Community spirit gives parish housing plan head start

Owen Hydes, chairman of the Nuthurst Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan steering group, - picture submitted
Owen Hydes, chairman of the Nuthurst Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan steering group, - picture submitted

Nuthurst Parish Council has become the first parish in the Horsham district to publish its draft Neighbourhood Plan outlining areas for development.

At its meeting on November 5 the parish council approved its the draft plan ready to go out for public consultation on December 19.

Each parish and town council is required by the Government to write a document stating its vision for the future of their communities, including what development is suitable and where it should be.

One area not included is land at Saddlers Farm, Mannings Heath, where the developer Charles Church wants to build 40 homes.

Owen Hydes, chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan steering group which prepared the draft plan, said: “The draft plan is based on what residents told us in surveys and at open days that they value in the Parish and would like to see in the future.

“It proposes about 60 new houses, mainly smaller houses for younger people and older people to downsize, in small developments spread throughout the parish.

“It also contains measures to preserve the heritage assets and rural nature of our parish.

“The plan has taken a year and a half to get to this stage with the help of over 40 local residents, a true community spirit has made this possible.

“We are pleased at the positive response we have received so far from our website.”

During the six-week consultation period, the council is inviting residents and statutory consultees to comment on the draft plan prior to it being submitted to Horsham District Council for approval.

It will go to a Government Independent Examiner in spring 2015 to test it meets legal requirements.

After that the Neighbourhood Plan will be put to Nuthurst Parish residents in a referendum late spring next year.

The Draft Plan and a consultation response form can be found on the Neighbourhood Plan website nuthurstplan.wordpress.com