In April Dr Smith wrote to the County Times expressing concern that, under the new planning rules Neighbourhood Plans would have to be reviewed every two years.
We wrote to Jeremy Quin MP expressing our concern regarding the Nuthurst Neighbourhood Plan. He was good enough to pass the concern to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government from which he received a very positive response supporting Neighbourhood Plans.
The response stated: “I am very pleased to hear that Nuthurst Parish Council has taken the opportunity to put together a Neighbourhood Plan and have made steps in successfully implementing the Plan to improve the nature of development in their community.
“Neighbourhood Plans are a powerful tool in engaging local communities with sustainable development in their areas and I hope Nuthurst will become a prime example of this.”
There is assurance that Neighbourhood Plans do not have to be reviewed every two years.
Additional protections are provided, to affected Neighbourhood Plans, in the draft National Planning Policy Framework where the presumption in favour of sustainable development applies due to the failing of the local planning authority to supply sufficient land for housing and the Plan is less than two years old.
This protection exists because Neighbourhood Plans can be considered to be out of date if local planning authority cannot demonstrate a five year supply of housing when the presumption of sustainable development applies.
The understanding by The Ministry is that Horsham Local Planning Authority can demonstrate a five year supply of housing so Nuhurst’s policies would not be considered to be out of date.
More information on this is given at www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2016-12-12/HCWS346/
Our thanks to Jeremy Quin MP for obtaining this clarification.
Neil & Dorothy Hatfield
Park Lane, Maplehurst