About the new Worthing Local Plan

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About the Worthing Local Plan

Worthing Local Plan (logo)

The existing Development Plan for Worthing is the Worthing Core Strategy which was adopted in 2011. The intention was that this document would help to guide development in the Borough until 2026.

However, since its adoption central government has changed the planning system which has had many implications for local authorities, particularly in how housing needs are addressed and cross boundary matters are considered. As a result the Council has been working hard to prepare a new development plan, called the Worthing Local Plan, which will have a big influence on the Borough for the next 15 years.

The Council is committed to getting a new Plan in place as quickly as possible, whilst at the same time allowing for sufficient time for evidence to be updated and for appropriate stages of consultation and engagement. Once adopted, the new Plan will replace the Borough's existing local planning policies.

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What will the Local Plan need to do?

In simple terms the new Local Plan will need to balance the benefits of growth against the potential impact of future development and the need to protect the environment. To do this it will need to:

  • aim to meet the objectively assessed development and infrastructure needs
  • identify land where development would be appropriate / inappropriate
  • contain a clear strategy for enhancing the natural, built and historic environment

The Plan will cover many land uses like homes, businesses, retail, transport, community facilities and green infrastructure. It will contain a Vision for the Borough and a set of associated economic, social and environmental objectives. The Plan will also include new land use allocations where they are needed and policies which will be used to assess planning proposals.

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Where will it cover?

The new Local Plan will cover most of Worthing Borough. However, unlike the existing Core Strategy, it will not cover the land in the north of the Borough that lies within the South Downs National Park. The National Park Authority is a planning authority in their own right and they have their own Local Plan which sets planning policy for all areas within the South Downs National Park boundary.

In line with the requirements of the duty to co-operate Worthing Borough Council will work with partners and local authorities to consider a range of cross boundary issues.

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Evidence Base

To understand the key characteristics of the Borough the new Local Plan must be based on the latest evidence and be in line with national policy. Whilst much of the work that informed the Worthing Core Strategy is still relevant today there are a number of key studies that have been, or are being, updated. These can be viewed on the evidence base page of the Council's website.

To ensure the social, environmental and economic impacts of policies are assessed a sustainability appraisal is being progressed as part of the plan preparation process.

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Consultation and engagement

Plans can only be truly successful if they are rooted in local knowledge.  Too much change, change that is too fast, or not listening to people's views will not deliver a good Plan.  Similarly, planning too little development is not an option either, as the plan needs to support growth.  Ultimately the Plan will go through independent examination by a planning inspector to make sure it is based on robust evidence and seeks to meet development needs.  Not everyone will necessarily get the outcome they want, but making sure ideas or concerns are understood and considered will help to make the Plan better.

Issues and Option Stage (2016)

The first of stage of consultation on the emerging Plan was undertaken in 2016. The 'Issues and Options' document, titled 'Your Town - Your Future', identified the challenges facing the borough and sought views and suggestions on how Worthing should grow and develop in the future. The Issues and Options consultation documents and the responses received (including a summary report) can be viewed here:

Draft Worthing Local Plan (2018)

Comments received at the Issues and options stage, along with additional evidence, helped to inform the drafting of the Regulation 18 version of the Local Plan which sets out the Council's preferred options. The Draft Worthing Local Plan was published for consultation between 31st October and 12th December 2018. The Draft Local Plan, supporting documents, links to all representations and a summary report are available to view using the link below:

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Submission Draft Worthing Local Plan Consultation (January 2021)

The comments submitted at the previous consultation stages, alongside a comprehensive evidence base, have helped to shape the Submission Draft Local Plan. The Council considers that the version of Local Plan that is now published for comment is 'sound' and establishes a clear and robust strategy for the Borough.

Comments on the tests of soundness and legal compliance are invited during an eight-week period (26th January to 23rd March 2021).

All information relating to this stage of the process is available on the Council's website:

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Page last updated: 17 August 2021

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