Draft Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036

Chapter 10 Infrastructure, Transport and Healthy Communities (Key Questions)

The following issues will be addressed through the policies in this chapter:

  • In some areas there is an identified deficiency of infrastructure. New development cannot resolve existing deficiencies, but any new development will need to provide sufficient community facilities, services and infrastructure to meet the needs of new developments need and ensure thriving healthy communities. 
  • A key concern amongst existing and new residents is access to healthcare facilities. Horsham District Council cannot directly provide healthcare facilities, but will need to continue dialogue with healthcare providers to bring forward healthcare provision. In addition it will be important that development is designed in such a way as to ensure that residents can build in healthy lifestyles as part of their day to day life. 
  • There will still need to be a focus on providing health services for all sectors of the population, particularly teenagers and young adults. The ageing structure of the population will increase the pressure for healthcare services for the elderly and their carers. In the future, properties need to be designed to be adaptable for all ages and needs of the wider community.
  • In addition to healthcare, the Local Plan will need to ensure that other key facilities are provided, including primary and secondary schools. There is also a need to make sure that special educational needs and disabilities (SE) and alternative provision is delivered to make sure that all children can access the education that they require.   
  • At present, public transport services in much of the district are limited, and unless individuals have access to the private car, transport access to GPs, hospitals and other services can be particularly difficult. The Local Plan will need to continue to ensure that services and facilities are as accessible as possible, particularly on foot or bicycle and public transport. This will also help reduce vehicle emissions, which contribute to global heating and poor air quality. 
  • New development is likely to generate increased traffic on the wider road network and the need for car parking facilities.  It will be essential that the effect of increased traffic generation from all new development, both individually and cumulatively, is considered. The wider road network beyond the District (particularly the A23/ M23) should be taken into account.
  • Community facilities and public rights of way and green recreation links contribute to Green Infrastructure provision. The delivery of Green Infrastructure in the plan will help to build healthy communities.


Strategic Policy 41 - Infrastructure Provision

10.1 Infrastructure is a wide term and is used to refer to a range of services such as roads, railways, public transport water supplies, electricity, education and healthcare facilities, and sport and recreation and other community facilities. The delivery of this infrastructure is fundamental to developing great places to live that are self-sustaining communities.  

10.2 Development which comes forward cannot solve existing infrastructure problems, but it will be essential that new development which does take place does not create any additional burdens. In addition, opportunities to actively deliver new facilities or services which benefit existing as well as new residents and potentially offset current infrastructure issues should be investigated. It is expected that infrastructure upgrades will be delivered through CIL payments, or through S106 agreements as may be appropriate. In addition, delivery of key infrastructure through other funding sources, including national government investment schemes, will be investigated and bids will be made where this is appropriate. 

10.3 Horsham District has a strong track record of actively engaging with infrastructure providers to ensure that the needs of the residents and businesses in the District are met. This ranges from public sector partners such as West Sussex County Council, key utilities providers such as Southern Water, and developers who are promoting development.  This ongoing work has helped to bring forward enhancements and upgrades across the District, which have over the years included the redevelopment and expansion of Piries Place car park in Horsham, The Bridge leisure centre in Broadbridge Heath, an upgraded Health Care centre in Steyning. This Local Plan will need to develop and build on existing partnerships to ensure that key infrastructure continues to be provided in new developments as well as existing towns and villages across the district.  

10.4 This policy is therefore fundamental to the delivery of sustainable development in the District. Developers working in conjunction with the Council and service providers should demonstrate that there is adequate capacity both on site and off site for all forms of infrastructure that are necessary to support the new development and that it would not lead to problems for existing users. It will be necessary to provide infrastructure in a timely way that meets the needs of the new development as it comes forward. Studies to determine whether the proposed development will lead to overloading of existing infrastructure may be required to support planning applications. It will also be necessary to understand from key infrastructure providers the timing and delivery of any key new upgrades that may be necessary, such as road upgrades or new water treatment facilities, and the level of development that can come forward prior to the completion of these upgrades, as this may impact on the speed at which the new development can come forward. 


