Bid outlines Chobham residents’ desires

A BIGGER car park providing community transport and establishing a safe cycle route to Woking are topics that residents say should be included in the blueprint for Chobham’s future.

The ideas have come from local people for inclusion in a Neighbourhood Plan which aims to influence how the community develops and evolves in years to come.

POWER TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY – the village’s Neighbourhood Plan will help determine the impact and scope of any future developments in Chobham

POWER TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY – the village’s Neighbourhood Plan will help determine the impact and scope of any future developments in Chobham

Residents also say Chobham needs a community film theatre, a public swimming pool and a book club. They are keen to ensure that any plans for growth do not make traffic congestion worse or increase the number of vehicles over 17 tonnes passing through.

Villagers have been responding to requests for suggestions from the steering group set up two years ago following a public consultation meeting.

The steering group operates in co-operation with Chobham Parish Council and already has a list of important topics on its agenda. Members met yesterday (Wednesday, July 29) for the first time since the May local elections.

Two of the newly elected parish councillors, Max Wheeler and Debra Barr, have joined to add expertise to the discussions. The group is now preparing for the next public consultation session, to he held in September.

Co-chairman Victoria Wheeler said: “We have been reviewing what has been achieved so far and there’s been a lot to discuss. “We confirmed what needs to be done to progress with the plan, and the key issues we need to tackle.”

Housing to meet local needs, preserving and enhancing the green belt, the village conservation area, use of open spaces, and encouraging commercial development to provide local jobs are top subjects.

The Neighbourhood Plan, aimed at influencing the decisions of Surrey Heath Borough Council, will set out how the village should develop and meet the needs of local people up to at least 2026.

“The plan would have to be in consultation with the borough council,” Victoria explained. “It is the best opportunity the village has to legislate for the way in which we want our community to grow to reflect the needs of the people that live, work and enjoy the open space and countryside.”

She stressed that the steering group want the plan to reflect the views of Chobham people. “It has to be what they want, not just what we say should be in it,” she said.

The public consultation will be held in the Parish Pavilion at the Recreation Ground on Wednesday, September 23, starting at 8pm. Everyone interested in the village and its future is welcome to come.

THE minutes of steering group’s meetings and the current design statement for the plan can be viewed and downloaded on the Chobham Neighbourhood Plan website at www.chobplangroup.com.

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