Neighbourhood Plan Working Groups – Get Involved!

The Neighbourhood Plan Working Groups are in full flow but all are looking for Arlesey residents, businesses and community groups to get involved to ensure that everyone has their say on the future of Arlesey.

The next few weeks are a key part of the consultation phase of the Plan as we seek to engage with all parts of the community to shape ideas on how Arlesey can develop over the next 10-20 years. There are five different Working Groups covering different aspects of the Plan, and all are looking for more input from the local community.

Housing and Heritage

The Housing and Heritage Group, led by Andy Ward, are covering two vitally important aspects of the Neighbourhood Plan. Firstly, they are looking at what types housing Arlesey needs, what it should look like and how it should be laid out. While we cannot put a stop to the major new Arlesey Cross development, we can influence how it will look in terms of architecture and style, and can help to ensure that the housing that is built will meet the needs of Arlesey for years to come. The results of the Housing Needs Survey have been received recently and these will form a key part of this group’s work.

The second part of this group’s work is about protecting the heritage of Arlesey. The village has a number of listed buildings and other buildings that are historically significant, and as part of the Neighbourhood Plan, we can look to protect hertiage assets that are important to the community and potentially make them focal points of new development.

Andy and his team will be looking to engage with schools, local community groups such as the WI and the Scouts, as well as getting input from long term Arlesey residents for them to share their knowledge and memories. If you would like to get involved in this group, please contact Andy and his team on the email address housing@arleseynp.org.uk.

Environment

The Environmental Group is being led by Saul Ackroyd, who some of you will know as the Chairman of ACORN. Saul and his team are looking at what the community would like to see when it comes to the protection and enhancement of Arlesey’s green infrastructure in terms of wildlife areas, green spaces, footpaths and cycle ways. For example, engagement to date has identified that safe cycle routes through the village are in demand and that the rural feel of Arlesey should be maintained, but these ideas need to be refined and we need your views to clarify how those aspirations could be achieved.

Arlesey has a number of beautiful areas of countryside on its borders, but we need to decide as a community what needs to be protected and what else we would like to see both in and around the village, and how this could be made more accessible for everyone to enjoy.

If you feel you can contribute, you can get in touch with Saul on environment@arleseynp.org.uk.

Amenities

The Amenities Group, led by Karen Bohr, is looking into how the Plan can support the desire for better amenities in Arlesey such as shops, recreational and community facilities. The initial survey conducted earlier in the summer identified that there is a strong desire to improve what Arlesey can offer, and Karen and her team will be contacting a wide range of local groups to ensure that everyone has their say on what they would like to see in the village in terms of amenities.

The Arlesey Cross development has promised to include additional amenities, and the Neighbourhood Plan can help to influence the types of amenity that will be encouraged, and the location of amenities within the new development.

Schools, youth groups, church groups, local pubs, music and drama groups, etc. will all be contacted but if you have some specific ideas, or if you feel you have some time to help out, please contact Karen on amenities@arleseynp.org.uk.

Business and Local Economy

While many of these groups are focussing on the residents, we should not forget that local businesses are vital to the success of Arlesey. Jeremy Wallace is leading the Business and Local Economy Group and he and his team are in the midst of contacting the 170 or so businesses that are operating in the village. We would like to know what the Plan can do to help Arlesey’s businesses succeed and Jeremy is assembling a focus group of local business leaders to formulate ideas. If you would like to get involved, please contact Jeremy on business@arleseynp.org.uk.

Traffic and Parking

One of the most common themes from our engagement with the community to date has been issues with traffic and parking. Kathy Lindskog is the Neighbourhood Plan lead on the Traffic and Parking Group which was set up by Arlesey Town Council earlier in the year. It is a major issue in the village with the numbers of HGVs and the issues on the High Street particularly around school drop off and pick up times have all been raised, but we need more residents to come forward and get involved and provide views on how the issues should be addressed. Kathy can be contacted on traffic@arleseynp.org.uk.

Get Involved

The proposed Arlesey Cross development means that we need to complete the Plan as soon as possible, but we need the views of the community in order to do that. There will be continued consultation over the next few months, but the next few weeks are crucial as we look to shape the make-up of the Plan.

If you have any spare time, however limited, and would like an opportunity to have a say on the future of Arlesey, please get in touch on one of the working group email addresses above or on projectteam@arleseynp.org.uk.