Haslemere’s achieved the largest response levels to a Plan consultation in the area, but we want to show local authorities and Planners exactly how much we care. It is important that as many residents or workers participate as possible. Please respond by completing the following surveys
Haslemere Town Council together with Haslemere Vision have extended the period of consultation to the end of May 2020.
We are also very keen to receive as many responses to our Neighbourhood Plan consultation as possible.
We are running a series of webinar events. Please do sign up and get involved!
- Thursday 14th May 7pm
- Saturday 16th May 10am
To register for these events, email email@example.com now!
See fb.com/haslemerevision for more information
This spring Haslemere Town Council is launching a comprehensive public consultation on our first Neighbourhood Plan, to be held over eight weeks, from 2nd March to 27th April 2020. The process aims to ensure that all those (16+) who live or work in the area are given the opportunity to directly influence the Plan’s Vision for the future of the town and its surroundings. Responses will play a vital role in helping shape future planning decisions at local and regional level.
The consultation marks a special point for the 80+ volunteers responsible for the Plan’s inception as it represents a handover of responsibility from community advocacy group Haslemere Vision, to Haslemere Town Council. Whilst The Vision will continue to provide stewardship and advice, Town Councillors are taking the reins to steer the Plan to completion. Mayor John Robini, who is personally chairing the working party taking the Plan forward says, “our aim is a Plan that will help deliver the long-term goals of a balanced and vibrant neighbourhood”.
The Plan has been six years in the making, including a lengthy process of detailed research and widespread consultation to ascertain the priorities and needs of the community, and it identifies the following key objectives:
- To encourage development that meets Haslemere’s housing needs whilst protecting the character of the area. In particular to encourage development of more homes for young people, local workers and homes suitable for downsizers.
- To protect and enrich our green spaces and the natural environment that surrounds us.
- To re-balance road use, limiting the adverse impact of motor vehicles by improving provision for off-street parking and/or improving facilities for alternative forms of transport.
- To protect existing employment and to encourage the development of a more diverse range of local employment opportunities to create an increasingly vibrant and sustainable community.
A key aim of the Plan is to ensure that delivery of housing allocations proposed in Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan takes these objectives into account. The policies within the Plan require future developments to make the best possible use of Haslemere’s scarce land resources and protect the town’s rural character, setting and environment.
Exactly how such matters will be prioritised, the nature of future development and how it is to be decided is a vital aspect of the public consultation and why it is especially important for residents to participate. Collation of public views, both supportive and negative, will inform amendments or changes to the draft Plan. Public participation is crucial to ensure that future planning reflects and directly represents the majority of the wishes and preferences of Haslemere residents.
The adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan also has important strategic funding implications. Presently, Waverley Borough Council places a Community Infrastructure Levy on all developments, of which Haslemere Council currently receives 15% (capped in the case of large developments). With the adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan, more responsibility for decision-making will devolve to Haslemere Council and the amount of Infrastructure Levy it receives will rise to 25%, with no cap. With better funding, the area will have more options to undertake exciting new projects or partner with Borough and County Councils to deliver larger schemes.
The Neighbourhood Plan will be available in full (and in a digestible summary) from 2nd March at www.haslemeretc.org/neighbourhood-plan together with an online survey that will collate public responses. Physical copies of it will be available at Haslemere Library, Haslemere Town Hall, Grayswood All Saints Church, Haslemere Museum, the Station Information Hub, Haslewey, the Hindhead Cookie Bar and the Hub in Beacon Hill. Hard copies of the survey can also be collected from these locations, but should be returned to the Town Council offices.
In addition, all are welcome to view the Plan, ask questions and complete surveys at the following public drop-in events:
- The Town Hall: 7th March 11am-3pm
- Train Station Hub: 16th March 4.30pm-7.30pm
- Haslewey: 26th March 12pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm
- Hindhead British Legion: 31st March 3.30pm-8pm
- Grayswood Club: 8th April 10.30am-12pm
Following this consultation process, the Plan will be submitted to WBC who will invite further comment before passing it to an independent examiner who will hopefully approve it for referendum. If a simple majority of residents vote YES at referendum, the policies within the Plan will have legal effect and will apply to all planning applications in the area. Both Haslemere Town Council and Waverley Borough Council will be obliged to use them as they evaluate proposals in key areas of housing, land use, transportation and in the conservation and enhancement of Haslemere’s unique rural character and environment.
Completing the Plan has been a great achievement and the Town Council wishes to thank all those volunteers who have played their part in its preparation. Having now adopted the Plan, Haslemere Town Council are proud to commend it to all who live and work in the area and urge all to respond to the consultation at www.haslemeretc.org/neighbourhood-plan when it opens on the 2nd March 2020.
As Haslemere Town Council takes the lead in the final stages of consultation that will bring the Neighbourhood Plan to referendum Haslemere Vision will work to promote action on key community projects that have been identified by responses to its six year community engagement programme. To hear how Haslemere Vision plans to turn Vision into Action residents and organisations in Haslemere and the surrounding area are invited to attend the Haslemere Vision AGM at 8:00pm on Thursday 18th July at the Georgian Hotel.
On 21st March 2019 Haslemere Town Council (HTC) adopted the draft Neighbourhood Plan (NP) and will shortly seek the views of the wider community in an 8 week public consultation. It will then make any changes necessary to the draft as a result of the public response and submit it to Waverley for the final stages of its journey to referendum.
