Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document

1 Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 This Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is intended to provide details on services and facilities and the priorities of provision that will be required when land is proposed for a development and where a planning obligation would be sought. Its purpose is to provide developers, landowners and local communities with further details on the requirements this Council has set to ensure that the process is efficient, transparent, co-ordinated and managed.

1.2 The SPD flows from and has regard to the policies set out in other documents of the Horsham District Council Local Development Framework, particularly the policies contained within the Core Strategy (2007) document. It also reflects the Council's priorities as set out in the Horsham District Community Strategy. The overarching theme of this strategy states that Horsham is and should continue to be:

"A dynamic district where people care and where individuals from all backgrounds can get involved in their communities and share the benefits of a district that enjoys a high quality of life"

1.3 This SPD sets out the statutory background and requirements and provides further details on this Council’s approach to planning obligations as set out in the Core Strategy. It is intended to assist in delivering sustainable communities in Horsham District. Now that it has been adopted as Council policy, this SPD will be a material consideration in making decisions on individual planning applications.

1.4 The Council is aware that the Government is considering a major reform of the present system of securing planning gain and is proposing to introduce a Planning Gain Supplement (PGS). Chapter 3 sets out briefly this Council's present understanding of PGS and how it is expected to relate to the current system of planning obligations. The present SPD is intended to offer guidance to developers and landowners until such time as any new arrangements are introduced, at which point new guidance will be prepared.

Consultation on the draft SPD

1.5 The draft Planning Obligations SPD was originally published in early June 2006 and was advertised for public consultation in the local press and on the Council’s website. The Council held a six-week period of consultation which ended on the 16th July 2006. During this period a wide variety of bodies were specifically consulted, including all Statutory Consultees, Parish and Neighbourhood Councils and a wide range of developers which were known to have professional interests within the District.

1.6 In total representations were received from 34 different bodies. These representations, many of which were highly detailed and comprehensive, included comments on every section of the draft SPD. The Council has produced a summary analysis of representations detailing the full list of consultees as well as the nature of the comments made. This is available for inspection on the Councils website.

1.7 In producing this SPD, the Council has carefully considered all of the representations received. The representations highlighted a number of areas where the document could be improved and every effort has been made to incorporate the suggestions and recommendations where appropriate. 

1.8 In response to the representations, most of the chapters in the SPD have been rewritten to make them clearer and to better explain the thinking behind the Council’s guidance on planning obligations. One significant change is that the majority of figures within the draft SPD have been updated and removed to a series of separate annexes which will be reviewed each year and adjusted where appropriate. Also in response to representations received, more information has been provided (particularly in the annexes) concerning the derivation of contributions that the Council is requiring, for example for open space, sport and recreation.

Sustainability Assessment / Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA)

1.9 Please refer also to the final Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA) which has been produced alongside the SPD. An earlier draft of this document was also consulted on along with the draft SPD. Where it was considered appropriate, suggestions and comments received in the representations made on the draft SA/SEA have been incorporated into the final version.

Contacting the Council

1.10 If you have any queries or comments concerning this SPD or the SA/SEA, please contact the Strategic and Community Planning Department at the Council using the contact details set out in Appendix C.