|England has what’s called a plan-led system. There is a hierarchical structure of guidance and plans covering the national, strategic, local and neighbourhood levels, which all interconnect and link with each other. |
The English planning system is also influenced by European and UK-wide legislation and policy.
At national level, the Government sets out national planning policies and guidance. This is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and in an online resource known as Planning Practice Guidance.
At a local level, Rother District Council has a plan for our district. This plans set out the amount and type of development needed and the areas where development should go. In our case, Hurst Green village, and no-where else in the parish. They set the framework against which decisions on individual planning applications will be made.
At a neighbourhood level, neighbourhood groups can prepare neighbourhood plans that set out policies and proposals for the next 20 or so years in their neighbourhood area.
Neighbourhood Plans are statutory plans, the process for which is legally prescribed, and, when made, form part of the ‘development plan’ for the area.
Neighbourhood Plans must be in general conformity with the strategic policies for an area (Rother District Council’s Local Plan) as well as having regard to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and accord with European Legislation.
Our Neighbourhood Plan will be subject to an independent Examination. It additionally requires a local referendum to be held to ensure that our community has the final say on whether the plan comes into force or not.
To limit the cost to residents, Hurst Green is also seeking assistance in the form of grants and technical support through a central Government programme. For more information on this, go to My Community.
(Q1) Why is HG 23 housing site [site adjacent to Pentwood Place] included when it already has an outline planning application on it? This site was also submitted to the Neighbourhood Plan as part of the open call for sites process, it has undergone the same scrutiny as all sites. There is no reason that we are aware of that the site owner has to wait for neighbourhood plan process, nor did the owner inform the NPSG that they planned to make their application. If planning is granted, we do expect it to count towards the overall housing allocation.
(Q2) What number of houses will we be committing to for the end of the period the local plan covers?Rother District Council (RDC) are expecting Hurst Green Parish Council to allocate in Hurst Green village 75 new dwellings (in the detail, it’s actually 81, based on 6 new houses that were already committed). This number come from RDC’s Core Strategy, the key planning policy document within Rother which was published in 2014. The document sets the overall vision and objectives for development in Rother up to 2028 and includes policies relating to development across its towns and rural areas. It also contains ‘core policies’, such as those on community development, housing, the economy, the environment and transport. It is also worth noting the current development boundary for Hurst Green. Rother’s Core Strategy does not allocate specific sites for development in the parish of Hurst Green, this will be done by the Hurst Green Neighbourhood Plan. If the Neighbourhood Plan does not do this, then the District Council will take back this responsibility and will allocate sites centrally.
(Q3) What are the plans for expanding into silverhill & the area near the car wash for use to meet planning and housing demands?Swiftden and Silverhill settlements are outside of the Hurst Green development boundary, they are therefore considered to be ‘development in the countryside’ for planning purposes. As such these areas have no development targets, any homes built here will not count towards the Hurst Green development allocation of 75 new homes. Councillors will recall the draft local housing demand assessment conducted by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group that suggests that there is a need for one house in Swiftsden and 3-4 new homes in Silver Hill. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group are awaiting the publication of a professional housing needs assessment undertaken by AECOM, before determining what action to recommend in relation to Swiftden and Silverhill.
(Q5) What will the expected breakdown of these houses in terms of bedrooms and styles?Twill still need to be in conformance with RDC’s existing policies. We are planning on creating design policies inline or relating to the draft Design Guide published by the HWAONB.
(Q6) What will the space density expectation be per house type? The expectation and legal requirement is to meet national planning on minimum room sizes.
(Q7) What will the parking allocation expectation be per house type?This is still to be determined. The requirement for each site to meet East Sussex County Council parking calculator formula. Although, we are hoping to do much better based on local evidence already collected, this is a delicate area as if a housing site allocates too much parking, extraordinarily it could be rejected by the District or the Country Council for an ‘inefficient use of land’.
What will be the communal space allocation be by location and will it change for house type?This is still to be determined.
What is the expectation for house types for each proposed site?House mix are determined by Rother policies unless we decide to try and supersede these based on local evidence. It is this that the neighbourhood plan steering group now need to focus on. Initial schemes will be based on Rother’s policies. We have undertaken 2 housing needs / demand assessments which may influence this.
Q11 What is the contingency plan of increased demand for housing in the parish before the end of the local plan time period?Th
“Housing development within the High Weald is necessary and desirable in creating a thriving and successful place, but it is also a responsibility and privilege to make long-lasting interventions in such
a special and protected landscape. Past development has shown how this special opportunity has often been squandered on generic housing developments failing to capitalise on the true character of the place…”
Building for the High Weald – Design Guidance , High Weald Joint Advisory Committee
Land at Foundry Close Appeal decision:
“…the layout proposed would result in one that does not entirely reflect the prevailing pattern of development within the locality. For example,
the appellant has used large areas of shared surfaces where the village [Hurst Green]
typically has pavements and roads. Another difference is that the part of the village along the High Street has both a variation in built form and a closer knit physical appearance. To the contrary, rather than reflecting the rural character of the village by incorporating landscape features such as the tree-lined eastwest ditch, the appeal scheme appears as a suburban development with surface car park areas and small blocks of flats for example…”
“sufficient practical parking provision should be provided in the first instance…”