Consultation Completed!

Another milestone reached in the development of our Neighbourhood Plan with the completion of the Regulation 14 consultation on the 19th February. Many thanks indeed to those who took time to complete the survey – over 300 or so parishioners at the finish! Many thanks, too, to the Community Groups, Parish Councillors and Steering Group members who were actively engaged in spreading the word.

We are now in the early stages of a very careful review of the responses from all the interested parties which include developers and agents which, as you might expect, is no trivial task. Whilst we are not required to respond to comments individually, we do have to address and report them to the independent examiner as evidence of our consultation.

Make Your Voice Heard!

Early in January we move into a critical phase in the making of the Neighbourhood Plan when we’ll be reaching out to get your feedback on the current version of the Plan. I know you’ve had exhortations from us before but your views will provide essential evidence to the Independent Inspector that we have made a concerted effort to engage with the community.

We’ll be asking for direct feedback from you by means of an online survey – the snappily titled, hand written forms if you prefer and an open day at the Methodist Hall scheduled for the 20th January. Copies of the forms, full plan and a shorter executive summary will be available at the Parish Office and at other locations in the village. The latest version will also be available on the Hartley Wintney Neighbourhood Plan website.

Neighbourhood Plan Update

The voice given to the local community by the statutory Neighbourhood Planning process is indeed a very powerful one. It has to be remembered, however, that there are ‘bigger bears in the woods’ – one of which is Hart District Council. Responses to their draft local plan 2017 have now been posted on their website - do have a look ( It will be interesting to see if the ‘no allocation’ to Hartley Wintney remains as the Plan progresses.

The fact that the Plan is a statutory document is particularly important and care is necessary in its drafting. I learnt at a recent Neighbourhood Planning Conference that developers have been known to legally challenge Plans so they need to be robust. In Farnham, just recently, Waverley Council overrode a Neighbourhood Plan despite a Referendum having been completed which is quite worrying.

The Neighbourhood Plan is now moving through a series of screening processes prior to a formal submission to Hart District Council for 1st November with a referendum probably in May 2018. In drafting a Foreward to the Plan, I'm reminded of what we are trying to achieve by engaging in this process.

Just look at our history. Hartley Wintney is steeped in history – from the 13th century when it was located around the medieval church of St. Mary, to becoming a staging post for travellers from Southampton to London (now the A30), visited by Henry VIII in 1535, the planting of the famous Mildmay Oaks, the 18th century cricket green and the arrival of the railway in nearby Winchfield in 1838.