The Wisborough Green Neighbourhood Plan Review 2019
You may already be aware that due to a housing shortfall in the Chichester District Council (CDC) Local Plan (also under review), the villages of Loxwood and Wisborough Green have been given a further housing allocation. Our village was initially allocated 25 more homes to be provided by 2035 but in November 2020, we heard that this number has been increased to 40. We may not want our little rural villages to change in character by increasing in size but this is not within our control. It will happen but, with an revised Neighbourhood Plan, at least we will have some influence over the siting and design.
Your Neighbourhood Plan Review team of voluntary members (2 residents, 3 Parish Councillors and the PC Clerk) began the process in 2018. The following work has been undertaken so far. Please refer to the NP Documents & Evidence page where reports and further information have been provided.
STEPS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN REVIEW
January 2019 – Call for Sites: A call for sites was undertaken at the start of 2019, the cut-off date being 31st March 2019.
April 2019 Onwards – Site Assessments: All potential sites underwent a rigorous and objective assessment for suitability against agreed set criteria, Independent technical support was provided by Chapman Planning. Site Assessments were also undertaken by an independent planning consultancy, AECOM.
September 2019 – Community Consultation: Details of the Neighbourhood Plan process, site assessment details and options were presented to the community at a consultation event in the Village Hall at the end of September. The results are published in the evidence section.
Autumn 2019: Terra Firma Consultancy Ltd, which undertook Chichester District Council’s Landscape Capacity Study, was engaged to undertake an Valued Open Space Assessment of Wisborough Green.
January 2020 – Community Questionnaire: Circulated to all households in the Parish. All information given was anonymous and the questions were purely to help identify any concerns within the village, gain a further understanding of how our community works, where improvements (if any) might be made and to obtain feedback on policy changes. The Parish Council engaged Action in rural Sussex to distribute the survey and provide independent analysis of the results. AirS, established in 1931, is an independent charity that supports rural communities to be vibrant and diverse places in which to live and work.
Spring/Summer 2020 – Local Gap Assessment: The Steering Group undertook a detailed assessment of the 5 local gaps, with support provided by AECOM. Local residents were involved in the validation and standardisation process.
January 2021 – Site Consultation: CDC confirmed the new housing number of 40 late November 2020. Due to Coronavirus, it was not possible to hold a consultation event, so a paper questionnaire was circulated to all households in the parish magazine in late December. The cut off date for responses is Friday 22nd January 2021. Residents are able to return responses via a collection box in the Village Shop, post box at the Village Hall, by post or email a scan or photograph to the Parish Clerk.
Village Design Guide
The purpose of this design guidance document is for use as material consideration in determining applications for planning permission and for contributing to control of development within the planning system in Wisborough Green.
It sets out a vision for the future embedded in the visual history of the past so that the essential character of the village is preserved. The Guide has been prepared after three public consultations as part of the larger project of adopting a Neighbourhood Plan. The Guide also seeks to record the current features of the built and natural environment of the village that are valued by the residents. It is intended to guide all parties on the preference for use of local materials and vernacular architectural style that will ensure the continued authenticity of the village character.
The Wisborough Green Neighbourhood Plan 2014 to 2029
The Wisborough Green Neighbourhood Plan sets out the vision, objectives and policies for the sustainable development of the Parish from 2014 to 2029. Its purpose is the allocation of development sites for new housing and to influence how such development impacts upon the village environment. It has been drawn up by a Steering Group made up of Parish Council members and local residents, working under the auspices of Wisborough Green Parish Council.
The planning context is provided by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Chichester District Council Local Plan: Key Policies 2014-2029 adopted by Chichester District Council (CDC) on 14th July 2015 (referred to hereafter as CDC Local Plan). About one third of the Parish is in the South Downs National Park (SDNP) which is managed by the SDNP Authority and due to have a Local Plan available in 2017.
The Introduction details the purpose of the Plan and describes the extensive local consultation undertaken, and the required statutory consultation process.
The Vision and Objectives are derived from the local consultation process which helped identify the special qualities of Wisborough Green which are cherished by residents and visitors, and the strong determination to maintain this vibrant community.
About Wisborough Green describes the history and heritage of this rural village, the current status and the issues it faces. Strong emphasis is given to the importance and impact of the diverse and beautiful country landscape in creating the environmental setting of Wisborough Green. The 14 character area assessments completed for the Village Design Guide provide evidence for the present and highlights how its rich and unique history has created the village of today.
Each section details the important aspects that contribute to the thriving community such as local economy, community and leisure facilities. The current issues relating to transport, parking, and housing needs have also been detailed. The SWOT table at the end of this section analyses how such issues can be categorised as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to Wisborough Green.
The Policy section contains a series of 31 policies that will deliver the objectives and where possible, enhance the identified special qualities of Wisborough Green. Each policy has an intent and reasoned justification that provide guidelines to protect and contribute to the traditional setting and character of the community.
This section also includes explanation to the assessment of available development locations and the spatial strategy, and individual site details including phasing, site numbers and community benefits.
Although not a statutory requirement of a Neighbourhood Plan, a Community Action Plan has been included. This section sets out a series of desired projects arising from the public consultations and local residents’ ideas for improvement and sustainable growth within the Parish.
The Neighbourhood Plan concludes with an Appendix. This includes a list of evidence which underpins the rationale of the Plan. This evidence been presented throughout the document in a range of formats from tables and charts to reasoned justification.
The Parish Council would like to thank all the local people who have helped in the development of our Neighbourhood Plan, contributed valuable ideas and suggestions and invaluable time throughout the consultation process.