Progress to date:
- Agreement by Steyning, Bramber, Ashurst and Wiston Parish Councils to cluster together
- Appointment of Nick Mills, vice chair of Bramber Parish Council, as Chairman of the Steering Group
- Approval by Horsham District Council of Designated Area
- Appointment of AiRS as consultants
- First Public Meeting held on 1st November 2014
- Call for volunteers to join Steering Group and Focus Groups
- Terms of reference agreed
- Wording of Public Survey agreed
- Public Survey out for consultation January 2015, deadline for return 30th January
- Analysis of survey results and report by AiRS
- Call for sites letters issued- deadline for return 30th April 2015
The 70+ resident volunteers in the SWAB Steering Group & Focus Groups have continued their work towards building our Neighbourhood Plan throughout the summer period.
The local Youth Survey, devised by young people themselves, was launched online in mid-July and will gather valuable additional data for the SWAB Neighbourhood Plan as well as information about the views, needs & ideas of young people, for Steyning & several other local Parish Councils to consider. Our NP is for the future of our whole community and it’s vitally important we include input from those who will then be adults themselves.
The Stage One Report has now been finalised, and includes summaries of the community views from our residents’ survey on each of our Focus Group topics.
The “Call for Sites” process has so far resulted in 18 sites offered for consideration for potential planned development within the NP. These include sites for all 4 parishes, and we hope to now have sufficient for our future needs.
We have had an introductory meeting with representatives from South Downs National Park authority to help them gain an understanding of our needs and for us to understand their priorities in relation to potential local development.
The Housing Focus Group members have been working on the site selection criteria to ensure that each is assessed robustly and as objectively as possible, on criteria relevant to planning and residents’ views expressed in the survey. Once the Steering Group approves the selection criteria, sites will be assessed individually. A recommendation will be made of those best suited to our future community needs. Though site locations will necessarily remain confidential during this process, they will all be reported publically in due course to give residents the opportunity to comment on this important element for our draft plan.
Work continues on the production of our Pre-submission Neighbourhood Plan document. Our timeline has certainly slipped over the Summer with the enormity of the task and the work required to collate and prepare this document.
When ready, it will be presented to the public and the formal six week consultation period will commence. This will be the opportunity for us all to digest and discuss the proposed housing sites, local green spaces and community needs and targets highlighted by the Neighbourhood Plan.
Following the quashing of the Henfield Neighbourhood Plan in the High Court, Horsham District Council have decided that they can no longer take a 'light touch' approach and must instead become involved in all aspects of each NP in the district. All SWAB work is now to be put on hold until there is clear direction from HDC. A new Neighbourhood Plan Officer, Mr Norman Kwan has also been appointed by HDC. We have spoken with him and it looks as though no clear decision will be made by HDC until the New Year.
Still to achieve:
- Ongoing public consultations as draft Plan takes shape
- Publicise proposals of what's going to be included in the Neighbourhood plan, and bring it to the attention of the majority of those who live, work or operate businesses in the area
- Publish contact details for representations to be made
- Consult any statutory consultees
- Send a copy of the proposals to the District Council
- Submission of a draft Plan - The Steering Group has to submit the following to the District Council, which they will publish for 6 weeks: a map of the area; the draft plan; a statement outlining how the proposal meets the basic conditions; a consultation statement (who was consulted and how; the issues raised and how they were resolved
- The independent examination - The examiner will look at whether the proposals meet the regulatory requirements (e.g. has the consultation been adequate) and whether the basic conditions have been met. A report will be produced
- The Referendum - We will publish the examiners report and decision on this website, and then hold a referendum which will establish the level of community support for the plan. A simple majority of 51% of the representative community will have to be in favour for the Neighbourhood Plan to be adopted