South Oxfordshire District Council wrote to Henley Town Council on the 10th June confirming that the Neighbourhood Plan area will cover both Henley on Thames and Harpsden Parish. Now that the Plan area has statutory consent the development of the Plan can proceed. Important work and public consultation has taken place over the last year and this will be taken into account.
Public launch events are planned for 7th of September in Henley town square and 14th September at the Henley Show. The Plan website is now live at www.jhhnp.co.uk which will be a key centre for information and updates as well as the Plan Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JHHNP.
Volunteers are now needed to lead the production of the Plan which through a series of Working Groups that will look at key issues for the area including housing and transport, as well as environment, economy and social facilities. Importantly they will decide where 400 homes will be built around Henley in coming years. More than 60 residents have already registered to take part in the groups. Residents can sign up for more information on the Plan and details of Working Groups via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All volunteers will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire to identify which topics they are interested in.
The Working Group workshops will begin in September and October, after the summer, and continue into 2014. Workshop sessions will be facilitated by Nexus Planning and Kevin Murray Associates, the consultants appointed to assist in the Plan’s preparation. Kevin Murray is the president of the Academy of Urbanism and past president of the Royal Town Planning Institute.
In August local landowners and developers will be asked to come to an information session where the appointed consultants will explain the Plan process. Developers will be discouraged from submitting early planning applications before the Plan is completed and will be given the chance to present their sites to the working groups in autumn 2013.
The production of the Plan is anticipated to take around 12 months and will go through a process of reviewing key issues for the area, options for the Plan and consultation on the draft Plan. The draft plan should be submitted to the District Council in spring 2014 and the final public referendum on the Plan take place in Autumn 2014.