Delay in plan making is unfortunately right on our doorstep here in Chichester District. The most recent ‘Local Development Scheme’ approved in March 2021 sets out the timetable for the Chichester Local Plan Review. The new plan covers the period to 2037.
Instead of the original target date for adoption of 2020, the new timetable says it will now not be before March 2023.
A Site Allocations Plan identifying actual housing and employment sites is expected to be adopted later by December 2024. This will only identify smaller non-strategic sites in areas of the District that have no Neighbourhood Plan coverage. Otherwise, site selection will continue to be a primary function of the Neighbourhood Plan, with sites chosen by local people.
With the adoption of the Chichester Local Plan still some way off, earlier this year the District Council agreed to provide an interim position statement on progress. A ‘Way Forward’ report outlining the next stages of local plan review process has been promised by the summer and we look forward to seeing that.
All we know at this stage is that a revised distribution of development has been discussed and informally agreed with council members as a ‘direction of travel and the basis for further testing’ through the Local Plan Review process.
We hope the revised distribution will be revealed in the Way Forward report and ratified in the Local Plan as soon as possible. This would certainly help Parish Councils make some much-needed progress on their own Neighbourhood Plans and Plan Reviews.
We all need certainty in the planning system, and that includes Parish Councils. So the sooner the housing requirements can be made public with proper justification for them, the better.