In 2012/2013, Slaugham Parish Council (SPC) produced a Neighbourhood plan (NHP) for the four villages comprising the Parish (Handcross, Pease Pottage, Slaugham and Warninglid). The Plan, although described by the Independent Examiner in September 2013 to be “a good example of positive planning”, did not meet all the requirements of EU legislation and needed further work.
Whilst this was a setback, the Parish needs a Neighbourhood plan to control development. SPC has therefore taken advice from the District Council and the Department of Communities and Local Government, and debated the issue at a public meeting. This has resulted in a decision that work should begin again. The NHP Committee has therefore been tasked to produce that NHP, take it to Examination and a referendum of the Parish.
A new Committee has been formed with a new Chairman (Debra Logan), and revised terms of reference. To make it more representative of the Parish population it now has 6 members from Handcross, 4 from Pease Pottage and 2 each from Warninglid and Slaugham.
Currently all of the parishes in Mid Sussex are working on NHPs and to assist Parishes with these Mid Sussex has appointed a Neighbourhood Planning Officer. The current advice from MSDC is that all Parishes within MSDC need an NHP in place as soon as possible as MSDC will not be able to demonstrate an overall five year land supply until their new District Plan is in place (mid 2015 at the earliest). As a result without a NHP our Parish remains vulnerable to any development.
All planning applications that have been approved for the Parish, including the Hyde/Hallam proposal in Handcross and the Redrow development at Pease Pottage, will figure in the plan. All previous proposals for sites in the published plan are therefore no longer current, and all sites will be re-examined.
The aim of the plan is to set a development strategy for housing, tackle important environmental, social and economic issues, traffic calming, preservation of green space and the countryside, provision of necessary facilities including a replacement for the Parish Hall etc. for the whole Parish Just because any proposed development is not in your back yard does not mean it will not affect you.
Public consultations on the revised plan will take place later this year and early next year. The committee meets regularly on the first Monday of each month in the Handcross Pavilion, at 7.30pm. All residents are welcome to attend. You will soon see banners advertising the NHP, and all relevant information will be posted on the SPC website (www.slaughampc.co.uk). Regular updates on progress will appear in the Parish Magazine.
The NHP will affect us all and you have an opportunity to be involved and make your voices heard.
Unless you make your wants and needs known, that cannot happen. So please help us create the plan that you, the residents of the parish, want.
Chair, Neighbourhood Planning Committee Chair, Slaugham Parish Council