Herstmonceux Parish Council wishes to update parishioners about the future of the Neighbourhood Plan for Herstmonceux.
Herstmonceux Parish Council resolved at the November Council Meeting that the Neighbourhood Plan should proceed without specific site allocation policies.
Since that meeting, there have been changes arising from external events which meant that the Neighbourhood Plan was reviewed again.
- The Department for Communities and Local Government released a statement in January 2015 that a review of the Neighbourhood Plan process will be undertaken during 2015.
- Due to the national elections, all government activity will cease on 31 March 2015, and so it is not expected that any changes can be introduced before that date. The review could be affected by the elections.
- Wealden District Council is working on a new Wealden Plan which will assess the need for housing and economic development in the District up to 2027.
- A review of the Core Strategy will be carried out at the same time as the Delivery and Site Allocation work. This review could lead to an increase in the number of houses required in Wealden District. Wealden has reported that there is already significant pressure by the government to provide sites for more housing in Wealden. The current requirement for Herstmonceux in the Wealden Core Strategy is 70 dwellings but it is expected that that number will rise following the Core Strategy Review.
Two planning applications for 70 dwellings on land adjacent to Lime Cross Recreation Area and 40 dwellings at Lime Roughs, the land adjacent to the Health Centre have been submitted to Wealden District Council. Both these sites are classed as "windfall" sites.
However, Mr K. Williams, the Head of Planning and Environmental Services has informed the Parish Council that "...Wealden will not be entertaining at this stage any further development over and above the two greenfield sites which you are currently aware of. If we receive (subject to the two sites being approved) further approaches by developers, the Council (Wealden District Council) will resist any such application on the basis that it is premature and prejudicial to the plan making process, both at Neighbourhood Plan level and Local Plan level (Development and Site Allocations Local Plan).
If the applications for the sites at Lime Cross and Lime Roughs are approved by the District Council, these 110 dwellings will count towards any revised allocation
in the Wealden Plan. A revised number of dwellings identified in the Wealden consultations will replace the current 70 dwellings required and will not be in addition to that number.
Herstmoncuex Parish Council has not made a decision on either application, the Lime Cross application WD/2015/0090/MAO will be discussed at meeting on 10 February 2015, the Lime Roughs application WD/2015/0136/MAO will be discussed at a meeting on 10 March 2015. Both meetings will be held at 7pm in the hall of Herstmonceux Primary School.
A Neighbourhood Plan for Herstmonceux was positively supported by the Council and many residents to create policies for the future of Herstmonceux.
However, the Council has noted the uncertainty about the future of the Neighbourhood Plan process, forthcoming elections, the review of the Core Strategy and the potential cost. It was agreed that the Herstmonceux Parish Neighbourhood Plan would be reviewed again at the July 2015 Parish Council Meeting.
In spite of this delay, Herstmonceux Parish Council will consider how to build on the information gained by the consultations in the Neighbourhood Plan, particularly in respect of the design and type of housing, Green Spaces in the parish, how the Parish Council can work with the Business Association to look at business interests in the parish and enquiries into the provision of housing for older residents.
Consultations have already been held with Wealden District Council Housing Department and East Sussex County Council to discuss housing for older residents in the parish. Discussions on the other issues will continue and residents who wish to engage with any of these discussions should contact the Parish Clerk.
Herstmonceux Parish is an active, vibrant community as proved by the creation of a new project Vitality Village led by the Health Centre in Herstmonceux and it is important to build on the positive aspects of our community.
Vitality Village will hold regular coffee mornings in the Health Centre on the third Monday morning of each month and there will be an Information Day at the Health Centre and Herstmonceux Village Hall from 10am -12 midday on 25 April 2015. This event will allow as many groups as possible to showcase their activities. Please contact Mrs R. Simmons at the Health Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.