In 2000 the Government issued a Rural White Paper setting out their agenda for the countryside and encouraging local communities to take more control of the development of their own parish. A Parish Plan is a way for local people to make known how they would like their community to develop in the future. It aims to help communities have a greater say in their own affairs. It helps local people set down their vision for the future of their parish. To be really effective it needs to represent the views of as many people in the community as possible. A Parish Plan is prepared by the local community in partnership with the Parish Council.
A Parish Plan can cover everything that is relevant to the people who live and work in the parish, from social housing to places for children to play. It should address the needs of the entire community, including local businesses, and will span a period of five years. The Plan will be used to inform local government and other decision making bodies of the needs and concerns of the community, and will influence how changes in the community are made. The Plan can also be used to support applications for funding and to canvass for support from both local and national government. The Parish Council will use the Plan as a focus for their ongoing work.
What are the Benefits of a Parish producing a Parish Plan?
It can be used as an evidence base for grant applications to show community need for specific projects.
It helps guide the Parish Council in their work. One of the discretionary requirements of ‘Quality Status’ is to have produced a Parish Plan. It shows that the Parish Council is listening to its community.
It helps a community plan for the future, to ensure that community facilities can be maintained and updated to suit community needs.
Copies of the Parish Plans are available to download or are available as hard copies which can be viewed at the Council Offices, Park North, North Street, Horsham: