Published: 01 February 2016

As reported in January Parish Magazine, the application submitted to Horsham District Council (HDC) that “Lower Beeding be a designated Parish for producing a Neighbourhood Plan.” was successful and we are now a designated parish.

Lower Beeding Neighbourhood Plan is quite a mouthful and it has been suggested that we use a subtitle, so the plan process will be referred to as a working subtitle of “Engage”. Why “Engage” because this is what the process is all about, engagement with the local community. So look out for updates on “Engage”.

The next stage, in the process is to start to gather evidence to formulate a plan. As part of this work we are asking the local community to submit their ‘Wish List’ for the future of the parish. Neighbourhood Plans become part of the Development Plan for the District, which includes the Horsham District Planning Framework (HDPF) The policies contained within Neighbourhood Plans are then used in the determination of planning applications. It must be stressed that Neighbourhood Plan policies cannot block development that is already part of the HDPF. What they can do is shape where that development will go and what it will look like.

The formal launch of the process will commence with an ‘Open Event’. This will take place during the weekend of 5th and 6th March 2016 in the Church Room (behind Holy Trinity Church) at which the community will be invited to come and make suggestions as to what they would like included or excluded from the plan in terms of future development and amenities in the village. The Open Event will be held on Saturday 5th March between 10am and 4pm and on Sunday 6th March between 12pm and 4pm.

Invitations will also be sent out shortly to interested parties who may have land or interests in land which may be offered as possible developments sites.

Volunteers are invited to be part of the Neighbourhood Plan Group, so please consider if you would like to take part. If you would like to be part of the group, please submit your details to the Clerk to the Parish Council:

Michael Tuckwell, 22 Blanches Road, Partridge Green, Horsham, RH13 8HZ. Email: michaelanne@hotmail.co.uk.

Updates will appear in the Parish magazine, on the Parish Council website (www.lowerbeeding.com) and on the parish council notice boards around the village.

The future of the village is in your hands, please come along to the exhibition during the weekend of 5th and 6th March 2016 and be ‘Engaged’ in the process.

Draft Guiding Principles for the drafting of the Lower Beeding Neighbourhood Plan are set below, (we are grateful to Ian Shaw for the drafting of these principles,)

N.B. Please note that these are drafts only and are suggested for guidance and discussion during the formulation of the plan. 

  1. We understand that there is a natural need for growth in accordance with a growing population and a shortage of suitable accommodation for the community in Lower Beeding.
  2. We are willing to support developments that are of a scale that does not materially change the character and feel of the village detrimentally. We feel that this translates into achieving a more organic, incremental, sustainable growth model for the village.
  3. We feel that there is a need for a suitable mix of units with individual developments, in order to provide a variety of options from 1-4 bedrooms.
  4. We feel that properties should be in keeping with the West Sussex vernacular and be rural in character and use (where possible) local materials.
  5. We feel that community is important and any developments of significant scale should incorporate public/social space in order to encourage social cohesion and a sense of community. Community space could also support and encourage equestrian activities, both recreational and commercial
  6. We feel that any development in the village should be supported by the appropriate infrastructure and we would support necessary improvement in utilities and where required schooling capacity.
  7. We feel that road safety is a key concern and as such request that a review of the traffic management within the village is completed by the highway authority (WSCC Highways) and future development is considered with reference to the results of such a survey.

…. Key Question: What will the village of 2031 look like?

Geoff Peckham
Lead Councillor –Lower Beeding’ Neighbourhood Plan
Lower Beeding Parish Council