The draft Vision and Objectives were derived from the questionnaires completed at the Cowfold annual fétes in July 2016 and July 2017.
The drafts were then incorporated into the questionnaire delivered to each house in the Parish during late October and early November with an invitation for comments and suggestions.
The finalised version, incorporating appropriate feedback received, is published below and was used to form the basis of the Neighbourhood Plan Policy.
Maintain the village atmosphere and sense of Community that makes Cowfold a desirable place to live. Keep housing integrated within the village and balanced to meet current and future needs, ensuring that development is sustainable, is in balance with the appropriate infrastructure and the needs of the existing Community. Enhance the benefits of our rural location with its services, facilities, amenities and activities. Create an environment that reduces the impact of traffic focusing on the current and long-term health of residents and safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
- Reduce the impact of traffic, volume and speed, on air quality and include through-traffic calming measures to reduce build up of standing traffic within the AQMA. Encourage proposals that support the use of Electric Vehicles.
- Preserve and enhance Green Infrastructure, including open spaces, to maintain the look and feel of the parish as well as helping to mitigate the impact of traffic-induced pollution.
- Build on local rural character by: preserving and enhancing access to the surrounding countryside; procuring a net gain in Biodiversity; and ensuring developments are sustainable, in areas of least flood risk, with any flood risk arising from development being fully mitigated.
- Conserve and enhance historic aspects of the village; protect both the setting of the Conservation area and the settings of important local heritage assets.
- Keep the village feel and atmosphere; conserving open space, retaining the allotment provision and enhancing Cowfold as a village. Maintain the distinctive views and visual connectivity with the surrounding countryside and avoid urban sprawl. Recognise Cowfold’s place within the district settlement hierarchy and enhance the village centre as a focal point.
- Improve road crossings, footpaths and cycleways to provide better quality and safer connections throughout the parish, to places of work and adjoining communities with a focus on pedestrian safety to reduce car dependency. This should in particular meet the needs of the disabled, elderly, parents with young children and children.
- Ensure all sections of the Community have access to medical facilities, primary education, pub, place of worship, sporting amenities, cultural activities and village shop/post office. Support youth, sport and cultural facilities in order to meet the needs of the community.
- Maintain and grow the sense of Community by supporting sympathetic integrated development, consistent with local housing need enabling residents to remain in the parish throughout their lifetime, with a suitable mix of homes and tenures.
- Ensure all new homes meet and ideally exceed minimum standards for energy efficiency and build quality noting the unavailability of mains gas within the village. They should be built to a density appropriate to the location, provide adequate off-street parking and use local materials where appropriate.
- Facilitate employment opportunities within the Parish; enabling the necessary infrastructure, including adequate Mobile and Broadband connections, to encourage self-employment and working from home, and the associated reduction in commuting to work outside the Parish.
- Support the enhancement of public transport connections to urban centres and places of work/education/medical facilities and the wider public transport system. This should include routes, frequency and safe bus stop pull-in facilities.
- Prioritise developments that provide improved road safety, encouraging solutions that result in improved sustainability, pedestrian and cycling facilities taking particular note of the needs of the disabled, elderly, parents with young children and children.
- Ensure developments take into account the local level of car ownership and off-street car parking requirements with Electric Vehicle charging facilities as appropriate.