Neighbourhood Plan Referendum 21st October 2021

The South Woodham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan Referendum is being held on the 21st October 2021. 

How was the Neighbourhood Plan developed?

South Woodham Ferrers was formally designated as an area for neighbourhood planning in October 2015. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has surveyed, spoken to and listened to members of the community, and has used the issues and opportunities raised during that process to help inform production of the policies and projects now presented in the draft Neighbourhood Plan. It has now been subject to formal consultation and independent examination, with the Examiner recommending that the Plan proceed to referendum subject to the making of minor modifications, all of which are reflected in the referendum version of the Plan.


 You will be aware from Local Press and Social media that there is some confusion regarding what the plan can and cant deliver.  Below are some questions and answers that you may find helpful.  

 Questions and Answers 

Examiners Report
Revised Plan with amendments as detailed in the Examiners Report 

Neighbourhood Plan Referendum Result

Many thanks to all residents which voted in the referendum on Thursday 21st October.

In response to the question "Do you want Chelmsford City Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for South Woodham Ferrers to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area:

1497 (73%) in favour of the plan

558 (27%) not in support of the plan

4 ballot papers were rejected

The Town Council look forward to liaising with local residents regarding future projects to help work towards the aims in the Neighbourhood Plan



Consultation Open Regulation 16

South Woodham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan 1st October 2020 - 12th November 2020


Chelmsford City Council are consulting on the draft Neighbourhood Plan for South Woodham Ferrers. This is to comply with Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.

The draft Neighbourhood Plan has been developed by South Woodham Ferrers (SWF) Town Council and proposes local planning policies for SWF. Once adopted, it will become part of Chelmsford’s Local Plan.

You can make your comments from 10.00am on Thursday 1 October 2020 until 4pm on Thursday 12 November 2020.

The submission is made up of the following documents:

  • South Woodham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan – Submission Version
  • South Woodham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan – Basic Conditions Statement
  • South Woodham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan – Consultation Statement

These can be read by opening them from the Supporting Documents tab via the Chelmsford City Council website.

There are also a number of evidence base documents under the Supporting Documents tab, which provide helpful background information, and which were used to inform the draft Neighbourhood Plan.

If you need help to make your comments, please view the Consultation Guidance Notes by following the link, or from the Supporting Documents tab.

When you are ready to make your comments, please click on Start Survey. Please save the form regularly using the Save as Draft button at the bottom of the survey page, as it will time out after an hour. Please complete a separate form for each comment if you wish to comment on more than one paragraph / figure / appendix.

Neighbourhood Plan Committee

Work on the Neighbourhood Plan is being overseen by the Neighbourhood Plan Committee, comprised of Town Councillors.  The Committee meets approximately every 6 - 8 weeks unless required more frequently due to the progress of the plan, the Neighbourhood Plan Committee reports to Council.

Membership of the Committee, meeting agendas and minutes can be found on the Neighbourhood Plan Committee Page. 

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

The South Woodham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan

Your South Woodham Ferrers, Your Plan

The Town Council is preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for South Woodham Ferrers. This is a powerful opportunity for the community to have their say and make a difference in the town.

The Neighbourhood Plan will establish planning policies that shape and influence future growth and development in South Woodham Ferrers.

But the Neighbourhood Plan can be about more than planning policies. It can also be used to express your vision for the future and articulate priorities for strengthening the unique qualities of South Woodham Ferrers.

The Plan can help influence change, such as that proposed to the north of the town, and say what improvements in the town that might help deliver, such as infrastructure improvements.

Having a Plan in place will help deliver and fund change: 25% of the money raised from developer contributions paid through the Community infrastructure Levy can be spent on projects in South Woodham Ferrers. Through the Neighbourhood Plan we can identify our priorities for how and where this money should be spent.

The Neighbourhood Plan is not the same as the new Chelmsford City Local Plan. The Local Plan presents the strategic policy direction, but the Neighbourhood Plan provides the opportunity to present locally specific policies and proposals that will help shape the future of South Woodham Ferrers.

Many communities all across the country have been preparing Neighbourhood Plans. This is an exciting opportunity to influence change in South Woodham Ferrers.

We will be undertaking a series of consultation events on the Plan over the next year,

To find out more about Neighbourhood Planning and the opportunity it provides please visit the Government website:


Neighbourhood Plan Submission Version: July 2020

Following receipt of comments on the Regulation 14 consultation version of the Neighbourhood Plan, the Plan has been updated and submitted to Chelmsford City Council to commence independent examination.  This will involve a further formal round of consultation to be organised by the City Council followed by examination of the Plan.  This will be undertaken by an Examiner.  The Examiner may recommend that the Plan proceed to a referendum or that it is withdrawn.  The examination will consider the policies in the Plan against national guidance and the achievement of sustainable development. 

The submission version of the Plan can be viewed by clicking the following link:

Submission Version of the Plan

Alongside the submission version of the Plan the Town Council has also prepared a Consultation Statement, summarising engagement activities undertaken, and a Basic Conditions Statement, which demonstrates how the Plan complies with legislation. Chelmsford City Council also requested submission of an Equalities Impact Assessment. These documents can be viewed by clicking the links below:

Consultation Statement

Basic Conditions Statement

Equalities Impact Assessment

The Plan is supported by a series of background documents. These are available to view via the links contained in the sections that follow below.

Consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan: 14th February – 27th March 2020

The Neighbourhood Plan will be consulted upon for a period of six weeks between 14 February and 27 March. This is known as the formal ‘Regulation 14’ consultation. Subject to comments received, the Neighbourhood Plan will be updated and submitted to Chelmsford City Council along with all supporting documents to commence the examination process.

The Neighbourhood Plan and supporting display material can be viewed at the Town Council offices.

The Neighbourhood Plan and supporting material can also be viewed by clicking on the links below.

Regulation 14 version Neighbourhood Plan
Display Boards
If you would like to make representations, please download the pre-submission consultation comment form below or contact the Town Clerk for a copy. Representations can be submitted by hand or by post to the Town Council, electronically via the Survey Link below, or by email to the Town Clerk. We have also prepared a set of Frequently Asked Questions which can be viewed below.

Reg 14 Feedback Form
Link to Online version of Feedback Form Survey Monkey  
Frequently Asked Questions

Strategic Environmental Assessment: January 2020

Chelmsford City Council has screened the draft Neighbourhood Plan for the purposes of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitats Regulation (HRA).  The City Council consulted with the Environment Agency, Historic England and Natural England, and determined that a Strategic Environment Assessment of the Neighbourhood Plan does not need to be prepared.

A copy of the final screening report can be found below:

SEA / HRA Screening report

Draft Neighbourhood Plan

Based on feedback to the consultation a draft Neighbourhood Plan is now being prepared.  This will be reviewed by the Council and by Chelmsford City Council as the local planning authority to help shape locally specific policies for South Woodham Ferrers.  Discussions with the City Council and Northern Growth Area development team are also continuing to understand how the need to connect growth to the north of the town across Burnham Road might be resolved.

Alongside this consideration will be also be given as to whether the Plan needs to be subject to a formal Strategic Environmental Assessment. Subject to the outcome of this we hope that a draft version of the Plan will be available for the next round of consultation towards the end of the year.

Draft Neighbourhood Plan Version 1

Neighbourhood Plan Emerging Ideas consultation: July - August 2019:

Following the events outlined above and ongoing evidence collection a series of emerging ideas for policies and projects were developed and consulted upon in July and August.

We asked you to tell us how you felt about the ideas posed on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being strongly agree and 5 being strongly disagree, and whether you had any suggestions for the Neighbourhood Plan.

Although most ideas were viewed favourably questions remain with regard to the Northern Growth Area and how Burnham Road will be treated.

Display Board Information
Emerging Ideas Report

Neighbourhood Plan Town Centre Business Event: June 2019

The town centre was identified through both the visioning work and consultation exercises in March 2019 as being a key area of focus for the Neighbourhood Plan.  A workshop was organised with town centre business and landowners in June 2019 to explore their views on how the town centre works and ideas for how it might change in the future.  Discussions were had around a series of land-use ideas as well as other projects and initiatives which could be taken forward to help drive change, including place branding, holding of events and profile raising activities.

Town Centre Land Owners and Business Presentation

Town Centre Land Owners and Business Report

Neighbourhood Plan re-launch and consultation: March 2019

Following progress on the Chelmsford City Local Plan and Examination of this the Town Council recommenced work on the Neighbourhood Plan.  The first stage in this process was to revisit the findings of the Visioning events and, in line with the Chelmsford City Local Plan, ask whether these remained relevant and should form the focus of the Neighbourhood Plan.  The four key area of focus for the Neighbourhood Plan were identified as being; 

  1. Revitalise the Town Centre.
  2. Improve access and movement for all.
  3. Integrate green space into the town.
  4. Influence the new growth area. 

Consultation on this was undertaken in March 2019. Information displayed during consultation events can be viewed below:

Consultation Display Board Information

Consultation responses supported these as the key areas of focus, with suggestions and comments made helping to identify and develop ideas for potential projects and policies in the Neighbourhood Plan.

In parallel to the consultation exercises analysis of the form and structure of the town was undertaken, including analysis of the character and landscape setting of the town. These documents can be viewed below.

Town Wide Analysis
Town Centre Analysis
SWF Character Area Study
SWF Landscape Analysis
Town Comparator Studies 

The findings of the analysis and outcomes of the consultation event helped generate a series of emerging ideas for the Plan. These documents can be viewed below.

Summary feedback and ideas report
What if growth ideas ?
What if Town Centre ideas?
What if Town wide access ideas?
What if Town wide greenery ideas?

To further support work on the Neighbourhood Plan an assessment of car park utilisation as well as user surveys was undertaken. The survey report can be viewed below. 

SWF Parking survey

Neighbourhood Plan Visioning Event 2017

In the Summer of 2017 we held a visioning event for the Neighbourhood Plan, exploring the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for the South Woodham Ferrers, alongside which a poster competition was held with local school children.  The excellent response to the visioning exercise formed a strong basis for work on the Neighbourhood Plan.  However, work on the Neighbourhood Plan was placed on hold and instead efforts made to engage with the emerging Chelmsford City Local Plan and the proposals for growth in South Woodham Ferrers contained within that