Strategic Policy 41 - Infrastructure Provision

  1. The release of land for development will be dependent on there being sufficient capacity in the existing local infrastructure to meet the additional requirements arising from new development, or suitable necessary mitigation arrangement for the improvement of the infrastructure, services and community facilities caused by the development being provided.
  2. Where there is a need for extra capacity, this will need to be provided in time to serve the development or the relevant phase of the development, in order to ensure that the environment and amenities of existing or new local residents is not adversely affected.
  3. To ensure required standards are met, arrangements for new or improved infrastructure provision will be secured by Planning Obligations/Community Infrastructure Levy, or in some cases contributions attached to a planning permission, so that the appropriate improvement can be completed prior to occupation of the development, or the relevant phase of the development. 

Strategic Policy 42 - Sustainable Transport

10.5 Transport access and ease of movement are key factors in the performance of the local economy, enabling residents to travel to their place of work, and also allowing the movement of goods and services. The proximity of Gatwick Airport to the District is a key factor in the success of the wider economy of this area. A key transport characteristic for Horsham District are the high levels of car ownership and car use. In 2011, 48.6% of households owned two or more cars compared with the south east average of 39.7%. Only 11.8% of the district's residents didn't own a car, which may make access to services and facilities, particularly in rural areas, more difficult.

10.6 Travel to work data from the 2011 census shows that 61% of residents travelled to work by car, 9% walked, 7% travelled by train, 2% by bus and 2% cycled. It should however be recognised that of those who travel to work, 76% do so by car - a level which has not changed since 2001. Outside the towns, bus services in the District are often limited, and cuts in funding may affect this further in the future. The Arun Valley railway line runs through the District and there are seven stations which have relatively frequent services, with the exception of Faygate, at which very few trains stop.

10.7 The dispersed rural settlements combined with limited public transport result in a population which is highly reliant on the car and is likely to continue to be because the dispersed nature of the District settlements makes public transport economically difficult to sustain. The high percentage of car users in the District means that parking provision is important near to homes, work places and towns and at stations.

10.8 The National Planning Policy Framework states at paragraph 108 that in assessing sites that may be allocated for development in plans, or specific applications for development, local authorities should ensure that appropriate opportunities to promote sustainable transport modes can be taken up, given the type of development and location; safe and suitable access to the site can be achieved for all users; and any significant impacts from the development on the transport network, or on highway safety, can be cost-effectively mitigated to an acceptable degree.  It continues that development should only be prevented or refused on highways grounds if there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would be severe.

10.9 Work is ongoing to understand whether the development proposed to the Council for development can be delivered both individually or cumulatively; and to what extent mitigation of the transport network can be carried out / would be required.  Any transport mitigation that is required to support development will be included within the Council’s “Infrastructure Delivery Plan”.

10.10 There is an expectation that this policy will seek to ensure that sustainable forms of transport are considered in the first instance, with the provision of safe walking and cycling facilities.  Links and enhancements to routes identified in the Local Cycling and Walking Partnership should be considered and provided where appropriate. Options for public transport including access to bus and rail services will need to be considered, and for larger development proposals there is an expectation that mechanisms to increase the uptake of this form of transport will be provided at an early stage of operation. Such mechanisms will encourage more transport choice including community transport where appropriate, a reduction in private car use and greater accessibility to more sustainable modes of transport. This will help to ensure that carbon emissions are reduced. 

10.11 This policy will result in people living healthier lives through increased sustainable travel and safe access. It will lead to less congestion on the roads caused by fewer additional trips which will free up capacity on the existing network. For developments which generate significant amounts of movement, the application of the above measures should be documented in a Transport Assessment submitted in support of the application. Impacts on the wider strategic road network may also need to be considered.

10.12 The West Sussex Transport Plan 2011-2026 sets out the strategy for guiding future investment in highways and transport infrastructure across West Sussex.  It also sets a framework for considering transport infrastructure requirements associated with future development across the county.  This policy sits alongside the objectives of the West Sussex Transport Plan.

