Our Neighbourhood Plan


On 26th April 2017 Horsham District Council formally ‘made’ the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan.  The Plan is now part of the framework of district planning guidance, against which future development applications will be judged.  Sites not identified for development in the Plan will be much less likely to be approved.

The Parish Council extends its thanks again to the members of the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan Development Group, whose hard work over three years has led to this successful outcome.   District Cllr Claire Vickers (Cabinet member for Planning and Development) also congratulated the parish on all the hard work involved in the preparation of the plan.  The full text of her comments is here.

More information about Neighbourhood Plans in the Horsham District.

You can read and download the Plan from the links below, supporting documents can also be found under ‘previous stages of the process’.

Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan

Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan with mods clean draft3




We are delighted to report that 93% of local voters have endorsed the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan.

The Plan will now be taken forward by Horsham District Council for endorsement as a ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plan in the near future.  The Plan aims to ensure that:

  • the rural landscape and local character of the parish is preserved;
  • future developments are appropriately located, limited in scale and sustainable;
  • the local economy is supported;
  • local infrastructure, facilities and services are retained and enhanced;
  • the countryside environment and ecosystems are protected.

Total voter turnout at the 22 March 2017 referendum was 460 (23%).


The referendum to confirm local support for the final version of our Neighbourhood Plan will take place on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 (7am – 10pm, Thakeham Village Hall).

Following receipt of the Examiner’s report on our Neighbourhood Plan, and consideration of his report with Horsham District Council under Regulation 18, the parish is pleased to confirm that HDC have accepted the report as amended by the examiner, as meeting relevant requirements to be submitted for referendum. The finalised text of the Plan, plus:

  • Examiner’s report
  • HDC’s Decision Statement
  • HDC’s Information Statement
  • HDC’s Information for Voters, and
  • HDC Notice of Referendum
  • Summary of Representations made to the Plan

can be viewed and downloaded below, or via the HDC website.  Hard copies of these documents are also available for consultation at Thakeham Parish Office (contact the Clerk) or Storrington Library.

Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan

Examiner’s Report

HDC Thakeham Parish Decision Statement

HDC Thakeham Parish Information Statement

HDC Thakeham Parish Information for Voters

HDC Notice of Referendum

Summary of Representations made to the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan

Examination phase – September-November 2016

After reviewing responses from the latest phase of public consultation (November-December 2015), in February 2016 Horsham District Council confirmed that the draft Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan was ready for submission to independent examination and that process began in mid-September 2016. The core documents submitted for examination can be seen individually via the links below, or else follow this link to [download].

Thakeham NP Submission Plan Final

Thakeham NP Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment

Thakeham NP Consultation Statement

Thakeham NP Basic Conditions Statement

Supporting evidence documents:

Thakeham NP Supplement to Basic Conditions Statement

Thakeham NP Evidence – Site Assessment

Thakeham NP Evidence – Local Green Spaces

Thakeham NP Evidence – Heritage

Thakeham NP Evidence – Subdivison of fields

Subject to the inspector’s findings, we hope to be in a position to hold a referendum seeking endorsement of the Plan by the end of 2016. We will be aiming for a high referendum turnout. Having a Neighbourhood Plan in place, endorsed by the Thakeham community, will be a major boost to preserving the rural character of the area, protecting the environment and improving local amenities and infrastructure. Further updates on this process will be published here when available.


Project Governance

The preparation of our Neighbourhood Plan has been overseen on behalf of the Parish Council by the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (TNP SG), which has in turn consulted with Focus Groups.  Follow the links below for minutes of all Steering Group meetings, terms of reference for groups and the Project Plan.

Steering Group minutes

Steering Group Terms of Reference

Focus Group Terms of Reference

Steering Group & Focus Group membership

Project Plan



Having been validated by Horsham District Council, 30 October saw the opening of the 6 week formal consultation period prior to submission of the Plan to independent inspection.  The text of the HDC announcement follows:

In line with  Regulation 16  the pre-submission  Thakeham Parish Neighbourhood Plan is being made available for a six week period of representation.  This representation period begins on Friday 30 October 2015 and will close at 5pm on Friday 11 December 2015.

The Thakeham Parish Neighbourhood Plan and related documents can be found on Horsham District Council’s Current Neighbourhood Plan Consultations webpage . The page also contains a representation form which can be used to submit comments. There is also a guidance note on “How to make effective representations”. Copies of the Thakeham Parish Neighbourhood Plan are also available for inspection at the Council Offices, Storrington Library and Thakeham Parish Council offices. Whilst we would prefer to receive responses that use the representation form, responses can also be sent via email and by post.


Thakeham NP Final SA v.4.3. – the Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment (SAE) to support the Plan.

Thakeham NP BCS v4.4. – the Basic Conditions Statement to support the Plan.

Thakeham NP Consultation Statement final – the Consultation Statement that supports the Plan.

List of Planning Terms – to help with the jargon used in some parts of the documents.

September 2015

Having received initial feedback from the healthcheck process, after further consideration and discussion with Horsham District Council, and approval by the Parish Council, further versions of the Neighbourhood Plan documents were submitted to Horsham District Council on 25 September 2015.

