A Neighbourhood Plan for Hazlemere
Hazlemere Parish Council is creating a Neighbourhood Plan for our village. This plan will give our community the opportunity to develop a shared vision, shaping the future of development in Hazlemere. It will cover areas including housing, roads, footpaths, infrastructure, parks, playgrounds, local services and businesses. It will address current issues and demonstrate the improvements needed to make Hazlemere an even better, more vibrant, safer and more beautiful place to live.
If you’ve never heard of Neighbourhood Planning and want to know more, have a look at this video (this will open a new page) : https://youtu.be/SvAHhrKNVt0
We have been very keen to involve you in our journey and hear your views on how you see Hazlemere developing in future years. Your feedback was vital to help us create a vision for Hazlemere and to set the objectives and policies contained in the Plan – thank you.
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
Hazlemere Parish Council has prepared the Pre-Submission Neighbourhood Plan 2022 for the parish, in conjunction with the residents of Hazlemere. The Plan sets out a vision for the future of the Parish and planning policies which will be used to help determine planning applications locally.
A Neighbourhood Plan is a way of helping local communities influence the planning of the area in which they live and work.
Once adopted, the Neighbourhood Plan will be a legal document, given weight in law and one which both developers and the local planning authority, Buckinghamshire Council, are obliged to take into account. The Neighbourhood Plan will give guidance to potential developers, small and large, and to future generations.
Why is my view important?
This is a real opportunity for Hazlemere residents, particularly those who have not yet been involved, to ensure their opinions on future development and the preservation of green spaces are taken into account in the development of the Neighbourhood Plan.
What are the benefits?
Neighbourhood planning provides the opportunity for communities to set out a positive vision for how they want their community/neighbourhood area to develop over a period of time. This Plan aims to protect Hazlemere for at least the next eleven years and will be reviewed after five years.
In addition Hazlemere can benefit from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which allows local planning authorities to raise funds from developers that carry out new building projects in the area. The funds raised can go towards infrastructure improvements needed to support growth, such as schools, lighting, footpaths and transport improvements.
Having an adopted Neighbourhood Plan will mean that Hazlemere will be given a greater share (25%, uncapped) of any available CIL funds, giving Hazlemere more opportunities to make local infrastructure improvements. Without a plan the amount the Parish receives will be reduced (15%, capped) and Hazlemere could lose out.
Steering Group: Planning Strategy Committee
The Parish Council began working on the Neighbourhood Plan back in September 2020. A Steering Group was formed to drive the Neighbourhood Plan forward. It has taken many hours of voluntary effort from Parish Councillors, office staff and local residents to produce this document.
The Parish Council set up a project steering group to oversee the project on its behalf. The group comprises members of the council and local residents. At the outset, the group decided that it needed to ensure different areas of the village community were properly represented and engaged in the project.
As a result, the project steering group undertook several initiatives in different parts of the village to capture the thoughts of those that lived, worked or learned in Hazlemere to raise awareness of the project and help to foster a sense of community.
The Parish Council undertook a survey in September 2020 both on line and with hardcopy forms. The results of this survey highlighted many planning and non-planning issues including speeding, anti-social behaviour, improving recreation grounds and community facilities, and protecting the environment.
In the early autumn of 2021 Placecheck walkabouts and drop ins were held in the Parish. These were advertised on social media and with posters in the library, community centre, Council noticeboards and shop windows. Comments made ranged from observations about the state of the pavements, through to the value of the various green spaces. There were no obvious differences across different parts of the Parish.
Three workshops were held in the Parish in November 2021, in 3 different locations at different times of the day and days of the week. The workshops took the views from the Placecheck data and used them to help to sift the issues and build an agenda of solutions. The workshops were advertised on social media and with posters in the library, community centre, Council noticeboards and shop windows.
The solutions offered by the community of Hazlemere were developed into policies by the steering group and are presented in section 5 of the Pre-Submission Plan.
The Parish Council undertook a further questionnaire advertised on social media and with hard copies in the library and Council offices in March/April of 2022 to share the main policy areas. This provided information on the main themes to be included in the plan and refined the final policies presented in section 5.
What happens next?
The Hazlemere Neighbourhood Plan is being consulted on by all residents and statutory bodies. Comments and responses will be collected and reviewed by the Planning Strategy Committee and its consultants.
The final Neighbourhood Plan will then be prepared and submitted to Buckinghamshire Council for publication and the appointment of a Planning Inspector. Once the Planning Inspector has signed off on the Plan, the adoption of the final version of the Hazlemere Neighbourhood Plan will be voted on at a Referendum of Hazlemere residents in 2022.
If you have any questions on the Hazlemere Neighbourhood Plan, please call the Parish Council Office on 01494 715548 and leave a message. A member of the team or a Parish Councillor will return your call and be happy to discuss the Neighbourhood Plan with you.
We will endeavour to respond to all written and telephone questions within 10 working days.
For further information please see the Regulation details below.