Arches (Chatham) Neighbourhood Forum has prepared a draft neighbourhood plan to manage future development in its area.

The plan covers the entire area of Arches Chatham. It sets out local community aspirations over the plan period 2022 to 2040 with policies related to land use and development.

Following publication of the draft plan at Regulation 16 in Spring 2023, the plan progressed to independent examination. Nigel McGurk was appointed to carry out the examination on the neighbourhood plan.

The examiner issued a clarification note to the Arches Chatham Neighbourhood Forum, and asked the forum to reply in writing to his questions. He issued his report, including recommendations for modifications.

On 19 December 2023, cabinet considered the independent examiner's report. They decided that the neighbourhood plan should be modified in accordance with the examiner's report and that it should proceed to referendum on Thursday 2 May 2024.

A neighbourhood planning referendum will therefore be held on Thursday 2 May 2024. This is the same date that the elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent are being held.

View the notice of referendum.

Below is a timetable of key statutory dates:

Event Date
Published Information Statement and documents Thursday 21 March 2024
Notice of Referendum published Tuesday 26 March 2024
Last day for applications to register to vote in the referendum (midnight) Tuesday 16 April 2024
Last day for new applications to vote by post or change or cancel an existing postal vote (by 5pm) Wednesday 17 April 2024
Last day for new applications to vote by proxy (by 5pm) Wednesday 24 April 2024
Last day for applications for Voter Authority Certificate (voter ID) Wednesday 24 April 2024
Publish Notice of Poll and location of polling stations Wednesday 24 April 2024
Polling day (7am to 10pm) Thursday 2 May 2024
Verification and count of ballot papers Thursday 2 May 2024

Representations on the draft neighbourhood plan made at regulation 16

Referendum documents

The referendum area is identified on the map which is included within the Neighbourhood Plan. The referendum area is identical to the area which has been designated as the Neighbourhood Plan area for Arches (Chatham). For this referendum those entitled to vote will receive a ballot paper which asks the following question:

Do you want Medway Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Arches (Chatham) to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

If more than 50% of people vote ‘yes’ in the referendum, then Medway Council will ‘make’ the Arches (Chatham) Neighbourhood Plan. If the Neighbourhood Plan is ‘made’ it will help determine planning applications in the Arches (Chatham) Neighbourhood Area. It will also form part of the statutory development plan for Medway.

If more people vote ‘no’ than ‘yes’ then the Neighbourhood Plan will not be made part of the statutory development plan for the local area.

For more details on the development of the Arches (Chatham) Neighbourhood Plan, visit the Arches (Chatham) Neighbourhood Forum website.