Email: Tel: 01403 733202

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

"A neighbourhood plan is about the use and development of land and many contain a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development....A Neighbourhood Plan will be part of the statutory development plan for that area, if successful at Referendum....Once a Neighbourhood Plan has been completed, it will have to be submitted to the local authority and then be subjected to an independent examination.  This will make sure that the proper legal process has been followed and that the plan meets with the basic conditions, including general conformity with strategic local policy."

(copyright Neighbourhood Plans Roadmap Guide - Locality)

Who is doing this?

The neighbourhood Plan team is run by volunteers with assistance from the Southwater Parish Council staff.  You can see some of the individuals listed on our Steering Group Member page.. and remember, it's never too late to get involved.   The steering group are assisted by local volunteers - over 25 people came forward to offer help.  During 2014-2015 information boards and our volunteers were out and about in the Parish.  You may have seen us at the Southwater Christmas Event or at a summer fair.  We handed out post it notes to ask for your comments and thoughts on what you liked and disliked in Southwater and what you wanted for the future.  

And don't forget over 1000 households returned their Parish Survey to us in May 2015.  So many many people in Southwater have helped form the Southwater Parish Neighbourhood Plan.    

Why are they making a Southwater Parish Neighbourhood Plan? 

"Neighbourhood planning enables communities to play a much stronger role in shaping the areas in which they live and work and in supporting new development proposals....Neighbourhood planning provides the opportunity for communities to set out a positive vision for how they want their community to develop over the next ten, fifteen, twenty years in ways that meet identified local need and make sense for local people. They can put in place planning policies that will help deliver that vision or grant planning permission for the development they want to see."

Local people wanted this for Southwater and so, along with staff from the Parish Council, a team was built who would make the Southwater Parish Neighbourhood Plan

(copyright see also for further information )

When will it be ready? 

Have a look at our timeline tab for further information.  Before the plan could be written there was a lot to do.

  • First,  the Parish Council were required to identify the 'neighbourhood plan area' and submit this application to the local planning authority (Horsham District Council) for designation.
  • Then we needed to reach out to groups and people to find people to help make the plan.  It was their work and committment that led to the Parish Survey being created and sent out in May 2015.  
  • When all the results were in we needed to create graphs and other ways of displaying the data so our groups and volunteers could use it.  It was thank to all those 1000 people who returned their questionnaires that we had so much information to put into policies.  
  • Now we had the framwork for our plan.  We should be able to share this soon.... but there is still some more work to do done.  

An examiner will need to read it and Southwater residents will have to vote upon it.  All that is still to come...  Remember you can still get involved.  Come and see us at the Parish Council office or email 

Where can I find some useful background information to explain the process in more detail? 

There are lots of websites and online resources... too many to list them all here.  However these two links provide a long and a short summary of the process.