LETTER: Views welcome

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IN response to the letter from Ms Humphry concerning Petworth’s neighbourhood plan, I can confirm that all contributions from parishioners are welcomed, but I am afraid that Ms Humphrey is gravely misinformed.

Neighbourhood plans were introduced by the present government in 2013 to bring for the first time a democratic element to the planning process.

In November last year we published a baseline report (to which Ms Humphry refers) describing the social, economic and landscape characteristics of the parish. It contains no plans, no proposals, it describes our starting point.

The next stage is to ask the parish how they wish their town and countryside to develop over the next 15 years or so.

Three events will be held in early spring, in the Hampers Green Community Hall, the Herbert Shiner Centre and the Leconfield Hall, these meetings have been delayed because a key SDNPA document (concerning housing land availability) was published a little later than expected.

The events will be widely advertised and we hope to gather from them a wide cross-section of opinions on housing, working, shopping, leisure, well-being, traffic, public transport and the countryside around us.

This will enable a number of working groups to begin the process of producing policies for a draft plan, which will be published for public review before being presented for legal examination and ultimately a parish referendum at which it will require the approval of a minimum of 51 per cent of those voting.

I would urge as many people as possible to attend the spring events in order that we can hear their ideas about how they wish Petworth might develop between now and 2032.

Douglas Cooper

Chairman

Petworth neighbourhood plan steering committee

North Street

Petworth