Herstmonceux Parish Council

Serving the people of Herstmonceux Parish

Clerk: Clare Harrison
The Parish Office, 4 The Old
Forge, Gardner Street
Herstmonceux, East Sussex
BN27 4LG

Tel: 01323 833312

Herstmonceux Neighbourhood Plan
2017 - 2027

Background Information

The Community's Vision

The Localism Act 2011 enables a Parish Council to create a Neighbourhood Plan. Herstmonceux Parish Council had been working on a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish for a number of years. It was not an easy process as over the period there were three successful, major planning applications in the Parish. Wealden District Council granted permission for 127 new homes in three developments and due to Government changes to planning rules on conversion of redundant farm buildings to residential use, a number of other permissions were also granted. The result of these events meant that the original plan process had to be significantly revised. The following document sets out the aims and objectives of the final Plan.

Are Neighbourhood Plans a good idea?

We have no doubt that the answer is yes!

Without a plan, the Wealden Local Plan, which will cover the whole of Wealden District Council area, will have major influence on the Parish. Whilst having references to Herstmonceux it will not be specific to our Parish. A parish Neighbourhood Plan works alongside the Wealden Plan, but will gives a Parish much greater influence over their community requirements. It is also an opportunity to receive a greater sum of Community Infrastructure Levy payments, which can be used by the Parish Council to improve the amenities in the Parish.

How was the Plan prepared?

The Parish Council set up a Steering Committee and the Plan was developed by a team of Parish Councillors with the assistance of professional advisors from Action in Rural Sussex. Consultations and surveys were carried out with clubs, groups, societies, individuals and statutory consultees such as Wealden District Council, East Sussex County Council, Environment Agency, Natural England, Historic England and High Weald AONB. Preparing the Plan was a long, complex and difficult task. However, we are confident that this Plan will provide a positive structure that puts the Parish needs in the hands of the residents.

The Plan was presented to Herstmonceux Parish Council for their approval then submitted Wealden District Council who arranged for it to be examined by an Independent Examiner.

Following the independent examination, a parish referendum was held on the Plan. The Plan received resounding approval. 83 % of those who voted, were in favour of the statement ` Do you want Wealden Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Herstmonceux to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area`.

Framework for the Future

Our Neighbourhood Plan

The Neighbourhood Plan for Herstmonceux has 15 policies aimed at managing change and growth in the Parish in a positive way so that the character of and quality of life within Herstmonceux Parish is maintained and improved.

Now formally adopted, our Plan is a legal document which reflects the wishes and views of parishioners. All planning applications in Herstmonceux Parish will have to be in accordance with the Herstmonceux Parish Neighbourhood Plan, the Wealden Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.

The Plan will

  • Meet local needs in keeping with the size of the Parish.
  • Complement and enhance our environment, both in its nature and history.
  • Protect the high quality rural landscape.
  • Contribute to the social fabric and well-being of the parishioners.
  • Promote employment in the Parish.
  • Promote and retain retail facilities.
  • Regulate future type and style of housing developments.
  • Provide an ongoing framework for all of the residents to contribute to the sustainable development of our community.

The Plan is currently used as a guidance document by both the Parish Council and Wealden Planning Department . Since it's formal adoption, it has become a Statutory Planning Document and forms part of the planning regulations used by Wealden District Council when it considers any planning applications in Herstmonceux Parish.

Habitats Regulations Assessment, Purdah and Portfolio Holder Decision

Wealden District Council were programmed to undertake the necessary Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Herstmonceux Parish Neighbourhood Plan as a priority piece of work. Due to be completed by the end of the first week of March 2019, the Plan would then be passed to Natural England for a further five week consultation period.

Allowing for Natural England processes and the necessary Purdah period concessions, Wealden District Council sought to adopt the plan under a Portfolio Holder decision, subject to a five day call in period, in the summer of 2019.

Much to the Parish Council's relief and as a testimony to their patience, The Herstmonceux Parish Neighbourhood Plan was finally, fully adopted in July 2019.

The Neighbourhood Submission Plan and Supporting Documents

The Herstmonceux Parish Neighbourhood Plan and it's supporting documents can be found below.