Dear Mrs Theresa May
CC: Sussex Express
Re: Mitchelswood Planning Decision: site not approved in the Newick Neighbourhood Plan yet granted permission on appeal by Mr Javid Secretary of State.
I am writing to express my shock on hearing that the Newick Neighbourhood Plan (NNP) has been overruled by Mr Javid the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
I am not a councillor but as a resident of Newick I did participate in the consultation process that I believe carefully considered the best ‘local’ solution regarding the siting of the 100 additional homes required under the Lewes District plan. The referendum result showed very clearly that the NNP was very widely supported within the village.
However, Mr Javid felt it appropriate to overturn earlier decisions upholding the NNP seemingly because it included no statement regarding cap on future development. As neighbourhood plans were relatively new did the various sources of guidance at the time identify that such a statement was required or that it was so critical to the planning process? If not, why not? It would appear that this omission has been used as an excuse to ignore the NNP and increase the number of new homes in Newick. This decision goes against the wishes of the villagers and is counter to Government initiatives on localisation. If more houses in the village are required in future surely the consultation process should be revisited by the parish and the district councils to enable them to consult villagers and amend the NNP appropriately.
Without this the NNP has no value whatsoever.
The many hours spent by our parish and district councillors are seemingly a total waste of time. In the light of this disappointing verdict I have to conclude that NHPs are worthless.
Councils throughout the country should seriously consider if it is worthwhile spending time and money on any future local planning processes if central Government is going to ignore their proposals and ride rough shod over their decisions.
High Hurst Close