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Have your say January 2017

Here’s your opportunity to comment on two key issues that are central to our Neighbourhood Plan and to future development in this parish.

  • How potential sites for future housing development are identified and assessed
  • Appropriate standards of building quality, housing design, scale, size, mix and density that are in keeping with our rural location and the community’s aspirations.

Please click here to view the consultation and submit your online response by 31 January.

Or click here to download the consultation and return your response by 31 January either by email to EwhurstNP@btinternet.com or on paper to Hazelbank Stores or the Bull’s Head pub.

We are also hosting two consultation events at Ewhurst Village Hall - at 10am on Saturday morning 14 January and 8pm on Wednesday evening 18 January where you can talk to members of the Neighbourhood Plan team about these criteria before submitting your views. Everyone welcome!

E & EG Neighbourhood Plan team

Have your say NOV 2016

Since September, when I took on the task of chairing the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, two consultants have been engaged to evaluate the work of the Housing Working Group and help us move the NP process forward quickly. The consultants are also looking at the pros and cons of site assessment and exclusion criteria to reduce the number of potential development sites available for the Neighbourhood Plan. The aim is to try and protect large areas of the village from development. And we need your help with ideas for site assessment and exclusion criteria.

We will consider your suggestions and, with our consultants' help, ensure the criteria are sound, relevant and appropriate and so acceptable to Waverley Borough Council. For example, some obvious site exclusion/assessment criteria might be: unsatisfactory access for emergency and service vehicles; adverse impact on an AONB (Area of Outstanding National Beauty); adverse effect on the setting of a listed building, or on the character and appearance of a conservation area.

Please e-mail your ideas to add to our exclusion/assessment criteria working list, to EwhurstNP@btinternet.com

Of course, there will be some areas that realistic, unbiased criteria cannot exclude. But policies or criteria applying to such areas can nevertheless provide some level of protection against development that is not in keeping with the character of this rural Parish, or the needs of the community. A policy/criterion on housing density, for example, could influence the layout of a development on any chosen site. Housing numbers per hectare that are no more dense than the current average for the surrounding area might be one such density criterion. The number of bedrooms in any house being built might also be a relevant policy criterion to restrict the size of new homes.

There'll be a survey event for the whole Parish to ensure you have your say on the final exclusion criteria to be included in our NP.

Until we have that final Draft NP, we hope that the existence of Waverley-approved site assessment and exclusion criteria will help reduce the number of development applications here.

But it's also important that until we have our Draft Plan, the community exercises its right to comment on planning applications - supporting or objecting as you see fit. Watch what's happening on the planning pages of the Waverley website and send in your comments using technical, planning reasons rather than personal emotions.

Henning von Spreckelsen
Chair, E & EG Neighbourhood Plan.

New Steering Group Chair OCT 2016

At the 19th September Parish Council meeting, it was proposed and agreed that I would take on the role of chair of the Neighbourhood Plan steering group.

Since then I have been familiarising myself with all the work the Neighbourhood Plan team has so far completed with the help and support of this community. The team is made up of several volunteer Working Groups, looking at Ewhurst's needs from a variety of viewpoints, from traffic, to housing, to village assets and infrastructure, among others. Check out the Working Group reports section on the Parish website (data downloads) to see for yourself how far we have come.

Our next steps involve drawing together all this work, bridging a few gaps in the working groups' evidence base, and from there developing key policies that will form the components of an early-stage draft of an outline plan. We can then move forward rapidly towards a final Draft Plan on which the community will be consulted.

In the meantime, we will be posting more updates on this website, in local newsletters and on parish notice boards.

Although we now hope to progress quickly, our aim is to deliver a community-led final Neighbourhood Plan that will guide future development, regeneration and conservation and reflect your views and aspirations, wants and needs.

Henning von Spreckelsen

To contact Henning please call 07771 892 905.

Message from Richard Cleaves, Chair of EPC JULY 2016

Tim Bloomfield, Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, has resigned from his roles on the Neighbourhood Plan team, for personal reasons.

The Parish Council would like to thank Tim for his dedication in guiding the Neighbourhood Plan so far and wish him well. He remains as a Parish Councillor for Ellens Green Ward.

I am stepping in temporarily as Chair of the Steering Group until the Parish Council can recruit a new Steering Group Chair. The Parish Council wants to minimise disruption to the Plan's progress at this important stage.

I will be calling a meeting to introduce myself to the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, I have asked to be briefed on the Neighbourhood Plan situation to date, and we will discuss the next steps for keeping the Neighbourhood Plan on track.

I will keep you informed of the situation with regard to the search for a new Steering Group Chair and the progression of the Neighbourhood Plan on this website and in the Ewhurst Bulletin.

