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Hurley and Walthams Neighbourhood Plan to be adopted following referendum

After five years of hard work, meetings and consultations, the Hurley and Walthams Neighbourhood Plan has been adopted.

The neighbourhood plan, which covers the three parishes of Hurley, Waltham St Lawrence and White Waltham and the Parish Meeting of Shottesbrooke was passed 614 to 144 by a referendum on Thursday, November 23.

Cllr Maureen Hunt (Con, Hurley and Walthams), chairman of the plan’s steering group, said: “We started work in 2011, so it’s been going on for a long time.

“This was no mean task and the plan looks at each main village separately.

“None of us wanted to see our beautiful area concreted over and we have been fortunate no major developments are proposed. Whilst saying that, we are aware of the problems local young families have staying in the villages they grew up in and close to their relatives.”

A neighbourhood plan gives the chance for communities to shape development in their areas and was introduced by the Localism Act 2011.

The Hurley and Walthams Neighbourhood Plan contains a rural exception policy, which is housing for local people that cannot be sold on and allows housing to be built on greenbelt land near the main villages.

Cllr Hunt said the plan will ‘sit beside’ the Borough Local Plan and will mean parish councils can receive 25 per cent in community infrastructure levy, compared to the 15 per cent they receive from developers if they don’t have a neighbourhood plan in place.

She added: “Our thanks go to all the volunteers who helped in the creation of the neighbourhood plan – and there were many across the whole ward – and, of course, to all those residents who contributed towards the creation of the plan throughout the many years and those who voted in the referendum.”

Visit www.hurleyandthewalthams.org to view the plan.

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