News Update


02 December 2018


This is the FINAL UPDATE to this website following the decision by Bere Ferrers Parish Council and the Working Group to leave the site dormant as a freely accessible archive until the expiry of its Hosting contract in March 2020.


16 October 2018


Today, the Neighbourhood Plan was formally adopted ("Made") by WDBC. As the local Planning Authority, WDBC must now give it weight when deciding Planning Applications in the Peninsula.


28 September 2018


REFERENDUM RESULT declared by the Counting Officer

ELECTORATE          2523

TOTAL VOTES CAST 817  (32.38% turnout)

YES VOTES               669  (81.9%)

NO VOTES                147   (18%)

BLANK PAPERS            1 



11 September 2018


WDBC issued the final Notice of Poll.


29 August 2018


The Working Group launches the Referendum awareness campaign with the help of BATS.



17&22 August 2018


WDBC has issued the first of a series of 3 official notices which has been added to the list of Referendum documents on their website at


This is general information, which explains more about about the forthcoming Referendum and you can find it also here on the Documents page section 9 labelled Information Statement & Information for Voters.


The second Notice of Referendum will be issued on Wednesday 22nd August and the final Notice of Poll will be issued on Wednesday 19th September latest. All of these will be accessible via the same WDBC web link above and also added to the Documents page of this website. Printed copies can be viewed at WDBC Office Kilworthy Park Tavistock and also at Bere Ferrers Parish Office Bere Alston.


27 July 2018


Following independent examination of the Plan and receipt of the Examiner's Report, West Devon Borough Council has decided that, subject to the Examiner's proposed specific modifications, the Neighbourhood Plan should proceed to the final Public Referendum stage. This will be organised and conducted in the Parish by WDBC on Thursday September 27th 2018 and a Public Notice of Referendum will be issued by WDBC in due course.


Hard copies of the above documents are available for inspection at both WDBC and Bere Ferrers Council Offices.



7 March 2018


The consultation conducted by WDBC was completed on 6th March, so we move on the next stage, the Official Examination (Reg 17). An examiner has already been appointed who will now proceed to examine the Plan and the other documentation that we submitted on 15th January along with any representations arising from the WDBC consultation.


The examiner's task is to determine whether or not the Plan meets the basic conditions set out in legislation and is not concerned with issues concerning the merits or otherwise of the Plan (see Timeline/Examination).


The Examination will be conducted by written representations (not a Public Hearing) and we may be called upon to answer queries and/or provide supplementary information.


There is no prescribed timescale for the Examination stage, so we now await the examiner's conclusions.  



23 January 2018


Today WDBC has published our Submission documents on its website and commenced its (Reg 16) consultation by issuing a Public Notice so that all stakeholders (people who live, work or carry on business in the Neighbourhood Plan area) as well as all consultee bodies involved in the Second Public Consultation have the opportunity to make representations before the Official Examination (see Menu/Plan Development Timeline/Amendment & Submission for details).


15 January 2018


Today the Parish Council made the formal submission (Reg 15) of documents to West Devon Borough Council to initiate the Official Examination process.


21 December 2017


Collation and analysis of the results of the Second Public Consultation have been completed (see Timeline/Second Public Consultation) and preparation of the documentation required for Submission is well advanced (see Timeline/Amendment and Submission). We anticipate making our Submission to WDBC in January 2018 for Official Examination.


8 August 2017


The SECOND PUBLIC CONSULTATION produced a total of 71 formal responses from a cross section of parish residents, local businesses and statutory bodies via the various methods we provided (on line via the website link, email, letter or by hard copy forms). We also received more informal feedback via our Facebook page. The task of considering all of these in detail is considerable and this is work in progress alongside that of preparing the various formal documents and amended Plan for submission to our planning authority (West Devon Borough Council) and then to Official Examination by an independent examiner. It is hoped that we can have all this completed and our Plan ready for examination by November 2017.


The regular Working Group meeting scheduled for July 21st was replaced by a special meeting attended by our support contact at WDBC. The purpose was to clarify several matters of detail relating to finalising our documentation ready for Official Examination. As a result, the minutes of the Group meeting of 21st June will not be considered by the Group until our next meeting after the holiday period on the 4th October. There will be no Group meetings in August or September.    


16th March 2017

The SECOND PUBLIC CONSULTATION is now formally concluded and the Working Group wishes to thank all those individuals and organisations that have made comments on the draft Neighbourhood Plan. We now start the process of collating and assessing the responses and amending the draft Plan if/as appropriate. We will also be preparing our CONSULTATION STATEMENT for submission with the amended Plan to the local planning authority, West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) - please click on the AMENDMENT AND SUBMISSION box on the PLAN DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE PAGE for more detail on this - as well as completing other formalities.

