Whilst Horsham Denne Neighbourhood Council does not have any statutory powers to approve or reject planning applications in our area, Horsham District Council does have to notify us and take into account our opinion when making planning decisions.

We have a planning committee that looks at applications, visits sites and takes into account the views of local residents.  Each Committee member reviews every application in isolation and feeds back to form the overall view of HDNC. 


In 2017, we reviewed and processed 220 planning applications for our area.  This is more than any of the other 33 Parish or Neighbourhood Councils in Horsham District.  Application numbers ranged from zero for Amberley, Coldwaltham and Parham PCs up to the next busiest, North Horsham Parish Council who had 207.

This is a great example of local people having a valued input into local decisions.   

Planning issues can often raise emotive responses, especially where much-loved buildings could be lost.

HDNC firmly believes in keeping valued local buildings from demolition wherever possible, and there are a number of local regulations and requirements to help enforce this.  If you have a planning issue that you want to raise with us, do let us know. If we agree that you have a valid point given the pertinent planning regulations in effect, we will happily make representations to Horsham District Council on your behalf.

Q:    What are the common local issues considered when it comes to planning?  
A:    It can be whole new developments (like the Highwood development, in West
Horsham), businesses wanting a change of use from office to retail for example, simple house extensions, any modifications to listed buildings or those in the conservation area (even internal changes)... right through to tree felling or pruning.


HDNC's Planning Committee decides responses to Planning Applications within the 21-day response deadline, following notification of the application to us by Horsham District Council.

The latest weekly list of new planning applications received by Horsham District Council can be viewed HERE

For information on applying for Planning Permission and/or advice click here

Current major town centre planning applications

DC/17/2379 - Swan Walk Shopping Centre

Partial-change of use of Unit 10 to facilitate the creation of 3 new retail units (Use Class A1) and a gym (Use Class D2) as well as enlargement of existing toilet facilities and mall space (sui generis) at ground and first floor level; creation of new floorspace at first floor (Use Class A1 and D2); partial change of use at first floor from Use Class A1 to D2, Use Class A1 to sui generis (mall space) and Use Class D2 to A1; and associated small scale external works including new skylights, service risers, staircase to roof and installation of windows - Unit 10 Swan Walk 

Piries Place Car Park

DC/17/2509 Demolition of existing split-level car park deck and replacement with new "Ground floor + 3 deck (G+3)" level open sided, naturally ventilated public car park structure incorporating new lighting, electrical services and new public conveniences. Parking spaces totalling 426no. including Accessible Bays, Parent & Child Bays and provision for future Electric Vehicle charging. (Regulation 3 Application) | Piries Place Car Park Piries Place 


DC/17/2511 Demolition of existing split-level car park deck and replacement with new Ground floor + 4 deck (G+4) level open sided, naturally ventilated public car park structure incorporating new lighting, electrical services and new public conveniences. Parking spaces totalling 531no. including Accessible Bays, Parent & Child Bays and provision for future Electric Vehicle charging. (Regulation 3 Application) | Piries Place Car Park Piries Place

Developers gag buyers over shoddy work Sunday Times 9th July 2017

Affordable housing pledges swept under mat Sunday Times 23rd April 2017

Piries Place Development

HDNC are keeping in touch with Reef Estates as to the progress of the redevelopment of Piries Place. We have received (11th May 2017) the following response to our latest request for information from Will Rohleder

"I can confirm that we are working tirelessly to bring forwards the redevelopment of Piries Place. We have had a considerable amount of work to undertake since planning committee, as I am sure you can appreciate, but we are making good headway. I can understand the publics concerns and I hope to start our publicity shortly which as you say gives the public reassurance and creates anticipation. We are currently finalising hoarding design and marketing information and I hope in the coming weeks we will be able to provide the necessary reassurance. With regards timescales we are due to appoint a contractor in the next three weeks, we have interviews on going. Works are due to start on site in July and we are looking at circa 15 month build period. The donkey is an important centre piece of the redevelopment and I will certainly make sure that this message is publicized."

