You could be forgiven, following the amount of work you were involved in via public consultations and meetings during the later part of 2017 and the early part of last year, if you thought the production of the second Henfield Neighbourhood Plan had gone off the radar.
I can assure you a great deal of hard work has been done throughout the whole of last year towards the production of a second plan but I have to report that we have not been able to make the progress we hoped to achieve. This has been in large part due to the appraisal of the large number of sites that came forward in our Call for Sites in August of 2017.
The production of the Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA) is an essential part of the evidence base for both Local and Neighbourhood Plans. At the outset of our second plan Horsham District Council offered to undertake this work on behalf of the community. We were thankful to accept this offer and agreed with them at meetings in October of 2017 and January of last year to a timetable that would see the SA/SEA process largely completed by July 2018.
Unfortunately that work, at present confidential, has only just reached that stage at the time of writing. That has therefore delayed our ability to allocate sites to deliver the 260-273 homes Henfield Parish needs to deliver during the plan period up to 2031. A great deal of work has been done by my colleagues in drafting general policies and preparing our Pre-Submission Plan and once we have allocated the most sustainable sites we can draw all this work together in preparation for our regulation 14 consultation across the plan area which is all of Henfield Parish. This will give you further opportunity to comment on our work so far with the potential to influence the plan content going forward.
Work has also been carried out by other volunteers to update the Village Design Statement which will be incorporated in the plan to give it greater weight and our thanks are due to them.
Please be assured the plan is moving forward.
Regards Ray Osgood.
Chairman Henfield Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.