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Planning for Haddenham's Future

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The preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan for Haddenham took a significant step forward on Saturday 31st August, when the first of a series of public workshops was held in the Village Hall.

Once published, the Neighbourhood Plan will reflect a broad consensus among residents of all ages, and of business leaders and community leaders, describing how we would like Haddenham to develop over the years to 2030. The document, after approval by a local referendum, will then have a legal basis to help shape the community to which we all aspire.

Despite the challenges of mounting a public meeting on a sunny Saturday afternoon in August, approximately 50 keen residents of the village turned up to share their views and begin to craft a collective vision for Haddenham.

After a general introduction from Andrew Fell, the lead Parish Councillor for the project, the rest of the afternoon was facilitated by Michael Talbot -- with additional help from a number of other facilitators who ensured that everyone felt able to contribute their views and opinions at a small table-group level.

The primary areas addressed included a look at the village's current strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats that we would currently identify.

A vision of the "ideal Haddenham in 2030" was also constructed by each of the table groups.

The meeting concluded with an examination of the first steps (and potential hurdles to be overcome) to achieve that idealised vision of the future community — from its unique cultural characteristics, to the way we might encourage young entrepreneurs and those with creative and artistic talents; from the housing needs of young adults to those of the most mature members of our village; from the kinds of infrastructure and incentives needed to attract new businesses and build employment opportunities, to defining the areas of the village in which we would wish to see new residential housing located.

Enough flip charts and post-it notes were generated to re-paper the interior of the Village Hall — good luck to those whose role it is now to capture and record all the views expressed!

Over the coming months, many other public meetings will be held, to ensure that the voices of every group and business are heard — from the youngsters in our schools to the elderly residents in residential accommodation, and all stops in between.

Please watch this website and other sources of village information to see how you might play a part.

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