The working groups have been running since mid-January and are now well into their stride. The groups are:  

  • Built Environment & Heritage 
  • Climate Change 
  • Economy
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Housing
  • Landscape & Biodiversity
  • Transport & Travel 

Their work is to:  

  1. Identify the current issues and future aspirations (for each topic) of those who live and work in the parish. 
  2. Explore those issues and aspirations, ways to address them and gather evidence to support any policies they may wish to recommend are included in the plan. 
  3. Each group are preparing a ‘topic paper’ setting out what they have looked at and their recommendations.

These topic papers (and recommendations within them) will be used by the Steering Group to begin writing the neighbourhood plan which will in due course guide future development and activity within the parish.

To help our working groups prepare their topic papers, we expect to be launching a series of short consultations soon which will look at specific topics. They will focus on areas where we would like to know more about what our community thinks. Keep an eye on our social media and website for more information. 

Here are just a few of the many ideas our working groups are looking at:

...developing arts & crafts workshops in local business parks, creating ‘hot desking’ business facilities, communal heating to help combat climate change, regeneration of existing brownfield sites, underlining the importance of and protecting local wildlife, flora and fauna, local traffic calming measures, improving connectivity between different areas of the parish... etc.

We are trying to make the most of all of the different grants and support packages available to us, to ensure that our Neighbourhood Plan is backed by as many experts and detailed research as possible. We are also working closely with many local governmental and non-governmental bodies to create the basis for a plan that is wide ranging in its scope. 

We are so grateful to everybody who has given support so far, whether it is filling in one of our questionnaires, volunteering to be part of a working group, or liking and sharing our posts on Facebook. As mentioned above, we will be launching further consultations over the next few months and would hugely appreciate you taking the time to respond to them. It is of the utmost importance that this neighbourhood plan reflects the views and hopes of as many people in the parish as possible. Every single answer is of vital importance and the more responses we receive, the more robust our plan will be.  

The Steering Group would like to thank everyone who has contributes towards the production of the Chartham Neighbourhood Plan so far. The Vision and Objectives Survey was a great success with 177 responses received, and our community have collectively identified a number of great ideas which may help direct the future of Chartham Parish. We are now looking to develop these ideas so that our plan actively responds to our community’s aspirations. 

Having reviewed the results of the Vision & objectives Survey (results and analysis of this consultation is available here) the Steering Group have developed a Vision for our area which is:

"In 2031 we will be known as a friendly, rural, sustainable community spread across our distinct settlements in a beautiful quiet countryside setting. "

To achieve this vision, Neighbourhood Plan Objectives have been identified, these are to -

  1. Deliver appropriate development in the right place which meets local need
  2. Enable safe and sustainable movement within our parish, promote connections to nearby towns, whilst reducing vehicle trips on our roads
  3. Address, so far as possible, existing issues within our built environment
  4. Enhance community spirit, health and wellbeing
  5. Reinforce the distinctiveness of our settlements in their countryside settings
  6. Protect and enhance the value of our local landscape and habitats
  7. Respond to climate emergency and introduce adaptation and mitigation to create a healthy environment for future generations
  8. Promote a vibrant and prosperous rural economy

The next stage is for us all to work out the best way for our plan to achieve these objectives. Six ‘Working Groups’ are being established and each will look into a different topic area, with a brief being to investigate and identify how the objectives can be met through the neighbourhood plan. Each Working Group will eventually present their findings and recommendations to the Steering Group. The topic areas are:

  1. Built Environment and Heritage
  2. Landscape and Biodiversity
  3. Transport and Travel
  4. Economy
  5. Housing
  6. Sustainability, Health and Well-being and Climate Change

The aim is for the Working Groups’ to present their findings and recommendations by the end of March 2021 which will provide 3 full months after Christmas to look into the various areas.

Being part of a Working Group is a voluntary position, so I would like to make clear what it may entail. It is likely that you would be in a group of about 6 people meeting what it may entail. It is likely that you would be in a group of about 6 people meeting as required to progress work (currently such meetings have to take place online). The work will involve focussing upon a relevant topic area. Work may include helping to design surveys, engaging the community in inclusive and imaginative ways, helping to report progress to the Steering Group, presenting existing data which can then be
used in the evidence base of the plan, undertaking primary research and creating evidence documents, and identifying holes in the information. We have friendly professional support who will be on hand to help your efforts.

If you are interested in helping us and our community, please send us an email as soon as possible (no later than close of play on 4th December) and let us know which group(s) you would like to join. We will then be in touch in early December to get the Working Groups setup and work underway. 

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Thank you to everyone who has helped us to get this far, especially the 170+ people who responded to our Vision & Objectives survey, the results of this survey can be viewed here. Moving forward We are going to be publishing and circulating a newsletter as often as we can (hopefully monthly) to keep everyone informed. To ensure that you are kept up to date, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you didn't subscribe in time, our November 2020 newsletter can be downloaded below:

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