For a number of reasons, housing has not come forward to meet required needs in recent years. This, along with recent political change, has affected the work on and delivery of policy documents and has led to a need to consider the Council’s current position - particularly in relation to housing supply.
Rather than stop work on our Local Development Framework, it is considered that the Council should maintain control of development proposals in order to not only understand the needs of the community but ensure that they are properly addressed. This will help to ensure that the most suitable development takes place in the most sustainable locations in the District, bringing forward community facilities and the necessary infrastructure to benefit the existing as well as new community. It is therefore considered necessary to prepare an Interim Statement in discussion with local communities and other interested parties, embracing the ‘localism’ agenda.
The Interim Statement approach seeks to bring forward housing in the short term to maintain the housing delivery levels that the Council is obliged to meet through National Planning Policy Statement 3 on Housing. This proactive and managed approach will ensure the most suitable development comes forward and that it delivers the necessary infrastructure for the existing and future community. As well as ensure that ad-hoc housing proposals deemed unsuitable by the Council can be refused and the community will consequently have certainty as to when and where future development will occur. The proposals within the Statement have been prepared in liaison with representatives of the Billingshurst and Southwater communities through Reference Group Meetings.