There are a number of sustainability issues and challenges facing the Parish. While Slaugham Parish offers a high quality environment to residents and local businesses, the Neighbourhood Plan will need to manage and seek to resolve a series of issues over its lifetime if the parish is to continue to be successful while respecting its outstanding landscape setting and rural ambiance.
In the absence of a Neighbourhood Plan there will be fewer opportunities to address the issues and challenges facing the parish, as well as contributing to a reduction in the potential benefit to the community. Due to its desirable location, residents feel that the parish is at particular risk from overdevelopment, which would lead to deterioration in the quality of life in Slaugham Parish.
The issues identified in the Neighbourhood Plan public workshops and consultation, and the baseline information collected in Section 4 have informed the following table.
Outstanding landscape setting, designated land (e.g. AONB, SSSI, LNR), significant built heritage assets, conservation areas, green space and strategic gaps.
Distinct village identities and sense of community, local help groups and Community Bus.
Good range of community activities, choice of pubs, café. Thriving village clubs, friendly churches, modern health centre. In Handcross some shops, Post Office, business district. Nymans and High Beeches gardens. Recreation ground and access to The Hyde Estate. Furnace Pond (and Angling club). Two areas of allotments.
Pease Pottage services (including M&S) and flower shop.
Relatively low crime, valued schools.
Local employment opportunities, access to A23, Haywards Heath, Horsham and Crawley for other
Four villages can create different and competing needs.
Loss of Handcross Parish Hall and recreation grounds. Some difficulties in encouraging community spirit, engaging all sections of the community especially young people. Limited activities for children and young people. Poor broadband service in some areas.
Traffic and speed (both in villages and on rural roads), volume and weight and widespread parking issues, visual clutter, pedestrian vulnerability, deteriorating public transport. Piecemeal pavements and verges, blocked by parked cars.
Pressure on Primary School rolls; significant parking problems at Handcross primary, pressure on health facilities from increasing population from future developments. Power cuts, drainage issues.
High house prices, high rental prices, lack of affordable housing. Over development of Pease Pottage (loss of strategic gap between Pease Pottage and Crawley) and Handcross.
Conserve and enhance valued landscapes and built heritage.
Improve pedestrian safety, implement traffic management, reduce travel carbon-based fuel usage, and improve parking in all villages.
Enable all ages to live in the community, improve contact and service to elderly. Tailor type and location of development to local wants and needs. Encourage use of renewable energy, support local businesses. Negotiate new activity space and improved community facilities with local landowners. Reduce street clutter, improve visual approaches to Handcross village.
Encourage inclusion, community activities, garden share and community growing.
Loss of countryside, green spaces, recreation areas. Loss of agricultural land and local food selfsufficiency.
Climate change, loss of biodiversity, drought or water interruption/contamination. Danger from HGVs and fast traffic. Loss of services such as buses, shops.
Over or inappropriate development leading to loss of rural character. Loss of local distinctiveness through cumulative residential developments (particularly in Pease Pottage and Handcross) and erosion of rural countryside features. Pressure on schools, health centre and other services from overdevelopment.
Need for sustainable funding for potential future Handcross Community Centre.
Our Sustainability Objectives
To give an objective basis against which Neighbourhood Plan policies and options can be assessed for overall beneficial or negative impact on parish sustainability.
To preserve, protect and enhance the countryside and open spaces in Slaugham Parish, recognising:
- The status of the majority of the parish as part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- The rural nature of the Parish with four distinct settlements
- The importance to the community of ancient woodland, diversity of wildlife, amenity space and recreational areas, the peace and tranquillity of the Parish
- Area and quality of ancient woodland within the parish maintained or increased
- Area and condition of green spaces between the four villages maintained as of 23 18 February 2015 or improved
- Number of planning consents granted contrary to advice from the High Weald AONB management team, Natural England, CPRE or National Trust
- Number of planning consents having negative impact on important wildlife sites (including SSSI; land covered by the three Registered Park and Gardens; Scheduled Ancient Monument; Environmental Stewardship or Countryside Stewardship schemes)
- Condition and accessibility of footpaths, bridleways and cycle paths
- Number of Tree Preservation Orders within the parish;
- Area and quality of agricultural land lost to planning consents.
To retain the geographic distinctiveness of the four villages and maintain the gaps both intra-parish between the individual villages and between Slaugham Parish and surrounding built up areas in particular Pease Pottage and Crawley.
- Number of planning applications granted which compromise the strategic gaps between villages, and between Pease Pottage and Crawley.
To conserve and protect the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty including conservation and retention of the architectural heritage of conservation areas and individual historic buildings with changes to conform to locally agreed guidelines.
- The number of listed buildings in the parish
- The number of objections received to planning applications from English Heritage. The number of objections received to planning applications from the High Weald AONB unit.
To substantially reduce impact of the road congestion/pollution and to improve sustainable transport within the Parish, especially the Handcross and Pease Pottage High Streets and on Coos Lane. To encourage local transport companies to create more bus routes through our villages. To facilitate other public transport options, such as service to and from local train stations at peak commuting times
- The number of accidents in the Parish due to traffic conditions
- The number of additional off street parking spaces provided
- The number of parking spaces lost due to development
- The creation and use of cycle paths
- The number of dwellings within a five minute walk of a bus stop
- Continued viability of the Handcross Community bus
To ensure that the community has continuing access to adequate, high quality community facilities and recreational open space in each of the four villages.
- Number of households within a 15 minute walk (approximately 1.2km) from a Village Hall or other appropriate Community facility;
- Booking / usage statistics for Seaforth Hall, proposed community facility at Finches Field, Parish Hall and Pavilion (or replacement) in Handcross;
- Number of households within a 15 minute walk (approximately 1.2km) of recreational open space and sporting facilities
To ensure a supply of homes consistent with local housing needs identified in various community surveys, the 2011 census and the Mid Sussex District plan. To meet the social objectives of homes suitable for an aging population and those suitable for younger people, including singles, couples and families. This objective must be met in a way that adds households at a rate that can be absorbed by existing infrastructure and community opinion.
- The number of locally connected individuals on the housing register requiring either affordable or social housing
- The number of additional affordable housing units provided in the Parish
- The number of permissions granted that meet or exceed the 30% affordable housing provision
To ensure that all new homes are built efficiently and to a suitable density using local materials, and meet or exceed the targets set by national best practice guidelines for quality, density, energy efficiency, size and design of homes
- The number of permissions granted for schemes which include energy efficiency measurements
- The number of permissions granted that include rainwater harvesting
- The number of permissions granted that include renewable energy sources
- The number of permissions granted which do not meet best practice guidelines on density and design.
To ensure that high quality education is available throughout the Parish for pre-school and primary aged pupils. To provide a pre-school or primary place for all children who live in the Parish while maintaining recognised guidelines on numbers of students per class and the facilities that they should have.
- The number of local children unable to attend a primary/play school in the Parish
- The number of dwellings within 1.5km of a primary school.
To provide community facilities that allow residents of each of the four Villages comprising Slaugham Parish to create a focal point for community activities and identity.
- The number of active clubs, social groups, sports teams, youth activities in the Parish
- Maintain or increase the number of suitable facilities for worship, local theatre groups and choir and other village based clubs and associations primarily for local residents
To maintain access to high quality healthcare and to provide opportunities for residents to maintain and enhance their health and well-being.
- The number of dwellings within 1.5km of a Doctors Surgery
- Maintain or increase play equipment in local recreation grounds
- Maintain or improve recreation grounds at Handcross, Pease Pottage, Slaugham and Warninglid
To facilitate employment opportunities within the Parish. To enable the necessary infrastructure to encourage self-employment and working from home, and the associated reduction in commuting to work outside the Parish.
- Number employed within the Parish
- Number of parishioners working from home
- Number of homes with access to super-fast broadband, reliable electricity and telephone service, local post office facilities
- Number of residents commuting to work outside Parish
To sustain and grow business activity in the Parish, including those associated with the visitor and tourism sector, in appropriate locations. To maintain Handcross as the centre of economic activity in the Parish, while facilitating business growth in other areas currently in commercial/retail use.
- Number of businesses active within the Parish
- Number and range of shops, businesses, services available within the Parish
- Visitor numbers at Nymans, High Beeches, Slaugham Manor
- Number of empty business and commercial properties
Developing the Scoping Report
The Neighbourhood Plan covers the whole Slaugham Parish, comprising the villages of Handcross, Pease Pottage, Slaugham, Warninglid and dispersed settlements scattered within the parish’s more rural areas.
Members of Slaugham Parish Council, together with other parish members, are leading preparation of the plan with consultation throughout with local residents.
To inform the Sustainability Appraisal of the Neighbourhood Plan, public workshop sessions were run in February and March 2012 covering parish challenges/concerns, valued aspects and future aspirations. The workshop outputs were verified with a parish-wide consultation survey in April 2012 which was posted to every household. The majority of the District wide data has already been collected for the Sustainability Appraisal for the Mid Sussex District Plan and had been obtained from the various sources best placed to provide accurate data in their relevant area of expertise. This information has enabled the environmental, social and economic issues facing both the district and Slaugham Parish to be established.
Mid Sussex District Council has published a set of 18 Sustainability Objectives in its ‘District Plan Sustainability Appraisal (Incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment) – Scoping Report’ (July 2014) and this document uses and expands upon those that are relevant to the issues identified for Slaugham Parish. In particular, local issues and objectives have been identified, and the indicators used to measure these are from local sources, at a local scale where possible. These will help assess the sustainability issues facing Slaugham Parish, to be addressed, where possible in the Neighbourhood Plan.