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Parish Design Statement

The Parish Plan sets out an agenda for the development of the parish, covering social, community, recreation and environmental aspirations. The Parish Design Statement is a sister document which focuses on the implementation of Plan policies concerned with the style and design of any future construction in the parish: domestic, commercial or agricultural. It has been prepared by a Steering Group of parish volunteers guided by government publications and advice from Horsham District Council Planning Department.


The Parish Design Statement has been informed by the responses from residents to the Parish Plan questionnaires and by comments received on a draft circulated within the parish. It now forms part of the local planning process and is a Supplementary Planning Document within the District Council's Local Development Framework that defines Horsham Districtís development plans to 2018.



Managing change


The Statement analyses what we value in the parish buildings and landscapes today. Its purpose is to ensure that future construction and development:

  • builds upon the parish heritage; and,
  • incorporates the highest qualities in planning, design and materials.

It is not about what or where development may occur nor does it seek to stop innovation.


The Statement briefly describes how the parish has evolved over the years, where it stands today, its attributes and issues affecting its future. Based on what is liked and valued in the parish, and also on the identification of national issues that need to be applied locally, Design Guidelines have been drawn up to help direct future development and safeguard or improve the parish inheritance.



Design Guidelines


The Design Guidelines are intended to:

  • influence development proposals at an early stage rather than through later reaction to submitted plans,
  • ensure that development reflects the quality and character of the village, hamlets and surrounding countryside, and
  • accommodate change in order to bring maximum benefit to the parish.

The Governmentís Decentralisation and Localism Bill will provide new powers to local authorities and provide greater local input into planning issues. The Design Guidelines will assist in maintaining quality in a less regulated environment.


The continuing emphasis on sustainable development and energy conservation will promote the use of technological developments in domestic property and see the increased use of solar panels and wind turbines. Whilst consideration of these facilities is at an early stage this Statement addresses issues raised by such features.



Users of the Statement


The Parish Design Statement (PDS) has been adopted by Horsham District Council as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) attached to the Core Strategy of the Local Development Framework. SPDs are used to provide further detail to policies and proposals in a development plan context. They are non-statutory documents but are attached to the Core Strategy, which is statutory, therefore giving the Statement weight. Although the Statement does not have legal force, it will have the strength of local support and assist in influencing design and planning submissions.


The Design Statement will be beneficial to:

  • residents and owners planning to change existing buildings, to modify the landscape, or to construct new buildings, irrespective of whether planning permission is needed,
  • the planning authorities: Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council, in assessing future planning applications,
  • the public and neighbours as supporters or objectors to planning applications.