Neighbourhood Plan Adoption Referendum FAQs

Find the answers to these questions on our dedicated FAQ page:

  • What is the Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan and why should I care?
  • What’s the bottom line – how many houses, where and when?
  • Do we actually need all these homes? Who says so?
  • What about infrastructure – where are we going to find the water, school places and GPs to accommodate all these extra people?
  • Will anybody listen – won’t the developers just get their way anyway?
  • This all started a decade ago didn’t it? Why has it taken so long?
  • It’s all been done by volunteers hasn’t it? With all due respect, how do we know this is all legal?
  • What about the climate – are all these houses good for the environment?
  • Great, so where do I cast my vote?

The Neighbourhood Plan – Another Consultation

Waverley have recently announced the start of the Regulation 16 Consultation for Haslemere’s Neighbourhood Plan. To find out more go to

Here you will find the latest version of the Neighbourhood Plan and details about how you can respond to the consultation. If you are interested to see how the policies compare to the previous policies that were consulted on last year, you can look at the Consultation Statement. Appendices 11 a – g have a selection of the responses to the consultation and Appendix 12 shows the policy wording before and after the Regulation 14 consultation.

The most significant changes that were made reflected the community’s wishes that land with designations such as Green Belt, AONB and AGLV should not be built on and that the natural environment and rich biodiversity of the Plan Area is protected and enhanced. Numerous comments were received about the density policy and there is now an explicit statement that the suggested densities are used “subject to achieving high quality design” and the development “being fit for the site’s setting and topography”.

Amendments were made to the Access and Transport policy (H9) but not all of the concerns raised about parking have been completely resolved because neighbourhood plan policy only applies where a planning application is made. The traffic, parking and non-car transport opportunities identified in the Plan will address many of the issues raised and the recently formed Active Travel Group, that includes representatives from the Town and County council as well as volunteers from Transition Haslemere, Haslemere Society and Haslemere Vision have already started working on tackling the issues.

The Trees and Hedgerows policy (H11) now provides additional information about how protection can be achieved. This includes requiring a full site survey by a qualified arboriculturalist or ecologist when a site’s development will affect the trees and hedgerows and the policy now references the relevant British Standards. There are more provisions around replacement planting, when trees are intentionally or accidently damaged, and requirements to ensure trees and hedgerows planted in communal areas within developments are appropriately managed and maintained.

Last April, the Haslemere Vision Biodiversity Team employed two ecologists to work on mapping the Haslemere wildlife corridors (now known as the Haslemere Ecological Network) that were referred to in the Biodiversity policy (H14). This project was funded by the Lobs Charity, Haslemere Society, CPRE Surrey and Haslemere Town Council and the work was completed in time to be incorporated into the latest version of the Neighbourhood Plan. In addition, policy H14 was enhanced by adding that a biodiversity net gain of 20% would be required for development sites. This reflects the fact that Surrey has experienced higher levels of biodiversity loss than the National average based on recent studies.

The economy policies were altered to reflect the new Use Classes that were introduced in September and the policy encouraging the conversion of residential property to hotel use was removed.

The consultation closes at 11.59pm on Friday 19th March. The Plan will then be examined and finally a referendum of Haslemere residents, later this year, will determine whether the Plan is approved and can be adopted. Register to vote so that you’ll be able to participate.

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.

The Neighbourhood Plan – The Next Step

The Steering Group are thrilled to announce that the Neighbourhood Plan is coming before the full town council at 7pm next Monday, 30th November, on the next step of its journey to becoming legislation. It will hopefully be approved by Councillors, who will then officially submit it to Waverley Borough Council. WBC will open up the Plan for wider public comment, before putting it forward for Planning Inspector review and bringing it to referendum.
As we’re sure you can imagine, this is an important moment for us. Whilst the Plan was handed over to HTC leadership in May last year, there has been much hard work since, working with the HTC Working Party to bring the Plan through its statutory consultation and to action amendments in response to feedback.
We will be watching the meeting with bated breath and hope other interested members of the public will join us online to witness this historic moment. The meeting agenda, together with details of how to join is available here: and the amended Plan submitted for approval is available here:
Particular mention must be made of Haslemere Vision’s Biodiversity team who have worked tirelessly to strengthen the Environmental policies in response to residents’ concerns – helped enormously by the engagement of dedicated and professional ecologists. 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.
Once the Neighbourhood Plan process settles down a bit, we will write with an update on all the initiatives and projects that the Vision team have been pursuing with our remaining vigour! In the meanwhile, we look forward to seeing some of you online on Monday 30th.


A general meeting for Haslemere Vision Limited will be held via Zoom (online meeting) on Thursday 15th October, 2020 at 7.30 pm. The agenda will be as follows:

  1. Review and approve the minutes of the AGM held on 18th July 2019
  2. Receive the Report and Accounts for the financial year ended 5th April 2020.
  3. Results of the election of the six directors of the company including the Chairman,
    Vice-Chairman and Treasurer.
  4. Results of the election of Steering Group members (Management Committee).
  5. Any other business.

To accompany the AGM, please refer to the Directors Report for 2020.

Please rsvp to to receive a link to the Zoom meeting.

Response to Scotland Park Planning Application

Haslemere Vision do not usually respond to individual planning applications however, the above application included a number of inaccuracies pertaining to the Neighbourhood Plan. An official statement was therefore made to the Haslemere Planning and Highways Committee meeting on the 10th September 2020, to correct several of the claims made by the applicant and to outline where development plans have disregarded the founding principles of the community’s Neighbourhood Plan. 

A submission has also been made to Waverley Borough Council in advance of their consideration of the proposal. This can be found at: 

Neighbourhood Plan Consultation Surveys

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

Neighbourhood Plan Consultation Webinars

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 now!

See for more information

The Vision: On Public View

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 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 when it opens on the 2nd March 2020.