What should a Neighbourhood Plan address?
A neighbourhood plan should support the strategic development needs set out in the Local Plan and plan positively to support local development (as outlined in paragraph 16 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
A neighbourhood plan must address the development and use of land. This is because if successful at examination and referendum the neighbourhood plan will become part of the statutory development plan once it has been brought into legal force by the planning authority. This means that applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the Neighbourhood Plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
Neighbourhood planning can inspire local people and businesses to consider other ways to improve their neighbourhood than through the development and use of land. They may identify specific action or policies to deliver these improvements. Wider community aspirations than those relating to development and use of land can be included in a neighbourhood plan, but actions dealing with non land use matters should be clearly identifiable.
The Wineham and Shermanbury Neighbourhood Plan (WASP) having been updated to reflect the comments from both the Parish residents and national and local bodies is now being assessed by an independent expert examiner. The examination period can take up to ten weeks and commenced on 5th September 2016.
It is the job of the examiner to assess the appropriateness of the policies contained in the WASP in relation to HDC’s planning framework up until 2031. HDC’s plan requires 16,000 new homes to be built during the period of the plan but it includes a responsibility to preserve, where ever possible, the rural nature of the District. Shermanbury Parish Council shares this commitment to the countryside, and the policies of our plan reflect that commitment wherever possible. Copies of the District’s plan can be seen on the HDC website.
The independent examiner may make recommendations for change. The WASP will then be issued as a final neighbourhood plan which will be subject to a Parish referendum. HDC organises the referendum and it hopes that this will take place in the late summer. This referendum will be the single most important vote directly affecting Shermanbury that we will take part in, because an approved WASP will provide protection against developments which are contrary to our policies. This may prove essential if a second runway at Gatwick or other large developments put pressure on the number of houses required within the District. That could have a knock-on effect putting every field and open space in our Parish at risk; creating far more houses than the 29 we have proposed.
The Parish Council’s work in preparing this plan is now complete and we thank all those who have taken part in its preparation, consultations and focus groups or have commented on the draft plans. All contributions have been valuable and appreciated.
We urge you to study the final plan when it is published and vote at the referendum to support the Parish’s policies and objectives.
The small team at Shermanbury Parish Council wish to thank you for your valuable contribution to this process and your many kind comments of support for the work we are undertaking.