The Steering Group had a visit from Action in Rural Sussex (AirS) on 25th August 2016. I’ve made some notes here but, of course, much more was said and discussed. Proper minutes will be available at a later date.
Tom and Faustina of AirS explained:
- That AirS is a registered charity whose aim is to support rural communities in Sussex.
- That they have considerable experience of assisting with Neighbourhood Plans having been involved with 33 of which 11 have gone to referendum and have been “made” (come into force).
- Their community-led approach.
- Their view of the challenges around Neighbourhood Plans ranging from the need for project management to some specifics about Uckfield.
They also conducted a lively question and answer session.
The steering group highlighted some issues such as:
- Desire to protect the individuality of the town.
- That we have 1,000 more houses being built at Ridgewood with only 15% affordable.
- Concerns about inadequate infrastructure.
- A desire for more affordable houses with very limited available space.
AirS discussed steps we might consider such as:
- Creating Sustainability Appraisal (SA) – an appraisal of the economic, environmental, and social effects of a plan.
- Creating Strategic Environment Assessments (SEA) – a structured environmental assessment to ensure sustainability.
- Keeping an eye on changes to the development boundary.
- Focussing on specific themes – a Neighbourhood Plan does not have to cover everything.
Our Chairman, John Carvey, said that a decision on next steps should be taken in a committee meeting. His summary was:
- We need expert advice.
- There was still a lot of work.
- We concentrate on what we really need to do.