Wealden District Council and The South Downs National Park Authority have now adopted their Core Strategy Local Plan, and subject to any High Court appeal before 12 April this is now settled, which is good news as we generally supported their plan.
First, a call for help – we have the beginnings of a District Group in Wealden North but urgently need a volunteer with planning knowledge and experience to monitor weekly planning lists and advise/respond to enquiries. We would also benefit from “eyes and ears” in our towns and villages - individuals alert to inappropriate development proposals and local issues. If you can help, please e-mail Lesley at the office.
The main issue currently is to influence the District Council against inclusion of what was originally up to 1000 homes on a fragile flood plain within their 16 year strategic plan. The area in question is between Lancing and Shoreham, an area of approximately 1.5 x 1.5 miles, sandwiched between the A27 and the A259. As you are aware, The Shoreham Airport is located within this area and the business owners association are involved in the Draft Plan issue together with all the associations for the residents.
Local Plan: wrong numbers.
The Chichester District Council (CDC) has prepared a draft Local Plan open for consultation from 22 March.
We strongly object to the proposal for building 395 houses per year from 2012 to 2029. The CDC has disobeyed the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) para 159, which says: "Local planning authorities should have a clear understanding of housing needs in their area. They should: prepare a Strategic Housing Market Assessment." (SHMA). This means that the CDC should produce a new SHMA for "their area". But they have not done so. Local needs have been ignored, as also have the sustainability requirements of the NPPF paras 7 to 10 .
Instead, in November 2012 the CDC "updated" the 2009 Coastal West Sussex SHMA to perpetuate the original top-down assessment used by the regional government in Guildford (SEERA, now abolished), to produce the sub-regional housing numbers of the South East Plan extending to Worthing, of which the Chichester District was only a part. They had no authority to alter that regional document. The DCLG's revocation of the South East Plan, now on 25 March, means that our draft Local Plan needs to alter its housing figures urgently by using a new SHMA, with the Local Plan based on it, and running from 2013 to 2029. That should produce bottom-up figures based on local data regarding, housing lists, job centre vacancies, and local business requirements etc. As the deaths still exceed births in the District, there will be a need for some degree of in-migration, within local constraints, for first time buyers, local people wanting to move or others coming to work here. The new SHMA should be short (not 262 pages ). The new Local Plan should also be short and simple (not 201 pages with 54 policies). There is already plenty of guidance in the NPPF, the Localism Act, and the DCLG guidance papers. Under the simplified planning system, there is no reason why the Local Plan should take as long as a year.
Richard Hill, Chairman, Chichester District (South) Committee of CPRE Sussex
I would like to thank local members who have taken thetime to advise me of issues within their immediate area.
In particular I would like to thank Stanley Allen for his timely updates on intended developments in the Lancing and Shoreham areas.
I still have limited opportunities to meet and discuss with our local membership due to my constrained personalcircumstances.
I have identified a number of outlets in the local area who have taken our membership leaflets and hopefully Ican find more to increase our local membership base.
I would urge members to find outlets who are receptive to the aims and cause of CPRE. Brighton and Hove Albion FC have submitted an application to Adur District Council for extra full-size pitchesat the club's proposed £22 million Lancing training facility.
The land is designated for up to 600 homes in the Adur Plan and the objective of the football club is to ensure better use of the pitches as the original land purchasewas not enough for the club needs.
One of the pitches has been set aside for use as a community pitch by the club.
Work is continuing with the access road along Mash Barn Lane and the expectation on work on the training ground starting in April 2013.
28 April 2013
Emerging Local Plan: How many houses?
Horsham District Council (HDC) has yet to make public the number of houses that it will plan for in the period to 2031. However, statements made by senior members of the Council indicate an intention to set a huge number in conformity with that set by the South East Plan (SEP) even though the latter was revoked 27 March 2013. Unfortunately, these Councillors believe that a lower number would be rejected by the Inspectorate and that they have no choice but to conform to the SEP target.