available in the Sutton Benger Post Office. 

 The NDP has made extremely good and positive progress during 2016 and the Core Team is confident that work towards completion will accelerate during 2017.  We are preparing the Plan in accordance with guidance from Wiltshire Council and frequent contact is made with the Wiltshire Council NDP Link Officer.  We last met during December and it was confirmed that the data collected and work completed so far is excellent.  

 Although further information is required, the Core Team is confident that the NDP will be in draft format by 31 December 2017.  

Volunteers Needed 

However, two further volunteers are required to join the Core Team being a Project Manager and an Administrator.  Information regarding both roles is available from The Core Team who can be contacted via: suttonbengerndp@icloud.com

We are extremely grateful for the on-going support of our Parishioners and welcome questions and comments as they may arise.  Please address any such items to:  suttonbengerndp@icloud.com

Baz Worth


NDP Core Team

17 January 2017

SHLAAs Explained: What are they? And what do they do?

At our recent NPD Update Meeting for the Parish (Nov 23rd 2016), many people were unaware of what a ‘Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)’ is…

As this is a very important document, we thought we’d help to explain what it is and what it’s used for (in the context of our own NDP).

What is the purpose of the assessment of land availability?

(This text has been taken from the Planning Guidance website – and is therefore taken directly from a Government source).

An assessment of land availability identifies a future supply of land which is suitable, available and achievable for housing and economic development uses over the plan period. The assessment of land availability includes the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) requirement as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

The assessment of land availability is an important step in the preparation of Local Plans (i.e., our own NDP).  The National Planning Policy Framework identifies the advantages of carrying out land assessments for housing and economic development as part of the same exercise, in order that sites may be allocated for the use which is most appropriate.

An assessment should:

This approach ensures that all land is assessed together as part of Plan preparation to identify which sites or broad locations are the most suitable and deliverable for a particular use.


NDP Response to decision regarding planning for the site at Arms Farm

October 5th 2016

From our NDP Chairman Baz Worth – in response to today’s decision regarding Arms Farm:

A decision was made today (OCT 5 2016) by Wiltshire Council’s Planning Committee (by a majority vote of 4 to 2) that the proposal for 14 dwellings at Arms Farm will go through. We are also aware that this decision goes directly against the wishes of the Arms Farm Working Group and (from what we know) the vast majority of people who live close to or near the Arms Farm site.

The NDP Team does not have the power to overturn these planning decisions. However, we are here to capture, analyse and demonstrate the wishes of the majority of the Parish – and this is precisely what we will be doing once we’ve analysed the recent Parish Survey data. We would therefore like you all to be aware that the NDP team prepared a statement to be read (and taken into consideration) at the Planning Meeting today. The statement reads as follows:

“The NDP Core Group has engaged with the community at several Parish meetings and has recently managed the delivery of a Parish Questionnaire. The findings of this survey show clearly that the majority of Sutton Benger Parish residents are opposed to the development of green belt land for housing, with 49.7% of respondents saying that there is never a justification to build on green field sites.

The Core Group will continue the work to develop a full Neighbourhood Development Plan for formal consultation. However we now feel that there are already clear findings on the wishes of the majority of the community with regards to this type of development in the parish.

We therefore request that the Planning Committee takes this into account in reaching their decision on the planning application before them today.”

The Core Team will continue to progress the NDP through to completion and are grateful for the help of all of those Parishioners who have so willingly given their time to assist.

The BIG Parish Questionnaire will be through your door this week!

Over the next few days you should receive a copy or two of the NDP Questionnaire through your door. We hope to have one Questionnaire completed by everyone in the Parish of age 18 or over.

Please note that the Questionnaire can be completed as delivered or accessed on-line by clicking on this link  Sutton Benger online NDP Survey . If you are able to complete on-line then please do that.

Your participation within the NDP is vital to the future of our Parish, please take the time necessary to complete the Questionnaire as carefully as you are able to and, if completing the paper copy, deliver it to the Sutton Benger Post Office as soon as you are able to but not later than the 5th September 2016. There will be a box within the Post Office for completed Questionnaires.

If you need any help, or have any questions, then please contact Baz Worth (01249) 721133 or Paul Chartier (01249) 721499.

Baz Worth
NDP Core Team
17 July 2016

NDP Progress Update – June 2016


The following text appears in the latest Parish newsletter. In case you’ve missed it, you can read it here!

Dear Residents & Others

As reported in the May issue of the Parish News, a questionnaire is currently being prepared that will be distributed to all Parishioners before the end of July 2016. We apologise for the delay of one month in having the questionnaire circulated. The Core Team, working with the Parish Council, must however ensure that the document is effective in collecting the information required to prepare a robust NDP.

Please complete the questionnaire and then deposit it into the NDP Post Box that will be in the Sutton Benger Post Office. The deadline for completion is the 31st August 2016.

The data collected will form the backbone of the NDP that must reflect the will of the whole Parish. I cannot stress enough how important it is for all residents to complete the questionnaire.

Other than working on the questionnaire, the Core Team is currently working to provide highly detailed plans and drawings of the Parish and hope to have these completed before the end of July. We are delighted to have enlisted the help of a Parishioner who is able to complete the work required on a voluntary basis. With the help of Wiltshire Council, we are attempting to establish the owners of undeveloped land and particularly that which was identified within the Wiltshire Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), 2012. We hope to meet with the Land Owners and/or their Agents before the end of September 2016. The SHLAA can be seen at the following Internet address:


Additionally, we are currently investigating Parish Heritage and hope to have that element of the NDP completed by the 30th September 16.

As previously reported, The NDP will be to the ultimate benefit of the whole of the Parish and your input is essential.  Preparation of the NDP is a significant undertaking and the Core Team has been advised that it can take approximately two years to complete. We commenced working on the Sutton Benger NDP in September 2015 and are pleased to report that we are making excellent progress.

Should you want to be kept informed via e-mail then please register at: suttonbengerndp@icloud.com (or via the Parish Clerk).

(The NDP is registered as a ‘data controller’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. We take our data protection responsibilities seriously and we will make sure that your email addresses are only used to send you the questionnaire and for keeping you informed about the progress of the NDP)

Baz Worth


NDP Core Team

17 June 2016