Neighbourhood Development Plan

What’s this?

  • It sets out planning policies for a local area.
  • It’s used whether to approve planning applications – including new buildings or changes to existing ones.
  • It’s written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, to ensure the community gets the right types of development in the right place.
  • It’s legal: neighbourhood planning is supported by government legislation through the localism act.

This is the most recent iteration of the Hermitage Neighbourhood Plan which is currently being processed by West Berkshire District Council in preparation for the Referendum on 2nd May 2024.

Hermitage Neighbourhood Development Plan (Referendum) Declaration of result of poll 2024

Regulation 16 Consultation July 2023

Since April 2019, Hermitage Parish Council has been working on our neighbourhood plan which was submitted to West Berkshire District Council in February 2023.  After submission, responsibility for taking the plans forward lies with the local planning authority, West Berkshire District Council.  

West Berkshire Council is carrying out consultations on both the Cold Ash NDP and the Hermitage NDP from Friday 21 July until 4:30pm on Friday 1 September 2023 and would like to invite comments from the public on the submitted plans and their supporting documents.

These consultations are also known as ‘Regulation 16 Consultations’.

Where to view the Plan
The submission, Hermitage NDP and its supporting documents can be viewed:

  • Online
  • Hard copy: At West Berkshire District Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD. The offices are open Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5pm, and on Fridays 8:30am to 4:30pm; and

In Adelaide Room, Holy Trinity Church, Marlston Road, Hermitage, RG18 9SU.

How to comment on the Plan
Representations can be made in writing or by way of electronic communications:

  • Online: using the Council’s Local Plan Consultation Portal which can be accessed at: You will need to register, but then any comments you make will be stored in your account for future reference. Registration is possible using a Facebook or Twitter account.
  • By Representation Form which is available to download at: 
or on paper from the Adelaide Room, Holy Trinity Church Marlston Rd

Completed forms can be returned by email to or by post to: Planning Policy Team, Development and Planning, West Berkshire District Council, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD.

What happens next
 Once the consultations finish, the Hermitage NDP and Cold Ash NDP will each undergo independent examination. The representations received on both the Cold Ash NDP and Hermitage NDP will be forwarded to the appointed examiners. 

The opportunity for further comments at this stage would only be at the specific request of the examiners. Most neighbourhood plans are examined without the need for a public hearing. If you think the neighbourhood plans require a public hearing, you can state this in your comments, but the examiners will make the final decision.

Following the examinations, the examiners will issue reports, which could include some recommended changes to the draft plans to meet a set of tests known as ‘Basic Conditions’. If this part of the process is successful, the next stage would be to proceed to a Referendum.

If the Cold Ash NDP and Hermitage NDP are successful at Referendum, then the plans will form part of the statutory development plan and will form the basis for determining planning applications in Cold Ash Parish and Hermitage Parish.

The NDP is always looking for volunteers to assist in shaping the future of Hermitage Village.

Contact the NDP group at

Vision for Hermitage 2037

Hermitage will be a strong and thriving community with residents from all age groups and backgrounds.

Hermitage will retain its unique character and identity both within the parish and in the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The green spaces and local wildlife site that it cherishes will continue to thrive, creating a desirable location by maintaining its separation from neighbouring villages.

The village will provide an environment that supports residents of all ages to live, work and enjoy leisure with access to the surrounding AONB to enjoy social activities safely and remains a service village for the wider area.

 Hermitage will provide a strong contribution to support and exceed local and national environmental policies for green low energy housing, striving to become a beacon of excellence.

Residents will benefit from being in as safe an environment as possible with traffic posing less of a threat and with safe links for cyclists and pedestrians both within the village and to access other villages and local transport hubs.

The effects of new development, traffic measures and car parking on the local landscape will be carefully and sensitively managed.

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