The Neighbourhood Plan – Town Council Approved!

The Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan was approved by the Town Council last Monday night for official submission to Waverley Borough Council on the next stage of its journey into planning law. The Working Party (comprising Haslemere Vision volunteers and Town Councillors) had worked long and hard to incorporate changes suggested by residents during the Regulation 14 consultation which concluded in May this year. Several Councillors spoke in favour of what was felt to be a much-strengthened document, testament to the power of community collaboration.

Particular mention should be made of Haslemere Vision’s Biodiversity team who worked tirelessly to strengthen the Environmental policies in response to residents’ concerns. Their work was helped enormously by the engagement of dedicated and professional ecologists who have identified and mapped important wildlife corridors in the area. The funding to make this happen was supplied by the Haslemere Society, Haslemere Town Council, the Lob’s Charity and CPRE Surrey, for whose support we are incredibly grateful.

We were also really pleased to see so many residents present at what we believe to be the very first online Extraordinary General Meeting of the Town Council, all tuning in to see the Plan being approved. Your support was really, really, welcome and it was fantastic for Councillors to see the level of interest the community have in shaping the future of our town and villages. Haslemere Mayor, Cllr. John Robini, who has championed the Plan throughout the Reg 14 consultation and resulting review, said that he’d like to thank “the residents of Haslemere, who through their participation in the various consultations, have shaped a landmark Plan for the town”.

Now of course, our attention turns to Waverley as they consult on our Plan. It coincides somewhat with WBC’s consultation on their Local Plan Part 2, which does contain sites exterior to the settlement boundaries set out in the Neighbourhood Plan. This consultation launched Friday 27th November and the community is invited to make their feelings, for or against, clear at before it closes in January. Of course, the Local Plan Part 2 document contains more than site allocations and Haslemere Vision volunteers will be going through it with a fine tooth comb to assess its impacts. We will update you with that review in the next couple of weeks and we hope that you will find the insights gleaned useful if you wish to respond to their consultation individually.