Mepal Parish Council

Mepal Neighbourhood Plan

An updated version of the Plan, which incorporates all of the Examiner’s recommendations, is now available and is entitled Mepal Neighbourhood Plan Referendum Version. It is this version of the Plan which residents will be asked to vote upon.
25/3/2024 - We have received confirmation from ECDC that they have now published the formal ‘decision statement’ confirming that the Plan will proceed to a referendum. Details can be found towards the bottom of this page under next steps.

Over the past two years, Mepal Parish Council has been preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for its area. Details on those earlier stages can be found in the text and documents below.

Following the efforts of the Mepal Community Led Plan (CLP)  in February 2019, the Parish Council has continued to receive requests from Parishioners particularly in regards to how the Parish Council can better preserve the village character and limit inappropriate large housing developments, after the successful opposition to the Brick Lane development of 55 houses. The Parish Council therefore applied for grant funding and engaged a consultant to work with the community to use the published Community-Led Plan as a foundation for a Neighbourhood Plan. A number of articles have been published in the Mepal Matters newsletter over the last two years asking for input and involvement from the community, as well as items on the agenda of Parish Council meetings. The Neighbourhood Plan sits alongside the Local Plan and has weight in determining planning applications in the local area. It is a statutory document.

Neighbourhood Plans are a powerful tool to shape our local area, as Neighbourhood Plan policies take precedence over non-strategic Local Plan policies in decision-making. In other words, the Neighbourhood Plan “trumps” the Local Plan (on certain matters).

After initial feedback was gathered, a Questionnaire was issued in the September/October 2022 issue of the Mepal Matters Newsletter. The survey results were then reported in the November/December Mepal Matters Newsletter and the Consultant engaged produced a first draft plan based on the CLP and all feedback and information received. This was discussed in a separate Neighbourhood Plan group held before the Parish Council on 13th December 2022.

The Parish Council passed a resolution in the February Council meeting to put the draft plan out to consultation, along with the supporting documents. The consultation material will advise:

  1. What the Neighbourhood Plan is about
  2. Where the NP can be viewed (online and physical)
  3. How long the consultation period is and how to make comments
  4. Details of any ‘Drop-in Sessions’ or other events for consultation or to find out more
  5. What happens after your comments are received (comments made will become public although personal data will not be made available and the information given will only be used by Mepal Parish Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council for purposes connected with the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan including future consultation stages.
The initial Consultation on the Mepal NHP ran from Wednesday 1st March 2023 to Wednesday 12th April 2023

All documents and information in regards to the Mepal Neighbourhood plan are available here and any questions can be emailed to

Draft Neighbourhood Plan & Supporting Documents

Mepal Neighbourhood Plan (Regulation 14)

Mepal NDP SEA Screening Request (Regulation 14)

Mepal NDP Basic Conditions Statement (Regulation 14)

Mepal NDP Consultation Statement (Regulation 14)

Mepal NDP Designated Area and Explanatory Statement (Regulation 14)

Mepal NDP HRA Screening Request (Regulation 14)

Mepal NDP Local Green Spaces Evidence (Regulation 14)

Mepal Settlement Boundary Methodology (Regulation 14)

On 13 October 2023, Mepal Parish Council formally submitted its Neighbourhood Plan to East Cambridgeshire District Council for independent examination, which includes a final round of public consultation.

On 13 October 2023, Mepal Parish Council formally submitted its Neighbourhood Plan to East Cambridgeshire District Council for independent examination, which includes a final round of public consultation.

The submitted Mepal Neighbourhood Plan and accompanying submission documents are available to download from the Submission Documents library on the ECDC website. A copy of the draft Plan is available for inspection at East Cambridgeshire District Council’s customer service centre during normal opening times.

The full set of representations received during the consultation stage are now available in the Mepal Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 16 Representations Received Report.

Examination Stage
An independent Examiner was appointed in January 2024 to examine the Plan and to recommend whether the Plan should proceed to a referendum. The Examiner was Andrew Ashcroft MRTPI. The Examiner concluded his examination on 5 March 2024 and issued his Report setting out his conclusions. All of the documents associated with the examination stage are posted in the Examinations Document table towards the end of this webpage.

In short, the Examiner recommends that the Neighbourhood Plan should proceed to a local referendum in Mepal.

Next steps
Mepal Parish Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council have carefully considered the Examiner’s report, to determine whether it is agreed that the plan should proceed to a referendum. It was agreed on 22 March 2024 that it should proceed to a referendum, and a Decision Notice (PDF) to that effect has now been published.

A referendum is therefore being set up, and likely to take place on a single day in the first half of June 2024. Further details will be published here in due course, including confirmation of the date.

Other information
Requests to be notified of ECDC’s decision under regulation 19 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012, which relates to the making of the neighbourhood plan after the examination has concluded, may be submitted via email to .

Back to top