Draft Farnham Neighbourhood Plan
The draft Farnham Neighbourhood Plan is 80 pages long and covers everything to do with the character of Farnham; where new housing should go (and where it shouldn’t); employment; biodiveristy; leisure. If you want to know the detail, the draft plan is on the Farnham Town Council website at this link or hard copies are available to view at the Town Hall in South Street
Neighbourhood Plan Consultation
The consultation closed at the end of the day on Monday 15 December. Over 1,000 people took the time to complete the questionnaire in which they gave their views on subjects that included proposed sites for new housing, Farnham’s conservation areas, biodiversity, business, leisure and shopping.
The Society had emailed its members advising on the importance of responding to the Neighbourhood plan consultation.
Dear Farnham Society Member
The Farnham Neighbourhood Plan is very important to the future development of our town. The Society is strongly supportive of the work carried out by the Town Council Neighbourhood plan team. If, as we would expect, the plan gains public support in a referendum in late 2015, it would be adopted by Waverley Borough Council and given full weight in determining planning applications in Farnham.
However before this can happen the plan will be submitted for examination by an Independent Examiner in the Autumn of 2015. In testing the plan, amongst other key requirements such as that the plan must be evidence based, the Examiner will have to be satisfied that there has been full consultation with the local community during the plan’s development process and that the community’s views have been fully taken into account in the proposed plan.
There is no doubt that the Town Council has carried out an extensive consultation process including this current questionnaire on the draft plan. However it is important that as many members of the public as possible respond to the questionnaire, in order to demonstrate to the Independent Examiner a good degree of public involvement. The deadline for responses is 5pm on 15th December and every adult member of a household is entitled to submit their own individual response. The Town Council is offering a small reward to those who take part of an entry into a prize draw to win an Apple iPad Mini.
The questionnaire is quite lengthy with 60 questions, but this reflects the extensive range of issues covered in the Neighbourhood Plan. However answering most of the questions is fairly simple as you are asked how strongly you agree or disagree with a particular aspect of the plan. There is also a comment box at the end of each section of the questionnaire and on a few individual questions.
The questionnaire can be answered either online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8QQ3MDY or by obtaining a hard copy from the Town Hall in South Street. The draft Neighbourhood Plan and a number of supporting documents are available on the Town Council website at http://www.farnham.gov.uk/
The Farnham Society Committee in its response will, in general, be agreeing to most of the 60 proposals in the questionnaire, in order to show support for the plan. We will also be supporting brownfield development in Question 25, the first 10 sites listed, apart from the Farnham College (Tennis Court) site, which we opposed at its recent planning application, as over development of the site. However we will not be answering the questions on the listed greenfield sites in Question 25, as we do not believe that it is appropriate for the Society to respond to these questions. The Society is opposed to all development on greenfield sites in Farnham, as in our view the large brownfield site at Dunsfold Park should be used to avoid any development on greenfield sites in Waverley. However if some greenfield sites in Farnham have to be utilised in order to comply with the Waverley Local Plan, the Society will leave it to our individual members to say which sites should be used.
Planning Committee Chairman,
The Farnham Society