MP welcomes village support for neighbourhood plans
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has welcomed the latest Neighbourhood Plan to be voted through in a referendum, saying that the policy is "returning power to local communities".
Angmering's Neighbourhood Plan was approved by almost 97 per cent of parishioners who voted in a referendum last Thursday (22 January).
A steering group and team of more than 40 volunteers in the village have been working for over two years to produce the neighbourhood plan through surveys and consultation with local people.
Neighbourhood plans are a new policy introduced under the Localism Act 2011. Once approved in a local referendum, the plans allocate sites for housing and protect green spaces from development.
Mr Herbert also attended a public meeting in Storrington on Thursday evening (22 January) to urge support for their proposed neighbourhood plan.
The MP told the meeting of over 300 residents that a neighbourhood plan would put the community back in control of where development could and could not go.
He welcomed Horsham District Council's indication they would give weight to an emerging neighbourhood plan when considering planning applications, explaining that this would help to resist speculative developments in local villages even before their neighbourhood plans were fully in place.
Mr Herbert successfully campaigned for a change in the Government's planning guidance last year to ensure that due consideration is now given to emerging local plans. The new guidance makes clear that these should be given weight during the decision-making process even before they are passed at referendum.
Nick Herbert said: “I am very pleased that Angmering residents have agreed their neighbourhood plan.
"Unfortunately it wasn't possible for the plan to reject the strategic allocation of 600 houses East of Roundstone Lane which was controversially imposed on the village by Arun District Council last year, a decision which I and local councillors opposed. However, Angmering's neighbourhood plan does assert control in the rest of the village for the next fifteen years, which is an important step forward.
"Neighbourhood planning is returning power to local communities where it belongs. This is localism in action."
The ‘yes’ vote in Angmering follows the success of other neighbourhood plan referendums in West Sussex including Arundel and Kirdford. Arundel's plan was the first to be approved in Sussex and one of the earliest to be voted through in the whole country.
1. To read Nick’s news release ‘MP welcomes very helpful planning changes in West Sussex’ see http://www.nickherbert.com/news.php/510/mp-welcomes-quotvery-helpfulquot-planning-changes-in-west-sussex.
2. For more information on neighbourhood planning see https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/giving-communities-more-power-in-planning-local-development/supporting-pages/neighbourhood-planning