Arborfield and Barkham are working together to produce a Neighbourhood Plan.
The two parishes are facing great changes, with the Arborfield Green garden village being developed on the site of the former Arborfield Garrison and with the new Arborfield Cross Relief Road due to be constructed in the next few years.
With the Borough Council now in the process of developing the Local Plan Update, which will guide the future development of Wokingham Borough up to 2036, this is a very good time to be gathering our opinions and sharing them with the Borough Council.
The plan is being prepared by a Steering Group consisting of Councillors and residents drawn from both parishes. Work completed includes a Residents’ Survey in late 2016, a number of Focus Groups researching various topics including sustainability and greenways, analysis of housing needs and some public drop-in events including the “Shaping Our Future” event held in Autumn 2017. A further event was held in June 2018 to present a draft of the plan which launched the public consultation.
Updated Plan submitted to Wokingham Borough Council – April 2019 (new)
The Steering group has updated the text of the Neighbourhood Plan to take into account comments received from Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) arising from the previous Submission Plan. The primary purpose of the review by WBC was to ensure conformity of the Neighbourhood Plan with existing national and local plans.
While the objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan remain the same, the text now has a greater emphasis on interpreting the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in the light of local conditions in Arborfield and Barkham.
The Plan is now expected to be put forward for approval by WBC at the next appropriate Executive Meeting. Owing to the forthcoming local elections the next Executive Meeting may not be until June. A further consultation is expected to be carried out in July / August while an Examiner should be appointed concurrently with the consultation. It would then be possible to furnish the Examiner with all documents shortly after the consultation ends.
It is frustrating for the Steering Group that the timetable has become so prolonged, especially as it has taken a huge amount of effort by the group to get this far. The Steering Group would also like to thank once again the many residents who have participated in developing the Neighbourhood Plan and regret that it has taken so long for all their work to finally reach fruition.
NP Steering Group
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