10.13 The Council will work with West Sussex County Council and other transport and service providers and developers to improve accessibility to key services and facilities and provide an improved and better integrated transport network.

10.14 Developments will be assessed for their impact on the highway and public transport network, as well as the local environment.  They should be located so as to minimise any adverse impact on the highway network; and maximise the use of sustainable modes of transport.  Development should be located in areas where there are, or will be, a choice in the modes of transport available.

10.15 Development that generates significant amounts of movement must be supported by a Transport Assessment/Statement and a Travel Plan, which should demonstrate how applicants propose to mitigate any likely adverse transport impacts and minimise reliance on the private car, in particular by encouraging and providing for the use of sustainable modes of transport.

10.16 Planning permission will not be granted unless any transport improvements considered necessary by the Council to overcome any adverse impacts of the development can be secured by planning agreement (Section 106 obligations)/planning conditions or an undertaking given by the developer that they will be implemented as part of the development.

Strategic Policy 42 - Sustainable Transport

There is a commitment to developing an integrated community connected by a sustainable transport system. In order to manage the anticipated growth in demand for travel, development proposals which promote an improved and integrated transport network, with a re-balancing in favour of non-car modes as a means of access to jobs, homes, services and facilities, will be encouraged and supported.

Development will be supported if it:

  1. Provides safe and suitable access for all vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, public transport and the delivery of goods.
  2. Minimises the distance people need to travel and minimises conflicts between traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.
  3. Prioritises and provides safe and accessible walking and cycling routes and is integrated with the wider network of routes, including public rights of way and cycle paths.
  4. Includes opportunities for sustainable transport which reduce the need for major infrastructure and cut carbon emissions.
  5. Delivers better local bus and rail services in partnership with operators and increasing opportunities for interchange between the public transport network and all other modes of transport.
  6. Develops innovative and adaptable approaches to public transport in the rural areas of the District.
  7. Maintains and improves the existing transport system (pedestrian, cycle, rail and road).
  8. Is accompanied by an agreed Green Travel Plan where it is necessary to minimise a potentially significant impact of the development of the wider area, or as a result of needing to address an existing local traffic problem.

Policy 43 - Parking

10.17 Although it is important to reduce the reliance on the car as far as possible, Horsham District is rural in character and there will still be a need to travel by this means. It will therefore be important to ensure that sufficient car parking facilities are provided both in residential developments, at employment sites and in town centres. This policy seeks to find the right balance between ensuring that adequate parking is provided to support new development whilst ensuring that it is suitably located and does not conflict with other uses. The number of parking spaces provided should take into account any available guidance, such as the West Sussex County Council Guidance on Parking at New Developments, and any future District parking standards guidance adopted by the Council. Parking facilities will also be expected to provide electric charging points to ensure that the increasing number of electric vehicles which is expected over the plan period can be supported. 

10.18 This policy also addresses the issue of off airport parking in relation to Gatwick Airport, which is close to the District boundary with Horsham. It is the responsibility of the Gatwick Airport operator to ensure that passenger access to the airport is managed and controlled. Gatwick Airport provides facilities for airport related parking, and locations within the airport boundary are likely to remain the most sustainable places for airport parking and in general off airport facilities are unlikely to be considered acceptable. 

Policy 43 - Parking

  1. Development should seek to improve parking in town centres so it is convenient, safe and secure. Parking provision must ensure a balance between good urban design, highway safety, residential amenity and promoting town centre attractiveness and vitality.
  2. Adequate parking and facilities must be provided within developments to meet the needs of anticipated users. Consideration should be given to the needs of cycle parking, motorcycle parking, and vehicles for the mobility impaired.
  3. Adequate parking and plug-in charging facilities must be provided to cater for the anticipated increased use of electric, hybrid or other low emission vehicles.
  4. Development which involves the loss of existing parking spaces will only be allowed if suitable alternative provision has been secured elsewhere or the need for the development overrides the loss of parking and where necessary measures are in place to mitigate against the impact.
  5. Planning permission will not be granted for off-airport parking facilities related to Gatwick Airport unless a need can be demonstrated and no other realistic alternatives is available. 


