By David O'Hanlon - 23rd April 2013 12:00pm
Do you want to preserve the traditional character of the village, or do you want new housing so that young people growing up in Haddenham can afford to carry on living here as adults? Or do you want both?
Do you want to have a say as to where any new housing or other development is sited?
Do you want Haddenham to be the best place for community sport in England? The most vibrant artist community in the country? A community famous for delicious food — locally reared, grown and produced? Some of these? None of these? All of these? The best community for something else not yet mentioned?
Do you want Haddenham to be a community whose standards and provision of care for the elderly are renowned locally, nationally, even internationally? Or not?
Do you want Haddenham to be a community in which young people can not only afford to continue living in but also one in which they want to stay living? Or not?
Do you want Haddenham to be a community that is really attractive for businesses, bringing increased local employment opportunities — maybe businesses of a specific type? — or do you prefer Haddenham to be primarily residential, with people travelling to work elsewhere? Should we take action in this area, or just see how things develop?
Do you want Haddenham to be a resilient sustainable community that is a model for others — self-sufficient in energy, and in employment, where transport within the village without a car is the norm because it's been made easy, safe and convenient? Or not? Or only some of these?
All of these? None of these? Some of these? Other priorities?
Now, in Haddenham, we have a choice before us. We can let the future shape us or, together, we can shape our future.
Taking the second option, and helping to shape the development of our village, is a new opportunity.
Haddenham is going to have a Neighbourhood Plan. If you've heard the government talking about "localism", about passing power to local communities, a Neighbourhood Plan is where the rubber hits the road.
A Neighbourhood Plan is something new and it will make a difference to all our lives. If we all get involved that difference will be significantly for the better.
A Neighbourhood Plan is a community-led framework for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of our area.
It can contain a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development.
It can deal with a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues (such as housing, employment, heritage and transport) or it may focus on just one or two issues. As a community, we can determine its scope.
These may be issues that are relevant to the whole neighbourhood or just to part of the neighbourhood.
This is for the community producing the plan to decide.
A Neighbourhood Plan will be part of the statutory development plan for the area — in other words, once agreed and formally published, it will have a legal status. This gives Neighbourhood Plans far more weight than some other local documents, such as parish plans, community plans and village design statements.
Because the plan will have the force of law, creating it has to be done properly and be led by the Parish Council involving as many people who are willing as possible.
We estimate it will take around two years.
So, a lengthy and detailed process, but it will be worth it.
Public consultation, collaboration, contribution and involvement is fundamental to the process and the project team will be making this possible for all residents and businesses in the village, so everyone can play their part.
When all is done the Plan is tested by a local referendum, to ensure that it reflects the consensus view of Haddenham residents.
It is the intention of the Parish Council to register with AVDC to start this process for the Haddenham Parish and bid for central funding to support the process.
It is crucial that everyone can have their say, collaborate and contribute over the next two years but if you want to be more actively engaged in the planning team, please contact Andy Fell — Tel: 01844 290166 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org.