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NeighbOURhood PLAN has passed Examination and will now go to a Referendum on 26th March

CLOSED Parish Council Chairman's Blog

Author: John Downe

Published: Friday, 20th February 2015

During January the independent Examiner appointed by Mid Sussex District Council inspected the parish's draft Neighbourhood Plan and concluded that with the changes he has specified it meets all the requirements of the legislation and can now go forward to a parish referendum.

The parish council received his report at an extraordinary meeting on 5th February to decide whether, with the examiner's changes, the parish's future would be better with the Plan than without it. Much of the last year has been spent analysing and consulting on sites for new homes and it is gratifying that apart from one minor change the conclusions of all that work, involving many members of the community, were fully accepted by the Examiner. He also accepted the Plan policies on additional protection for the countryside, our historic lanes and existing off-street parking. Some of the elements removed by the Examiner will in fact be adequately covered by District or National planning policies but others were regrettable deletions. In particular the specified housing mix, which the Examiner viewed as not conforming with higher level planning provisions, and the extra conditions on any future railway halt. He also felt that our policies on the use of developer infrastructure payments for traffic safety and on parking spaces for new homes were more appropriately expressed as Community Aims in the Plan.

The council also reviewed the general benefits of having a Neighbourhood Plan which means a much higher provision of affordable homes for people with local connections, a greater share of any developer infrastructure levy and the additional definition given to planning officers and the parish council about residents' concerns and priorities based on the various consultations during the Plan process.

After careful consideration of all these points the council agreed that the parish's interests would be best served if the plan is passed at a referendum.

The Cabinet of MSDC also accepted the Examiner's changes on 9th February and has formally approved the Plan to go to a referendum on 26th March.

At the referendum all registered parish voters will have the opportunity to either vote "Yes" to accept the Plan in its entirety as it now stands, or vote "No" which would leave the parish without the protection and benefits of the Plan and therefore subject to an uncertain planning regime at the District and National level. At the referendum it will be for every parish voter to make up their mind and vote Yes or No!

All the documents relating to the Plan and the Examination report are available on the Hoathly Hub.

NB West Hoathly Parish Council's decisions and other minutes of the Parish Council which are recorded in the Clerk's minutes of the statutory meetings of the Council are the complete and formal record. This article is intended to give an informal narrative for residents of what has been happening in your Parish Council.
Click here to open the Parish Council Document Library...


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