Policy 44 - Gatwick Airport Safeguarded Land

10.19 Land around Gatwick Airport is currently safeguarded to allow for the future expansion of the airport if necessary. Most of this safeguarded area is located within the administrative boundary of Crawley Borough, but a small area in the far north east of the District is located in this area. 

10.20 The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that planning policies should identify and protect, where there is robust evidence, sites and routes which could be critical in developing infrastructure to widen transport choice and realise opportunities for large scale development. In December 2018, the Government published a consultation document 'Aviation 2050: The future of UK aviation'.  This Green Paper highlights the importance of aviation to the UK economy.  

10.21 This document also refers to the importance of the safeguarding of land for growth. It advises that it is prudent to continue with a safeguarding policy to maintain a supply of land for future national requirements and to ensure that inappropriate developments do not hinder sustainable aviation growth. The Government’s Aviation Strategy White Paper which was due to be published in December 2019 where further guidance for local authorities is anticipated.

10.22 The Council considers that until further clarification on this matter is provided by Government, it is expected that the safeguarded land should continue to be safeguarded. Should the Government advise that safeguarded land for future airport development is no longer required, the requirement for this policy will be reviewed. 

Policy 44 - Gatwick Airport Safeguarded Land

  1. Land identified on the Local Plan Policies Map will be safeguarded from development which would be incompatible with expansion of the airport to accommodate the construction of an additional wide spaced runway (if required by national policy) together with a commensurate increase in facilities that contribute to the safe and efficient operation of the expanded airport.
  2. Minor development within this area, such as changes of use and small scale building works, such as residential extensions, will normally be acceptable. Where appropriate, planning permission may be granted on a temporary basis. The airport operator will be consulted on all planning applications within the safeguarded area.



Strategic Policy 45 - Inclusive Communities, Health and Wellbeing

10.23 All development in the District should contribute to the creation of inclusive, accessible and safe places which encourage healthy, active lifestyles and facilitate social cohesion. Development should seek, wherever possible and where appropriate, to address identified needs within communities. 

10.24 Overall, the health of the people living in Horsham District is very good. Average life expectancy reported by the Office for National Statistics is 82 years for men and 85 years for women, which is higher than the national average. The resident population has an older age profile than the national average, with many people choosing to retire here. 

10.25 Access to healthcare facilities can be difficult for rural residents, particularly where there is limited access to a car. Many residents are also concerned about the lack of access to a major hospital in the District. The nature of healthcare provision is changing, and the need for a hospital has not been identified by healthcare providers. Dialogue with health care providers will continue. The rising age structure for the District will have implications for long term health, illnesses and disabilities, particularly in relation to social and healthcare facilities. 

10.26 The District has a low level of deprivation overall, with few Local Authority areas less deprived and some of the least deprived areas in the country sitting within the Horsham District. There are some pockets of deprivation. These areas include certain parts of Itchingfield, Shipley and Warnham, Forest and Roffey South wards. 

10.27 In terms of ethnicity, the majority of the population (96.1%) described themselves as White British, Irish or Other, with just 2.7% of residents describing themselves as of Black or of Minority Ethnic origin. 1.4% are of Mixed Ethnic Origin (2011 census). While many of these groups are well integrated into communities in the District, specific provision needs to be made for Gypsies and Travellers. Their specific accommodation need is addressed separately in this document.

10.28 Christianity is the dominant religion in the District, (63.5% of residents at the 2011 census). A significant minority (26.9%) considered themselves to have no religion. There is however a continued need to recognise the requirement of different faith groups in the district.

