Draft Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036

Chapter 2 Planning Context

2.1 The Horsham District Local Plan Preferred Strategy has been informed by a number of other documents and strategies. Each of these documents is discussed in the following section, in order to help fully explain the context of the new Local Plan.

National Planning Policy Framework and National Planning Practice Guidance

2.2 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the Government's planning policies for England. The document provides a framework within which Local Plans should be produced. In addition to the NPPF, further guidance on the preparation of Local Plans is set out in National Planning Guidance (NPPG). The key requirements of the NPPF for the preparation of a Local Plan for Horsham District are as follows:

Achieving Sustainable Development

2.3 The need to achieve sustainable development is a core principle of the NPPF.  This means balancing the need for economic growth with social and environmental requirements and ensuring that the ability of future generations to meet their needs is not compromised. Key provisions are:

  • the need to support economic growth by ensuring the sufficient land is available in the right time and right place
  • to support communities, including by ensuring that a sufficient number and range of homes can be provided
  • provision of accessible services, facilities and open spaces to support the health, social and cultural wellbeing of communities
  • protecting and enhancing the natural built and historic environment, including improving biodiversity, using natural resources prudently and minimising and adapting to impacts of climate change, and the provision of high quality design
  • The provision of infrastructure including for transport and telecommunications

Plan Led

2.4 The NPPF confirms that the starting point for making planning decisions is the 'development plan'. This means any up-to-date Local Plan along with any neighbourhood plans.  Local Plans are a key document for making decisions about the scale and location of development, providing an effective means of involving communities in decisions about the future of their areas, and providing a strategic framework for the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans.

Duty to Co-operate

2.5 The NPPF requires that local planning authorities and county councils are under a 'Duty to Co-operate' with each other and other key bodies, on strategic matters that cross administrative boundaries. This can include a range of issues from infrastructure provision, economic and housing growth to strategic recreation routes.  Where appropriate, the Local Plan will take into account the needs and requirements of other authorities, as well as taking account of other development plans which cover the district. 

Evidence based

2.6 The preparation and review of all policies in the Local Plan should be underpinned by relevant, proportionate, and up-to-date evidence.  This means we must carry out a Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulation Assessment that meets the relevant legal requirements.  The Sustainability Appraisal process has been carried out during the process of plan preparation.  The Sustainability Appraisal, including the non-technical summary, is available alongside this document. 

The Gatwick Diamond and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership

2.7 The majority of Horsham District is located within the Gatwick Diamond economic area which extends from Croydon in the north, around Gatwick Airport and down the A23 corridor to the south coast.  Residents of Horsham District contribute to this wider regional economy. 


 The Gatwick Diamond www.gatwickdiamond.co.uk

2.8 The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is focused in the Gatwick Diamond area.  This LEP is a business-led partnership between local authorities and businesses and plays a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth, investment and the creation of local jobs.  The LEP have produced a strategic economic plan known as Gatwick 360˚, which identifies eight economic priorities ranging from the delivery of prosperous urban centres, developing skills and improvements to digital networks.  This Council will work with the LEP to ensure that the Local Plan can contribute to the delivery of these objectives.

The South Downs National Park

2.9 Some of the land in Horsham District is located in the South Downs National Park. Horsham District Council is not the planning authority for this area, and a separate Local Plan has been prepared for this landscape. It is however recognised that there is potential for development and change that takes place outside the National Park to have an impact on this area. The Council has therefore been mindful of the duty to have regard to the two purposes of the National Park, namely to conserve and enhance its natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and to promote the opportunities for public understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities. This extends to decisions about development and infrastructure that could affect areas within the National Park.

The Horsham District Corporate Plan 2019-2023

2.10 The Horsham District Corporate Plan provides a focus for the Council's activities and sets out clear priorities for the Council in the period to 2023.  There are five key goals:

  1. A great place to live: Continue creating well-balanced communities that meet residents’ needs.
  2. A thriving economy: Work to increase economic growth and create new local jobs.
  3. A strong, safe and healthy community: Ensure Horsham District remains one of the best places in Sussex to live.
  4. A cared for environment: Prioritise the protection of our environment as we move to a low carbon future.
  5. A modern and flexible council: Make it easy for our residents to access the services that they need.

2.11 The Corporate Plan influences all areas of the Council's work. In relation the Local Plan it provides a clear direction when setting the future planning objectives for this area. 

2.12 In June 2019, the Council approved the Notice of Motion below. This provides a clear steer for the Council to ensure that we actively contribute to achieving a net zero carbon target through our activities. 

We agree that there is growing public concern in the face of recent dire warnings from the World Scientific community that we are facing a wide range of environmental issues including a climate emergency. These concerns include matters such as pollution of the oceans, climate change, single-use plastics, disposal of waste, air pollution, deforestation and biodiversity loss and we support action to tackle these matters.

This council has an excellent record of dealing with environmental matters, particularly in the area of waste, recycling and biodiversity and we shall be developing and auditing the council’s activities to see what further practical changes we can implement in the form of a plan to reflect best environmental practice and work towards a net zero carbon target.

We acknowledge that we shall need to continue with public engagement and involvement and that resources will be required to underpin and support new initiatives that we undertake"

Neighbourhood Plans

2.13 This Local Plan will also set the framework for the preparation or review of existing Neighbourhood Plans.  Neighbourhood Plans provide local communities with a means to help shape where new development will go and what it will look like.  Within Horsham District, a number of Neighbourhood Plans have already been 'made' and form part of the development plan.  Where these plans identify sites for economic or housing development, they will contribute to the overall delivery of the identified development needs for the district.  Neighbourhood Plans also identify other more locally specific issues and objectives, such as the identification of ‘Local Greenspaces’, or key views of importance.