Joint Neighbourhood Plan for Henley and Harpsden

Henley Town Council and Harpsden Parish Council have agreed to work together to produce a Joint Neighbourhood Plan with Henley Town Council as the lead authority. The Plan with cover the whole of the parish of Harpsden and the whole of the parish of Henley. A formal application will now be made to South Oxfordshire District Council for this new Neighbourhood Plan Area; a formal 6 week consultation period will follow.

 

The polices that will ultimately shape the Plan will evolve over time and will be put together by the community NOT the Councils. A further series of Public Consultation days and community engagement will follow soon. The Plan will be subject to independent examination and a Referendum, hopefully to coincide with the Local Elections in May 2015. A great deal of work will take place between now and then.

 

A Road Map or timetable for the delivery of the Plan has been agreed. The Town Council has appointed a Neighbourhood Planning Governance Committee purely to oversee the implementation of the Road Map on time and to budget. This Committee will be meeting with Harpsden Parish Council next week to begin the process of:

1) Identifying and engaging with key local partners within Harpsden and Henley
2) Discussing arrangements for gathering further information from residents of Harpsden and Henley as to what are the Key issues for our respective areas
3) Appointing the working groups and the membership thereof to deal with specific issues/themes relating to the joint Plan arising from public consultation and community engagement.

 

The Working Groups will be appointed jointly by Harpsden Parish Council and Henley Town Council. Representation on the Working Groups will be made up of representatives from Henley and Harpsden, both councillors and residents, and will have regard to each individual’s skills, experience and knowledge rather than equal proportionality from both councils.

It is important to reiterate that it will be for the Working Groups, not the Neighbourhood Planning Governance Committee or the Councils to drive the Joint Neighbourhood Plan and ultimately determine the policies that will feed into the Plan.

So far the following issues have been identified:

  • Protection of the Harpsden Valley
  • Housing
  • Traffic

The Plan can contain as many or as few policies as the community dictates, hence the importance of public consultation and community engagement.

If you would like to be considered for any of these working groups or feel there are other issues that the plan should address please send Mike Kennedy the Town Clerk @ m.kennedy@henleytowncouncil.gov.uk an email stating your name, contact details and the working group you would like to be considered for. Please include a very brief summary of the skills, experience and knowledge you could bring to the table.

Also if you have any particular skills in community engagement, including Facebook, Twitter and the other forms of social media, website design (we desperately need to set up a dedicated website for the Joint Neighbourhood Plan ); administrative/communication skills etc. and would be willing to help out in a voluntary capacity please let Mike know.