Jennifer Ryan Senior Planning Officer

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Ryan, Senior Planning Officer

Jennifer is a Senior Planning Officer at Adur & Worthing Councils. She's been with the Planning Policy team since 2017 and works on a range of projects including preparation of the Worthing Local Plan which, when adopted, will guide future development in the borough.

Jennifer is excited to be blogging about her work and is keen to talk about how it links up with wider projects taking place within the Councils.

Before she joined the Planning Policy team, Jennifer worked in Planning Policy at Test Valley Borough Council for six years. Prior to that, she was a Teacher Associate at Oxford Brookes University.

Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys travelling and has a passion for architecture and design - London and Liverpool are her favourite cities. She also loves seeking inspiration from Instagram for her travels, particularly keeping an eye out for trendy cafes and restaurants to visit.

You can read Jennifer's current blog posts on this page below:

See also: Planning Policy

29th November 2021: Adur Conservation Areas & Article 4 Directions

There is never a quiet moment in the Planning Policy Office, and no sooner have the Worthing Local Plan hearing sessions drawn to a close, we are gearing up for a public consultation on the Adur Conservation Area reviews and Article 4 Directions! No rest for the wicked!

It is time to shine a spotlight on Adur Planning Policy as it is fair to say that Worthing Planning Policy has dominated the limelight as of late!

The policy team considered it timely to undertake a review of the Kingston Buci and Old Shoreham conservation areas. A conservation area is a policy designation (that is usually designated by a Council as a Local Planning Authority) that has been applied to manage and protect the special architectural and historic character of a place - in other words, the features that make it unique.

Every local authority in England has at least one conservation area and there are around 10,000 in England. In conservation areas there are some extra planning controls and considerations in place to protect the historic and architectural elements which make the place special.

These historic conservation areas were last reviewed in the 1990s and the Council have launched a consultation from Thursday, 25th November 2021 to 20th January 2022 to give residents a chance to have their say on three key elements. These are:

  • Proposed revisions to the boundaries of Kingston Buci and Old Shoreham conservation areas
  • A draft conservation area character appraisal for each conservation area
  • A proposed Article 4 Direction for each conservation area which would affect permitted development rights within the conservation area

Permitted Development Rights are a national grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application. Permitted development rights are subject to conditions and limitations to control impacts and to protect local amenity.

Article 4 Directions restrict the scope of permitted development rights, either in relation to a particular area or site, or a particular type of development anywhere in the authority's area. Where an Article 4 Direction is in effect, a planning application may be required for development that would otherwise have been permitted development. Article 4 Directions are used to control works that could threaten the character of an area of acknowledged importance, such as a conservation area.

Adur is home to many historical and beautiful landmarks which, as the local planning authority, we intend on protecting for the enjoyment of future generations. For further information about the consultations and how to comment, please visit:

Photo: St Julian's Lane is part of the Kingston Buci conservation area

PR21-171 - St Julian's Lane is part of the Kingston Buci conservation area

Photo: St Julian's Church in Kingston Buci is part of the conservation area being consulted on by Adur DC

PR21-171 - St Julian's Church in Kingston Buci is part of the conservation area being consulted on by Adur DC

Photo: Old Shoreham Toll Bridge is set to be added to a conservation area under plans drawn up Adur District Council

PR21-171 - Old Shoreham Toll Bridge is set to be added to a conservation area under plans drawn up Adur District Council

Photo: Shoreham College, Kingston Buci

2021-11-30 - Shoreham College, Kingston Buci

Photos: St Nicolas Church, Old Shoreham and Old School House, Old Shoreham

2021-11-30 - St Nicolas Church, Old Shoreham and Old School House, Old Shoreham

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22nd November 2021: Net Zero Strategy

Now that the examination hearing sessions on the Worthing Local Plan have drawn to a close, I have been playing catch-up on national policy announcements as well as looking up the outcomes of the recent COP 26 conference. I need to keep on top of the evolving policy landscape especially as we are at a crossroad in history!

The Government recently published its Net Zero Strategy (October 2021) which sets out policies and proposals for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy. The UK is the first major economy in the world to set a legally binding target to reach zero emissions by 2050. However, we know that this does not mean emissions will drop to absolute zero by 2050 – we acknowledge that sectors such as industry, agriculture, and aviation are difficult to decarbonise completely.

