NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM UPDATE 7
Please complete your questionnaire
We are fast approaching the key date of Thursday 10 October. This is the date on which the Woking Borough Council Executive is scheduled to consider the application we submitted in May to establish the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Area.
All being well, the Executive will approve the application and, at the end of the month, on 24 October the full Council will vote. Assuming all goes favourably, it will mark the start of the next phase in the development of our Neighbourhood Plan.
We are not waiting for the final decision. Earlier this month we circulated a short leaflet to 725 homes about the Plan initiative. It was accompanied by a brief questionnaire which invited residents to respond to four very basic questions.
By way of a reminder, the questions 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?
If you have not yet completed and returned your questionnaire, please do so before the deadline of 15 October. If you would prefer to complete the questionnaire on-line, please visit our on-line questionnaire (now closed).It should take no more than five minutes to complete (there is a 220 character limit to each answer). Your replies are vitally important in providing us with information on the issues you feel important in drafting a Neighbourhood Plan for the Hook Heath area.
The Woodbank Home, owned and run by the Methodist Housing Association on Holly Bank Road, was closed at the end of November 2013. The home will be demolished paving the way for the construction of what is described as “a new, assisted living scheme.” The plans for the new site were open for public scrutiny at Gorse Hill Hotel on a day in December. The new building (see picture above) looked more in keeping with the general area than the previous. The building occupies closely the same positiion as the previous and is slightly higher than the original.
This is exactly the kind of issue on which the Neighbourhood Forum, through a Neighbourhood Plan, can help influence how, when and where development takes place and the nature of any new development.
Green Belt review underway now
In the August UPDATE, I mentioned that the review of the Woking Green Belt was likely to commence in about eighteen months’ time. My apologies, I was wrong! It is already well advanced.
This is another issue on which the Neighbourhood Plan can be expected to focus upon strongly not least because much of the land to the south of the Hook Heath escarpment is in the ownership of Martin Grant Homes. WBC has an annual housing target of almost 300 new homes through to 2027 and new land will definitely be required from 2022 onwards. Watch this space.
When we produced the map of the proposed Hook Heath Neighbourhood Area, following a general planning principle, we used Saunders Lane as the southern boundary.
In the public consultation period, however, the Mayford Village Society lodged a strong objection and argued that it would be more appropriate for the boundary between Hook Heath and Mayford to follow the existing electoral ward boundaries. This has been agreed and the map has been revised to reflect the new boundary. Whether further changes will follow in the wake of the current Local Government Boundary Review of WBC electoral wards remains to be seen.
Byfleet Forum takes shape
Interesting to note that WBC has now received an application to designate a Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Area for the Byfleet Village area of the borough. The application is now subject to public consultation.
The next meeting of the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum will be on Wednesday 20 November at De Vere Venues, Gorse Hill, Hook Heath Road commencing at 7.30pm. Do come along to what, I hope, will be our first meeting as a formally constituted organisation.
Don’t forget the questionnaire (since closed)
Make a note to complete your answers to the four questions. Visit the Hook Heath Neighbourbood Forum Questionnaire (now closed)
Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum