Minutes of the Meeting
15th October 2022 14:30- 16:00, Lecure Room, Woking Leisure Centre
1. Welcome & Plan for the meeing, Bob Shatwell (Chair)
Thanks to many for help in the compilation of the Neighbourhood Plan; WBC Officers; Iain Wakeford for his help in the historical sections; Other local Neighbourhood Forums for their guidance and support; our local councillors and county councillors for their ongoing support.
2. Introduction to the draft Neighbourhood Plan (NP), Deb Hughes
There were times when we thought this day would never happen- that we wouldn’t be able to produce a NP for our Area. Covid produced many challenges that we all know about and as the 6th NP in the Borough we were not eligible for the financial support that the 1st 5 for a received, which enabled them to employ external advisors and writers. So this Plan is written by us and is a DRAFT, informed by workshops, consultations, feedback and research.
But I am thrilled that we have this draft and that you are here to see and comment on it!
So about the Plan- It follows the requirements of the Localism Act of 2011 and a format advised by the Government supporting agency for a ‘Locality’. The Plan we have produced for you today is in 3 parts;
Part 1, describes the advantages to a neighbourhood of having a NP. It is an opportunity for a community to formulate a framework by which they can influence the future of their Area. How often have we all felt powerless in this- well no more!
A NP can SHAPE, and has the POWER for a SHARED VISION for our Area. When approved ti forms part of the statutory process of planning and MUST be considered in future planning decisions.
Part 1 also describes the WHY so we need a Plan. The 11 storey, more than 1000 flat proposal on the site of Woking
Football Club was the catalyst, with a Plan in place this couldn’t happen again.
It describes how it works not in contradiction with WBC policies but adding and enhancing to provide, sympathetic and sustainable development in future. Also communication methods to date, the consultations and evidence gathering.
The Vision included is a crystallisation of residents views; this is for a community that is;
The objectives identified are;
1. Preserve the distinctive characteristics of the Area
2. Preserve and protect important open spaces
3. Promote housing and commercial building that meets the needs of the local population and that all new development meetgs appropriate design and building standards
4. Promote growth of the local economy and preserve employment opportunities
5. Promote the health and well-being of residents
6. Improve accessibility, infrastructure and movement around the Area via promotion of more sustainable transport choices
7. To promote sustainability, to reduce the impact on climate change and move towards zero-carbon local economy
These are in no prioritised order, but they link directly to the Policies which are drafted in Part 2. It is these policies which if adopted would be statutory status.
There are 12 of these;
Policy 1. Covers the Built up Area
Policy 2. The landscape Area
Policy 3. Local heritage area, our historic assets and conservation area
Policy 4. Covers the Economy, retail and commercial development. It is key to a rounded and vibrant community
Policy 5. Public Realm
Policy 6. Parking. This was such a key issue expressed by residents that it has its own Policy section. This goes over and above WBC parking standards
Policy 7. Transport, accessibility and local access infrastructure
Policy 8. Climate emergency, although many other policies in other sections relate also to this important area.
Policy 9. Society and community services. Covers, basic infrastructure, health care; schools, youth groups, sport and leisure, and assets of community value.
Policy 10. Protect and enhance green space
Policy 11. Preserve and utilise Blue Spaces; our River Wey, the Hoe Stream and Ponds. It references flooding and flood schemes.
Policy 12. Protect wildlife.
Finally Part 3, covers the delivery and implementation of the Plan, really the next steps. Talks about funding that would be available to use locally, Neighbourhood, Neighbourhood Community infrastructure levy, at present 15%, if the Plan is formally adopted this would increase to 25%. We have over £30k in a pot already for community use.
Ideas for projects are suggested as an appendix- but we are seeking more views today and sheets are available for this.
3. 20 minute Break
To view the draft plan and the policies/ the ideas for NCIL. To comment on any errors, amendments and omissions.
4. Next steps for the N Plan, Deb Hughes
The draft Plan as presented today may well not be the final version. Out WBC Officers have advised us of a few areas for further research. We will also be seeking to incorporate any amendments and comments that you make today. The Draft NP will go onto our website in the next day or two for comment and feedback.
(Copies of HVNF contact cards were distributed)
Once this is completed we will submit to WBC for their check on accuracy.
Then for local pre-submission consultation to all residents for 6 weeks.
This will include comprehensive publicity with the Plan available to all residents and businesses, how to make comments and a closing date.
Consultation on any statutory bodies to be advised by WBC.
To provide a short summary to accompany this.
• Back to WBC for the Regulation 16 consultation for a further 6 weeks.
• WBC to arrange for an external examiner to review the Plan.
• WBC to arrange for a referendum.
• We are aiming at May 2023 for this to be completed.
5. Cllr Will Forster address
Acknowledged the work of the HVNF and the history of his involvement with the concept going back to 2012. He welcomed the production of the Draft Plan and his support for this going forwards.
6. AGM of the HVNF
Chair’s report, Bob Shatwell
There is not a huge amount to report in this due to the emphasis of the Forum to produce the Neighbourhood Plan for this meeting. Ideas on gaining Local Village Green Status have been thwarted by SCC, however the adoption of the Plan will provide enhanced protection in its own right. Thanks were expressed to the Committee for their work over the year.
Treasurers report, Bill Corney
A copy of this was available for those attending in hard copy. Finances in sound shape. The majority of the money in the account is earmarked for a project in Old Woking as a result of a grant from the SCC Liz Bowes.
Not knowing how much we will need between now and May to take forward the Plan, a box is available at the back of the room for donations (£40 was left in the tin by the end of the meeting). The treasurer’s report was approved.
Change to the constitution. Bob Shatwell.
The original constitution for the HVNF was produced and agreed in 2018. It is time for this to be brought up to date and amendments were highlighted by the Chair. Copies of the revised constitution had been available for those attending in hard copy.
A vote was made on accepting this; unanimously accepted.
Officer and committee appointments for the next year;
Bob Shatwell was voted in as Chair
Bill Corney was voted in as Treasurer
Deb Hughes was voted in as Deputy Chair.
There are place available for ordinary members of the committee.
A question regarding the land opposite Willow Reach was answered by Cllr Caulfield. This land is owned by WBC and is part of the land which was identified by the Planning inspector to build 93 homes. However no plans at present but likely to be developed for housing. In the meantime, need this to be surrounded by hoarding. This is in hand.
About the publication of the plan. This should be on the website this week.
Bill Corney asked permission for any photographs taken during the event to be used as evidence for the N Plan. No one objected.
Norman Johns invited support for the ‘Incredible Edible ‘project on Rydens Way
8. Chair closed the meeting.
Time for individual questions of the committee and for further review of the Plan and policies until 4pm.
– Meeting Ended –