Solar panel blazes ignite safety fears Sunday Times 9th July 2017

Planning for Older Peoples Housing - the shock of the new - Planning Advisory Service report

Loophole opens way for green belt homes The Times 13th February 2017

Green belt at mercy of developers, say councils The Times 11th January 2017

'Middle aged abandon 'Club 18-34' city centres'  Times 18th September 2016

July 2016 - Land North of Horsham - planning application DC/16/1677

Any planning application can be seen by entering the application number or postcode or the street address on the HDC Planning website 

The Telegraph 26th Feb 2016 - 'Tens of thousands of new homes in greenfield areas to get automatic planning permission'

See here for the latest  Horsham District Planning Framework (November 2015)

The current Horsham Town Development Statement for planning matters for Horsham town states:

 "The aim of the Horsham Town Design Statement is to ensure that any future development and change in Horsham is based on an understanding of the town’s history and present character.

It builds on earlier Neighbourhood Character Assessments and draws attention to what is special about Horsham; its setting, buildings, streetscapes, open spaces, areas of special character and its links to the surrounding countryside.

The Design Statement sets out a vision for the future and provides guidelines to assist developers, planners, architects and members of the public wishing to build or renovate properties. The aim is to encourage high-quality design whether for a small house extension or a large housing or commercial development.

The Design Statement has been produced by and on behalf of the community and has been adopted by Horsham District Council as a Supplementary Planning Document. It can be viewed here

Highwood – Berkeley Homes Development

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This major development east of the A24 is in the Denne area. Since it was first proposed in 2009 Horsham Denne Neighbourhood Council has worked closely with Berkeley’s, Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council using our local knowledge on all the individual phases of the development. This includes achieving improvements in the design of several planning applications and regular site visits to ensure the work complies with the plans.Most recently we have been involved in discussions regarding details of the Southern Access road, which was agreed in the original Masterplan. This road will be for buses & emergency vehicles only and will exit onto Hills Farm Lane by the big bend. We have succeeded in ensuring that the bridge over the river will be routed to avoid removing one of the ancient oak trees. We are also determined that suitable access will be maintained for walkers to use the Riverside Walk path and then cross into the recreation area.The Northern Site is now mostly occupied, including the Extra Care Home and work has begun on the Southern Site between the River Arun and the railway line.We will continue to press for the implementation of the A24 junction as the only route to be used for private vehicles, once the agreed number of houses has been built.

Horsham District Planning Framework
The Localism Bill was given Royal Assent on the 15 November 2011, making it the Localism Act, 2011. One of the main changes coming through the Localism Act is the legal framework for the removal of the South East Plan and other regional planning documents. Once removed, it will be the responsibility of local authorities to determine and plan for their own local housing requirements.  Horsham District Council is in the process of preparing a new planning framework which considers the revised national level policy. This is to be known as the Horsham District Planning Framework.Neighbourhood Planning - in Horsham

The Localism Act enables Parish councils to produce a Neighbourhood Plan in order to improve the social, economic and environmental well-being within a designated area.  Neighbourhood Plans have to conform to the District Plan regarding the amount of future development but can determine the type and location; it is not possible to reject any further development.  There is a lengthy consultative and examination proces, followed by a public vote to approve Neighbourhood Plans.  Once in place they provide safeguards against unwanted development and bring financial benefits to be used for community projects.

Most of Horsham District has Parish Councils but Government legislation ignored all unparished areas, including those with Neighbourhood Councils.  In order to create a Neighbourhood Plan in Horsham, a separate organisation called a Neighbourhood Forum has to be set up.  Neighbourhood Forums are non-political and have to be fully representative of all people living in the area, working in the area and elected councillors.  Above all, there has to be community engagement including various groups such as local societies, residents associations, housing providers, faith groups, businesses etc.

The three Neighbourhood Councils have had lengthy discussions and decided the best approach is to initiate a single Forum to cover the whole of the unparished area.  In order to do this, we had to create a name, a designated area and a constitution and then get approval from Horsham District Council.  The Forum will be known as

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An application has been approved by Horsham District Council for the designated and business area and we have applied for support from Locality which is the government advisory body for Neighbourhood Planning.

There is an enormous amount of work involved in setting up a plan that has the support of residents and businesses.  Individuals and organisations have been approached who have an interest in the future of Horsham and can volunteer expertise and general assistance.

To see how Bookham is dealing with this click here


Please note that Horsham Denne Neighbourhood Council is not responsible for the final policy or decision making of either Horsham District or West Sussex County Councils.  We are consulted by them and have statutory consultee status with regards to Planning applications in our area. We have regular contact with Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council and will represent your views on local issues.
You may email our clerk,  Sara Doy at denneneighbourhoodclerk@gmail.com

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