By Haddenham Webteam - 14th February 2014 7:00am
The creation of Haddenham's Neighbourhood Plan took another important step forward on Thursday evening, 13th February, when the Village Society hosted a display of possible development themes and the choices to be made that will help shape the nature of Haddenham over the next 15 years.
Eighty residents attended the public consultation event, held in the community junior school, and a question and answer session revealed high levels of engagement and a good understanding of the issues among the local community.
Sir Roderick Floud chaired the meeting, and key members of the planning team gave presentations on the options and issues to be addressed in the plan before it can be offered in a public referendum and then presented for government approval.
Following a helpful introduction from Andrew Fell, the project leader on behalf of the Parish Council, Richard Moore described some of the choices being considered in relation to the arts, culture, sport and recreation facilities in Haddenham; district councillor Judy Brandis explained some of the statutory implications of the Neighbourhood Plan, and its relationship with the Vale of Aylesbury's strategic plan*; and Nick Lock rounded off the formal presentations with a description of the potential locations in and around the village that currently provide opportunities for developers to build new housing stock.
Once published and accepted by a government inspector, the Neighbourhood Plan will help to define the location and nature of future house building, but as things currently stand, the village is vulnerable to developers who can take advantage of a much more flexible set of options and a statutory framework that favours new housing in locations like Haddenham — i.e., communities with good transport links and an infrastructure that will accommodate further population growth.
Once the clear and insightful presentations were concluded on Thursday evening, attendees were able to study the display boards and offer their own thoughts and opinions via the feedback cards provided.
Haddenham County Junior School will continue to house the display boards for the next week, so that its staff and pupils can also engage with the public consultation process and offer their own comments. It is very important for the validity of the published Neighbourhood Plan that as many local residents, businesses and organisations as possible are able to have a say. Further opportunities for public consultation will continue into the Spring and Summer. If you've not yet contributed your own views, please do seek an opportunity to do so. Future consultation events will be announced here on Haddenham.net
In the meantime, you can read more details and view the display panels here
* The Vale of Aylesbury Plan has recently been rejected by the Inspector due to a lack of constructive engagement by the District Council with neighbouring Councils and others in the Luton and Milton Keynes Housing Market Area, and a lack of positive preparation in terms of the overall provision of jobs and homes.
The Inspector concluded that the effectiveness of the strategic Plan had been undermined and that it was neither justified nor effective, and inconsistent with national policy. What this means for us is that, in terms of housing development, there is currently no up-to-date target in a development plan for housing required in Haddenham.