A small Haslemere Vision team will continue to support HTC through the remainder of the NP process but its main focus will turn to stimulating and working with all stakeholders to facilitate action on projects, identified in our consultations as important to the future of Haslemere*, such as new walking and cycling routes or development of the Wey Hill Fairground. These projects will only happen if we, the community, make them happen.
The Haslemere Vision Steering Group, invigorated by a strong intake of new recruits, is up for the challenge and now seeks volunteers to join the Steering Group or one of its project action groups.
To find out more about Haslemere Vision’s plans for the future and how you can become part of the action the Steering Group invites all who are interested to join then at 8:00pm at the Georgian Hotel on Thursday July 18th
* For the full list of projects go to https://www.haslemeretc.org/ for a link to the Draft Neighbourhood Plan
The most important changes include:
• We set out exactly what types of information we collect, when, and detail what we use your personal information for
• We explain when others may be able to see your identity
• We set out clearly in what situations we pass on any of your personal information to anyone else – including information about the sub-processors who process personal information on our behalf
• We include information about how long we keep personal data for, how you can find out what personal data we have about you, and how to download it or correct it
• We include how to contact us with any privacy related queries
Our consultation for people who live or work in Beacon Hill and Hindhead is now open!
Come along to our survey page to complete online or look out for leaflets which you can return to one of the many collection points.
Closing date is 20th May 2016 so get your response in now!
Come and complete our new travel survey so that we can understand how people move in, out and within Haslemere and their experience of using the rail station. This will allow us to find solutions to improve conditions for residents and visitors and to help fulfil locally set objectives and visions for the town. The survey is available here: http://www.haslemerevision.org.uk/surveys
We are delighted to confirm that we received over 900 responses to the Housing Consultation. Thanks to all who took the time to respond to what was a long and complex survey. Many respondents added supplementary comments amplifying their choices and it is clear that they have taken real care to think about the issues involved. The analysis of responses is now well under way.
All who live and work in Haslemere are invited to a presentation and discussion of the results at 8:00pm on Thursday 28th January 2016 at the Haslemere Museum.
With best wishes for 2016 from the Haslemere Vision Volunteer Team
That Haslemere and surrounding villages are on the sharp end of the national housing crisis takes a while to sink in. Our leafy lanes cannot be the scene of a crisis, saving some pretty tense scuffles over parent and child parking bays. Yet evidence of younger age groups leaving the area is clear. 15% declines in the 30-35 year old group alone are in the main attributed to difficulties finding family homes at reasonable cost. In reality the figures are likely to be higher: with almost 50% of property purchases historically made by London buyers (many of the same age with young families of their own) the real figures of local young are leaving are probably hidden by commuter replacements.
It is difficult for those in local jobs to compete with commuter salaries, so it is our dental nurses, carers, hairdressers, retail workers and the like who are faced with tough choices on whether to move out of the area in which they grew up. 71% of respondents to a Waverley survey of local employers highlighted a lack of housing that people can afford in the local area as having a great deal of negative impact on their ability to recruit or retain staff.
Affordable housing is the phrase oft bandied about as the solution, but many view the phrase with suspicion – does it really mean council estates or ugly/flimsy construction? Well no, it doesn’t. It simply means any housing that receives funding that in some way enables it to be supplied at 80% or less than market rates. This includes homes for those on the register for social housing as well as a variety of schemes to provide homes rented at below market rates or sold under a variety of subsidised and joint ownership schemes e.g. part rent-part buy.
Builds of affordable homes are usually funded via profits from larger open market developments e.g. the proposed Sturt Farm development south of Haslemere station has promised approximately 54 affordable homes within walking distance of local amenities and public transport (so people on lower incomes don’t have to budget for a car as well). This approach makes use of economies of scale to lower build costs and integrates different types of housing together, but sites in this area are rarely big enough to accommodate additional homes, especially not in central areas.
Developing brownfield sites within settlement boundaries will provide funding for a few more affordable homes but allowing big developments that would provide significantly more are likely to expand settlement boundaries into countryside and this is unlikely to win community support (understatement of the year). When land is as scarce as it is in this area, surrounded as it is by steep hillsides and beautiful countryside, the community may need to think beyond what is usually done. So what other options are there? Matthew Bowcock of Haslemere Vision says “residents could combine to form a Community Land Trust (CLT) to develop and manage homes, ensuring they are truly affordable based on what people earn in the area, not just for today but in perpetuity”.
This is cutting edge stuff (50% of the 170 CLTs nationwide have formed in the last 2 years) but also a practical umbrella under which communities can club together to fund, design and manage builds such as affordable housing, new community facilities or even a pub or other business premises. CLTs can be used to purchase and develop self-build plots as per the Ashley Vale development in Bristol (www.wildgoosespace.org.uk/avag) featured on Channel Four’s Grand Designs program (current series).
Taking control of projects as ‘amateurs’ rather than professionals experienced in maximizing use of space may be daunting to some, exciting to others. The change in focus away from profit means developments can be affordable even without the benefits of experience and scale. If residents are interested in investing their time, a CLT solution may be very relevant to our situation. In addition, the community and local land owners may be more interested in supporting development led by a CLT, which is more likely to explore innovation, variety and to have a distinct local character.
The questions of affordable housing and CLTs are asked in the Housing Consultation landing on your doorstep on 7th September. The Consultation is a huge opportunity to influence the future of the area and we hope every resident takes the time to express their views.
Download or fill it in now at www.haslemerevision.org.uk