Neighbourhood Plan Update


In light of the fact that Chichester District Council (CDC) has succeeded in formerly incorporating their Site Allocations Development Plan Document (SA DPD) site, Land North of Little Springfield Farm, into the Local Plan 2014-2029, it is understood it is now their intention to enjoin the site incorporated in the Plaistow and Ifold Neighbourhood Plan, namely Land Opposite the Green, by cumulative process, which will result in at least 21 units being allotted to the Parish. In this regard CDC have requested that the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) prepared for the Plaistow and Ifold Parish Neighbourhood Plan now considers the cumulative impact of the development of both sites. This can be completed by way of an addendum to the current SEA. CDC are also revising their Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA) to screen the sites against the MENs and Ebernoe Common, and in the light of recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) case law.

As you are aware our Neighbourhood Plan was drafted specifically to avoid this outcome as is clearly indicated at paragraph 1.16 of the INTRODUCTION of the Neighbourhood Plan. Unfortunately, the Parish Council were advised by the independent Health Check Authority that it would not be possible to withdraw the qualification, which was inserted into this introduction paragraph. This could leave the District Council open to potential legal challenge involving the Parish Council, by the owners of that site.

Catherine Loveday BSc (Hons) MSc MRTPI Health Check Inspector stated in her report Part 3:

‘The withdrawal of Policy H1 in the event that the SA DPD allocation is found sound is not without risk. If the site has been identified as suitable and preferred it would be difficult to resist a planning application for this site where the evidence base has been presented in support of it and this is in the public domain. Should the Qualifying Body proceed as is indicated in paragraph 1.14 – 1.15, it will be necessary to provide extensive and conclusive evidence as to why the no further allocations are appropriate over the Plan period.

In conclusion, even if the Plaistow site (as shown in Policy H1 of Β the Neighbourhood Plan) was withdrawn from the Neighbourhood Plan, it is likely that future development could still take place there, as a result of the in-depth screening which has taken place for the formation of the Neighbourhood Plan, and pressure from the owners or from developers. Under these circumstances there would be little control over such development outside the Neighbourhood Plan. Whereas if future development occurred whilst in the embrace of the Neighbourhood Plan, significant control can be imposed by the 12 point criteria set out in Policy H1 of the Neighbourhood Plan.

We therefore feel there is merit in removing the above mentioned qualification in the introduction at paragraph 1.16 of the Neighbourhood Plan, and it is recommended that the Parish Council resolves to write to Chichester District Council to confirm that the Neighbourhood Plan examiner be asked to remove the paragraph 1.16 from the Introduction, Β as currently written it suggests only one site will go forward. The final decision will rest with the Examiner.

FOR MORE INFORMATION the public are welcome to attend the Parish Council’s Annual Assembly in Winterton Hall, Plaistow on the 16th April commencing at 7.30pm; or the Parish Council meeting on the 23rd April in Kelsey Hall, Ifold commencing at 7.30pm.