Following on from the Annual Parish Meeting when I spoke regarding the merits and demerits of producing a second Neighbourhood Plan and the large amount of work required and necessary funding, of those present (114) 74 voted in support of a second Plan. That level of community support was influential in helping Henfield Parish Council make the decision to produce a second Plan at the April Parish Council meeting.
The reason that we feel the Plan is necessary is that we believe, going forward, it will give the local community a greater level of input into how Henfield evolves and develops over the next 15-20 years rather than leave this entirely to the Local Planning Authority (LPA), Horsham District Council.
The time necessary to produce a Neighbourhood Plan based on the experience of the first Plan will be in the region of two years and as the Plan gains material strength it will help us to defend against some of the pressures that will impact on the whole of Horsham District due to the large unmet housing needs of the coastal districts. Housing numbers will be a large part of a new Plan as LPAs have been instructed to give an indication of how many homes should come forward in a Plan’s lifetime.
A sub-group of Council members and local residents have started the plan process, which we consider should start by revisiting the work of the six Focus Groups of the original Plan. These are Housing and Development; Environment and Countryside; Community Facilities and Infrastructure; Transport and Travel; the Local Economy; and Small Dole. Once again, we are appealing for volunteers who may have specialist knowledge of any of the topics or who feel they can help in any way. Already a number of residents have indicated their willingness to help and, should you wish to get involved, please contact the Parish Council office or me, Ray Osgood (see details below).
A large and important part of a Neighbourhood Plan is the involvement of the community. If you cannot help directly then please support the presentations and meetings that will inevitably follow: your input is vital. Regular updates will be posted on the various websites, public noticeboards and through our excellent local publications.
Please put your community first and support the new Henfield Neighbourhood Plan
If you wish to get involved please contact:
Henfield Parish Council email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
tel; 01273 492507
Ray Osgood tel; 01273 492499