The government’s Localism Act came into force in November 2011, and will have an impact on planning.
The intention of the Act is to give local communities a greater say in planning issues: letting local people decide the vision for their area.
Under the Act, towns and parishes can prepare Neighbourhood Plans, which will form part of the District Plan. Neighbourhood Plans will cover not only development, but infrastructure needs, (like schools, roads, medical provision, waste water disposal and economic and social objectives.
Hassocks Parish Council is preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for Hassocks, which, once adopted, will shape the future development of the village for the next 20 years.
The process involves drafting a plan, and engaging with the community in its preparation. The plan will then be submitted to an independent assessment to ensure it is consistent with the Mid Sussex District Plan and national planning policies. It will then be subject to a referendum in which all residents eligible to vote in the village can express their views.
This will be a major undertaking for Hassocks Parish Council. Councillors therefore wish to involve local groups, institutions, businesses and individuals with a particular interest or expertise in the development of the plan to ensure that it reflects a wide range of views. If you would like to become involved, or would like further information, please contact the Parish Office.
The Hassocks Parish Council has estimated that the Neighbourhood Plan may cost in the region of £20,000.This would include the cost of professional advice, printing, distribution, the costs of an independent assessment, and holding a referendum. Hassocks Parish Council has agreed to spread this cost over two years, and meet half the cost from reserves to minimise the impact on the precept.