Clustering agreed for parish plan

STEYNING has agreed to embark on a Neighbourhood Plan, and cluster with neighbours Bramber, Ashurst and Wiston.

Concerns about clustering were raised by Cllr Sue Rogers at Steyning Parish Council’s meeting last Monday.

But the majority agreed to go head and begin the process of registering with Horsham District Council, applying for grants and defining the area to be covered.

Chairman Phil Bowell said the youth services project had proved clustering worked.

Speaking about he plan, added: “It is a very wide ranging subject. A lot of people think it is just about building houses but it is not, it is much more and it covers up to 20 years.”

Mrs Rogers said: “I think it is absolutely right to do a Neighbourhood Plan but continue to have concerns about clustering.

“Wiston and Ashurst are category two for development, which means they can’t have houses built in them. Bramber has an issue with land supply, so the available pockets of land will mostly be in Steyning.

“We need to provide affordable housing for young people. We haven’t got lots of available land, as other parts of the district have.”

She feared voting on things in future, such as where houses should be built, would be skewed by clustering and thought Steyning should look after itself.

Cllr Gill Muncey felt clustering would benefit the council, particular as it would mean larger grants available.

Cllr Roger Toms aded: “If we cluster, some of the people who live in Bramber are closer to the centre of Steyning than Bramber, so it makes sense.”

Mr Bowell said Storrington and Washington had clustered and estimated the cost of putting together a plan would be £30,000, with grants covering about £23,000.

He added: “One thing you can’t do with a Neighbourhood Plan is put your head in your hands and say we want to stay as we are. You have to grow.”