Tag Archives: Neighbourhood Plan

Tory town plan jibes a bit rich, says Barton

Last week, I submitted a letter to The Haslemere Herald which formed the basis of a front page story in the paper here. Here is my letter in full:

Dear Editor, 

In their recent letter to the Haslemere Herald, former Conservative Town Councillors Fay Foster and Cyndy Lancaster questioned my endorsement of John Robini in the forthcoming elections. They stated that the process of the Neighbourhood Plan was apolitical and that Cllr. Robini’s record of leading the working party over the last two years should be kept out of the campaign trail.   

They are correct that the Haslemere Vision team has managed the process with the utmost independence, objectivity and professionalism for many years prior to his leadership. However, Mrs Foster and Mrs Lancaster should not forget that the previous Town Council, the formal ‘sponsor’ of the Neighbourhood Plan did not uphold these same rigorous, non-political standards.  As the only non-Conservative out of 18 Town Councillors between 2015 and 2019, and as a founder member of Haslemere Vision, the community group with a cross section of more than 80 volunteers that developed the draft Neighbourhood Plan, I had a ring-side seat.  I witnessed the ‘old-guard’ Conservative Council actively work against Haslemere’s best interests, as clearly expressed by the community in the wide-ranging public consultations carried out by Haslemere Vision. 

In Conservative run Town Council meetings I witnessed protected greenfield sites being promoted for large scale housing developments with no meaningful reference to public consultation or to the Neighbourhood Plan team. Haslemere Vision’s surveys, completed by many hundreds of residents demonstrated the community’s categoric desire not to permit development on the town’s highly valued green ring of countryside and its acknowledgement that the trade off to meet housing need numbers was a higher density of building within the settlement area of the town. Indeed 89% of the surveyed public voted against any large housing developments on that countryside.  

I witnessed the Conservative Council’s same blatant disregard for the public’s views as Waverley Borough Council prepared the new Local Development Plan (LPP2), which sets the course for the town until 2032. With rare exceptions, Haslemere’s then Conservative Borough Councillors pushed for protected greenfield sites to be included in LPP2 in direct contradiction to the community’s stated priorities.  The first version of LPP2 was indeed so flawed in relation to Haslemere that the Conservatives’ own Waverley leaders had to stop it going to final approval and send it back for more consultation. 

Fast forward to May 2019 and I am no longer a lone voice on the Town Council because, following the elections, the previous working party of just two Conservative Councillors was replaced with a cross-party mix under John Robini’s leadership. Glaring questions were soon asked as to why the previous working party had only supported bringing forward the Neighbourhood Plan for its next stage of consultation by insisting on the settlement boundary being moved to eat into protected countryside.  Why were they not concerned with reflecting the community’s wishes and why did the draft LPP2 not reflect those wishes either?  These concerns were amplified in the context of a local declaration of a Climate Emergency with its implications for protecting our countryside and the environment. 

Thankfully the new Council, under the leadership of Mayor Robini, provided more balanced support for the Neighbourhood Plan process. The working party was expanded and included councilors from all parties who worked closely with each other and with Haslemere Vision to genuinely listen to the community once again and finalize a draft Neighbourhood Plan that reflected residents wishes to the greatest extent.    

I am at a total loss as to why certain Conservative Councillors would persist in actively working against their own community’s wishes and argue for large scale development on protected greenfield land and support both specific and general proposals that local residents vociferously reject.  The arrogance can at times be astounding as we saw when 2 Conservative Councillors tried, at the 11th hour, to overturn the community endorsed Neighbourhood Plan to revert to their earlier version which included the development of our green fields.   

If former Conservative Councillors Foster and Lancaster really want to understand why I am endorsing Councillor Robini for the County Council, they only have to look at the indefensible approach of the Conservative Council that has not respected the priorities of their own residents.  I am not party political, nor a member of any political party but  I can endorse John Robini as an individual who has listened to the community and who has acted with integrity to support the last stages in finalizing the Neighbourhood Plan and the principles of protecting our precious countryside against unacceptable development.  

Cllr Nikki Barton 

Give your views on the Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan

News Release Issued by Waverley Borough Council

Give your views on the Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan

Waverley Borough Council is inviting residents and other interested parties to give their views on the Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan from Friday 5 February 2021.

Haslemere Town  Council resolved to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan in 2012 and has now formally submitted the document to Waverley Borough Council for independent examination.

Neighbourhood Plans give local communities the opportunity to decide for themselves what their town or village should look like and how it should develop and grow in the future.

Residents and interested parties will be able to view and comment on the Haslemere Neighbourhood Development Plan and supporting documents for a six week period, until 11.59 pm on Friday 19 March 2021. 

The document will be available to view at www.waverley.gov.uk/HaslemereNP.

Hard copies of the documents will not be made available in deposit locations due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, if local residents have difficulty in engaging online please contact us via telephone (01483 523291) or email (planningpolicy@waverley.gov.uk) and we will assist in trying to find alternative options to view the documents and make comments.

Comments can be made at www.waverley.gov.uk/HaslemereNP, via email to planningpolicy@waverley.gov.uk or by post to the Planning Policy Team, Waverley Borough Council, The Burys, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1HR.

For further information contact:
Tel: 01483  523296
Web : www.waverley.gov.uk

Haslemere Town Council EGM this evening

There will be an Extraordinary Council Meeting on Monday 30th November at 7pm.


