Local Plan Update
Published: 30 June 2020
Horsham District Local Plan
Residents may recall Horsham District Council (HDC) consulting in February and March 2020 on revisions to its Local Plan. This important document sets out policies and sites for future development across Horsham District including housing numbers and locations.
HDC has published an interim report noting over 6,000 comments were made and, at this time of writing, are being individually reviewed. Billingshurst Parish Council lodged objection to the three strategic housing development sites proposed for the parish, being a new settlement at Adversane, Land East of Billingshurst, and Land West of Billingshurst; as well as objecting to various proposed policies, such as 37. Climate Change and 41. Infrastructure Provision. Individual consultation comments are able to be viewed online and, in due course, HDC will publish a Consultation Statement detailing the issues raised and how these will be considered within the developing Local Plan.
The on-going impact of Covid-19 includes considerable economic adjustment that could affect the eventual revised Local Plan. For example, with a number of airlines reducing flights from Gatwick it is possible there will be less demand for more housing to support that important local economic employment site. HDC has confirmed the pandemic has led it to defer publication of the next stage of the Local Plan by 2-3 months, which will mean HDC is likely to miss its intended deadline for completion of November 2020. This is important as the current Local Plan expires at this time and without an updated Local Plan, the District will be susceptible to speculative housing applications and these will be more difficult to refuse. HDC advises it is lobbying the Government for flexibility in order that a new Local Plan better reflects the District's post-pandemic circumstances; however, the Government has indicated it is not (at this time of writing) minded to grant an extension to HDC or other Councils in similar circumstances.
HDC publishes updates on its webpage; if you are interested, do check it out and opt to set up an alert so you are notified each and every time the page is revised.