You may continue to access the draft Neighbourhood Plan documents at any time by clicking 'Documents' in the main menu.


2nd March 2017

It is with great sadness that we record the death of our Steering Group Coordinator, Councillor Mike Benson on Monday 20th February 2017 at the age of 69. As well as being a Parish and Borough Councillor, Mike has been a major driving force in the formulation of what started in 2010 as a simple Parish Plan that progressively developed via a Community Plan into what finally became the Bere Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan in 2012/13 when the government's Localism Act 2011 became law. He has chaired all meetings of the Steering Group since its inception.

Throughout, Mike has been a great champion for the cause of empowering residents of the Parish to have more influence over long term planning issues affecting their surroundings. This ambition is clearly reflected in the contents of the Plan that is presently undergoing Second Public Consultation.

The Steering Group of volunteers responsible for the content and preparation of the Plan have agreed unanimously that they will continue the work which Mike started and take it through to completion according to the stages identified on the Plan Development Timeline page of this website. Parish Councillor, Ralph Maycock has now taken over the role of Steering Group Coordinator.


16th February 2017

SECOND PUBLIC CONSULTATION - We have recently encountered some problems with our on line comments response form that happily have been resolved by introducing a slight change to the procedure.

Access to the facility is unchanged via the large GREEN button on the Home Page, but you will find the instruction below "HOW TO COMMENT ON THE PLAN" is changed.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this technical issue beyond our immediate control.



31st January 2017

The SECOND PUBLIC CONSULTATION stage is now upon us and will run until 15th March. The Plan documents have been published both on this website and in hard copy format. Several events are scheduled to enable residents, local businesses and organisations to participate in the consultation process - see the announcements 02 and 03 below and also posters around the Peninsula for information.

You will notice the addition of a DOCUMENTS page at the bottom of the main menu list on the Home/Welcome page of this website. Here you can readily access all the key documents created during the course of establishing our Neighbourhood Plan and the contents of this list will grow as we progress towards a conclusion. 


SECOND CONSULTATION LAUNCH EVENT 1st February 2017 - announcement 03


11th January 2017

The schedule of dates for SECOND PUBLIC CONSULTATION events is now established and various posters, flyers and handbills containing the information in the announcement below will be appearing shortly around the parish.

All residents are urged to participate in this consultation. It is the culmination of more than three years of effort to establish a Neighbourhood Plan which will positively influence future development decisions concerning the beautiful and unique surroundings in which we all live. 

Please help by passing This information ON to as many people in the Parish as you can - particularly to those who are unlikely to see this website announcement.




9th December 2016

The SECOND PUBLIC CONSULTATION stage will start on 1st February 2017, when the Draft Plan document will be published, and continue for six weeks until 15th March. The document is now in final edit before printing, publishing and distribution to all stakeholders and interested parties. It will be available for public access on this website and a limited number of hard copies will be available.

The first public announcements for the Consultation will appear in the Parish during December (see poster below).





1st December 2016



We have reached one of the most significant and important milestones towards establishing our Neighbourhood Plan (see the updated 'Plan Development Timeline' page). Following formal approval by the Bere Ferrers Parish Council at its November meeting, the text of the Draft Plan is now complete and undergoing final editing before printing and publishing prior to the statutory six-week SECOND PUBLIC CONSULTATION stage. This is planned for February/March 2017 and further announcements will be made in January. 


6th July 2016


We have now assembled the information that will enable us to prepare our Neighbourhood Plan (NP) document for the Second Public Consultation, the next step of the formal process that we are following to establish our NP.

On 5th July 2016, the Plan Working Group (BPPG) made a presentation to a special meeting of Bere Ferrers Parish Council to explain the elements we propose to include in the NP and the Council agreed that we should proceed with this.

For further information about this important step, go to 'Plan Development Timeline' in the main menu then click on the box labelled ‘Second Public Consultation’ on the Plan Development Timeline page.


16th March 2016

Peter Thornhill

Today is the funeral of Peter Thornhill who has died suddenly at the age of 71 after a short illness. Peter was a Bere Alston resident who volunteered his technical expertise and extensive knowledge to help set up this website in February 2015. The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group wishes to record its thanks for his valuable contribution to our work. Our thoughts are with his wife Kay and their families. 


17th January 2016




West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) published update 07 this month (click here to view). Alternatively this can be accessed by going to 'Links' in main menu then WDBC Strategic Plan/Downloads - then click on 'Our Plan' latest news - issue 7). 