1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE Council to decide whether or not to accept apologies for absence. RECOMMENDED: That where reasons are given by Members they are approved.

2. DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS To receive from members declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Non-Pecuniary Interests, in addition to those listed attached in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting, in accordance with LOCALISM ACT 2011 s. 29 and The Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012.

3. DISPENSATIONS Town Clerk to report on any dispensations granted prior to the meeting relating to the approval of the budget, the approval of any borrowing under the Local Government Act 2003, the making of the precept, the making of the calculations under ss 49A, 49B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, the approval of an allowance, payment or indemnity to Members.

4. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN APPENDIX 1 To review and consider the amended Haslemere Town Council Neighbourhood Plan for Regulation 15 submission to Waverley Borough Council for Regulation 16 public consultation, prior to independent examination and referendum. Recommended: the amended Haslemere Town Council Neighbourhood Plan be submitted to Waverley Borough Council for the Regulation 16 public consultation.

Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan webinars

Haslemere town plan consultation goes online during lockdown. (via Haslemere Herald)

ALL UPCOMING drop-in consultation events for the Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan have been cancelled in light of the Covid-19 lockdown.

However, the Haslemere Vision volunteers in the neighbourhood planning team have now regrouped and are planning webinars so residents who prefer to talk things through have an opportunity to talk directly to those involved.

The first webinar will take place on Monday (April 20) at 7pm, with a second on Tuesday, April 21 at 10am.

To register for these events, email nplan@haslemeretc.org or for more information visit the links to the survey here in a thread on the town council’s website: www.haslemeretc.org/neighbourhood-plan

Further dates will be announced in due course and publicised on the Haslemere Town Council and Haslemere Vision Facebook pages and Twitter.

Each household in the area received a summary of the plan in the post at the beginning of the consultation and many have been having their say by completing the online surveys.

The survey, plus a full copy of the plan and the evidence base, is also available online.

Any residents without online access, who wish to receive information or ask questions, can call 07873 383943 or send a letter to Haslemere Town Hall, High Street, Haslemere GU27 2HG.

If adopted, the town plan will direct development in the Haslemere area.

Haslemere Vision’s Housing Consultation is Under Way. Please Take part.

An update from Stewart Brown, Chairman, Haslemere Vision about the Housing Consultation which is still under way. This is an important opportunity for the community and everyone is urged to get involved in guiding the town’s housing future.

Vision LogoThe Housing Consultation has been running for 4 weeks and we have had just over 325 responses so far.

We need your help to keep them coming!!

  1. If you have not already done so, please complete the survey as soon as possible** – If you have already responded – Thank You!!
  1. Please urge family, friends and neighbours to respond too** 
  1. If the document has not been delivered to your home or you know of others who have not received theirs please let us know urgently!

**Either: complete on-line (we recommend that you have the paper copy beside you)

  Or: complete the paper copy and return to one of the drop-off points at:

    The Town Hall, Haslemere Hall, The Museum, Marley Flowers, The Library,  Haslewey, Tesco, Your Local Convenience (Parsons Green), Grayswood Cars, The Coffee Lounge and the Hub in Beacon Hill or the Cookie Bar in Hindhead

Extra copies can be collected at the drop-off points 

The Consultation runs till October 31st

Please help to spread the word!


Stewart Brown


Have Your Say on The Future of Housing in Haslemere



Haslemere Vision’s Housing Consultation Started on September 7th. Here is a message from The Chairman, Stewart Brown

Now Haslemere Vision needs your help!!

A copy of the consultation will be delivered with your mail this week.

Please be sure to:

  • complete and return your copy as soon as possible**
  • urge other members of your family and friends to do so too**

**Either: complete on-line (we recommend that you have the paper copy beside you)

Or: complete the paper copy and return to one of the drop-off points at:

The Town Hall, Haslemere Hall, The Museum, Marley Flowers, The Library,  Haslewey, Tesco, Your Local Convenience (Parsons Green), Grayswood Cars, The Coffee Lounge and the Hub in Beacon Hill or the Cookie Bar in Hindhead.

Extra copies can be collected at the drop-off points.

If your copy has not been delivered by Saturday 13th Sept please let Haslemere Vision know. 

The Consultation runs till October 31st

Please help to spread the word!



Stewart Brown


Announcement from Haslemere Vision

Haslemere Vision press release, 10th September 2014, from Stewart Brown, Chair of Haslemere Vision.

Dear Volunteers,

As you know we closed our Stage 1 Consultation on August 31st and I am pleased to report that we have received some 690 responses which, given the length and complexity of the document,  is a very respectable result. A huge thank you to all who helped to encourage this response by handing out leaflets and lobbying friends and contacts!

The analysis of responses is now under way and, when it is complete, the results will guide the drafting of policies  for inclusion in the Neighbourhood Plan relating to the stage 1 topics including traffic, transport, parking, business and  the local economy  and the exercise of community rights. We are planning to present and discuss the preliminary analysis at the Georgian House Hotel on the evening of Tuesday September 23rd. This should be a very interesting session and you are cordially invited. We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to join us.

The presentation will commence at 8:15  pm at the Georgian House Hotel on Tuesday September 23rd and will be preceded by the first AGM of Haslemere Vision Ltd which you are all welcome to attend.

Please put the date in your diary and join us. If you plan attend would you please let me know by Friday September 19th, if possible, so that we have an idea of numbers.

With very best wishes


Stewart Brown