A BLUEPRINT for Aldwick is on its way to final approval.
The village design statement for the area is set to be backed by councillors early next year.
It will be used by parish and district councillors to judge future planning applications to ensure they fit in with the parish’s existing character.
The statement’s role is to influence development rather than to stop it.
Parish councillor John Hockenhull has led the work on the 71-page statement. He said: “It’s important because it will help us to maintain the character of the area.
“It will help Aldwick to change in a controlled way without carbuncles springing up all over the place.
“It shows what the people of Aldwick would like to see rather than having designs imposed upon us.
“People can use the statement to enhance the area rather than altering it.
“That doesn’t mean a new house next to a 1930s one must look exactly the same, but it should blend into the neighbourhood.”
Work on the statement was begun by Aldwick Parish Council about six years ago but the tempo increased when Cllr Hockenhull took charge of the project in 2011.
It involved councillors walking all the parish’s streets to observe the homes in which its 11,000 residents live. They were assessed for being pre and post-second world war, 1970s and 1980s development and later.
The street scene and type of housing was noted.
These were grouped into 15 distinctive areas such as Barrack Lane, Rose Green, Chawkmare Coppice and Aldwick Park.
Each had its characteristics and development criteria noted. Open spaces, listed buildings, conservation areas and areas of special character have also been given prominence.
The creation of the statement involved four sets of consultation with residents as well as draft copies being placed in Willowhale Library for public viewing.
The statement was endorsed by Arun District Council’s local plan sub-committee last Thursday. That decision should be backed by the full council in January.
Arun planning officer Martyn White told the sub-committee: “Endorsement will mean the statement can be used both in the determination of planning applications and preliminary application discussions with owners, agents and developers of property within the parish.
“It is also hoped the statement will be used by owners and developers when planning permission is not required.”
Sub-committee member Cllr Gillian Brown (C, Aldwick E) said: “I am very happy to support this.”