Email: Tel: 01403 733202


For Upcoming Referendum and all documents please visit: Southwater Neighbourhood Plan Official Website

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to ensure that they get the right types of development for their community where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area.

Neighbourhood planning is not a legal requirement but a right which communities in England can choose to use. Communities may decide that they could achieve the outcomes they want to see through other planning routes, such as incorporating their proposals for the neighbourhood into the Local Plan, or through other planning mechanisms such as Local Development Orders and supplementary planning documents or through pre-application consultation on development proposals. Communities and local planning authorities should discuss the different choices communities have to achieving their ambitions for their neighbourhood.

Here is plications by Horsham District Council Planning Offers and elected Councillors.

More information on neighbourhood planning can be found on the website click here.


Decision statement & referendum plan published

On 20 August 2020, Horsham District Council published the Decision Statement for the Southwater Neighbourhood Plan. The full document can be read at on their website here. The decision is set out in Section 3 and reads:

 Having considered the recommended modifications made by the Examiner’s Report, and the reasons for them, Horsham District Council, with the consent of SPC has considered each of the recommendations and agreed the action to take in response to each recommendation. It was decided to accept the majority the modifications made to the draft plan by the Examiner under paragraph 12(2)(4) of Schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Some minor amendments to the text changes recommended by the Examiner have been made but are not considered to be a material change to the plan. The Examiner’s proposed modifications and the Council’s response are set out at Appendix B. 

The Council is also in agreement with the Examiner that the SEA has considered an appropriate range of alternatives, and in addition makes reference to cumulative impacts. The Examiner concluded that the Plan has been subject to a rigorous and comprehensive SA/SEA process during its preparation. On this basis it agreed that the SEA meets the regulatory requirements.

A Habitats Regulations Assessment Screening Report for the Plan was published in November 2018 and was the subject of consultation with the necessary statutory bodies, including Natural England, as required by legislation. The Examiner noted that Natural England did not raised any concerns regarding the HRA. Therefore, on the basis of the information provided and the Examiner’s independent consideration of the SA/SEA, the HRA and the Plan, the Council is satisfied that the Plan is compatible with EU obligations in respect of the SEA Regulations and the Habitats Directive.

The statement confirms that the draft submission Southwater Neighbourhood Plan, as now modified in response to the Examiner’s Proposed Modifications, complies with the legal requirements and may proceed to referendum. Unfortunately however, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in mandatory restrictions on movement since March 2020 to prevent transmission of the virus and protect vulnerable groups. The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulation 2020 prevents any referendum on neighbourhood plans being held until 5 May 2021 at the earliest. It follows that the referendum for the Southwater Neighbourhood Development Plan is suspended until further notice and a referendum can be undertaken safely.

However, upon the issue of the decision statement (on 20 August 2020), ‘significant weight’ should now be applied to the plan by the decision maker when considering planning applications.

The modified plan which will now progress to referendum, and now has significant weight in the determination of planning applications can be read here.


Examination of the Southwater Neighbourhood Plan

UPDATE 15/05/2020 - The Examination hearing has now been completed and examiners report can be downloaded below. The Parish Council are reviewing the report before agreeing the next steps with Horsham District Coucil.

Examiners Report on Southwater Neighbourhood Plan 2019 - 2031


Horsham District Council have appointed Derek Stebbing of IPe to examine the Southwater Neighbourhood Plan. 

This page will be updated with relevant information as the examination proceeds, including details of key dates and any events that may take place during the examination.

Information is also available on the Horsham District Council website at and the OFFICIAL Southwater Neighbourhood Plan website.

Relevant documents are available to download below.


Opportunity for Other Parties to respond  

Following Thakeham Homes' representation on 12 March 2020, the Examiner has allowed other parties the opportunity to respond. Any final comments from Other Parties must be received on/before 27 March 2020. Any comments received will be uploaded in due course...

Representation from Parker Dann

Representation from Berkeley Strategic

Representation from Southwater Parish Council


Opportunity for Thakeham Homes to make further representations 

Representatives from Thakeham Homes were unable to attend the hearing on 28 February 2020 as they were in self-isolation due to potential exposure to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As a result the Examiner allowed Thakeham Homes to make any further representations they may wish to by 13 March 2020. Thakeham Homes submitted the following representation on 12 March 2020.

Representation from Thakeham Homes


Neighbourhood Plan Hearing (28th February 2020)

The examiner has determined that a Hearing is necessary to ensure adequate examination of a number of matters relating to the Plan. These are set out in the formal Agenda for the Hearing (Annex 1). The Hearing is a public hearing and will take place on Friday 28th February 2020 between 10.00 a.m. and 16.00 p.m. at Southwater Leisure Centre, 2 Pevensey Road, Southwater, West Sussex RH13 9XZ.

Horsham District Council will invite attendance from those the examiner wishes to hear from (as listed in Annex 2). Members of the public can also attend and will, subject to the Examiners agreement and sufficient time being available, be able to speak. Annex 3 to contains guidance for the conduct of the Hearing.

Note from Examiner (23/01/2020) 
Annex 1 - Hearing Agenda 
Annex 2 - Invited Parties 
Annex 3 - Note to Parties Participating in the Hearing Session
Annex 4 - Matters for Discussion


The examiner invited parties to submit any further evidence/statements in relation to the matters to be discussed by 21st February 2020. The statements submitted are below:

Southwater Parish Council

Horsham District Council

Berkeley Strategic

Thakeham Homes


At the examination on 28th February 2020 the following documents were handed to the Examiner over the course of the hearing:

Additional note from Horsham District Council

Suggested Clarification Text  

N.Plan Review Example Text


Initial Examination documents

HDC Summary of Regulation 16 Representations
Letter from Derek Stebbing (13 December 2019)
Neighbourhood Plan Highway Capacity Assessment (January 2020) 
Formal Withdrawal of WSCC objection to the Southwater Neighbourhood Plan on Highways Grounds


Southwater Neighbourhood Plan - Steering Group

The Parish Council made the decision to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish in 2013. Since then a Steering Group made up of interested parties has been working to prepare a plan for the parish, currently the steering group consists of:


SG Position Name Interest in Parish
Chairman Mr Graham Watkins Parish Councillor
Vice Chairman Mr Geoff Cole Parish Councillor
  Mr Les Ampstead Resident
  Ms Angie Choat Southwater Youth Project & Resident
  Mrs Pauline Flores-Moore Parish Councillor
  Rev Godfrey Kesari Holy Innocents Church & Resident
  Mr John Mace Stammerham Amenity Assoc. & Resident
  Ms Deborah Priebe Southwater Action & Resident
  Mr Ramesh Shingadia Londis Shop & Resident
  Mr Nigel Jupp WSCC County Councillor



Southwater Neighbourhood Plan - Timeline

Please see the Southwater Neighbourhood Plan for details of Timeline and Progress: 



Southwater Neighbourhood Plan - Downloads

As relevant documents are completed we will make them available on the official website to view and download. We hope to make available:

1. Steering Group Meeting agenda’s and minutes

2. The Neighbourhood Plan Evidence Base

3. Consultation Material

4. Other guidance or material we consider informative/useful


Linked documents