Saturday, 28 November 2020

January referendum on neighbourhood plan

HENLEY and Harpsden?s joint neighbourhood plan is set to be put to a referendum in January

HENLEY and Harpsden?s joint neighbourhood plan is set to be put to a referendum in January.

An independent examiner has conditionally approved the final draft of the document, which names 11 sites where up to 450 homes should be built in the parishes by 2027 in order to meet national housing targets.

Town councillor Will Hamilton said: ?I am happy that all the hard work put into this by so many people has come to fruition.

?The examiner has congratulated us on the thoroughness of the plan and has recommended minor changes in order to ensure it is safe and robust from a legal standpoint.

?The next steps are to prepare a revised version of the plan with all the recommended changes and check the rewording.

?The report has been given to councillors to read. The plan will be noted with the minor changes at the full council meeting next week.?

Former town councillor Dieter Hinke, who chaired the neighbourhood planning governance committee, said he felt the plan process had been vindicated by the examiner despite criticism.

Henley Residents? Group opposed the final draft that was submitted to the examiner by the town council?s ruling Conservative group because it didn?t include the results of a traffic survey.

Mr Hinke said: ?This is excellent news for the town council and the town. The process has been worth it.

?Lots of people in the town put long hours into this, which can be hard when you?re getting criticism from certain groups. We have done the best for the town.?

Kester George, chairman of Harpsden Parish Council, said: ?I am pleased that it has been recommended for approval because a great deal of work went into it and I am convinced it is in the best interest of Harpsden and Henley.

?It should receive a majority in the referendum. I urge my fellow residents to support the plan in the referendum because this will give Henley and Harpsden more protection from inappropriate development.?

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