Minerals Plan Update – Hawkhurst Farm

 

You will recall the campaign against any minerals development at Hawkhurst Farm. As part of that campaign, the picture above was mocked up to show the effect on the landscape looking down on the site from the Downs. Additional concerns regarding the impact on flooding, traffic, infrastructure and amenity were raised by the Parish Council and residents. Following the last round of consultation (during which the campaign was mounted), West Sussex County Council, in conjunction with the South Downs National Park, issued this update last week:

West Sussex Minerals Local Plan: Progress Update

 This (email) seeks to update you about the progress on the preparation of a new joint Minerals Local Plan (MLP) for West Sussex.  The Plan is being prepared by West Sussex County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority.

The new MLP will set a strategy for mineral development to 2031, protect the landscape, safeguard resources where appropriate, allocate sites considered suitable for the production of minerals, and include a range of land use-specific and generic policies to manage future mineral development.  The decision whether to and where to allocate sites is important as it provides communities and the minerals industry with certainty about where mineral development can take place.

 Early engagement and evidence gathering

 Work on the new MLP has commenced by gathering evidence which will be used to inform the emerging Plan.  During 2014 the Authorities have:

 ·         Prepared and carried out engagement on 5 Background Papers;

 ·         Carried out a site nomination process, to identify potential mineral sites in the County;

 ·         Prepared a Mineral Sites Study, and carried out engagement to ensure the accuracy of information set out for each of potential sites included;

·         Secured independent consultants to prepare the technical assessments and studies in relation to the potential mineral sites which will be shortlisted. These technical assessments will take place in 2015;

 ·         Facilitated two targeted engagement events. The first, in June, was aimed at parish, district and borough councils and local interest groups.  The second was held in July, and was aimed at the mineral industry, statutory stakeholders, and neighbouring planning authorities. Outcome reports for these events are available online.

 The Authorities are grateful to all stakeholders, particularly members of the local community, who responded to the Background Papers and Mineral Sites Study.  Work in the latter part of 2014 has focused on analysing the responses received in relation to the Background Papers (Outcome Report available here) and the Mineral Sites Study (Outcome Report available here). It was anticipated that a further targeted engagement event would take place in December 2014, but instead the Authorities have prepared reports of the responses received and  then updated the content of all 5 Background Papers.

A factual update of the Mineral Sites Study (known as MSSv2), reflecting the responses received and the current list of potential sites will be made available online in the coming weeks.

 The draft timetable for the development of the MLP is set out below.

Key Stage

When

Preparation of Draft Plan and draft Sustainability Appraisal Report

Ongoing to end of 2015

Public consultation on Draft MLP following approval by the Cabinet Member & South Downs National Park Authority

Early 2016

Public consultation on Proposed Submission MLP following approval by County Council & South Downs National Park Authority

Winter 2016

Submission of MLP to Government

Spring 2017

Examination in public

Summer 2017

Adoption

Spring 2018

 The County Council and South Downs National Park Authority are committed to listening to customers, and ensuring that the diverse needs of our communities are taken into consideration throughout the decision making process. To that end, we continue to actively seeking your views or the views of those you represent during the MLP preparation process, particularly at the consultation stages highlighted in the timetable above.

 Please contact the Planning and Transport Policy Team on 01243 642118 or email the team via mwdf@westsussex.gov.uk

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