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Masterplan process is under way, working party is told

Friday, 12th September 2014.

Work has begun on preparing a new Masterplan for Haverhill Town Centre, with the aim of having the document in place by July next year.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council is working with ONE Haverhill on the plan which aims to 'set out an aspirational vision for the future of the town centre', a report to Haverhill Area Working Party (HAWP) yesterday said.

The report goes on: "It will offer a clear plan to enable partners to work on delivering a town centre that the community and visitors want to use. It will be fit for the future and ready to respond to opportunities."

It will become a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which will have 'significant' weight within the Local Plan. The process, however, is long and convoluted because it has various specific hoops to go through.

HAWP members were told the timetable for this process was 'very positive', by ONE Haverhill board member Cllr Alaric Pugh.

He said the board was driving the timetable very hard to make it happen.

The timetable is as follows:
a) Invitation to tender – 5 September 2014;
b) Submission deadline – 3 October 2014;
c) Evaluation period – w/c 6 October 2014;
d) Professional team appointed – w/c 13 October 2014;
e) Inception and governance meeting with professional team – w/c 20
October 2014;
f) Community engagement – from w/c 27 October
g) Review and analysis of existing baseline data and further information
gathering (from October 2014);
h) Issues and Options preparation (from November 2014);
i) Draft Masterplan and site options (February 2015);
j) Revise and finalise Masterplan (May 2015);
k) Adoption process (June 2015); and
l) Publication launch and dissemination (July 2015).

Members were pleased to hear the project sponsor within the borough was to be Ian Gallin, the chief executive, who has stated that Haverhillis a leading priority for him.

But Cllr Maureen Byrne asked what would happen during the intervening months. "Action is needed now," she said. "In the intervening period how does the absence of a masterplan impinge on possible developments?"

She was concerned that cross-traffic route opportunities could be lost in the meantime.

Cllr Pugh admitted that was a danger, but Mr Gallin stressed they would take any potential developer who came along into the masterplanning process.

He expected the masterplan to 'nail' difficult issues such as traffic plow, parking, etc.

Cllr Pugh said Haverhill Local History Group,the town council, Suffolk County Council and the town's chamber of commerce would also be involved in developing the plan. "It is all about Haverhill doing this," he said.

In addition to the stages listed in the timescale there will be a series of projects aimed at further engaging the community.

Each project is to be led by a ONE Haverhill
Masterplanning Core Group member:
a) Production of Our Historic Haverhill leaflet – to engender pride in Haverhill and its achievements to date (Cllr Tony Brown leading);
b) High Street up-lighting scheme – working with landlords to get uplighting and colour wash on some buildings (John Mayhew leading);
c) Spring cleaning – following previous community workshops and walkabouts there is a list of ‘quick win’ environmental improvements
that will be actioned (Cllr Roger André leading); and
d) Empty shop window decoration – the aim of this is to improve the look of the shop windows, while using the space to promote the Haverhill
Masterplan process (John Mayhew leading).

Haverhill Online News

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