A PLAN which will guide future development in Fernhurst over the next decade has taken a step closer to being set in stone.
The Neighbourhood Plan which has already been in the making for more than a year, has now gone forward for consultation in the journey towards completion and acceptance .
The proposal and the many accompanying documents have been gathered and sent to the South Downs National Park Authority for the next stage of the long and expensive process.
This will involve the ‘formal consultation’ or ‘publicity stage’ during which the national park authority will invite comments from a large number of official organisations and public bodies.
These comments will be gathered together, added to the other documents and sent to the independent examiner, Deborah McCann, who will make the final decision as to whether the neighbourhood plan has reached the stage where it is suitable for the village to vote on in a referendum.
If, as is very much hoped, this is the case , copies will be printed and made available for every household to read and vote on.
A majority vote will be the deciding factor, however small the percentage vote is, but it is hoped that many will read the plan.
To reach even this stage has taken many months of painstaking thought and consideration by the steering group, which includes Nicki Braithwaite, John Self, Iain Brown, Ralph Carver, Mike Hydon, Graham Inns and others.
Each member took a factor needing consideration and worked with others in the village to reach as near a unanimous conclusion as possible, although in some cases a compromise had to be reached. Areas covered included the future development of the ex-Syngenta site, the Hurstfold site, the elderly, youth issues, employment, landscape and environment, leisure and sport, housing for all ages and financial abilities, and others.
More than 100 residents have already taken the opportunity to comment when the draft plan was produced in the late spring of 2013. It is hoped many more will vote on the final article in the coming months as it is the village’s future on which they are voting.