A FRESH look is being taken at a blueprint which protects Aldwick.
Parish councillors have agreed to update its five-year-old village design statement. The document sets out the features of each area of the parish and what should be done to ensure the best of them are maintained for future generations to enjoy.
The statement is taken into account by Arun District Council when considering planning applications.
It has no legal power and it does not stop new developments but it helps to influence how they, with extensions to existing buildings, fit into the parish by setting out the qualities and characteristics people value in the parish.
Cllr Lilian Richardson, the parish council’s chairman, said at its latest meeting it was time to look again at the statement before the local elections in May next year.
“We should look at the existing design statement and update it where it’s necessary,” she said.
“We are laying solid foundations for the new council to take forward either with a neighbourhood plan or with a current design statement.
“It will come down to the new council to decide if that amount of work and that amount of money will achieve the actual outcome that fits in with that workload and with that spend.”
Several councillors have volunteered to look through sections of the design statement to ensure no mistakes were made in the original document and make any changes that had become necessary as a result of the five years since it was written.
They will give their suggestions to the council’s clerk, Sue Batey, to forward to the working party of the council.
“They will look at the whole design statement and make any revisions necessary and get it ready for next year’s councillors to produce a refined design statement or a neighbourhood plan,” said Cllr Richardson.
Aldwick’s existing design statement says: “It is now recognised that local distinctiveness is vital in helping to integrate new development and in creating sustainable communities.
“This can be achieved through an understanding of local character, and by ensuring this understanding is shared with anyone considering development.”
The statement divides the parish into areas such as West Meads, Rose Green and Aldwick Park and describes their characteristics and the criteria for future development.
For West Meads, it states the area is notable for open, green amenity spaces, large, open-plan gardens, wide, tree-lined verges, wide pavements and well-spaced and well-designed properties of appropriate scale.
For future development, it sets out: “New or replacement buildings or extensions should be visually subservient and relate to the existing building and not vary significantly in height or bulk from those nearby.”
A neighbourhood plan is a formal document compiled after community consultations, is assessed by a planning inspector, agreed by an area’s residents in a referendum and backed by Arun.