Nuthurst Parish first to consult on planning blueprint

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
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Nuthurst Parish Council has become the first in the Horsham district to publish its draft Neighbourhood Plan - a vision for the future of the parish.

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.

Owen Hydes, chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan steering group which prepared the document, 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.”

One area not included in the parish’s draft plan is land at Saddlers Farm, Mannings Heath, where the developer Charles Church wants to build 40 homes.

The proposals, which are yet to be put forward in a planning application, have caused debate in the village because the land is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Having held an exhibition last month, Charles Church are currently preparing a planning application.

Nuthurst Parish Council, meanwhile, is inviting residents and statutory consultees to comment on its draft plan prior to it being submitted to Horsham District Council for approval.

Once approved there it will go to a Government Independent Examiner in spring 2015 to test it meets legal requirements. After that, the plan will be put to Nuthurst parish residents in a referendum late spring next year. Once adopted it will provide councillors and developers with a preferred planning blueprint for the parish.

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