April 2015

The draft Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to Horsham District Council for the required pre-submission ‘healthcheck’ process, i.e. commentary from an independent expert reviewer.

January 2015: Draft pre-submission Neighbourhood Plan 

The draft Pre-Submission Neighbourhood Plan was put out for consultation, via the following documents:

Explanation flyer
Consultation response form
Pre-Submission Plan
Draft Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment
Green Spaces (Policy 10) Report

The Schedule of Evidence supporting the documents above comprised:

Thakeham Parish Plan Review (2013)
Thakeham Parish Plan (2007)
Thakeham Parish Design Statement (2002)
Thakeham NDP Community Survey (2014)
Thakeham Parish State of the Parish Report (2014)
Thakeham Housing Needs Survey (2009)
Thakeham Parish Site Assessment Report (2014)
Thakeham Parish Scoping SEA
Thakeham Parish Policies Cascade
Thakeham Parish Heritage Evidence Document
Thakeham Subdivision of Fields
Thakeham Assets and Treasures

Links to other Evidence Base documents:

Heath Common Design Statement (1999)

Horsham District Council Green Infrastructure Study (2014)

Horsham District Council Infrastructure Study (2010)

Horsham District Council Landscape Capacity Assessment (2013)

Horsham District Council Landscape Character Assessment (2003)

Horsham District Council Strategic Flood Assessment (2007)

Horsham District Council Retail Health Check (2005)

Horsham District Council Sport, Open Space and Recreation Assessment (2014)

Crawley Borough Council, Horsham District Council, Mid Sussex District Council Employment Land Review Summary Report (2009)

Call for Sites (September – October 2014)

In order to guide and inform the preparation of the Allocations of Land and Site Development section of the Neighbourhood Plan landowners and developers were invited to informally propose sites (large and small) within Thakeham Parish for development. For full details click here

A map summarising requests received up to 30th October 2014 for the call for sites can be seen here

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments (SHLAAs)

HDC’s map showing their SHLAA for Thakeham Parish (as at mid-2014) can be seen here 

Neighbouring parish SHLAA’s (as at mid-2014):

West Chiltington

Storrington & Sullington

State of the Parish Report (July 2014)

The State of the Parish Report was completed at the end of July 2014 and can be seen here.  The report includes a summary of the key findings of the Neighbourhood Plan Survey Report which was completed on 23rd June 2014, and can be seen here.

The survey was delivered to 706 households and 227 responses were received by the 31st May 2014 due date, giving a response rate of 32% which exceeded those of other parishes. Based on those responding to each question, some key findings were:

  • After allowing for the 146 houses at Abingworth and the 8 houses at Venters approximately half of those responding (51%) indicated that they felt that Thakeham did not require any more open market housing, 21% felt that there should be in-fill only and 13 % 2-3 infill sites with up to 3 houses within the settlement boundary.
  • 96% agreed that new developments should maintain the character of the village and use local building materials where possible.
  • 90% indicated that gaps between Thakeham and neighbouring parishes should be maintained to avoid the settlements being joined up.
  • 62% were concerned that the sub-division of agricultural land into small plots adversely affects the landscape character
  • The use of cars (99.1%) and walking (65.2%) were the main forms of travel. 72% wanted better footpath/bridleway links to adjoining parishes.
  • Over 60% use the Thakeham sports field, the Glebe field and the High Bar Lane playground
  • 75% indicated that the parish would benefit from having a shop.
  • 71% indicated that the parish would benefit from having a shuttle bus to Storrington.

These findings informed the process of producing the first draft of the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan during the latter half of 2014.

Early stages of the process (early 2013 to mid-2014)

The Localism Act 2012 and Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 introduced the concept of Neighbourhood Plans which hand powers to communities so that local people can shape the character of the neighbourhood in which they live.

Neighbourhood Plans must:

  • Be in accordance with the principles of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • Conform with the Local Planning Authority (LPA) Local Plan
  • Pass an independent examination and be voted in at referendum. All those on the Electoral Role of Thakeham Parish are eligible to vote, and 50% of the turnout must be in agreement for the Neighbourhood Plan to go through


Thakeham Parish Council (TPC) submitted a letter of intent to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan to Horsham District Council (HDC) on 13th February 2013, the first parish in the district to do so. On 22nd July 2013 a formal application to designate Thakeham Parish as a Neighbourhood Development Plan Area was submitted and HDC issued a Notice of Consultation on the application. The designation was agreed on 19th December 2013 and led to receipt of the HDC Decision Notice Designation Map Thakeham.

A Steering Group was formed with Terms of Reference agreed by TPC on 20th January 2014.  To start the Neighbourhood Development Plan process a Public Meeting was held on 30th January 2014 at which there were 56 attendees. Focus Groups have been formed covering the following topics (see Project Governance above for terms of reference):

  • Housing and Built Environment
  • Business and Economy
  • Countryside and Natural Environment
  • Community Facilities and Infrastructure
  • Transport and Travel

These stages confirmed the intention to prepare a State of the Parish Report and to begin undertaking data collection and analysis of the current situation and desires for the future from residents, farmers and businesses for the plan period to 2029.