UPDATE ON DRAFT NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN HOUSING PROPOSALS
The preparation of housing & development proposals for the Seaford Neighbourhood Plan is one that is driven by working within the existing policy framework, with sites put in by landowners. The Joint Core Strategy approved in May 2016 by Lewes DC requires our Neighbourhood Plan to put forward a programme of new sites that will achieve 185 homes by 2030.
Evidence on each proffered site was researched initially by Focus Group members, and then submitted to our professional consultants AiRS (Action in Rural Sussex) for their independent assessment within that policy framework. Our proposals reflect their assessment. Because not all sites will necessarily be completed by 2030 despite the owner’s efforts, we need to over-programme to hit that target.
On 11 July at the informal public presentation of the work done so far on the Neighbourhood Plan, we set out, amongst many researched proposals, what we called The Magnificent Seven housing sites, and the Green Eight Local Green Spaces. This was done based on evidence collected and evaluated by the beginning of July. It was, by its very nature, a ‘work in progress’. Since then, we have continued our audit of all sites, and re-appraised the capacity of Seaford to meet our housing target within the town’s built-up area. That review has resulted in a re-assessment of the Brooklyn Hyundai site in the light of evidence that it would be too small for a sustainable modern hotel, and so we have reallocated it to housing, capable of providing 13 homes. Another site has come forward following discussions with the owner of the Jermyn Ford garage and showroom at 10 Claremont Road. This can provide about 20 homes as demonstrated by a lapsed planning permission granted 15 years ago. The consequence of this is that the Dane Valley Project, (details of which are found elsewhere on this website) and the other 6 large sites can provide 216 homes, of which under existing Affordable housing policy, 75 would be required to be affordable. Because all these sites are in private ownership, we have carried out a risk assessment to see what would happen by 2030 in a worst-case scenario if the Dane Valley Project did not succeed, and several sites remained undeveloped. That has assured us that we can still predict achieving our housing target through homes developed within the Seaford built-up area.
A consequence of this is that the proposal to develop 60% of the lower field of Grand Avenue and enhance the quality of the remaining land there, is no longer needed to achieve our target within the existing policy framework. Unless there is a change of heart amongst the landowners of the sites listed in the table below, we anticipate the Neighbourhood Plan that we will present to Seaford Town Council in late August will only include these sites. The Draft Neighbourhood Plan will be issued In mid-September for full comment by the public and there will be a further opportunity for public comment later in the year prior to a referendum in 2018.
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