Draft Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036

Comment ID /3241
Document Section Draft Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036 Economic Development (Key Questions) Policy 8 - Rural Economic Development Policy 8 - Rural Economic Development View all on this section
Respondent Greening Steyning/South East C… View all by this respondent
Response Date 28 Mar 2020
What is the nature of this comment?
  • Object
Fails to account for the major shift needed in the rural economy as we move to a low carbon economy

This section completely missed out on the fact that rural economies will need to change very substantially as we accelerate the shift towards a low carbon economy.  It is presented as if it is all about preserving our current countryside and rural jobs in aspic.  

The recently published Zero Carbon Britain report gives a flavour of the extent of change that will be needed (see file:///Users/Geoff/Downloads/Executive-Summary-Zero-Carbon-Britain-Rising-to-the-Climate-Emergency.pdf)  The land use diagram is particularly telling - as it shows how there will need to be major shifts in how we use our land.  The scenario involves a substantial reduction in grazing land but a large increase in the area used for energy crops, forestry, carbon sequestration and local food production.  

In addition there is substantial potential for decentralised renewable energy schemes across the District.

This will transform our rural environment, and our economy - and mostly in a good way that will create a huge number of new jobs, while enhancing biodiversity and climate resilience.

It is true this is all somewhat on the horizon at the moment.  The Government's new environment and agriculture policies are still to be released - but are expected to be reinforcing these messages.

The point is that the District Plan needs to be looking to the future.  This is a great opportunity for Horsham to lead from the front.

Proposed Change Reframe this section to place clear emphasis on the fact that substantial changes in the rural economy are on the way, and paving the way from these in terms of grasping the opportunities that will emerge in the transition to a more sustainable low-carbon economy.