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December 18 2014.

Newhaven Town Council is producing, with the help of the community, a Neighbourhood Plan which when adopted, will amongst other things, set out policies where new development such as housing and recreation space will be located in the town.

In the summer the council consulted with residents to find out how they would like their town to grow and change over the next 15 years, and also ran a number of exhibitions on the Neighbourhood Plan, so that people could find out more and tell talk to the council about it..

The Council will be consulting again with the community over the Christmas period and has included a questionnaire in the Town Council’s quarterly magazine ‘Newhaven Matters’, that will be delivered to all homes in Newhaven over the next couple of weeks. Views on a number of additional sites that have been suggested for development by landowners.

Completed questionnaires should be returned by the 19th of January, as views of the community are important to the Council and are essential if they are to deliver a Neighbourhood Plan that sets out what the community would like to see.

Questionnaires can be returned to a number of locations throughout the town and these are set out in the magazine.


What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. Neighbourhood Plans cannot prevent development and must be in conformity with the requirements of the local District Plan, (eg with respect to housing numbers), however they can give communities the power to choose where to allocate new homes (and other forms of development if required), and can have a say, for example, on the types and appearance of housing and what infrastructure should be provided. Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to ensure that 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.

The Town Council began the process of preparing a plan early in 2014 to take the opportunity presented by the Localism Act to positively plan for the future of the town. It is also being developed in response to the Lewes District Core Strategy.

Who creates the Plan and who manages its creation?
The Neighbourhood Plan is a community led plan, so it is the views of local people that decide how the plan develops. The management of the Plan’s creation is via the Steering Group which consists of members of the Town Council.

Is it now too late to get involved?
The Neighbourhood Plan is about helping to shape the Parish for the next fifteen years. It is vital that the Plan is as representative as possible of the community’s views, hence the various forms of consultation work and evidence gathering undertaken to date. It is therefore important that the Steering Group and Town Council receive feedback about the ideas being consulted upon.

What if I disagree with the recommendations of the Neighbourhood Plan?
As well as inputting to the development of the plan, residents will have the opportunity to formally submit their concerns during the statutory consultation stage of the Neighbourhood Plan which is scheduled to take place in summer 2015.

The responses from this consultation period will be used to inform the final version of the Neighbourhood Plan. Once the final Neighbourhood Plan is submitted to Lewes District Council, it will be examined by an examiner appointed by Lewes District Council with the approval of the town council and steering group. After examination the Plan will move into referendum (co-ordinated by Lewes District Council) and residents will have the opportunity to vote on the Neighbourhood Plan.