Strategic Policy 45 - Inclusive Communities, Health and Wellbeing

10.29 Development proposals must take positive measures to create socially inclusive and adaptable environments to meet the long term needs of a range of occupiers and users and to ensure they are accessible to all members of the community. New development must be designed to achieve healthy, inclusive and safe places, which enable and support healthy lifestyles and address health and wellbeing needs.  Development should address requirements stemming from:

  1. The needs of an ageing population, particularly in terms of housing and health;
  2. The requirements of people with additional needs including sensory or mobility difficulties, including the physically disabled and/or those with learning disabilities, and support Horsham's status as a dementia-friendly District; 
  3. The requirements of rural workers or essential workers in rural areas;
  4. The co-ordination of services to fulfil the needs of children and young people;
  5. The specific needs of minority groups within the district, including Gypsies and Travellers; and
  6. The specific needs of faith and other community groups.
  7. The need to protect and enhance existing community facilities, services and open spaces, and /or to provide new facilities to meet the needs of existing and new communities. 

Policy 46 - Community Facilities, Leisure and Recreation

10.30 The policy covers a variety of facilities and services that help fulfil the community’s recreational, cultural and social needs, including health and emergency services.  Whilst not an exhaustive list, community facilities and services encompasses the following: open space (excluding private farmland and commercial woodland); sports facilities; places of worship; museums; art galleries; libraries; cinemas; theatres; music venues; meeting places; public houses; hospitals; health centres / GP surgeries; dentists; and schools and educational/training facilities.  Whilst national planning policy includes local shops as a community facility, these are considered under the retail policies in this document.  

10.31 Overall, the District has a good quantity of good-quality, accessible existing leisure and recreation sites, with a range of facilities including three public swimming pools, leisure centres, playing fields and parks, allotments and children’s play areas. The District also has a theatre, cinema and a number of museums, libraries, restaurants and pubs.

10.32 In September 2019 the Council adopted a Playing Pitch Strategy and Built Sports Facility Strategy for the period to 2031. The strategies provide guidance to assist with determining what provision of outdoor sports pitches and built sports facilities are required to respond to an increasing population and to large-scale infrastructure requirements for new community housing developments. The strategies highlight key findings and set out priority areas for us to maximise future sporting and recreation provision within the District.  It therefore assists in the prioritisation of what additional provision is required to meet future needs.

10.33 The Council recognises the importance and value of sport and recreation and leisure pursuits to the health and well-being of people. This is set out in our Sport and Physical Activity Strategy, which has an overall aim ‘to increase participation in sport and physical activity and improve the health and wellbeing of people living, working or visiting the Horsham District’.

10.34 A number of strategic recreation routes pass through the District, including the Downs Link and the Wey and Arun Canal. These routes, together with the overall rights of way network contribute to the health and wellbeing of communities.

10.35 The Sport Open Space and Recreation study 2014 set out the level of provision of built and more informal recreation facilities from allotments to green spaces and sports centres and village halls. Some shortages in leisure and recreational provision were identified and the study set out local standards for new provision for these facilities.

10.36 The local open space and indoor facilities standards have been reviewed and the table within Policy 46 sets out the updated standards.  In addition to these facilities, the night-time economy, which includes theatres, cinemas and restaurants, has also been identified as an area with potential for expansion.

10.37 Communities will only be sustainable if they are fully inclusive and deliver the necessary standards of services and facilities. This policy seeks to retain and enhance existing facilities and services, and ensure that new facilities are provided at an appropriate level where a need is identified. The provision of community leisure and recreation facilities will contribute to the provision of Green Infrastructure, and where appropriate the Nature Recovery Network, and this should be incorporated into development proposals. 

10.38 Where proposals are submitted relating to the loss of a facility, and further detail on marketing is sought, this should address the marking of the site for the  current lawful community use, together with any other alternative community uses that may be appropriate. Marketing will usually be expected to have been undertaken for a minimum of one year.  Where proposals relate to public houses, proposals will be should refer to the CAMRA ‘Public House Viability Test’ or other similar documentation.

