Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Petition launched claiming JHHNP is ‘flawed’

A MAN has launched a campaign claiming that the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan is “seriously flawed”.

A MAN has launched a campaign claiming that the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan is “seriously flawed”.

Jon Lake, of Blandy Road, Henley, says the document doesn’t address residents’ fears about the impact of housebuilding on the area.

It comes a week after a group of residents launched a campaign urging people to vote for the plan in the referendum on March 10. The document will become legally binding if it is approved by 50 per cent of voters.

The plan names 11 sites in the two parishes where about 500 homes should be built by 2027 to meet Government targets. It also makes recommendations on issues such as traffic and transport, the environment, employment, health, schools and recreation. Mr Lake has launched an online petition in support of his campaign but says he is not asking residents to vote against the plan.

He says he supports the plan in principle but that the referendum doesn’t offer the chance for people to express reservations.

He says some residents oppose one or more sites on the list or support development of a site that was excluded from the plan.

The petition states: “Although I have voted in favour of the plan, I have done so largely to avoid the process being taken out of local hands. I have grave reservations about the plan in its present form... my vote should not be taken as providing a mandate for the plan in its entirely but a simple approval of the concept.”

So far, 15 people have signed it.

Former Henley mayor Barry Wood, who was a member of the volunteer working groups that drew up the plan, said Mr Lake’s campaign was pointless.

He said: “It’s healthy in principle for people to have an outlet like this petition but it’s flawed in practice.

“There are no checks and balances as anyone could sign it. It could easily be hijacked by developers or builders with vested interests.”

The petition can be seen at www.ipetitions.com/petition/henley-neighbourhood-plan

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