After much input from Bookham residents via both formal and informal consultations, after 4 years of work by the Bookham Neighbourhood Forum, the proposed Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) went off to Mole Valley District Council (MVDC).
They, in turn, went through a formal public consultation and eventually the Bookham NDP was “examined” by an Independent Inspector, who stated:
“The Plan reads well, looks well and has a very clear and sharp focus on the style, size and type of housing required in Bookham, protecting the retail centre and the design and quality of build Bookham aspires to.”
He nevertheless recommended some changes, but, given these, that MVDC should agree to the NDP going forward to public referendum. At the MVDC Council meeting on 6th December 2016 this was agreed, and so we are now in the final phase. The Referendum will be held on 4th May 2017, coincident with usual Local Elections.
Firstly, it means that Mole Valley will by law have to take into account the policies therein when evaluating planning applications for developments in Bookham. This would be a key change from the way things were, and should ensure Bookham residents get the kind of they want.
Secondly, and this is new, it means that, as a result of future developments in Bookham, some £65,000 per year will be available specifically to be spent in Bookham as a result of the introduction of a new Community Infrastructure Levy.
Without an NDP, supported by the residents at referendum, neither of these benefits is available.
Further details on the Bookham Vanguard website here