A new housing site has been included in Petworth’s Neighbourhood Plan after a six-week public consultation.
The plan will now go out for the final referendum stage, after which, if it is agreed, it will be set in stone as future planning guidance for the town.
The housing site for the development of around ten homes on land south of Rothermead was called for at the 11th hour by the independent examiner and the South Downs National Park (SDNPA) decided to put the proposal out for more consultation.
Despite some public opposition, chairman of the planning committee Neville Harrison and planning director Tim Slaney took the decision to include the site.
The referendum in the Leconfield Hall follows three years of work led by Petworth Town Council, including consultation with the community, collaboration with the SDNPA and a review by an independent examiner.
Everyone who is registered on the electoral roll for Petworth will receive a polling card from Chichester District Council, which is organising the referendum, inviting them to vote on whether the plan should be used to assess all future planning applications in Petworth over the next 15 years.
Town council chairman Chris Kemp said: “Through the plan process, Petworth has undergone a thorough audit of the town for the first time ever and consulted those responsible for providing vital services, including clubs and societies, as well as the doctor’s surgery and primary school, to ensure we are well placed to serve a growing community.
“Our plan will kick-start new housing development which will generate additional revenues that can be re-invested into the vital infrastructure and services to support it.
“But we need everyone to place their vote to determine the final outcome. Once the plan is passed, it becomes a legal document to be used in all future planning applications. This really is a golden opportunity to have a binding say in shaping the future of our wonderful town for the next generation.”
Over the next few weeks, parishioners will receive an information leaflet from the town council giving them the chance to view the plan documents online or at the council offices.