Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Parham Room, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham
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To receive the notes of the meeting held on 14 March 2019
The notes of the previous meeting held on 14th March 2019 were received.
Regular update on progress of key Strategic Sites allocated in the HDPF 2015
To update the Group upon progress in delivering the key strategic sites allocated in the adopted Horsham District Planning Framework (i.e. Novartis, north of Horsham, east of Billingshurst and at Southwater)
The Head of Development gave a presentation to update the Group on the progress which had occurred since the last Planning and Development PDAG on the key strategic sites allocated in the Horsham District Planning Framework. She advised that the land north of Horsham was now being promoted by Legal and General. Highway works were due to start by the end of the year.
Officers advised that outline planning permission for up to 594 dwellings including 54 retirement living apartments, sports and community facilities had been granted in Southwater in June 2015. The new cricket pavilion had been well received.
Officers reminded councillors that the development land south of Billingshurst was in two separate parcels allocated for housing. At the Kingslea Farm development 87 dwellings were currently being built. Stage 3 of the development of the other site at Marringdean Acres had not yet commenced.
Planning permission for development on land east of Billingshurst had been granted in 2014. Construction was ongoing. The developers were in discussion with West Sussex County Council about the development of a primary school.
At Kilnwood Vale approximately 800 dwellings had been built and a new primary school was under construction. Outline permission had been given for 227 more dwellings including a private rented scheme.
Work on the Highwood development west of Horsham was ongoing. Planning permission had been granted for 1044 dwellings and 457 units had already been completed. A new road junction on the A24 had been completed. A pedestrian bridge was in place and another one for buses had been approved. The proposed fire station had not yet been built.
The planning application for the former Novartis site was submitted in December 2018. Some objections had been received; in particular there were concerns about the impacts on highways. Councillors were advised that there were ongoing discussions with County Highways.
Horsham Local Plan Review update
a) Local Plan Review Work Programme
To update the Group upon the Horsham Local Plan Review work programme and outline and update on the Local Plan evidence studies which will inform the Local Plan Review and to seek the group’s views on the timetable for the review of the Local Development Scheme.
b) Duty to Co-operate Programme
To update the Group on the discussions which have taken place under the duty to co-operate and the next scheduled discussions being planned to help inform preparation of the Plan.
c) Introduction to the Local Plan Engagement and Communications Strategy
To update the group on the engagement and communication requirements of the Local Plan process, and the engagement of Stakeholders and the wider community.
a) Local Plan Review – Work Programme Update
The Head of Strategic Planning advised that the Council was reviewing the Horsham District Planning Framework for the period up to 2036. The plan must be supported by a robust evidence base, and numerous pieces of work were underway to help inform the preparation of the plan. These included an ‘Employment Growth Assessment’ which would clarify how the local economy was performing and the type and amount of new employment land which would be needed in the future. Other studies included a landscape capability assessment, a flood risk assessment and a sustainability appraisal. Studies were also underway which would help to identify how the Council could meet the housing needs for the area – including the level of affordable housing needed, the size of houses, and types of homes such as accommodation for the elderly as well as for Gypsies and Travellers.
Councillors were advised that the programme for the Local Plan preparation would include the assessment of sites which had been proposed to the Council as possible sites for development.
It was confirmed by officers that the starting point for understanding how many new homes the Local Plan would need to provide was the Government’s Standard Housing methodology. Using this methodology, the number of homes the Council was predicted to need to provide would rise. Councillors reported that they had had discussions with Horsham’s MP regarding the likely increase in housing numbers and the implications that this may have for the District.
The Group noted the local plan review timetable, which sets out the programme to publish a consultation document in the Autumn of 2019. This would be followed by further stages of plan preparation leading to adoption in 2021.
b) Local Plan Review: Duty to Co-operate Programme
Horsham Council had a legal ‘Duty to Co-operate’ with other local authorities about any relevant cross boundary issue. This included the need to discuss the housing needs of other authorities in and around Horsham District. Members were advised that a programme of meetings was ongoing and would need to continue during the plan preparation period.
c) Introduction to Local Plan Consultation, Engagement & Communications
Consultation on the forthcoming Local Plan Review was an integral part of the planning process. Engagement with a wide range of groups from the local community, businesses, infrastructure providers and operators and statutory consultees would take place.
Planning officers set out that any communication that took place would need to consider what messages were needed to be given, when the consultation would take place, and the types of activities it might involve, (for example the use of social media and more ‘traditional’ exhibitions in village halls). It was recognised that the engagement would need to take place over the whole plan preparation period and Members identified that there were already effective parish links, which should be utilised as part of the engagement process.
To note the Forward Plan extract (if any) for the Planning and Development Portfolio
The extract from the Forward Plan was noted.