WARA members, over the recent past has been the mainstay behind the committee formed to promote the Waltham Abbey Neighbourhood Plan (WANP). As such a lot of time has been spent researching matters connected to the drafting of the Plan. Consequently we have not been posting much about our current activities. I will update what we have been upto in another post.

As writer of this post and WARA Chair I turned down the position of Chair of the WANP committee  in case it proved a conflict of interest with WARA. However, I did agree to accept the position of vice chair. Our current Chair is Helen Wilson who would welcome any inquiries regarding activities of WANP and anyone who would like to participate in the drafting of the new Plan.                                                                                                       To contact WANP please email [email protected]  or visit WWW.wanp.org.uk

Below is a brief summary of what the Waltham Abbey Neighbourhood Plan is about

WANP is the first time local residents have the opportunity to have a say in what happens in our Town.   By drafting the Neighbourhood plan we are able to influence decisions made in new planning decisions and have a voice in what out town will look like over the next 20yrs or so.                        Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) like all District councils are duty bound to produce a new Local Town Plan for their district.  This has taken many years to produce and is currently being scrutinised for legality by government inspectors. All Local residents have been invited to draft a Neighbourhood plan for their district that takes into account the approved Local Plan details. We are tasked to draft a format as to how we wish to implement/modify the approved plan with more local factors taken into account within our scheme. The draft when complete has also to be scrutinised and when approved by government inspectors will mean any new development proposals for our district must take into account all measures approved within our plan as well at the National Planning Policy Framework and any EFDC regulations in the Local Plan before it can hope to succeed with a planning application.

WANP’s main priority at present is to glean information from local residents as to what they would like to see occur over the next 20yrs in our town. To that end we are actively holding question and answer sessions with local youth groups such as scouts and rangers and plan to visit schools to find out what the next generation feel about our future needs. Later in the year we intend to hold similar sessions in local pubs and clubs and will invite all to participate in our ping pong pole to vote on various issues we feel important facing the town for the future.

We are seeking to find what residents like and dislike about our town, as well as features we want to retain, this way we can ensure any new developments continue with the characteristics found to be most appropriate by our research. We must before drafting our plan obtain evidence to support our conclusions. These will not be formed solely by the committee drafting the plan, we will no doubt uncover issues at our meetings that we may not be aware of and attempt to address those in the draft plan. As well as drafting the plan we must demonstrate evidence to support our conclusions, hence the meetings and visits we propose to hold  in order to determine a democratic viewpoint on issues The WANP committee are all Waltham Abbey residents not councillors ruled by local politics. We need your support by giving us your opinion on matters that concern all living in the Waltham Abbey District and those answers, will determine what will be included within the draft plan. We will do basic research on your behalf on what we can modify/change or insist upon,  but need your ping pong voting evidence to validate and support our findings.