CPRE submits comments on the draft Worthing Local Plan
The draft Worthing Local Plan 2016 to 2033 has been under public consultation for the last three months to prepare for submission to the Secretary of State for examination and approval for its housing and business development needs until 2033.
In principle, the Plan has been well prepared and a key aspect is the redevelopment of brownfield (previously developed) sites which supports CPRE’s ‘Brownfield First’ campaign stance.
CPRE Sussex has submitted comments on certain aspects of the plan proposals which we believe are not sound in terms of particularly the spacial, landscaping, drainage and environmental policies.
Two sites in particular which have been chosen as development sites have been commented upon. These will have impact on the South Downs National Park, ancient woodlands within the Park and habitats for wildlife. These sites are located on the north west and the north east of the borough. Although we applaud the authority’s spatial policy which has made significant efforts to protect large areas west and east of the area’s current built up boundary to protect green spaces and prevent coalescence with neighbouring communities, these two sites, we believe conflict with that policy and feel should be excluded from the plan.
Further comment was also given in the covering letter which welcomed further discussion on the authority’s ambitions to meet climate change which CPRE believes could be in excess of current Government targets rather than just meeting them. Also, with the Covid19 pandemic which has and will have a significant impact on working practices and retail activity, should not there be a review in the plan to validate the level of need for business and retail sites.
We have requested to attend the Planning Inspectorate examination to support our concerns on the two sites of concern. The timing for submission to Government will be announced sometime in the future.