Richard Cleaves

Expanded Draft Vision & Objectives MARCH 2016

Following community support for the brief Draft Vision for our Neighbourhood Plan aired in the 2015 Parish Survey, the NP Steering Group has agreed an expanded Draft Vision & Draft Objectives for the NP. They reflect the overall direction currently being taken in our work for the Plan.

They have been submitted to Waverley Borough Council as part of an our application for a 'Screening Opinion' as to whether a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is required for our Neighbourhood Plan.

Both the Draft Vision and Draft Objectives have been tested for their compatibility with the emerging Local Plan, the National Planning Policy Framework and other relevant regulations and directives.

Until they have been agreed by Waverley Borough Council and by this community, they remain in draft form and so may change as work on the NP progresses.

View them here.

Evidence reports from the NP working groups

Neighbourhood Plans can't simply reflect the ideas and wishes of a local community without factual underpinning. Any policy or proposal that could shape development and change in the locality must be justified and supported by 'evidence'.

Gathering and documenting such evidence is a major part of the work that goes into preparing an NP. It is being carried out by working group volunteers from this community led by members of the NP Steering Group. Their evidence reports are now coming on stream.

Click here to discover what they've found out so far on

Travel and Transport … Telecommunications … Businesses in the Parish … Biodiversity … Built Heritage … Housing mix and tenure....Community Facilities and Assets

More reports will be posted as they become available. Watch for more updates!

Parish Survey - the results are in! JAN 2016

Click here to view the findings of our Parish Survey.

Anyone unable to access the web, will get a short paper summary through their door in the next few weeks.

Thanks to the substantial numbers of parishioners who took the trouble to complete a sur-vey questionnaire last summer, we now have a good basis on which to proceed to the next, more detailed consultation stage of our Neighbourhood Plan.

We received a response rate of around 40% to the survey, which we are told compares very favourably with response rates on Neighbourhood Plan surveys in other locations.

If you didn't bother with the parish survey last summer, or have yet to engage with the Neighbourhood Plan process generally, please look at other NP pages on this site. They explain why an NP matters and how the wide involvement of the whole community is cru-cial to an NP's eventual legitimacy and success. Your involvement can make a difference!

Tim Bloomfield
Chair
Ewhurst & Ellens Green Steering Group

timbloom@waitrose.com

Parish Neighbourhood Plan Update NOV / DEC 15

November is proving to be a seminal month for our Neighbourhood Plan. The Parish Survey results are being analysed, and local businesses as well as young people are also being surveyed separately about their views and hopes for the parish. Meanwhile Waverley Borough Council is expected to announce the agreed total target for future housing numbers.

Parish Survey

The Neighbourhood Plan team received 453 completed Parish Surveys, the findings of which will guide us towards policies that reflect how you would like to see our community develop over the years. More than 20% of you responded to the Survey - considered a high response rate by experts in this field. So grateful thanks to everyone who took the time to participate.

The overwhelming majority of survey returns were completed on paper rather than online, which shows that we are not yet a fully digital and paperless society. Perhaps a point that politicians and administrators might care to reflect on! However the predominance of paper returns makes analysis of the results more labour intensive. Nevertheless we expect to have the full analysed results by the time you read this, and will, of course, publicise them as soon - and as widely - as possible.

Discussions on how best to do this are ongoing. We shall most certainly use the E-bulletin, articles and/or flyers in local publications where publishing dates are suitable. Those of you who requested email updates in your completed survey will get the results in your inbox. And we may well hold drop-in public sessions at convenient locations.

Business and Young People's Surveys

The Business group's separate survey of 38 companies in the parish with five or more employees will help establish facts about the current business environment and also the views of local businesses on the future for our parish.

In addition, Allan Webber from the Steering Group has undertaken a separate survey of our young people, to establish how they see their future in our parish. Anyone aged 11 - 18 living in the parish who would like to have there say and hasn't yet received a survey, please email Allan at thewebbers@hotmail.co.uk.

Other news from the working groups

The Environment & Heritage group have identified all of the statutory designated ecological and heritage assets within the parish, and also a wide range of non-listed assets that enhance our neighbourhood. This comprehensive picture of our neighbourhood's rich ecology and heritage - which unwise development could threaten - is currently being shaped into a readable format for the NP website. It will also support the Housing group's site-screening process.

Over the summer, the Community Facilities group sent questionnaires to 42 clubs/societies in Ewhurst and Ellens Green (with a total membership of more than 2,100), seeking information about their current strength and likely future challenges.

The findings will be published in due course and confirm that, while the community is currently thriving it would be under pressure if disproportionate development were allowed. Ultimately, they'll be used alongside all the other evidence gleaned in connection with the NP to support potential policies and proposals for the Neighbourhood Plan.

Waverley's Housing Numbers

Waverley is expected to announce the total target for new housing numbers across the borough around now. Specific targets for individual settlements will not be allocated immediately, but at a later date. However, contrary to what we believed, it turns out that even small settlements like Ewhurst will be set a specific target.

