Here is a link to our response to the first consultation (Regulation 18). Below is the Regulation 19 consultation article from A/W 2023 Newsletter:
Mid Sussex District Plan (The Plan) 2021 – 2039 Review
Lyn Williams – Chairman
There’s a definite feeling of déjà vu as the draft District Plan will shortly be out for (‘Regulation 19’)consultation. The good news is that this 6-week review period will start on 12th January 2024 and will finish on 23rd February, after Christmas, unlike last year.’s ‘Regulation18’ consultation.
Unfortunately, the latest draft was only available to the public from 15th November for discussion at an MSDC Scrutiny Meeting on 22nd November. The papers released for that meeting ran to 782 pages so there was a lot to read.
This article is being written the day after this Scrutiny Meeting where minor changes to the Plan were agreed. The final version should be available 7 days before the Full Council meeting on 13th Dec., when it should receive approval to go out for Public Consultation in January, as stated above.
To recap from last year, the existing District Plan for the period from 2014 to 2031 must be reviewed every 5 years to ensure that it is up to date and to take account of changes that have already happened and projections for the future, including population growth and changes to the economy.
The latest version of the Plan for the period from 2021 to 2039 has taken note of comments from last year’s public ‘Regulation 18’ consultation and made a significant number of amendments.
Additionally a lot of the wording has been strengthened with “should” and “could” being replaced by “must” and “it is a requirement”. Although these appear relatively minor, in reality they add significantly more power to the policies.
The housing requirement has been reduced to 7,459 (previously 8,169), but then an over supply of 996 dwellings is added to meet housing needs should the number of houses on identified sites reduce, or building on some sites does not take place. Ironically, this means the total housing supply in the Plan is 8,455 across the District, which is higher than before.
The latest strategy emphasises the use of settlements that are presently less sustainable for large numbers of houses but have opportunities for growth. This requires development on a scale that will provide infrastructure and services to meet the needs of a new larger community to include new schools, neighbourhood centres and employment opportunities.
According to the latest draft of The Plan prepared for Mid Sussex District Council’s Scrutiny Committee Meeting on 22nd November 2023, it states:
So the question is – How can or will this laudable, sustainable plan deliver these aims here?
In addition, in Sayers Common are
There is a further housing allocation west of Kemps in Hurst.
It will prove to be unhelpful that the reference numbers for these sites have all changed from the previous draft but the housing numbers remain the same.
We fully appreciate the tremendous amount of hard work undertaken by the District Council in difficult circumstances. Much of the content is governed by National Policy, which they must adhere to.
Regulation 19 Consultation
While changes have been made, it is disappointing that many of the comments made by people here last year still apply. The latest version of the Plan going out to consultation must meet the requirements set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (2023) and Planning Practice Guidance as follows:
• The submission draft District Plan has been written in accordance with legislation and regulations.
• The submission draft District Plan has been informed by the results of the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal. This shows which options have been considered for its strategy and policies and why the options chosen are preferred over those rejected.
• The submission draft District Plan has been informed by background evidence. The background evidence will be made available to view on the Council’s website.
This is your opportunity to make further comments following their guidelines (see next page) and we will provide more information on our website towards the end of January/beginning of February, with a link on Facebook.
After this consultation, the Council may make minor changes and corrections, then the Plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State for examination in Spring 2024. All the documents and comments made will be considered by an independent Planning Inspectorate so further changes are possible. The Inspector may decide that some matters are of sufficient importance that they will be considered at the Examination public hearing sessions.
Should the independent Planning Inspector decide that ‘main modifications’ are required in order for the Plan to be ‘found sound’, these will be subject to a further consultation.
If the Inspector concludes that the Plan is sound (or can be made so if main modifications are accepted) the new District Plan is due to be adopted in 2024.
Details of the progress of the Plan can be found following this link:
A guide to Making Comments to follow…