Shenstone Parish Council Review of the Neighbourhood Plans for Shenstone and Little Aston

Information on the general background to the neighbourhood plan review

From June 2023 to March 2024 Shenstone Parish Council intends to review the Neighbourhood Plans of Shenstone and Little Aston villages. The Shenstone Parish Council area of responsibility is located north of Birmingham City Council boundary and within the boundaries of Lichfield District Council (LDC) which is the Local Planning Authority and Staffordshire County Council. The current District Council Local Plan 2008 – 2029 was adopted in February 2015. The LDC new Local Plan 2040 has been consulted upon and was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in June 2022. A decision by the Planning Inspectorate is expected in the next six months.

The Parish Council is the largest in Staffordshire and contains three distinct villages; all three have existing Neighbourhood Plans (NP’s), two of which are the subject of this tender invitation specification, Shenstone and Little Aston. The Shenstone NP was made in December 2016 and Little Aston NP in April 2016. Details of both Plans can be found on .

The existing NP’s contain clear community vision and objectives statements that remain relevant as do the majority of the approved NP policies which support the vision and objectives. The approved policies cover the greenbelt, housing, movement, environmental and community facilities, commerce and non land use issues.

Shenstone Council was actively involved with the development of the preferred development options for Shenstone and Little Aston during the new Local Plan consultation period. As a result of the updating of the Local Plan the NP context has also been revised. The Parish Council now wishes to procure a consultancy services to refresh and renew the existing two village NP’s. Following procurement the review work programme is planned to commence in June 2023 when the two NP’s will be over seven years old and when the Planning Inspectorate decision has been received.

The areas of the existing Neighbourhood Plans that require updating or inclusion.

The Parish Council was actively involved in the District Council options consultation for Shenstone and Little Aston that led to the final District Council proposals in Local Plan 2040. While the consultation options identified the potential for additional housing and light industry expansion in Shenstone they were not taken forward to the final proposals. We see (i) the existing NP proposal for residential growth in Shenstone being reconfirmed. We also see (ii) the Local Plan 2040 recommendation for recreation provision to the south of Shenstone to be reviewed and (iii) the clear focus of the District Council in addressing Shenstone traffic issues also being subject to review. The Parish Council has recently completed a Rural Communities Energy Fund Feasibility Study in Shenstone which is attached and we would want (iv) the new Shenstone NP to identify the two options for delivering carbon neutral energy. For Little Aston the review needs arising from the Local Plan 2040 are (vi) continuing protection of the conservation area (vii) housing for elderly downsizers and (viii) countryside access and recreation links. In addition to the above the Parish Council NP’s would benefit from (ix) the inclusion of any national planning policy or guidance that strengthens the effectiveness of an NP.

The background skill and experience Shenstone Parish Council is seeking to appoint.

1. Experience

• Range of work in contributing to neighbourhood planning document policy and process.

• Effective working with a range of community and local government organisations in relation to planning.

2. Skills and Knowledge

• Membership of relevant professional organisations e.g. Royal Town Planning Institute.

• Ability to solve problems with multiple stakeholders and find the most appropriate solutions.

• Strong, successful communication experience using traditional and new channels.

• Communication graphics and document writing skills that successfully translate complex issues.

• Strong organisational skills.

3. Organisation values

• A belief in the value local community involvement.

• Flexible and agile working practices.

• To be solutions focused with a can-do attitude.

3. Community and stakeholder involvement

Preliminary Neighbourhood Plan preparation actions to date.

The Parish Council has met the District Council who have requested that we hold off carrying out any formal work on NP review until the Local Plan 2040 is finally confirmed as approved by both the Planning Inspectorate and then by District Council. The District Council have also advised on the need for a revised NP referendum. This will depend on the nature and impact of any revised or newly introduced NP recommendation.

What the Parish Council will supply to the preferred consultant.

A single point of contact. Any necessary information or data gathered to date around the sites in the area. A physical base within the area when undertaking work on site. Contact details for any key local stakeholders. Additional capacity to help undertake any necessary background tasks relevant to the assignment, including help on the ground. Some of these roles may be shared by the Parish Council with the Working Groups.

Scope of work required.

Main elements required to ensure that key areas of work are covered:-

1. Identify and gather and support the gathering of the relevant local and national evidence required (plus any gaps in the existing evidence base) to support the NP revision objectives.

