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The Bassett Neighbourhood Plan

Localism explained

The government's "Localism Bill" is an initiative to give local communities more say in the development of their area;

a neighbourhood area is defined
a local development plan for the area is drawn up (the Neighbourhood Plan)
a community forum is established to become the managers of the Plan

After independent scrutiny of the proposals and acceptance of the Plan by local referendum, the Plan then carries the weight of law for regulating development within the area.

The scheme was originally designed for parishes and towns, but Bassett ward in Southampton is the first City ward in the country to try to establish a Neighbourhood Plan for itself. A huge amount of work by all of the local residents associations and by local Councillors has produced a street-by-street Development Plan for Bassett, and a management forum has been established which includes local Councillors and representatives from all of the local resident associations.

Why is this important for FoSSC and the Sports Centre?

The Sports Centre lies within Bassett ward and the Bassett Development Plan calls for protection of the site and the amenity woodland and states that no development should be allowed at the Sports Centre unless the proposals are backed by proper public consultation. Therefore, if the Neighbourhood Plan is adopted, this will give legal protection to the Sports Centre and ensure that any proposals affecting it have to be properly advertised, consulted on and assessed.

In late 2014 Council held a formal 6 week public consultation to ask whether people think that the idea of the Bassett Plan and its proposed management are a good idea. Of the responses that directly mentioned the Sports Centre, the overwhelming majority agreed to the proposal  to protect it. However, 2 responses called for the opposite, to rewrite the plan policy to allow the selling off of parcels of land to fund developments and improvements elsewhere on site. Those 2 responses came from Active Nation’s Central Management and Southampton City Council’s planning policy team..The local press found out about those responses and printed a story which contained many errors and inaccuracies, requiring FoSSC to write an open letter to clarify matters and set the facts straight. The resulting public response was overwhelmingly against selling off of Sports Centre lands. Local Councillor Les Harris attempted to raise the matter in Council and called for a motion to fully protect the site, but block voting by Labour  Councillors overturned this. FoSSC considers this action deeply regrettable, the Sports Centre is too important a City resource to become a party political football.

How you can help

The full consultation documents can be downloaded from the Council’s www site and also from the links in the right hand panel.

More information on the Bassett Neighbourhood Plan

Public Consultation - Neighbourhood Area (pdf)

Public Consultation - Neighbourhood Forum (pdf)

Southampton City Council’s poster to advertise the Public Consultation (pdf)

Neighbourhood Plans: Southampton City Council’s information for residents (Feb 2013) (pdf)

Original application to designate the Bassett area (pdf)

Original application to designate the Bassett Neighbourhood Forum (pdf)

The Bassett Plan in a nutshell (click to expand)

BassettPlan.png BassettPoster.pdf