We’re nearly there! The Localism Act 2011 gave communities rights to influence development in their area by writing a Neighbourhood Plan and it has been over six years since the community decided to prepare the first Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan (the Plan). A draft of the Plan was approved to go to public consultation by Haslemere Town Council (HTC) at its October 2019 meeting
The Plan sets out the Vision for the Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan Area (Beacon Hill, Critchmere, Grayswood, Haslemere, Hindhead and Shottermill) as follows:
That Haslemere continues to thrive for all sections of the community, protecting what is best about the town and its surrounding environment today but accommodating a larger, more diverse and vibrant economy with more local workers living and working in the town and the villages that surround it.
The main aims of the Plan are:
- To encourage development that meets the housing needs of the community and respects 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
- To support existing employment and to encourage the development of a more diverse range of local employment opportunities
- To re-balance road use and limit the impact of motor vehicles by improving provision for off-street parking and facilities for alternative forms of transport
WHY HAS IT TAKEN SO LONG?
Starting in 2013 more than 80 Haslemere Vision (HV) volunteers have organised and contributed to events, surveys and workshops to determine the views of Haslemere residents on issues important to the future development of the Town. By January 2016 HV was ready to start drafting the plan. It was important to do this in the context of a clear understanding of key provisions of the Waverley Local Plan but the new Local Plan was repeatedly delayed. Because of this completion of the Neighbourhood Plan was put on hold until January 2018 when Part 1 of the Waverley Local Plan was finally adopted. Since then HV volunteers and a working party of Haslemere town councillors have revised, reviewed and agreed the policies that are now proposed in the draft Plan.
A public consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan policies will run from 2nd March to the
27th April 2020, now extended to 31st May 2020.
It is vital the policies receive support to take them forward, so we urge all those (16+) who live or work in the area to respond to the online survey at
A copy of the Neighbourhood Plan is available to read or download at
www.haslemeretc.org/neighbourhood-plan together with the online survey and links to the evidence base.
Public drop-in events are taking place as below, to view the Plan and ask questions of the volunteers responsible for its inception.
- 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
- GrayswoodClub: 8th April 10.30am-12pm
Hard copies of the Plan are available to read at Haslemere Library, Haslemere Town Hall, Grayswood All Saints Church, Haslemere Museum, the Train Station Hub, Haslewey, the Hindhead Cookie Bar and the Hub in Beacon Hill. Hard copies of the survey can be collected from these locations, but must be returned to the Town Council offices.
Hard copies of the Plan or the survey can be obtained by telephoning the Town Council on 01428 654305, by email at email@example.com or via a letter of request to Haslemere Town Council, High Street, Haslemere GU27 2HG.
Inspection and Referendum
After the consultation ends, the Haslemere Town Council and Haslemere Vision working party will review the responses and make any necessary changes to the Plan. This revised draft will then be examined by an independent Inspector. The Inspector will recommend any changes that need to be made to the plan to ensure it is sound. WBC will then organise a referendum of all those who live within the Haslemere town boundary. If more than half of those who vote vote yes, the policies in the Plan will have legal effect. If more than half vote no there will be no Neighbourhood Plan.
What will an adopted Neighbourhood Plan do?
If the final plan is adopted it will form part of Waverley’s statutory planning framework against which all planning applications will be decided. In addition to this, 25% of the Community Infrastructure levy on approved development sites in the town will be allocated to the Town Council for new and improved infrastructure and amenities. This means that the Town Council will have a substantial amount of money to spend on local community facilities and other important projects.
WHEN WILL THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN TAKE EFFECT?
Much of the process from here on is outside our control but, by the time the process described above has been completed, it is our present expectation that the Plan will come to referendum no later than the first quarter of 2020.