Needless to say, we will be pressing Waverley for these details as soon as possible and looking carefully at how they have been arrived at. We want to ensure our parish is not asked to take a much larger expansion than other comparable settlements.

Many of you will now know that a planning application has been submitted at Backward Point in Ewhurst, and there could well be more applications for other sites. We had been led to believe that any new dwellings consented before the Neighbourhood Plan is in place would count towards any target set by Waverley. But it is now not clear whether that is the case. Again we will be seeking clarification and will monitor the situation very closely.

For those of you who do look at the NP section of the Ewhurst website and the minutes from the Steering Group (on the data downloads page), we did not meet in September and October. However the real work is done outside these meetings and - with the help of many volunteers from the community - we continue to make steady progress.

Tim Bloomfield
Chair, Steering Group and Housing Working Party.
Ewhurst & Ellens Green Neighbourhood Plan.

timbloom@waitrose.com

Parish Neighbourhood Plan update JUl / AUG 2015

We have now reached a vital step in the process of preparing the Parish Neighbourhood Plan - collecting information, views and ideas from you, the residents. This will help create a Neighbourhood Plan that is supported by everyone in the parish.

Parish survey for all adults

To that end we are aiming to deliver two copies of a Survey & Questionnaire to every household in the Parish. We hope that all residents aged 18 or over will complete a survey form and return it in its envelope to

  • Hazelbank Stores or
  • the Bulls Head Pub or
  • in the case of Ellens Green, to my house.

All these locations hold extra surveys and envelopes if you need them.

It is vital that we hear the views of as many adults as possible. This ensures that we can frame policies for the Neighbourhood Plan that reflect your views. Equally important, a good survey response rate gives validity to the whole Neighbourhood Plan process.

On paper or online

There's also an online version of the survey here. You can choose whether to respond on the paper version or online, but please complete only one survey form per person.

All paper and online survey returns will be analysed with the help of a specialist consultant who is supporting this part of the Ewhurst & Ellens Green Neighbourhood Plan process.

What about under-18s?

Although we are under no legal obligation to consult with under 18s, we are looking into whether we can gather their views and ideas separately - perhaps via social media.

Looking ahead

Clearly, it's important that we inform you of the survey findings. As well as posting them on this website, we will consider other ways including an article in the Ewhurst & Ellens Green News and at public meetings.

There may be further surveys at a later stage, particularly around the topic of housing and development. As a separate exercise, the Business Working Party, led by Paddy Geoghegan, is conducting a survey of opinions from businesses in the Parish.

Towards the end of the Neighbourhood Plan process everyone will have the opportunity to see and comment on a Draft Plan. And eventually, the final version will have to pass the test of a Parish-wide referendum.

But that goal is still some way off! In the meantime, the working groups are marshalling statistical evidence obtained by the Central Support Group to build a detailed picture of the parish as it is now. Together with your responses to the parish survey we'll soon be in a position to think about how the future for this parish might look. A future that will build on your views and needs.

Tim Bloomfield
Chair, Steering Group

timbloom@waitrose.com

Parish Neighbourhood Plan update MAY 2015

We are pleased to report the Neighbourhood Plan for Ewhurst and Ellens Green continues to make good progress.
The working groups are set up and looking at the key elements which will feed into our Plan:
Central Support [who are painting the picture by obtaining statistical information about our Parish]; Housing; Business; Environment and Heritage; Community Facilities; Transport and Utilities and Infrastructure.
Next steps to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be heard:

Village Questionnaire, Summer 2015

We have engaged a consultant to advise on questions to be asked in the Village Questionnaire which will take place this summer
The consultant, Lorraine Hart, has reviewed our community engagement to date and is meeting with the Steering Group in May.

The cost of this has been met by a grant from the Personal Spending Allowance for Local Initiatives of our ever supportive County Councillor Alan Young.

Sites for new housing, Spring 2015

You, the residents, will be fundamental in deciding where new housing will be situated by completing the Village Questionnaire. In preparation of this, the Housing Group are working with Waverley to:

. Identify possible sites

. Conduct a preliminary screening process to eliminate those that are not deliverable and/or do not meet the necessary criteria to comply with the Local Plans Policies and National Planning Policies Framework

. Draw up a shortlist which will be presented in the Village Questionnaire.
. To complete our first step of identifying possible sites we have decided upon a 3 pronged process:

. Visiting different areas of the Parish to identify potential sites;

. Reviewing information held by Waverley of all sites that have been offered for housing or seem likely to come forward;

. We also wish to hear from landowners who believe they may have a site suitable for a minimum of 5 houses – if you do please contact me, Tim Bloomfield, and we will include your site in our preliminary screening process.


