Designated Plan Area
The area covered by the plan has to be agreed first, so discussions have been held over recent months with three adjoining Parish Councils:-
- Woodmancote and Shermanbury Parish Councils have now both decided to produce their own separate plans rather than being included with Henfield.
- As the boundary between the parishes of Upper Beeding and Henfield divides Small Dole, the two Parish Councils have agreed to liaise closely so that their (separate) Neighbourhood Plans ensure the whole of this village is treated in a coherent and consistent way.
Henfield Parish Council has therefore proposed to Horsham District Council and the South Downs National Park, the two planning authorities for our parish, that our Designated Plan area be all of the Parish of Henfield. Formal responses are awaited.
In order to get some initial community feedback, a limited number of survey forms, were distributed at the Summer Fair and Monday Market in July. A similar form will be delivered to all households asking for replies to be submitted by the end of September (click here to download).
This is just the start of an extensive and vital consultation exercise, which will encompass a wide cross-section of local individuals, community groups, businesses and other bodies to obtain views from as many sources as possible. Everyone with an interest in the future development of Henfield is urged to complete and return the initial form by end September.
Use of professional consultants
A robust Neighbourhood Plan (a formal planning document) will take time to prepare and will need input from professional planning experts. This view has been confirmed by consultation with members of other parish/ town councils in other Districts whose plans are further advanced than Henfield’s. The cost of such advice is significant but the Steering Group believes this will be money well spent. We are now in discussions with Action in Rural Sussex (and other providers of professional planning consultancy) about how they can help us produce a robust and effective plan.
We are grateful to those who have already offered to become directly involved with the production of the Neighbourhood Plan. If anyone else would like to help, please contact the Parish Council Clerk, Philip Hill, either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit during opening hours. Once the results of the initial survey are known and other issues resolved, we shall hold one or more public meetings to which everyone who wishes to participate will be invited to attend.
It may appear this whole process is taking a long time to get going but it is important these initial issues are first resolved, so as to lay the foundations of a successful plan.