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Lewes Neighbourhood Plan

WHAT IS A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN?

 

Neighbourhood planning is a community-led process introduced by Government to encourage local people to shape and influence development within the places where they live and work. They are produced by community forum groups or parish or town councils.

 

Neighbourhood plans are policy-based community-led plans which correspond to the Local Plan. In this case, the Local Plan is prepared by the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA).

 

Neighbourhood plans can influence or allocate new housing; produce design policies for allocated sites or for general design policies; protect or identify new community facilities; and identify green spaces to be protected from any future development proposals.

 

The Government introduced the opportunity for local communities to prepare neighbourhood plans through amendments to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Localism Act 2011 and through new regulations Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012, which sets out the requirements for Neighbourhood Plans.

 

WHAT WILL THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN FOR LEWES DO?

 

The neighbourhood plan for Lewes aims to:

  • create a shared vision for Lewes

  • clearly indicate where new homes, shops, offices and workplaces and open spaces should be built

  • protect green spaces and historic buildings;

  • influence the design of new homes, other buildings and the spaces in between

  • express a views on our streets and infrastructure, tourism, leisure and community facilities, and environmental issues

  • incorporate an ecosystem approach.

 

THE STEERING GROUP

 

A Steering Group comprising town councillors, representatives of local stakeholders and the SDNPA has been meeting since November 2013 and they are responsible for the day to day running of the project.

 

HOW THE STEERING GROUP WORKS

 

After the public consultation events in October and November 2015 our planning advisors (Feria Urbanism) presented the results to the Steering Group. The group is divided into topic groups according to different concerns and expertise. These topic groups have worked on these results and prepared a preliminary draft on our topics, which our consultants shaped into the first draft of the plan.

 

We are now refining the draft which will be presented at the next stage of public consultation. The Steering Group members are not experts in planning and as this work will need to produce a technical planning document we have appointed advisors who will ensure that what the people of Lewes want in their plan is presented in a way that will satisfy the regulations and make clear to developers working here what the people of the town expect from them.

 

EXTERNAL SUPPORT

 

Following an interview process, Lewes Town Council agreed to appoint the team from Feria Urbanism (www.feria-urbanism.eu) to support them on preparation of the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan. The team from Feria Urbanism has good experience working with local communities on other neighbourhood plans elsewhere in the country.