After over 4 years of work by residents of Henley and Harpsden, together with Councillors, Council officers and support from government-funded consultants, an independent examiner has recommended that the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan progresses to a referendum. This will be organised by South Oxfordshire District Council and will be taking place on Thursday 24 November.
The Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan has been created by listening carefully to the views of residents and businesses. The Plan could promote, guide and enable sustainable development in Henley and Harpsden. It could also help to protect our natural environment and local heritage.
If Henley and Harpsden had not reviewed the existing Neighbourhood Plan, the District Council could decide where development should happen in the parishes, rather than residents being able to contribute to the decision.
The revised Plan allocates land for an additional 145 dwellings in the parishes. This is on top of the sites for 500 dwellings that were allocated in the existing JHHNP, adopted in 2016. Providing new homes will provide benefits to the town including more affordable housing as well as the community benefits that come from additional Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies. Parishes with a neighbourhood plan are entitled to a higher percentage of CIL money and can spend this on projects in the community to help offset the impacts of development.
In addition, for the first time, the Neighbourhood Plan designates areas as Local Green Spaces. This gives them additional protection against development. The list of the 12 sites identified is listed in the Plan document.
The Plan also includes policies relating to more sustainable building methods, air quality, biodiversity, tree planting, active travel and transport.
To read the full plan details click here
Greener Henley have written an explainer article which you can read here
Joint Henley & Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan Referendum Explainer – Greener Henley