Kirdford and Fernhurst eager to test out new rights

KIRDFORD and Fernhurst are among more than 100 communities eager to trial new rights which give local people powers to bring jobs and homes to their area and shape development.

The areas, announced last week by communities minister Bob Neill, are some of the first preparing to use new neighbourhood planning powers introduced in the Localism Act.

Neighbourhood planning is a feature of the government’s localism agenda aimed at ensuring people have a major say in shaping development in their area.

Communities can help determine where development should go and can decide the type and design of development which can be granted automatic planning permission through a Neighbourhood Development Order.

The group of 108 communities join 125 other frontrunners which have recently been working up plans and testing out the principles of neighbourhood planning before the system formally commences later this year.

The local authorities of the successful frontrunners – in Kirdford’s case, Chichester District Council, and for Fernhurst the South Downs National Park Authority – have been given £20,000 per project to support their work to help their communities with neighbourhood planning.