Greenhouse gas removals, like trees and carbon capture and storage technology, are therefore essential to compensate for the residual emissions arising from these hard to decarbonise sectors, so we can reach net zero by 2050.

Photo: EV Charing Point at Brooklands Park, Worthing

2021-11-20 - EV charging point at Brooklands Park

Going net zero is being treated as a Green Industrial Revolution, businesses and consumers will be supported in making the transition to clean energy and green technology. The Government is committed to unlocking £90 billion of private investment by 2030.

At its core is an ambition for a fully decarbonised power sector by 2035, with electrification, supported by low-carbon hydrogen, leading to a phase-out of fossil fuels from surface transport, home heating and much of industry beginning without delay.

However, according to the Climate Change Committee, there are some strategic gaps in the Net Zero Strategy and there are some uncertainties over how the Government’s ambitions will be delivered in some sectors of the UK economy.

These gaps should now be addressed and the strong proposals in the Net Zero Strategy must move through consultation and policy development into implementation as quickly as possible. In terms of planning policy, clear implementation measures need to be cascaded into the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure that decarbonisation policies can be embedded in Local Plans, such as those for Adur and Worthing.

Photo: Rampion Wind Farm off the Sussex Coastline

2021-11-22 - Rampion Wind Farm off the Sussex Coastline

Photo: Solar Panels on the roof of Splashpoint, Worthing

2021-11-22 - Solar Panels on the roof of Splashpoint, Worthing

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8th November 2021: Test time for the Worthing Local Plan

Hi everyone, hope you've all had a good weekend. I just wanted to check in with my blog readers ...

The last week has been pretty full on with the hearing sessions on the Worthing Local Plan in full swing. We have been waiting a long time to get to this moment, so it is fair to say that I did feel rather apprehensive arriving at the venue last Tuesday and meeting the Planning Inspector for the first time.

In some ways it was a bit like revising for a big exam, but it is impossible to remember everything - the scope and breath of the Worthing Local Plan is very extensive, supported by a multitude of evidence-based studies!

I have to admit that I was rather tired by the end of last week! I can only describe the hearing sessions as being similar to a court case, with the policy team having to concentrate and listen to the questions being asked by the Inspector, thinking quickly on the feet and cross referencing between various documents and reports! The Inspector then asks invited interested parties whether they have any comments to make to ensure a fair and balanced hearing session.

There are nine more hearing sessions to get through and then the Inspector will consider proposed modifications that are needed to be made to the Worthing Local Plan. These modifications will be subject to public consultation.

Following from this, the Inspector will issue us with their report as to whether they consider that the Worthing Local Plan meets the soundness tests as set by national policy.

For further information about the examination, please visit:

Photo: Getting the Field Place venue set up ready for the hearings to begin

2021-11-08 -  Getting the Field Place venue set up ready for the hearings to begin

Photo: Field Place, Worthing

2021-11-08 - Field Place, Worthing

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18th October 2021: Preparing for the examination hearing of the Worthing Local Plan

I appreciate that I've been a bit quiet lately on the blogging scene but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy! In fact, the policy team is gearing up for the biggest pinnacle of our careers, with getting ready for examination hearings on the Worthing Local Plan with a Government appointed Planning Inspector. These hearing sessions are scheduled to take place in November.

So why does the Worthing Local Plan need to be examined by an independent Planning Inspector?

In short, the answer is that it is standard protocol that all Local Plans prepared by a Local Planning Authority are assessed by the Planning Inspectorate. This is to determine whether the Local Plan has been prepared in accordance with legal and procedural requirements and if it is sound.

National Planning Policy sets out the four tests of 'soundness' which are:

  • Positively prepared: providing a strategy which, as a minimum, seeks to meet the area's objectively assessed needs; and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development;
  • Justified: an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence;
  • Effective: deliverable over the plan period, and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground; and
  • Consistent with national policy: enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in this Framework and other statements of national planning policy, where relevant.

The Inspector will consider the evidence provided by the Council to support the plan and any representations which have been put forward by interested parties.

At the end of the examination the Inspector will send a report to the Council recommending whether they can adopt the plan. In most cases the report will recommend some changes that are necessary to allow the plan to be adopted. These are known as 'main modifications'.

