Its village leaders have been given the all-clear to hold a referendum on its Neighbourhood Plan.
Time and time again, we notice that nobody can spell the name of ALFOLD! Sometimes Arfold, even Alford.
However, Andrew Ashcroft, independent examiner BA (Hons) M.A. DMS M.R.T.P.I., recently examined and passed the ALFOLD Neighbourhood Plan. He not only spelt the name correctly, but he also passed the development plan with flying colours.
He has told Waverley Borough Council:
I have concluded that the Alfold Neighbourhood Development Plan meets all the necessary legal requirements and should proceed to a referendum. I recommend that the referendum area should coincide with the neighbourhood area.
This is a considerable achievement for the parish council, led by Chairman Mary Brown and her colleagues, including Cllr Cris Britton, chairman of the Alfold Planning Committee.
Cllr Britton was a leader of the now-defunct organisation POW (Protect Our Waverley), which was established to stop the development of Dunsfold Airfield, which he overlooks from his nearby home. While development of the Dunsfold Garden Village has stalled, development in Alfold has continued at an alarming pace. It has more than doubled in size, with yet more planning applications in the pipeline.
The Foreward states that:
Alfold Parish Council commends this Neighbourhood Development Plan to all who live, work and visit our rural Parish situated on the southern border of the County of Surrey and under the planning jurisdiction of Waverley Borough Council.
This is an integral part of the statutory planning framework that will shape the future development of this community in the years ahead, specifically until 2032. 1.2 Every Neighbourhood Plan is unique and responds to the particular needs of the local community.
In the case of Alfold, at the time of preparation of the Plan, the situation with respect to planning and development in the Parish has been subject to recent and very radical change, which has been outside the control of the Parish. Therefore, this Plan has been prepared using the latest data to respond to the significant challenges the local community faces in trying to achieve what national policy requires – Sustainable development.
The impact of building 447 new houses in an existing small and scattered rural community, previously numbering some 449 households, cannot be overstated. This was the reality facing Alfold as the Plan was being prepared.
Evidence in the Plan demonstrates that this community has the highest level of deprivation of rural parishes in Waverley, is remote from most essential community services such as schools and health facilities, and is extremely poorly served by public transport. It is forced to be a car-dependant community, which flies in the face of all government and local authority initiatives towards creating a carbon-neutral and sustainable society.
The level of development now underway has been permitted with no material improvement in physical infrastructure (roads, schools, health centres, etc.) to date to mitigate this situation. This Plan, therefore, aims to redress the imbalance this has created.
The challenge addressed in this Neighbourhood Plan is how to manage such change in sustainable ways and provide for positive long-term outcomes for local residents of all ages and in a wide spectrum of social and economic circumstances. Our priorities are summed up in the Vision.
Here’s the Neighbourhood Plan.ANP-Final-Version_published