13th November 2015




West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) has today published Issue 01 of a new Neighbourhood Planning Newsletter (click here to view). It is designed to provide guidance to Neighbourhood Plan (NP) groups to address key issues that we and other NP groups have raised, particularly with regard to our progress in relation to WDBC's 'Our Plan' (see News Update of 6th August below).

We can now proceed to revise the dates in our NP Development Timeline with some confidence and urgency and this will be advised in the next News Update. 


This Newsletter may also be accessed via the LINKS page in the main menu, as will all future WDBC Newsletters.


6th August 2015


The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group regrets that there is a delay to dates indicated in the Plan Development Timeline starting from the Second Public Consultation. These dates will be revised when events outside the control of the Group become clearer.
It is our intention to have the Draft Plan ready for the Second Public Consultation by the end of 2015.
An announcement (click
here to view) about this is also published in the August 2015 issue of Bere Link.

26th July 2015


An essential component of our Neighbourhood Plan will be a VISION statement, intended to reflect as concisely as possible how we envisage our area will look by 2031. 

The Working Group has agreed on the following draft wording, on which we will be seeking comment and feedback from residents at the time of the Second Public Consultation, before including a final text in the Draft Plan.


The Bere Peninsula; a well-connected, active & sustainable rural community with a strong sense of its distinct environmental & historic heritage

  • Well Connected - refers to Transport & Communications Infrastructure

  • Active - reflects a positive Community Life

  • Sustainable - covers the dual aspects of Environmental & Economic Viability

  • Distinct Environmental & Historic Heritage - underlines the vital importance of these in the development of the Peninsula

16th June 2015


On Tuesday 16th June 2015, the BPP Group made a presentation to a formal meeting of the Bere Ferrers Parish Council to outline the progress made to date on the compilation of our draft Neighbourhood Plan. Taking the form of a PowerPoint presentation, it comprised an introductory overview by Mike Benson (Working Group Co-ordinator) followed by items on the five sectors of the plan by the ‘Champions’ responsible:-

  • Local Facilities etc. - Ewen Rae/Julie Overnell

  • Environment - Graham Reed

  • Transport & Communications - Granville Starkie

  • Economy - Ralph Maycock

  • Housing - Mike Palmer/Jeremy Maddock

The meeting concluded with a Q & A session that included contributions from several members of the public who were present.

View a PDF file for the Presentation here.

1st May 2015


Members of the Bere Peninsula Plan Group assisted West Devon Borough Council officers in co- hosting a Neighbourhood Planning Event held in Bridestowe village hall on the evening of April 23rd. The aim of the event was to encourage parish councils, who so far had not engaged in neighbourhood planning, to do so and provide them with more information as to what is involved. Nationally, 1335 designated plan areas have been applied for with 37 plans approved.

Currently, seven parishes in West Devon are participating in Neighbourhood Planning and the Council’s “Our Plan” will rely on many rural areas engaging in them. The event saw 33 attendees from eleven parishes. They were provided with not only background in what is involved in developing Neighbourhood Plans but also practical experiences from the Bere Peninsula Group.

Mike Benson, Bere Peninsula Plan Group Coordinator introduced the event and explained how BPPG had started, moving from Parish Plan through Community Plan to Neighbourhood Plan.

There was a lengthy Q&A session for both West Devon officers and Bere Peninsula Plan Group. They were able to explain how the plans can be funded and the need to use local experience, expertise and knowledge to help them progress. The event concluded with an open session enabling parish councillors to circulate and view display material.

11th March 2015

Feedback noted from the WDBC "Our Plan" Consultation in Bere Alston Parish Hall Saturday 28th February. 

1st March 2015

Thanks to all those residents who came to the West Devon Borough Council Consultation Event at Bere Alston Parish Hall on Saturday 28th February to view and discuss their draft strategic plan ("Our Plan") for the Borough.

We continue to work on the various aspects of our own NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN - watch this space.



16th February 2015


As part of a six week long Public Consultation on the draft for their strategic plan for the whole borough (“OUR PLAN”), West Devon Borough Council is holding an event on Saturday 28th February during the regular Saturday Market at the Parish Hall in Bere Alston, starting at 10am.

Parish residents are invited to take this opportunity to meet with representatives of WDBC to view and discuss the proposals and any relevant issues of concern.

As our own NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN is an important adjunct to this overarching strategic plan, members of the Bere Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan Group will also be present at this event.

You can find comprehensive information about OUR PLAN at


15th February 2015 - NEW WEBSITE LAUNCHED