Policy 46 - Community Facilities and Uses

  1. The provision of new or improved community facilities or services will be supported, particularly where they meet the identified needs of local communities as indicated in the current Sport Open Space and Recreation Study, the Playing Pitch and Built Facilities Strategies, the Infrastructure Delivery Plan and other relevant studies or updates, and / or contribute to the provision of Green Infrastructure and the Nature Recovery Network. Proposals for new or improved community facilities and services will be required to meet all of the following criteria:
    1. accord with the Development Hierarchy and locate within a defined built-up area boundary unless it can be demonstrated the location is the only practicable option, and the site is suitable and well-related to an existing settlement;
    2. be an appropriate scale and intensity of use for the location and not prejudice adjoining and nearby uses or habitats, unless it can be demonstrated any harmful impacts can be suitably mitigated;
    3. Lighting proposals, including floodlighting, must seek to minimise light pollution, help reduce crime, and not cause significant harm to surrounding occupants, highway users and habitats and species; and
    4. where practicable:
      1. be accessible to the community it serves by walking, cycling and public transport;
      2. improve access to open space; and
      3. provide accessible public toilets and drinking water refill facilities for the occupants and the general public.
  1. To facilitate community cohesion, integration, healthy and active living, all proposals for additional dwellings will be required to contribute to the provision and improvement of the quality, quantity, variety and accessibility of public open space and public indoor meeting and sports halls to meet the needs generated in accordance with the local minimum standards set out in the table below. All open space and indoor provision will be required to have an agreed funded maintenance and management plan. The community use of school facilities will be supported but should be additional to that required to meet generated needs.
  2. Proposals that would result in the total or partial loss of sites and premises currently or last used for the provision of community facilities or services will be resisted unless it has been demonstrated that one of the following applies:
    1. the proposal will secure replacement facilities or services of equivalent or better quality, with appropriate capacity, and in an equally accessible location within the vicinity: or
    2. evidence is provided that demonstrates the continued use of the site as a community facility or service is no longer feasible, taking into account factors such as; appropriate active marketing, the demand for a community use within the site or premises, the quality, usability, viability and the identification of a potential future occupier. 

Local minimum standards of size for community spaces


Type of Provision

Area per resident (sqm)

Distance threshold from proposed site

Min size

Min size inc buffer







Multi-functional Greenspace

(Neighbourhood & Sub-District & Strategic)

Accessible Natural Green Space


300m for local; none for greater (drive)

0.25ha for local; otherwise depends on context


Amenity Green Space





Parks & Recreation Grounds


300m for local; none for greater (drive)

0.02ha for local; otherwise depends on context


Outdoor sports

Grass Pitches

OR (where appropriate):

Artificial pitches/MUGAs


OR (where appropriate):



OR (where appropriate):


1.5ha as a collective ‘hub’

[2 pitches]

OR (where appropriate):

1.5ha as a collective ‘hub’

[1 pitch]


OR (where appropriate):


Tennis & Multi-Courts



1 court / 666sqm




[1 green with banks, ditches and walkway all around at least 3m wide]

Pavilion/ changing room

(to meet the needs of the pitch and MUGA provision, in line with Sport England Standards and to create an environment which is welcoming for spectators, players and community)

Equipped/Landscaped areas of Play

Equipped / Landscaped areas of play (LEAP, NEAP, LLAP)



(0.04ha ;0.1ha; 0.08ha)

(0.35ha; 0.8ha; 0.35ha)

Youth Facilities

Youth Areas/facilities (Skatepark; Youth facilities Ball Courts; Youth facilities Bike Track)

0.4 (large settlements)

0.2 (small settlements)

(2.5km; 500m; 2.5km)

(500sqm; 350sqm [25mx14m]; 800sqm)

(4.9ha; 0.63ha; 0.78ha)


Open Space



(2.695ha per 1,000 population)


Indoor facilities  

Local Halls



 [1 badminton court / 16.5x8.5m; at least  6m high; semi-sprung floor; toilets; storage; reception/ office area]


Neighbourhood Halls




Indoor Sports facilities

See Sport England Sports Facility Calculator





0.2+ Sport England Facility Calculator



  • Do you agree with the draft policies in this section?
  • If not, what changes would you suggest?