Helping to provide evidence
The South Downs Planning Authority has started to review its Local Plan and has asked Parish Councils to help provide evidence.
In particular, parishes are being given an opportunity to produce short Parish Priority Statements, summarising the main needs of their areas, the prevailing views of their communities and what makes their place special.
These statements will be used in the preparation of the Local Plan and will inform decisions about policies, land allocations and designations. They are a key part of the collaborative approach to plan making to which the National Park is committed.
The planners have provided a short template which needs to be submitted by October. It asks questions about a number of topic areas: new development in the parish; the types and sizes of new homes that may be required; the character and design of any new buildings; opportunities to help the natural environment; businesses that could be protected or created; important green spaces in the area; any local infrastructure requirements; and key priorities for the parish in the next 15 years.
The Parish Council will need to agree its submission in September and, in the meantime, engagement with the community will be important. Buriton’s Village Design Group, which has helped the Parish Council produce similar documents in the past, has been asked to help again.
As a first step, everyone who attended the new parish show event, the B-earth Day, had an opportunity to have their say by writing their thoughts and ideas about each of the topic areas onto large sheets of flip-chart paper or small post-it stickers.
Dozens of people took part but more contributions are welcomed.
Comments provided so far suggested that no more new houses are needed for a while; the current ones should be finished properly first; green spaces (big and small) should be kept and enhanced; the open spaces between Buriton, Weston and Petersfield are very important; there should be more space for wildlife and wild flowers; farmers should be supported to help keep the land that they look after; pedestrians need safer places to walk along Greenway Lane and North Lane; pot-holes need to be fixed as they are dangerous; charging points are needed for electric vehicles; the village hall should have solar panels; allow visitors to make donations if they use the children’s play area; reduce the amounts of litter and dog poo; keep the pubs and the jobs that they provide; keep the dark skies before they are lost; local people should have priority for affordable homes.
All comments and ideas are welcomed at this stage. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of July so that the work can continue.