Chiddingfold Neighbourhood Plan – Join in!

Meeting at The Village Hall on Wed 29 October at 8pm.

Find out more …and  how it relates to Waverley’s Local Plan.

The picture shows the proposed extension to Chiddingfold’s village boundaries. The wheels of government seem to move so slowly,  but Watch Out!  when there is a movement, it seems like an earthquake – so many things change at once.

2014-09-16  Proposed change to settlement boundary

The Local Plan seems to be all about housing. There is a ‘presumption in favour of Sustainable Development’. If, like us (and the UN, by the way), you think that a sustainable approach is Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, then you will want to have an input – there seems to be a lack of ‘joined-up’ thinking about school places, transport systems that encourage and promote low-carbon solutions, and things like employment for local people, local supply chains and protecting our natural environment – everything from amenity land to how we handle water supply, waste water and recycling. And will all these houses be low-energy buildings? Or have financing options to make them more affordable? These issues need debate and discussion!

How to find out more…

The Neighbourhood Plan (NP) seems to have been under discussion for ages, with plenty of proposals outlined and captured in various places.

Come along to a meeting in the

Village Hall on Tuesday 28 October  8pm  to hear more

Come prepared! Try these links

A quick guide to Neighbourhood planning

Chiddingfold Parish Council’s NP page

Waverley Consultation on Housing Proposals ( but BE QUICK – it closes on 17 October)

The map of proposed extension of the village boundary (also the featured image)

 

Waverley’s Housing Options exhibition came to Chiddingfold on Wednesday 1st October for just two hours (11am- 1pm!), and we had very little notice), … If you want to complain about  the process – please send an email to the leader of Waverley council: robert.knowles@waverley.gov.uk

My email reads like this:

Dear Mr Knowles,

I live in Chiddingfold and wish to complain about the process for generating interest in the Local Plan. I missed the Local Plan proposals Exhibition. It only came to the village for two hours on a Wednesday. No one I know even saw it! Emails were sent out to local groups by our local Parish Council on the morning of the 1st – very poor show indeed!

I feel the consultation is not really designed to engage local people in having a say in developing a sustainable plan for our area, and in particular my village and the surrounding areas.

There seems to be so much missing;  how the plan deals with  nursery and school places ( I am a Governor at a Secondary School);  an approach to transport  that  encourages cycling and walking, yet caters sustainably for everyone; employment, businesses and the economy; amenity spaces, from organised sport to enjoying the wider natural environment; …I could go on. Especially, I notice a gap around how the presumption in favour of a low-carbon future that I care about can be implemented in an open and transparent way.

We need to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Crucially, an ability to allow residents to shape their own needs is slipping.

Making Waves may have been sent to every household and business, but you are not providing the opportunity for organised groups to have debate and discussion.  You still have the opportunity to change the process for the better, and engage with more than a tiny minority of people beyond local politicians and officials currently likely to have a meaningful input. The cost may be more than the budget, but the cost of getting it wrong will be felt  by many for many years to come.

I urge you to divert more resources into communicating and listening to interested parties via local groups (like Chiddgreen that I help to run) and using channels that are easy and flexible to engage with. Making Waves and the paper consultation only presents a limited and restricted question about the numbers of homes – nothing about energy performance of those homes, environmental impact of increased numbers of homes on a variety of other infrastructure issues, and makes no mention of objective measures of sustainability.

….signed in the usual way…