Draft Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036

Chapter 1 Introduction

The Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036

1.1 In November 2015, Horsham District Council adopted the Horsham District Planning Framework (HDPF). This document is part of the Council’s adopted Development Plan, and it sets out the Council’s planning strategy to 2031.  The aim of the plan is to help bring forward the social, economic and environmental needs for the land in Horsham District that is outside the South Downs National Park. The Site Specific Allocations of Land 2007, the West of Bewbush Joint Area Action Plan 2009 and a growing number of ‘Made’ neighbourhood Plans also form part of the Council’s adopted Development Plan.

1.2 It is a legal requirement that Local Plans are monitored and reviewed regularly to ensure that they are kept up-to-date. We began our Local Plan Review process in 2018 when we published the ‘Issues and Options – Employment, Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development’ document which was published for consultation in Spring 2018. This consultation sought views on the potential locational strategy and set out a number of sites which were considered to have potential for employment allocation. The document also addressed how we could achieve sustainable development in the more rural parts of the District. The outcome of this consultation has fed directly into the next stage of Local Plan preparation

1.3 Since 2015, government policy and legislation has changed. In particular the government’s national planning strategy, known as the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), was re-issued in 2019, with a number of significant changes compared to the 2012 version. Amongst these changes was the introduction of a national ‘standard methodology’ for calculating the District’s local housing need: local housing need is the number of new homes needed on a year-by-year basis. The minimum amount of housing to be delivered within the Local Plan period is now set by national government.

1.4 In order to understand the needs and issues facing the District in the future, a number of studies have been undertaken to help inform the preparation of the Local Plan. This collection of studies is known as our evidence base, and includes topics such as housing and employment needs, flooding and infrastructure. We test strategy and policy options against environmental, social and economic objectives using the Sustainability Appraisal process. Our evidence base documents can be viewed on our website horsham.gov.uk/localplan.

The Horsham District Local Plan Regulation 18 Document

1.5 The new Local Plan will cover the period from 2019 to 2036 (an 18 year period). Like the HDPF, it aims to deliver the social, economic and environmental needs of Horsham District, as well as looking beyond our boundaries. The new Local Plan will also set the framework that allows local communities to prepare Neighbourhood Development Plans.

1.6 This document does not apply to land inside the South Downs National Park. The planning policies for the National Park are set out in the South Downs Local Plan (SDLP). For the avoidance of doubt, any reference in this document to Horsham District'/'the District', does not include the land within the South Downs National Park.

1.7 This document sets out the draft vision, objectives and strategy for the District over the coming years, and contains a number of draft Strategic Policies and general planning polices which identify development locations to employment, retail and other needs in the District. It also sets out the framework for the protection and enhancement of the natural and built environment. The document also identifies a number of locations on which we are seeking views for their potential for housing development.

1.8 This document has been positively prepared in accordance with National Policy and Guidance to tackle these challenges and deliver the needs of the District and, to an extent, the wider area. It is important to continue to manage development and change within the District, In particular, there is now even greater emphasis on ensuring we can protect and enhance our environment and tackle climate change. We recognise that meeting future housing and economic needs, together with providing environmental protection and maintaining healthy and happy communities, present enormous challenges. This document does not form Council Policy and is for consultation only.

1.9 The Local Plan will not exist in isolation and should be read in conjunction with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG). Other local documents will also form part of the Local Plan, including the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedule, Supplementary Planning Documents, Masterplans and design guidance for Strategic sites and Neighbourhood Plans.

1.10 All policies are related to one another and the document should be read as a whole, including the vision, spatial objectives and spatial strategy. The document has a number of Strategic Policies. Once the Local Plan is adopted, any Neighbourhood Plan that is prepared will be expected to be in general conformity with these Strategic Policies. 

Next Steps

1.11 Your views and ideas on the content of this document are very important to us. We will be publishing this document for a period of consultation from Monday 17 February 2020 to 30 March 2020. The document will be available to view on our website horsham.gov.uk/localplan and hard copies will also be available in our local libraries and Council offices. We will also be holding public drop-in sessions attended by members of our Planning team. You can find out more about getting involved on our website, on local parish notice boards, and in a number of local community publications as well as our local newspapers. 

Drop-in events




Monday 17th February 2020

Billingshurst Centre, Roman Way, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 9QW

4pm - 8pm

Thursday 20th February 2020

Ashington Scout Hall, Church Lane, Ashington, RH20 3JX

4pm - 8pm

Tuesday 25th February 2020

Henfield Village Hall, Coopers Way, Henfield BN5 9DB

4pm - 8pm

Saturday 29th February 2020

Swan Walk Shopping Centre, Horsham RH12 1HQ

10am - 4pm

Tuesday 3rd March 2020

Ifield West Community Centre, 1A Dobbins Pl, Crawley RH11 0SZ

4pm - 8pm

Wednesday 4th March 2020

Larner Hall, Southwater Leisure Centre, Pevensey Road, Southwater, RH13 9XZ

4pm - 8pm


Business drop-in event




Tuesday 18th February 2020

The Council offices, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham, RH12 1RL 

11am - 3pm


1.12 Comments will need to be submitted to us no later than Monday 30 March 2020. Details on how to comment and to sign up for Local Plan updates are on our website horsham.gov.uk/localplan. If you require further advice on how to submit comments please email yoursay@horsham.gov.uk or telephone 01403 215100. 

1.13 Following this consultation, we will take account of the views and comments which are submitted to us. Together with any further updates to our evidence base, these views will help us to develop an updated Horsham District Local Plan Regulation 19 document (a Regulation 19 document is the next stage of the Local Plan Preparation process). It is expected that this document will be published for consultation in the Autumn of 2020.

1.14 Any comments submitted to us at the Regulation 19 consultation will be formally submitted to an independent Planning Inspector, together with our Local Plan and supporting evidence base. The Planning Inspector will then conduct an independent examination of the Plan.

1.15 If the Planning Inspector concludes that our plan is ‘Sound’ it will be formally adopted and will replace the Horsham District Planning Framework. On adoption of this Local Plan, the Joint Area Action Plan will remain part of the Council's development plan. However the Site Specific Allocations of Land (SSAL) is replaced and will no longer be part of the development plan.