Wednesday, 23 August 2017

No objections to area for town neighbourhood plan

THE joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan is making progress.

THE joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan is making progress.

Consultation about the area to be included in the plan yielded no objections, so South Oxfordshire District Council will formally designate the area within the next fortnight.

Lucy Murfett, from the district council’s planning policy department, reported to the neighbourhood plan governance committee on Friday.

She said: “The consultation period came to an end on May 17 and we received 14 responses that were overwhelmingly positive and will move forward to the designation process in the next fortnight.” Dieter Hinke, who was elected chairman at the start of the meeting, said: “I think we are finally getting to the point where we can start the Henley Harpsden neighbourhood plan.”

The committee is building a website for the plan which will contain both background and the latest information.

Councillor Hinke, who also chairs the town council’s planning committee, said: “We have a local company that has volunteered their services to create the website. We have looked at many other neighbourhood plan websites and we have to capture everyone’s imagination on the front page.”

Town clerk Mike Kennedy said: “It is a unique, dedicated website which will have no links to the town council other than it is registered at the town hall.

“Having a PO box address would have cost £400. We also have a dedicated phone line.

“We will also have Twitter feeds and Facebook links so we can capture information in a variety of ways and we are looking at text messaging to inspire people to leave their views in as many ways as possible.”

The committee is searching for consultants to help produce the plan and four have already shown an interest.It has also applied for a £15,000 grant from the district council to pay for the consultant.

Cllr Hinke said it was hoped that a preferred consultant would be appointed on Thursday by which time the plan should have been given the green light.

An exhibition will be held at Harpsden village fete on June 16 where councillors from both Henley and Harpsden will be present to take questions.

To volunteer to help in producing the plan, email town clerk Mike Kennedy at m.kennedy@henley towncouncil.gov.uk

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