THE first draft of a document that will define future development in Chobham is ready for a final review, along with a code that sets out a desired style and design for new buildings in the parish.

Parish councillors and members of the steering group that has compiled the Chobham Neighbourhood Plan will review the draft later this month.

Planning consultants have been analysing the plan and design code, and an initiative that began 13 years ago is expected to be concluded with a public referendum before the end of the year.

“I’m very excited that we have arrived at the point where we have a first draft neighbourhood plan,” said parish councillor Emma Kennedy, who is leading the steering group.

“Our planning consultant will be with us for a meeting at the end of May and I encourage all councillors and members of the steering group to attend.

“This is their opportunity to input suggestions and recommendations before the plan is sent for final review. The more the merrier, as it’s very important we get the neighbourhood plan we want and need. With everyone’s help, we can get there.”

One of the plan documents, a masterplan for a development site in Chobham, uses the village rugby ground as an example of where housing should be carefully designed for the benefit of the community and wildlife.

The ground, at Fowlers Wells, off Windsor Road, is designated in the Surrey Heath Local Plan as a potential site for 90 homes. It could be used for housing if the rugby club moves to a new, larger site, something it has tried to do on various occasions.

The masterplan says there should be a high quality, design-led, sustainable development on the land, in keeping with the character of housing in, for instance, Alpha Road, Chobham, rather than the more urban-looking homes in Bowling Green Road.

It cites the design of the recently built houses in Garden Drive, off Burr Hill Lane, as an example that could be followed. Local distinctiveness should be reinforced.

The land should have a mix of home sizes catering for a diverse population, with the buildings incorporating bird and bat boxes, swift bricks and beehives, with public open spaces and play areas included.

There should be pedestrian and cycle access to the site to nearby community facilities, with links in particular to the south towards the High Street.

The neighbourhood plan divides the parish into four character areas – village centre, primary residential, boundary residential and rural hinterland. The rugby club site would be classed as primary residential, as it adjoins Bowling Green Estate and has other housing nearby.

The design code objectives are: To enhance the rural lifestyle and character and the historic settlement layout of Chobham; to protect and enhance the landscape setting and to integrate new development into the parish’s historic architectural vernacular.

After it is approved by a local referendum, the neighbourhood plan will be incorporated into the Surrey Heath Local Plan and will be an important influence on future development in Chobham parish.