FAIRLIGHT NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
A) Current Status
Scoping Report for Sustainability Appraisal
As part of the Neighbourhood Planning process we are required to consult certain statutory bodies on the scope of the report. The Scoping Report for Sustainability Appraisal has been sent to Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council, The Environment Agency, The High Weald AONB Unit, Natural England and Historic England. They have been asked to submit any comments by 10th March. We will then be able to complete our Sustainability Appraisal before preparing the first draft of the Neighbourhood Plan for consultation.
Proposals for Discussion as Part of the Neighbourhood Planning Process
Stiles Harold Williams a Planning Consultancy acting for the owners of Wakehams Farm have submitted some proposals to be considered as part of the Neighbourhood Planning consultation process.
We attach a statement from the Neighbourhood Planning Group explaining the status of the proposals plus layout maps showing the site as it currently exists plus the three alternative proposals:
Consultation Meeting on 14th Nov 2016
Analysis of the December 2015 Survey and February Drop-in
The survey carried out in December together with feedback from the Drop In in February has now been analysed and the report is here.
The results will be used to help us in developing the draft Neighbourhood Plan following which a further round of consultation will take place.
If you would like to see the sites submitted by landowners to Rother District Council, and their assessments you can do so by following this link.
The pages relevant to Fairlight are 52 - 54, 100 and 107.
B) Map of Fairlight Parish
C) Minutes from Neighbourhood Planning Meeting on 16th Sept
D) NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING CONSULTATION SEPTEMBER 2014
About 1000 communities in England have already decided to develop Neighbourhood Plans
Fairlight Parish Council has investigated Neighbourhood Planning and believes it would benefit Fairlight.
In coming to this conclusion we have:
- attended planning seminars to hear from parishes going through the process
- Met the chairman of Sedlescombe Parish Council to discuss their experience of NP
- Discussed the issues in Fairlight with Action in Rural Sussex, ( AIRS ) a charity operating in Sussex who provide consultancy services to rural communities
We now wish to test whether there is support in Fairlight for this course of action.
2) WHAT IS NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING?
The powers are contained within The Localism Act 2011
Local Communities can influence planning in their area by
- Developing a shared vision for the Neighbourhood
- Choosing where new homes, shops, offices and other development should be
- Identifying and protecting important local green spaces
- Influencing what new buildings should look like
The Local Planning Authority ( Rother ) have a duty to give assistance and advice, and are paid by the government for doing so.
3) WHAT ARE THE STEPS INVOLVED ?
The Council for the Protection of Rural England and the National Association of Local Councils have provided guidance which recommends the following steps.
- Get started by looking at national and local planning policies, get the local community involved, defining the area of the plan and preparing a programme.
- Identify the issues to address in the Neighbourhood Plan
- Develop a vision and objectives
- Generate options for the draft plan
- Prepare the draft plan
- Consultation and submission for inspection
- Independent examination
- Referendum and adoption
4) WHAT ARE WE OBLIGED TO DO IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN?
We cannot reduce the level of development identified in the Local Plan This is currently set at 44 new homes from 2011 to 2028, of which:
5 have been built
2 have been approved (or may have recently been completed)
17 are approved for the Market Garden site (subject to planning permission)
20 are proposed as potentially deliverable on the Wakeham’s Farm site (also referred to as the East Field).
(the above numbers correct as of Sept 2014)
We must follow the processes set out in guidance
5) IF WE GO AHEAD HOW DO WE PROCEED?
Speak to Rother, The Local Planning Authority and get advice and support
Identify a Steering Group to oversee the project – We would also need sub-groups to look at specific issues.
We need a range of groups represented with their different skills, knowledge and interests
Appoint a core group of at least three people to carry out the work
Appoint a Consultant to assist us – some work requires professional assistance
6) WHAT WOULD BE THE ADVANTAGES OF A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN?
Opportunity to involve Fairlight’s community to create a genuine debate about how our special village should evolve over the next 15 years
We can set planning policies for the village – for example, coastal erosion being a major concern, such policies could be designed to minimise risk of damage to the cliff.
It allows us to look at whether community facilities, employment opportunities and the streetscene could be enhanced through the Neighbourhood Planning process.
Fairlight could retain 25% of the Community Infrastructure Levy for new properties built if there is a NP in place, rather than up to 15% ( but in reality far less) if not
CIL is estimated at £24,000 per property in Fairlight on average.( We would argue that while it is a bonus it should not be seen as a reason to agree development ).
We could see if there are alternative sites to those currently identified for development.
7) WOULD THERE BE ANY DISADVANTAGES?
There is a cost – about £15,000 seems likely although a grant of £7,000 may be available. Current funding round has finished and arrangements from April not yet known
The plan cannot be used to block development, which some may see as a disadvantage. As stated earlier the current minimum figure for Fairlight to 2028 is 44 new homes.
Announcing a Neighbourhood Plan may encourage landowners to put in Planning Applications if they fear that their land will not be included in the development area in the plan.
It will involve a long term commitment from some of us.
8) HOW CAN WE BE SURE THAT THE STEERING GROUP AND PARISH COUNCIL WON’T IMPOSE THINGS WE DON’T WANT?
A Neighbourhood Plan is subject to independent inspection and a ballot of all those registered to vote in the affected area, so could not be implemented unless it was found to be sound, and had the support of Fairlight residents.
SHOULD WE GO AHEAD?
If you have any comments or questions about Neighbourhood Planning we have created a discussion forum on the village website for the Neighbourhood Plan. You need to be a registered user of the website in order to post a comment so if you've not done this already then please register here