2. Site assessment work, including site visits, desktop assessment of relevant evidence, liaison with external bodies and use of sub-consultants to produce original analysis where necessary

3. Produce a report summarising the analysis arising from the information gathering, supported by detailed appendices as appropriate and a short presentation of key findings to Steering or Working Group(s).

4. Provide appropriate review consultation support to the Shenstone and Little Aston communities. As this is a review of existing plans with some original policies and issues at various delivery stages. The review consultation will be a blend of confirming policy areas yet to start, areas of policy work in progress and new policy areas for inclusion or amendment.

The extent of the revision consultation structures to be supported in each village community are yet to be established and could range from support for a single steering group and community consultation to up to support for six subject based steering groups and community consultation.

The output requirement for supporting the eventual structures will be:-

Defining a broad set of review aims, objectives and outline strategy for achieving the review recommendations. Securing agreement on the issues around which the review will form, and the main elements of a work-brief for each issue area. Adequate preparation for the workshops, including the intellectual content, graphics, presentational material, etc. Delivery of the workshop. Follow up reports summarising the workshop product, in PDF and Word document file format. Draft work-briefs for the steering groups.

5. Drafting an overall review consultation statement from the preferred revision options work Identification of the main next-step elements and production of a revised Neighbourhood Plan.


Selection will be based on the following criteria. Cost – 30% – Please specify the number of days work and the cost per day. Quality – 70% please provide details of appropriate skill, experience and qualifications for the work.

Council Contact and schedule of events.

Name:- Shirley O’Mara, Parish Clerk
Telephone: 01543 481947

All Supplier questions must be directed only through the Parish Clerk to ensure continuity of the sourcing process.

The timeline of this tender invitation is indicated below:



1. Invitation distribution to suppliers Tuesday 11th April 2023
2. Email confirmation of interest required Tuesday 18th April 2023
3. Return tender Friday 12th May 2023
4. Tender award by Parish Council Tuesday 13th June 2023
4. Preferred tender notified Wednesday 14th June 2023
5. Anticipated commencement date of work Monday 4th Sept 2023
  1. Following the invitation to tender suppliers are asked to email a confirmation acknowledgement of the document, and intention to submit a tender by 18h April 2023.

  2. The tender must be received by 12 noon 12th May 2023 in electronic format to Any proposal received at the designated location after the required time and date specified for receipt shall be considered late. Any late submissions cannot be evaluated for award.

  3. The costs supplied in the bid will be the only costs accepted and used for the evaluation process.

  4. Your proposals must identify activity, days/hours associated; identify hourly rates applicable to the roles and responsibilities accountable to the delivery of the plan, printing, consumables, set up, management, telephone, branding, consultation, social media, web site design and hosting.

  5. Shenstone Parish Council will initiate meetings with suppliers if clarification of a supplier’s proposal is necessary and only with suppliers who have returned a proposal that is being considered for acceptance.

  6. Please provide an organisational diagram with the CV of the people who will work on this contract with evidence of two examples of similar work.

  1. Scanned copies of relevant insurance documents should also be included.

  1. The tender submission should also include the following:

• An outline of your previous experience and suitability for the commission

• Where it is proposed to sub-contract any element, details of the company concerned together with relevant staff

• A document setting out concisely what work will be undertaken and how

• Any issues that are identified with the brief that may impact on the scope of work

• A draft programme for key milestones/ draft project programme.

• Fixed pricing against each element within the scope of work

• The resources to be used including staff costs and other resources.

For individual members of staff, the day rate and rate per day should be specified. An estimate for travel expenses should also be provided.

• Names of two referees preferably from other NP Projects you have worked on.

  1. The scope of work required has been agreed by the Parish Council to guide consultant tender submissions. Consultants may choose to set out a different approach in their tender submissions if they believe it to be justified based on delivering best practice.

  2. Consultants will be required to provide a named project manager to lead and act as the point of contact throughout the duration of this project. The project manager should have sufficient and applicable experience to manage this type of project and be available for discussions and work with the client as required.

  1. Key milestones and client sign-off procedures, interim and final outputs expected from the commission to be set and agreed with the consultant upon appointment.

  2. The Town Council is not bound to accept the lowest tender nor is it bound to make an appointment from this exercise.