In carrying out the examination, the Inspector will be conscious of the benefits of having a robust and up to date plan adopted as quickly as possible and will apply the principles of openness, fairness and impartiality.

Ultimately, we hope that all this hard work will pay off in the form of a 'sound' and adopted Local Plan that will provide a clear and robust framework for growth and environmental protection in Worthing over the coming years.

All updates regarding the Worthing Local Plan examination can be found on the following webpage:

Submission Draft Worthing Local Plan - cover

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4th October 2021: The Earthshot Prize

The long awaited ‘Earthshot Prize: Repairing our Planet’ five-part landmark documentary was screened on BBC One last night - it was well worth the wait.

The Earthshot is a prestigious global environmental prize launched by HRH Prince William and the Royal Foundation to incentivise and scale solutions to the biggest challenges facing our planet.

We now have less than ten years to turn the tide on the environmental crisis. The Earthshots are unifying ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all, for our future generations and the rest of life on Earth. They are to:

  1. Protect and Restore Nature
  2. Clean our Air
  3. Revive our Oceans
  4. Build a Waste-Free World
  5. Fix our Climate

Last night’s debut episode was titled ‘Protect & Restore Nature’ and featured Sir David Attenborough who is a member of the Earthshot Council. It was very inspiring seeing a number of global projects that are making a positive and significant impact on nature, as well as the unveiling of the three finalists that have been shortlisted for the Earthshot Prize which will be announced on 17th October.

Whilst it’s encouraging seeing action on a global scale, I am proud that local action is happening here in Adur and Worthing. On the theme of Protect & Restore Nature, the Councils have initiated a number of natural capital projects. You may have heard that Adur District Council have purchased New Salts Farm (70 acres) and Pad Farm (45 acres) with the intention to restore both sites back to its natural state to foster biodiversity.

Also, Worthing Borough Council has taken back possession of Shepherds Mead, a 100 acre farmland at the foot of Cissbury Ring with plans to return it to its natural habitat in collaboration with local residents and wildlife groups.

In addition, Adur & Worthing Councils are set to become the first local authorities in the UK to lease the seabed off their coast from the Queen in a pioneering project to invest in climate change measures and restore marine habitat. The historic move could pave the way from an ambitious plan to create a Sussex Bay Marine Park along the entire county coast, east and west, to protect vital marine life, restore estuary habitat and even create a destination for eco tourism.

The Crown is now in talks with the Councils to enter into a 'natural capital seabed lease' which would allow the authorities and their partners to create a 'kelp blue carbon investment product'. Government bodies such as the Environment Agency, water companies and other companies can invest in kelp forests to help in their own bids to become carbon neutral.

The Planning Policy team has embarked upon the preparation of a Joint Green Infrastructure Strategy which will bring together the implementation of the strategic natural capital projects. Watch this space!

In the words of Prince William...

“We have the power to choose to react in time and bring about a better future.”

Inspired and keen to find out more? Start watching the series here:

Photo: The Earthshot Book, owned by Jennifer

2021-10-04 - The Earthshot Book

2021-10-04 - The Earthshot book introduction

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27th September 2021: Return of the Thames Path Challenge!

Last Saturday, my friend and I kickstarted our Thames Path South-Bank challenge after a hiatus of a few months. It was a great feeling to be reunited with the path and we are hopeful that we will reach the Thames Barrier by Christmas - watch this space!

The route took us past Battersea Power Station, a decommissioned Grade II* building, which is undergoing major regeneration to become a mixed-use vibrant neighbourhood by the River Thames.

2021-09-27 - Battersea Power Station

The former power station holds a prominent riverside landmark by virtue of its architecture and structure, and the power station is recognised across the world as an icon of Britain's industrial heritage. Historic England states that the power station is of outstanding interest on architectural grounds as a monumental example of inter-war utilities building, designed by a leading architect of his day.

Bringing the site back to life requires careful planning and design to ensure that the redevelopment is respectful of the historical and cultural legacy associated with the power station. In 2009, an outline masterplan for the 42-acre site was designed to bring together a blend of residential living, restaurants, shops, parks and cultural spaces. This was approved by London Borough of Wandsworth Council.

