Seaford Town Council has commissioned Action in Rural Sussex to conduct the development of a neighbourhood plan for the town in full consultation with local residents. This project started mid-2015 and after the appointment of Action in Rural Sussex, experts in the neighbourhood planning field, in January 2016 has quickly gained momentum.
Seaford Town Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group have created a website dedicated to Seaford's Neighbourhood Plan, this can be found at www.seafordnp.uk/index.php
Any questions to do with the Plan or the process can be emailed direct to the Steering Group at email@example.com
As an introduction to neighbourhood planning, please see some commonly asked questions and answers below:
What is Neighbourhood Planning?
Neighbourhood planning is an entitlement, rather than legal requirement, that gives communities direct power to shape the development and growth of their local area and develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood.
Neighbourhood planning equips local people to help ensure they get the right types of development for their community, where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area.
Neighbourhood planning enables communities to choose were they want new homes, offices and shops to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided. They are also able to grant planning permission for the new buildings they would like to see develop.
What are the benefits of having a Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood planning enables communities to play a much stronger role in shaping the areas in which they live and work. A neighbourhood plan forms part of the development and sits alongside the local planning authority’s Local Plan; in Seaford’s case this is the Lewes Local Plan as prepared by Lewes District Council. Decisions on future planning applications would then be made using both the Local Plan and the neighbourhood plan, alongside any other material considerations.
The creation of a neighbourhood plan provides the possible opportunity for communities to set out a vision for how they want their community to develop over the next ten, fifteen, twenty years in ways that meet identified local need and make sense for local people. They can put in place planning policies that will help deliver that vision or grant planning permission for the development they want to see.
To help deliver their vision, communities that create a neighbourhood plan and secure the consent of local people in a referendum will benefit from an uplifted 25% of the revenues from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) arising from the development that takes place in their area.
CIL is a charge made on all developments (with over 100sq/m of internal floor space) and will be used to improve or maintain the infrastructure where the development takes place. For example, a new residential development of covering 150sq/m of internal floor space would be subject to £13,500 CIL charges, £3,375 of which would go to Seaford Town Council to be invested in local infrastructure.
What can a Neighbourhood Plan do and not do?
The plan can:
1.Provide policies to guide the development of our town
2.Decide where development takes place
3.Decide which assets are to be developed
4.Dictate which local issues are to be covered
5.Add local details to the district policy
The plan cannot:
1.Override national policy
2.Override strategic local policy including housing
3.Make policies not related to planning
4.Prevent planned development
5.Be negatively written
What are the stages of creating a Plan?
The creation of a Neighbourhood Plan can be broken down in to five key stages;
Preparation - Evidence Gathering - Vision & Objective Development - Developing the Plan - Examination - Referendum - Adoption
It is estimated that the neighbourhood planning process will take between 18 -36 months to complete, due to the workload and public consultation that must be dedicated to ensure the plan meets the needs of the local community and strategies of the District's Local Plan.
Below is a document to download setting out some of the activities involved in each of the above five stages. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list but an overview of the tasks taking place.
||For anyone wishing to join a Focus Group and volunteer time to help in the creation of the plan
||Setting out the Key Stages of developing a plan and some actions in the process
||A map setting out the boundaries of the now designated neighbourhood area for Seaford's plan
|Call for Sites
||Anyone wishing to have a land site included in the plan must get in contact
|Public Meeting Video
||View the video of the public meeting held on 20 April 2016 (link takes you to YouTube)
|FAQ's on Call for Sites
||Some answers to commonly asked questions regarding the Call for Sites and the Town Council owned open spaces
|Project Plan 2016 - 2018
||A timeline devised by the Steering Group for the development of the plan and all necessary stages
Contact Action in Rural Sussex's Community Development Officer, Faustina Bayo, on 01273 407 320 or firstname.lastname@example.org for specific information on Seaford's Neighbourhood Plan, or alternatively for general information regarding the neighbourhood planning process the following websites hold a wealth of information:
Action in Rural Sussex
Lewes District Council
Department for Local Government & Communities