Boxgrove and Selsey neighbourhood plans are made
There was delight for town and parish councillors in Selsey and Boxgrove after their Neighbourhood Development Plans were finally ‘made’ by Chichester District Council.
The plans will now become part of the development plan for the entire district – excluding the South Downs National Park – and will help to protect the communities from unwanted development.
Following a special meeting of the district council on Tuesday (June 22) where the plans were officially ‘made’ , Henry Potter, chairman of Boxgrove Parish Council, heaped praise on the team responsible for getting the work done.
He said: “It has been a long arduous process, not helped by the past 15 months of the Covid-19 interruption – but I must specifically commend the members of the Neighbourhood Plan steering group, all members of the community, who despite the difficulties, persevered and brought the plan to the conclusion we saw today.”
It has certainly not been an easy journey for either plan.
As well as the delays caused by the pandemic, both were set back by a 2018 ruling from the European Court of Justice that required them to show that their policies would not harm key wildlife sites.
On top of that, the Selsey team saw their original plan rejected by inspectors, meaning it has taken seven years to reach the end of the road.
A spokesman for the town council said: “We would like to thank all of our councillors, past and present who worked so hard developing the plan.
“A special mention of thanks goes out to the chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group, Cllr Clive Alden for steering the project.
“We are grateful and proud of our community who helped shape the plan and turned out, even in these Covid times, to vote in support for it.”
Town council chairman Andrew Brown added: “Selsey’s Neighbourhood Plan is a live document and is constantly under review, so that together Selsey Town Council with the community, can have an input into the development and design of Selsey today and in what happens tomorrow.”
Vice-chair Donna Johnson said she was ‘delighted’ with the district council’s decision to ‘make’ the Neighbourhood Plan, adding: “I’m not sure that any of us involved with it fully appreciated the scale, complexity and the time which would be needed to produce it.
“Neighbourhood Plans can be very challenging – the fact that we are this point is testament to the many hours of volunteer work which has been put in to ensure that we have a robust and precise plan.”
Both plans underwent a referendum on May 6, with Boxgrove recording a turn-out of 42.2 percent, 89 per cent of which were in favour.
Over in Selsey, the turn-out was 32.9 per cent, with 79 per cent of those in favour.