The object of the Town and Neighbourhood Plans. New Government legislation requires all councils to form a new Town Plan, Towns have always had a Local Plan that lasts for 15 years and identifies where housing needs should be met and the quantity of home to be allocated for each area within their district. It also covers strategic growth, development and infrastructure requirements over the lifetime of the plan. The new Town Plan has been in preparation by EFDC since 2013 and is currently with government inspectors seeking verification and approval.
This is a brand new concept and is the first time residents have been permitted to have a say in what happens in their locality. In the past it has been the domain of Town Planners and we are indebted to the government for giving us the opportunity to have our opinions taken into account for the Waltham Abbey section of E.F.D.C’s new Town Plan.
The Neighbourhood Plan sits on top of the Town Plan, allowing residents to draft a local Neighbourhood Plan for their area. This too will need verification and certain criteria within the Town Plan will be fixed, such as the number of homes allocated (800) and designated locations for new development and in our particular case, parts of our local green belt that are to be forfeited for future development.
However, within the Neighbourhood Plan residents are able to specify the type of homes we prefer (2/3/4 beds homes/flats) and what the physical appearance of the development may look like etc. We are able to specify conditions developers must incorporate within their plans ie:- how many disabled/elderly/affordable homes must be incorporated; we can also ask for rainwater harvesting, solar panels and other such beneficial issues. These conditions we hope to discover from you, during our forthcoming surveys. Surveys will be carried out over the coming months and will help us determine what fellow Residents would like to see happen within the new developments. Information gathered will help form the basis for the drafting of our Neighbourhood plan.
Wara, as you would expect has been involved with the team attempting to formulate the Plan since its inception. It is a long ongoing and drawn out process and sadly many of the original team has been unable to commit to the timescale of the project and have since dropped out, consequently Wara members now form the backbone of the committee alongside volunteers from other sources. However, WARA must emphasis that Waltham Abbey Neighbourhood Plan (WANP) Committee are not part of the council, whilst we do have (2) District councillors on the committee they are for guidance and support purposes only. They are both Waltham Abbey residents first and WARA will ensure the WANP committee will remain totally independent and non-political.
The WANP committee represents those that choose to work or live in Waltham Abbey and anyone that can spare the time and would like to join the committee to help formulate the plan would be welcome. You will find contact details on the WANP website/facebook sites or here at Wara.
The committee has an important and strategic input into how the Town Centre and our district evolves over the life of the plan and would very much like to ensure your opinions are collected in our surveys to ensure we have as wide a view as possible. The results will help demonstrate the committee’s democratic vision for the future of our neighbourhood. If you don’t fill in a questionnaire or take part in the local surveys, your views will not be heard and your opportunity to have a say will be missed.
Surveys We carried out our first survey at Easter Saturday this year in the Town Hall, a second at the Town Show in June, then a third at the King Harolds Day celebrations in October. We are due to hold many more of these surveys on different topics we able to influence and ask you to please stop to chat and inform us of your views.
The survey evidence is needed in order to demonstrate to the authorities we have canvassed residents opinions that show democratically how we arrived at the formulation of our plan. We will post here on this site the location of the next WANP surveys and hope you can find the time to visit.