Last Thursday was an historic day in the Parish of Nuthurst. It held a Referendum on its Neighbourhood Plan which had taken two years to prepare. Nearly half the electors in the Parish turned out to vote in the Referendum and 86.6% of them voted “yes” to the Plan.
This means that if Horsham District Council agrees to ratify it, the Parish’s Neighbourhood Plan will become a legal planning document. It will be used to determine planning applications for sites in the Parish for the next fifteen years.
Nuthurst’s Neighbourhood Plan seeks to preserve the largely rural nature of the Parish and provides for about 50 houses, grouped in small developments across the Parish. It particularly supports smaller houses to suit the pockets of first-time buyers and downsizers. What it has sought to avoid is large developments that would overwhelm the Parish and put unacceptable strains on the primary school, roads, sewage and other infrastructure.
Mrs Valerie Court, Chair of Nuthurst Parish Council, expressed her delight that the people of the Parish had so overwhelmingly supported the Neighbourhood Plan. She added that she “was proud that Nuthurst had been the first in Horsham District Council’s area to reach Referendum”. Owen Hydes, Chair of the Steering Committee, said that the Neighbourhood Plan had been “a hugely democratic exercise with lots of involvement by people in the Parish all along the way”. He continued that it was “good that the Parish had taken control of its own future, rather than leaving it to others”.