Deserving of support

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Birdham’s Neighbourhood Plan open day was organised by Birdham Parish Council, with contributions from working parties created for this purpose.

For a Neighbourhood Plan to obtain approval and acceptance as a future planning document, it is subject to detailed Planning Inspectorate scrutiny, and has to satisfy stringent conditions.

Majority local support is an essential prerequisite and open days are part of the process of achieving that support.

It should be remembered a Neighbourhood Plan must not conflict with national and local policies, and is not a means of preventing development.

A Neighbourhood Plan helps describe what a future community should look like, and what the preferred housing locations are. Birdham Parish Council will be responsible for preparing this Neighbourhood Plan.

It deserves support from all its residents.

I attended part of this open day not long after it had opened, and was able to speak with many of those attending.

I was struck by the level of understanding residents have of the many and often conflicting demands upon us all, and of the difficulty of reconciling this with what we would wish for our towns and villages.

Elected councillors from across the Manhood, and beyond in the district, devote much of their time and efforts representing these local views and sensitivities through individual and group discussion with county and district council officers on a regular basis.

With regard to planning matters, it is nearly two years ago that CDC’s planning committee, reflecting the strength of feeling on the Manhood, refused the Easton Farm glasshouses application at Almodington, subsequently upheld by the Inspector.

Cllr Pieter Montyn

Cowdry Farm

Birdham