Woodmancote Parish Neighbourhood Plan

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Getting Started

What is a "Neighbourhood Plan"?

Essentially a Neighbourhood Plan is a document produced by a Parish Council that tells its immediate local authority, in our case Horsham District Council, what it sees as its vision for the community over the medium term. It is being introduced by the government as part of the Localism Bill (May 2012). This will inevitably involve some changes to the way Woodmancote and Blackstone look and work as an overall community. Change can take many forms and some will wish to resist change of any kind. This is understandable but the plain facts are that if we as a parish do not put forward a coherent and well thought through plan we will be vulnerable to arbitrary change imposed upon us by our local authority. Their position will be that we didn't speak up at the right time and therefore we must accept their vision for us. This could include significant and unwelcome residential development or commercial activity. Neighbourhood Plans specifically cannot block new development if the local authority consider that it is necessary for economic growth and local need.

The Woodmancote Parish Council in tandem with every other parish council across the country are starting the process of creating their own Neighbourhood Plan. This important document will take many months to finalise and involve all the residents of our community having their say about how they would like to see their immediate locality develop over the course of the next 10 to 15 years. It is crucial that when your opinions are sought you respond.

The obvious and most contraversial changes are likely to focus on new housing within the community. Accordingly you should start to think about what our housing needs might be going forward over the next decade and beyond, where might they fit in and who might live in them but more than this we will need your thoughts about other issues important to you in Woodmancote parish such as new or better facilities, business and employment, highways and footpaths, public transport, access to public services etc.


Local Authorities have the duty to support your parish/town in preparing a plan. However, before you decide on a neighbourhood plan, consider the length of time and financial implications of producing one. The complexity of your plan will depend on what it is trying to achieve be it a single topic issues or a wide ranging. Your cost could also be impacted by the size of your population when it comes to surveys and community engagement activities.

The first formal stage of preparing a neighbourhood plan is to get your parish/town/area designated. Your community can begin to identify their issues and concerns as well as aspirations before you become a fully designated area. However, in the case of funding, your community will not be eligible to apply until you become formally designated as neighbourhood plan area.

Designation, Steering Group and Governance

Community Engagement

Helpful Tips: Please click on the pink question mark for some useful guidance.


Your Neighbourhood Plan offers you several advantages and opportunities to influence and control development in your area. They are led by the parish and town councils and involve engaging with all residents, community groups and service providers serving your community. The plan will have to be accepted by the community through a referendum hence the crucial element of getting them on board and informing them of progress throughout the process.

Engage with all organisations, departments, local partners and residents to improve dialogue and negotiations which could help with the future development and implementation of your plan policies and proposals.

Community Data and Local Evidence

Engagement Activities So Far

December 2013: A Christmas card to every household in the parish with a postcard insert asking residents what they liked about living in the parish and the changes they would like to see.

January 2013: Updated residents via website on status of Christmas questionnaire

Early February 2014: door to door exercise asking for interested residents to attend a meeting at the parish hall in March

A neighbourhood plan drop in event held at Woodmancote Parish Hall on Saturday 8th March 2014

A neighbourhood Plan discussion at the Annual Parish Meeting on the 8th April 2014

October 2014: Formal inaugural meeting published on notices boards and websites to establish the Woodmancote Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group comprising of residents and parish councillors.

A vision workshop held at the Cricket Club on Monday 3rd November 2014

Engagement with landowners and agents working on behalf on landowners through a three week call for sites publicity on website, notice boards and via emails from November xx to December 2nd 2014

Updates on the Woodmancote Parish Council web site.

Helpful Tips for Stage 3: Pre-Submission Plan and Draft SEA

Helpful Tips: Please click on the pink question mark for some useful guidance.


Understand the purpose, discuss and agree the key principles of the Plan, including housing numbers, locations and types and other land use and infrastructure proposals.

Draft Plan including a summary of the ‘State of the Parish’ report, the Plan objectives (including the measures by which its success will be judged in due course), the proposed land use allocations, the proposed Planning policies, the proposed infrastructure investments and a delivery Plan. Prepare draft SEA, comprising a schedule of sustainability objectives and show how each specific proposal measures up against each relevant objective. Where negative sustainability impacts are identified, to indicate how such impacts may be mitigated

Regulation 14 Consultation

Carry out the statutory minimum six weeks public consultation. The Pre Submission Plan and its associated documents such as the draft SEA and Community Right To Build Orders (CRTBO) if being undertaken should be made available electronically via websites as well as in hard copies at vantage locations across the parish/town. Hold drop in session with residents to answer queries and explain reasons for proposed policies. Collect and log the representations made during the consultation exercise. The Steering Group to the review each representation and propose an appropriate response (either agree and amend or disagree) in a single schedule.

Pre-Submission Plan Process

Task: Indicate or outline the process undertaken to inform the drafting of plan (i.e. planning workshop, landowners presentations, etc). Provide pictures if any

Pre-Submission Plan and Associated Documents

Task: Provide a link to or upload the pre-submission (draft) plan and draft SEA (if required) to be consulted on

Helpful Tips for Stage 4: Submission Plan and Associated Documents

Helpful Tips: Please click on the pink question mark for some useful guidance.


Your final plan which is the Submission Plan must be submitted with other documents required by the neighbourhood plan regulations. These are: The Basic Conditions Statement, The Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA), The Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) if required and The Consultation Statement

Representation and Responses to Pre Submission Plan

Task: Outcome of your regulation 14 consultation activity and any changes or modifications to be made or made.

Submission Plan and Associated Documents

Task: Provide a link to or upload the submission (final) plan and final SEA (if required) a well as all other relevant documents such as the basic conditions statement and consultation statement

Helpful Tips for Stage 5: Bringing Plan into Force

Helpful Tips: Please click on the pink question mark for some useful guidance.


Once the final plan is submitted to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) with all the associated documents, it becomes the responsibility of the LPA. The LPA will once satisfied with the plan and all the documents submitted will proceed to publish them for a further six weeks consultation known as the Regulation 16 Consultation. During this period, the LPA will work with the parish or town council to appoint an examiner who will independently examine your plan and all the documents submitted. Some Local Planning Authorities may choose to agree and select the preferred examiner with the parish or town council before the final documents are even submitted.

Regulation 16 Consultation and Independent Examination


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