NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM UPDATE 6
I hope that you have spent an enjoyable Bank Holiday. At least the weather was kind for most of the time. Meanwhile, preparations for the production of a Neighbourhood Plan for the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Area gather pace. Details of recent - and forthcoming - developments are set out below.
Thanks for your support
The last UPDATE focused on the importance of communicating support for the proposed Forum by writing to Woking Borough Council (WBC) before the end of the six-week public consultation period on 2 August. Sincere thanks to all those of you who registered your support in e-mails or by letter to WBC.
The next key dates are 10 and 24 October respectively. On the first date, the WBC Executive is scheduled to consider a report on our application produced by planning department officers, and on the second, the full Council will vote on the application.
Consultation moves up a gear
In anticipation that the Council will approve our application (subject to possible amendment), we are pressing ahead with the next stage of the all-important consultation programme with all residents and businesses living or working within the proposed Neighbourhood Area.
Early in September you should expect to find a short, succinct brochure dropping through letterboxes inviting you to help shape the future development of the Hook Heath Area.
We need to know what your issues and concerns are. While we are not facing large scale development on our doorstep, WBC plans to build almost 300 new homes each year through to 2027. The review of the Green Belt, which will begin in about 18 months’ time, may well have an impact on the southern and south-western part of our area.
The Neighbourhood Plan will help to: influence how, when and where development takes place; protect and preserve the features and characteristics we value most; safeguard the open spaces, gardens and trees; and encourage the provision of services and facilities which are presently unavailable.
This brochure invites anyone who is interested in helping to take forward the Plan to be in touch with the Forum’s officers. It also seeks feedback on four very simple questions. They are:
- What local assets and facilities attracted you to live in the Woking area?
- What features of Hook Heath appeal to you?
- What additional features in Woking generally or Hook Heath specifically would further enhance your living environment?
- What particular issues detract from your enjoyment of living in the Hook Heath area?
The answers we receive will be analysed and inform our consultation programme over the next few months, which we anticipate will involve further questionnaires, meetings and discussion groups.
Keep an eye on the Forum website - www.hhra.co.uk/hookheathforum - for further news. Please use the link on the site to provide your answers to the questions referred to above; if you would prefer to respond in hard copy format that will be fine. Drop in your replies, or post them, to one of the three people whose names and addresses are listed in the brochure.
Support from Locality
In addition to securing a grant of £6,700 from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to help us produce the Plan, we have also been successful in securing a direct support package, funded by central Government. Consultancy advice and guidance is being provided by a consortium of three agencies, including the Royal Town Planning Institute. They have been retained by the DCLG to encourage and support neighbourhood planning nationwide.
Your Hook Heath photographs
We are keen to build up an archive of good quality images of Hook Heath. So, if you have a favourite photograph(s) or painting(s) of a feature of Hook Heath that you feel reflects the unique character of the area, please send your images to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Neil Cryer, our webmaster, who is handling submissions, asks that images should be submitted as a JPEG file of not more than 5 megabytes.
The next meeting of the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum will take place at De Vere Venues, Gorse Hill, Hook Heath Road on Wednesday 20 November commencing at 7.30pm. I hope to see you there. Thank you for your interest and support and don’t forget to respond to the short questionnaire when it arrives at your address.
Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum
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