Tim Bloomfield
Chair of both Steering Group and Housing Working Group
Tel 01403 824231
timbloom@waitrose.com

Parish Neighbourhood Plan Update March 2015

The Working Groups and the Central Support Group have started work.

One of the Working Groups is tackling the housing, business and environment elements of the Plan; the other is focusing on community facilities (including sport and leisure), traffic and transport, and utilities infrastructure.

Check out the Working Groups page where there’s a full list of community volunteers now working together in the Working Groups and the Central Support Group.

Their task is to build the evidence base that will underpin our Plan.

That means marshalling robust information and analysis of our Parish area, and identifying local issues to be addressed in the Plan.

The views of the community are vital for this.

Early pointers to the issues that matter to this community have been identified through your responses to the questionnaire issued at the two public meetings at the end of last year. Key findings are below.

A more detailed whole-Parish questionnaire informed by the Working Groups’ research will be issued in the next few months.

*****************

Initial Questionnaire: Key findings (Jan/Feb 2015)

Survey completion

A total of 52 surveys were completed manually or via the on-line link. Only 44 of the 52 respondents (85%) answered the question “What’s not so good about the countryside around this parish?”

What benefits do you want the Neighbourhood Plan to bring to this community?

The primary responses were that it would provide a coherent plan (27%) owned by/reinforcing the community (25%) and allowing the village to take control (23%) of its future development (21%). A further 19% of responses included the words ‘protect/preservation’ primarily relating to green spaces and the rural setting.

Which three things make Ewhurst & Ellens Green a special/good place to live and/or work?

There was a considerable degree of overlap with respondents’ first choices being other respondents’ second or third choice. The most widely used word or phrase was ‘community’ or ‘community spirit’. This was followed by ‘rural environment’/‘countryside’, the ‘friendly’ nature of the village and its excellent facilities.

What three things would make Ewhurst & Ellens Green a better place to live and/or work?

Again, there was overlap between the responses. The need for affordable housing and to reduce the speed and volume of traffic and better public transport were key top issues.  Also key was safeguarding the countryside.

Has this parish become a better or worse place to live and/or work in recent years?

Better: 20%

Worse: 27%

Same: 53%

What’s good about the countryside around this parish?

The main emphasis here was on the range of footpaths and bridleways (39%); easy access (10%) to unspoilt and diverse landscapes (17% combined).

What’s not so good about the countryside around this parish?

Top of the list was poor quality/busy/potholed roads (33%) followed by footpaths that are poorly kept (23%) or muddy (14%). Respondents noted the challenges caused by cyclists/mountain bikers (23%) both on roads and footpaths.

Given that the parish will be required to build more housing, which type and size of housing would you like to see?

Large family homes sold on the open market

13%

Small starter homes/apartments (1-2 beds) sold on the open market

63%

Small family homes (3-bed terraced/semi) sold on the open market

83%

Genuinely affordable homes for local people to rent or buy

85%

Sheltered housing

48%

Parish Neighbourhood Plan Update FEB 2015

More than 100 residents attended the two public meetings at Ewhurst Village Hall in late 2014 where the Steering Group gave a presentation on neighbourhood planning and took questions from the floor. Residents' reactions to the public meetings were overwhelmingly positive

Fifty-two residents completed a questionnaire to help identify the community's key issues to be addressed in the Plan. These two issues voiced by most people are: lack of small and affordable housing and excessive and speeding traffic. Asked whether the parish has become a better or worse place to live in recent years, over half (55%) said neither better nor worse; more than a quarter (27%) said worse; and less than one-fifth (18%) said better.

Volunteers - thank you!

More than 60 residents volunteered to help draw up the Plan. We are extremely grateful for their willingness to become involved - an important part of ensuring our Plan is community-led.

Volunteers are being matched to Working Groups according to their interests and talents, and each group's project plan is being set up. Soon their work can begin.

Working groups

The organisation structure for delivering our Neighbourhood Plan includes two main Working Groups, the Steering Group and also a central support team.

One of the Working Groups will tackle the housing, business and environment elements of the Plan; the other will focus on community facilities (including sport and leisure), traffic and transport, and utilities infrastructure.

Check out the Working Groups page of the website for more information.

Community involvement

The next major part of the neighbourhood planning process that involves the whole community is likely to happen in late spring. All residents will be asked to complete a comprehensive Parish questionnaire and survey - available in both hard copy and digital form.

Responding to this survey is vital to ensure that our community's views can inform the detailed direction of our Neighbourhood Plan.

Funding support

We have arranged for a specialist consultant to help with the design and analysis of this important whole-parish questionnaire. We are grateful to Alan Young, our county councilor, who has agreed to pay the consultant's fees from his spending allowance for community projects.

Tim Bloomfield
Chair, Steering Group

timbloom@waitrose.com

anything to report?

If you'd like to have your say on any of these topics. Please contact us here.