A GROUND-breaking plan that gives local people a real say over what happens in their community is gathering momentum.
People in Denmead are being invited to give their views on the Denmead Neighbourhood Plan, which sets out how the village should evolve until 2031.
Denmead is one of the first communities in the south – and one of only 120 in England and Wales – to benefit from the Localism Act in devising its own neighbourhood plan.
The document will hold considerable weight when it comes to prospective developments.
The draft plan, now out for consultation, was drawn up by a steering group, comprising local councillors, volunteers and members of the village association.
They carried out three consultations over the past two years to gather local opinion.
The key themes are that residents do not want to lose the Denmead Gap and value the semi-rural character.
They do not like overcrowded development and new buildings that are out-of-character.
They also value their local village shops.
Several sites have been earmarked for housing, including 90 homes on land to the east of the village centre, 20 homes off Tanners Lane, 10 dwellings on land at the Baptist Church, Anmore Road, and up to 12 dwellings on land off Anmore Road.
Up to 10 homes are proposed on land at the Memorial Hall, in Hambledon Road, but the hall is not threatened at all. Any development would only take place as long as it was not to the detriment of hall users.
The village has to take up to 250 new homes over the new two decades – but 120 of these are already provided by current planning permissions and completed developments.
Neil Lander-Brinkley, chairman of Denmead Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, said: ‘We think the plan has come up with the best option.
‘The building will be in areas that will be least damaging to the village’s characteristics and environment.’
The plan makes provision for a new residential care home. The plan supports traveller accommodation, provided it is no more than two pitches.
A consultation event takes place at Denmead Pavilion between 9am and 11am thisSaturday.