Zoom meeting, 8 September
We've sharpened our policy focus – and renewed our commitment to a goal of seeing our Plan implemented by early 2022
At our latest video conference, we completed a review of draft policy documents and reckon we’ll soon be in a position to take the next major step forward – the appointment of a consultant who’ll help us develop a formal submission.
Our draft policies have evolved to reflect the full range of issues and concerns raised by the people of Ware in response to our online survey earlier this year. Now we need to translate these aspirations and goals into crystal-clear and workable proposals. A consultant will then draft a formal Neighbourhood Plan in appropriate “Planner Speak” ready for consideration by the planning authorities.
So we’re now working to sharpen our policy focus and we’ve also been able to identify areas where similar aspirations have been duplicated under separate headings. Additionally, we’ve also realised that some of our proposals are already covered off by provisions in the East Herts District Plan and can therefore be dropped from our Neighbourhood Plan.
As a result, we’ve decided to take our six original headings and boil them down into five new categories: Town Centre, Sustainable Transport, Housing, Economic Development and, last but not least, Leisure.
(The new outline is available here. Meanwhile, our original six policy documents are still available to view under their original headings in The Plan area of this site – we’ll revamp these pages after our next meeting. Hope that makes sense!)
In short, we’re almost at the stage where we can begin talking to prospective consultants. A draft brief will hopefully be ready for discussion at our next meeting.
We’re also mindful that some of our policy proposals are specific to the “town centre” – and it’s now absolutely essential that we define this unambiguously. Our final submission must include a map accurately delineating this zone – and agreeing its boundary will be high on the agenda at our next meeting, scheduled for 13 October.
As always, we’d welcome your input on this.
Lastly, we did of course discuss the possible impact of the Government’s “Planning for the Future” White Paper published recently. Early indications are that there will continue to be an important role for Neighbourhood Plans after the implementation of proposed planning reforms – so there is absolutely no reason for us to be deflected from our existing schedule.
We’re still aiming to have our Plan adopted in early 2022.
Thank you for your continued support – and we’d love to hear your views, whether via social media or directly via this site…
A People's Charter
Ware has embarked on a hugely important process... Producing a Neighbourhood Plan is vitally important for the future health, well-being and prosperity of our town - and if we get this right, it will be one of the most important civic documents produced in Ware's 2000+ year history. It effectively lays down a planning template for the future development of the town.
What's involved? Check out this video...
There's more detail about Neighbourhood Plans and how they work via "The Plan" tab on the main menu.
We're seeking to canvass as wide a range of opinions as possible - from individuals as well as community groups. Please use this site to make your views count.
So... what's covered?
Ware's Neighbourhood Plan will take effect within the blue boundary on the map here. Land earmarked for development to the north and east of the town lies outside the Ware Town Council boundary and is covered by a Masterplanning process led by East Herts District Council. But with a Neighbourhood Plan in place, the people of Ware can influence adjacent planning decisions that might have significant implications for the town - for instance, where issues like air pollution, road safety or traffic congestion may be in play.
This is important not just for you... but for your friends, your family and all future residents of our town.
Photo: Robert Turnbull
" A Neighbourhood Plan is written by the local community. That means the people who know and love the area can decide on the type of development they want in the places they want it..."