Neighbourhood plan meeting provokes interest from parish councils

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Representatives of many of the District’s local parish and neighbourhood councils along with district councillors attended a meeting at the Horsham District Council offices in Horsham on Wednesday 24 April to hear about how communities could produce their own Neighbourhood Plans.

With a Neighbourhood Plan in place, communities can take ownership of planning and development in their particular areas, while at the same time being able to control money paid directly to them for infrastructure improvements they believe are needed under the Government’s new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

As part of producing its own District-wide Plan for housing, Horsham District Council is asking each of its parish and neighbourhood councils to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan to cover their community.

While there are various formal stages of each Neighbourhood Plan to be gone through, all the initial stages of gathering evidence and engaging with the community can start now and will eventually form part of Horsham District Council’s own District wide housing plan.

The seminar covered all aspects of how to prepare plans and how a community can join in and benefit.

There were presentations by Horsham District Council staff and by expert guests from the Department for Communities and Local Government and also from Mid Sussex District Council, which has so far twenty of its parishes with draft plans.

Horsham District Council has already received interest from several of its Parish Councils and others wishing to join in the process have been asked to advise the District Council by June 1 that they wish to participate.

For more information on Neighbourhood Plans, visit Horsham District Council’s website (http://www.horsham.gov.uk/environment/planning_policy/14807.aspx).