Arundel Neighbourhood Plan to be first

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Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has urged residents to back proposed neighbourhood plans in Arundel, saying that they give ‘power to the people’ and will help protect green spaces.

Arundel’s neighbourhood plan will be the first in Sussex to reach the crucial stage of a local referendum, with voting taking place on Tuesday (April 8).

Arundel is among the frontrunners in neighbourhood planning, which was introduced by the Localism Act 2011. So far, nearly 1,000 neighbourhood plans have been started nationally, 19 have passed examination, and 10 have been adopted following referendums.

Mr Herbert has been a strong supporter of the Neighbourhood Plan process, which gives local communities the power to plan the future of their villages and towns, and lets local people decide where housing should go and how much is needed.

Arundel’s plan was drawn up by a Steering Group set up by Arundel Town Council in late 2011.

The plan covers a period of 15 years, from 2014 to 2029, and allows for development of up to 90 houses in deliverable sites during the plan period. It is also the first to designate a Local Green Space which protects an area from future development.

The referendum question in Arundel is “Do you want Arun District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Arundel to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?” If a Neighbourhood Plan receives a majority ‘yes’ vote then it can then be adopted and become part of the statutory plan for the village. The Plan can then be used formally when decisions on planning applications are made.