Agenda item

Making the Loxwood Neighbourhood Plan

(See report at Agenda item 5 (pages 9 – 10) of the Cabinet papers of 7 July 2015)




That the Loxwood Neighbourhood Plan be made part of the Development Plan for Chichester District (excluding the area within the South Downs National Park).


Mrs Taylor (Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning), seconded by Mr Dignum, moved the recommendation of the Cabinet. She explained that approval was being sought that the Loxwood Neighbourhood Plan be ‘made’ in line with the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations and so became part of the Development Plan for Chichester District excluding the National Park.


The local community and local members had been involved throughout the long process of preparation of the Plan, which had required significant commitment from the Parish Council. On 25 June 2015, the Plan had been subject to a referendum. The regulations required more than 50% of those who voted to be in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan. The turnout had been 38.5% and, of those who voted, 98% were in favour of the Plan.


Throughout the process there had been extensive consultation within the community, enabling residents to express their views as to where the much needed housing should be located and enabling them to express their vision for the future development of their community.


As previously reported to the Cabinet, Judicial Review proceedings had been lodged with the High Court by Crownhall Estates Limited challenging the neighbourhood plan on a number of legal grounds. This ongoing challenge did not preclude the Council from making the Neighbourhood Plan. If the legal challenge was successful the outcome might be to quash the plan, or part of it, and if this were the case a further report would be made to Cabinet.


Nevertheless, the Loxwood Neighbourhood Plan represented localism acting for the benefit of and with the support of the Community.


Mrs Hardwick, as the previous councillor for the ward in which Loxwood parish was located, expressed her congratulations on the excellent process of community engagement that had taken place. It had not been an easy process and the community had faced a lot of opposition from developers. She strongly supported the recommendation.


Members asked about the turnout on the previous referendum on the draft neighbourhood plan, about the cost to the Loxwood Parish Council and about the term covered by the Neighbourhood Plan.


Mrs Taylor agreed to provide a written reply to the first two of these matters, and stated that the Neighbourhood Plan covered the same period as the Local Plan, namely 15 years. Asked about the impact of the requirement to review the Local Plan within five years, Mr Carvell stated that the Neighbourhood Plan had to remain in conformity with the strategic policies of the Local Plan. The Parish Council would need to review the Neighbourhood Plan once the review of the Local Plan had been concluded to ensure that it was still in conformity with the latter’s strategic policies. Mr Hayes and Mr Ransley reported that the Southbourne and Kirdford Neighbourhood Plans respectively were to be subject to a five-yearly review. At Mr Ransley’s request, Mr Carvell agreed to issue guidance on how to conduct reviews of neighbourhood plans.




That the Loxwood Neighbourhood Plan be made part of the Development Plan for Chichester District (excluding the area within the South Downs National Park).