East Grinstead delay Neighbourhood Plan process

editorial image

East Grinstead Town Council has decided to take a step back from the Neighbourhood Plan process and take stock.

The town council says that recently both the Mid Sussex District Draft Plan and Slaugham Neighbourhood Plan have experienced problems at examination resulting in delays in bringing the plans to fruition.

The Town Councillors have read the reports of this and have a number of questions that they would like answering by the Department of Communities and Local Government and Mid Sussex District Council, concerning changing advice and guidance and how this would affect the emerging East Grinstead plan.

Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan working party and leader of the Council Rex Whittaker said: “It seems sensible to slow down and wait until we know what is happening to the District Plan before we finalise our local plan. As the legislation is so new, with every new inspection there seems to be some big changes in advice and guidance.

“We want to ensure that the East Grinstead Plan has the best chance of coming through examination and delivering the plan that the town both wants and needs. But whilst we have a planning consultant retained, continuing to make changes as the advice emerges could result in a lot of work and cost that then needs unpicking. We are keen to get a plan in place, but it must be robust and we need confidence that it will stand up to examination.”

Cllr Whittaker emphasised: “This is a prudent and pragmatic approach to ensure that the plan is developed robustly and correctly but is not a step away from this project which has a huge amount of resource dedicated to it in the past two years”.