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July 18th, 2017.

Following a huge amount of work undertaken since April 2016 by some very public-spirited volunteers and Seaford Town Council, the Seaford Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group presented the work undertaken so far and the evidence gathered for critical review by local residents at a Consultation Event held at Clinton Hall on Tuesday the 11th of July. This work, taking into account the feedback, will now form the draft Neighbourhood Plan.

The objective of the Neighbourhood Plan is to allow the town’s people to have the most say they possibly can regarding where new housing will be built, the design and type of buildings, transport requirements, resulting education and health infrastructure issues, as well as preserving green spaces and key views, and improving the natural and built environment, the local economy and tourism.

More than 150 local residents attended the event and provided valuable feedback on the proposed options for the location of the 185 new dwellings Seaford is required to build by 2030, and expressed their concerns and support all of which is to be taken into account.

The next public consultation will be in September and the pre-submission draft Neighbourhood Plan will be reviewed by Seaford Town Council at the end of August.

Steering Committee chairman, Keith Blackburn, said: "When approved, the Neighbourhood Plan will become a pivotal legal document which Town and District Council councillors and planning officers must refer to before approving planning applications. It is so important for local residents to engage as this is a one-time opportunity to influence important planning matters. As central government relaxes planning laws, without the Neighbourhood Plan developers would be much freer to build where local residents would prefer they don’t. Being the trigger to ensure the maximum infrastructure income (CIL) is paid by developers, the Neighbourhood Plan must be approved as soon as possible."

It is a requirement for a neighbourhood plan to be ‘evidence-based’ and those working on it have spent the last 9-12 months collecting and analysing relevant information. This local analysis was then evaluated by professional consultants, Action in Rural Sussex (AiRS), for their Planning Adviser to objectively identify those sites that best met nine key sustainability objectives. These are the sites that have been put forward by the Steering Group.

One criterion for approval of the plan by government examiners is to demonstrate that local residents have had an opportunity to review the evidence and have had as much input as reasonably possible. Should any local resident not have been able to attend the Consultation Eventor not be able to access the information through the Neighbourhood Plan website HERE, a hard copy is available for review in files located at the Seaford Tourist Information Centre, 37 Church Street, BN25 1HG and in the Seaford Library.