At the first workshop held of the 24 Oct 2019, we had a lively session with residents from the three village in Hoe Valley, working out the key issues that we want to tackle with our neighbourhood plan to make our area better for all our residents.

We also began to come up with an outline vision for how we’d like it to be in 10 years time. From this, Locality have drafted a first go at our vision which is outlined below:

Draft Vision

The vision statement acts as the basis of the shared ambition and values of the Neighbourhood Planning Forum. It underpins more detailed objectives and policy ideas. It is a set of principles that can guide discussion and help to establish the direction and priorities of the forum. The draft statement below is edited from the work of 3 different tables at a Neighbourhood Planning Workshop on the 24th October 2019.

‘We want to live in a community that is inclusive, safe, caring and connected. One which builds social & environmental capital as well as decent housing & facilities for all generations and incomes. We want all our children to be able to safely walk to their primary school and for the public realm to be safe, calm, shaded and geared mostly to pedestrians and cyclists.”

We want to encourage behaviours that respects & protects new-comers, our existing diverse built environment form, biodiversity as well as behaviours that encourage all to invest in renewables and carbon neutral ways of living. Above all we want residents and those working here to be really proud of the neighbourhood and its facilities (green spaces, sports facilities, shops, businesses, community buildings and schools) and for them to be destinations of choice that meet the needs of all age groups.”

Almost all of the elements of the above vision statement have a spatial or planning dimension. For example, an important way to achieve a ‘safe’ neighbourhood is for more people to be moving around and using sometimes unlit paths on foot or bike – to be reclaiming the public realm and taking responsibility for what happens in it. The best way to engender community pride is to aspire to good design and constantly evolving facilities that meet the needs of newer and older residents and to involve those people in shaping their environment (as the Neighbourhood Forum is doing).

Next Steps

The second workshop on the 14th November will focus on translating the above broad statement into a series of objectives that can be later prioritised. The agenda is outlined below:

Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum
Workshop 2 Programme

Thursday 14th November, 6.30pm – 9.00pm at the Old Woking Community Centre (Rydens Lounge, upstairs), With facilitators Stuart Woodin and Anthony Whitaker, Aecom


  • To build relationship with Woking Borough Planning Department
  • To understand the policy context
  • To work up objectives that could become planning policies

6.30pm Realising the vision
Welcome & de-brief from workshop 1
Reflections/homework check

6.50pm Sustainable Development

7.00pm Moving from Vision to Objectives
– table work
Framing objectives or policy intents
Embracing sustainable development

7.20pm Policy Context – Woking Planning Department
Types of policies
Basic conditions test
Policy writing tips
Examples of good and bad policies

8.00pm Refreshment Break

8.10pm Introduction to evidence gathering Aecom

8.15pm Thematic Policy focus – themed table work based on ideas to date & homework
Identify top 4 priorities by theme
Build objectives that could become policies
List evidence sources and gaps

8.50pm Report backs/Plenary

9.10pm Next Steps & finish