2021-09-27 - Battersea Power Station information panel

A vision was established seeking to create 'new energy' in London with the power station being transformed into a new creative urban quarter for London where people can live, work, shop and play. A Battersea Power Station Place Book has been published which is seen as a handbook or manual for all the designers, agents, investors, consultants and business partners to refer to, as they go about making one of London's signature achievements of the 21st century.

The following quote lifted from the Place Book captures the evolving nature of 21st century cities:

“Great cities are in constant flux, from barely perceptible day-by-day changes through to radical reworking of entire districts - keeping urban areas relevant to contemporary life.”

It was an enjoyable experience to navigate the new urban neighbourhood with my senses being heightened by the wafts emanating from street food trucks, listening to the sound of children playing and observing residents and visitors exploring the cultural art scene on display - all essential ingredients for a vibrant place by the River Thames.

2021-09-27 - Art installation (in a pond) at Battersea Power Station

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20th September 2021: All stations go for the Worthing Local Plan examination

It is fair to say that it is all stations go at the moment with the Worthing Planning Policy team in the midst of the Worthing Local Plan examination.

The WLP was formally submitted to the Government back in June (see my blog dated 9th August 2021). A Planning Inspector has been appointed on behalf of the Secretary of State to hold an independent examination of the Worthing Local Plan. The inspector's task is to consider the soundness of the submitted plan and whether it is legally compliant.

The team is busy gearing up for forthcoming hearing sessions (the Inspector has just formally published the draft timetable / agenda for the hearing sessions). It is very much like preparing for an exam but not just on one topic but on multiple topics!

We are:

  • familiarising ourselves with the evidence base, getting all the key documents printed and in order so that we can highlight key references
  • preparing responses to initial matters, issues and questions raised by the Inspector
  • as well as liaising with the Programme Officer to organise practicalities with hosting the hearing sessions

In other words ... being event planners.

There is a lot of 'behind the scenes' work that goes on throughout an examination process with the hearing sessions being a key component. It's a case of making sure that everything goes smoothly and that all invited parties (identified by the Inspector) can put forward their case.

We are also operating within some uncertainties given that we are soon heading into the autumn and winter. We are mindful that the Government may potentially trigger Plan B of the Covid Winter Plan. It is a case of having contingencies in place in the event that we may have to undertake some hearings in a virtual manner.

Ultimately, we hope that all this hard work will pay off in the form of a 'sound' and adopted Local Plan that will provide a clear and robust framework for growth and environmental protection in Worthing over the coming years.

Please keep your eyes peeled for examination updates in particular the forthcoming hearing sessions which will be soon be announced on the following webpage under the subheading 'Correspondence from the Inspector':

Submission Draft Worthing Local Plan - cover

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23rd August 2021: Worthing CIL Neighbourhood Fund

Are you a local community group in Worthing (Central, Durrington, Marine, Offington, Salvington and Tarring) seeking funding to improve your neighbourhood?

Worthing Borough Council have launched an exciting scheme known as the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Neighbourhood Fund programme for the first time in 2021/22.

These pots of money have been accrued from payments made by developers building in the local area. They are available to local community groups, organisations and residents associations in the selected wards. Project proposals can request a minimum of £1,000 and up to a maximum CIL Neighbourhood Fund allocation of £10,000.

This gives communities freedom and power to spend the money on a wide range of things, in consultation with the community. Local project proposals seeking support from the CIL neighbourhood fund, can therefore cover a broad range of infrastructure types. These include for example:

  • footpaths, cycle ways, public transport facilities and local roads improvements
  • improvements to the built environment and public realm
  • improvements to open space, play and leisure facilities
  • improvements to community facilities (eg halls / meeting spaces, community safety, health, learning and education)

Projects seeking funding from the CIL Neighbourhood Fund should be community-led and, ideally, be delivered by a local community organisation, group or club. Community groups are expected to discuss their bids with local ward councillors prior to submitting. Projects should enhance the neighbourhood/community and ideally linked to our:

The Neighbourhood Fund is a small part of the overall CIL pot from development. The Council is actively delivering infrastructure improvements using the other money collected.

A clear assessment criteria for scoring bids has been agreed by the Council and proposals can be submitted up until 27th September 2021.

Details of the fund and how to apply can be found here.

Photo: Cycling path at Brooklands Park, Worthing

2021-08-23 - Cycling path at Brooklands Park, Worthing

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Page last updated: 30 November 2021

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