On several occasions in the past we have mentioned the need for a Health Check prior to submission of the plan to the Borough of Poole. Shortly after our Annual General meeting at the end of March we passed the plan and all supporting documents to the consultants scheduled to carry out the Health Check. Although such an exercise is not a statutory requirement we felt it would be very helpful to obtain the view of an independent planning expert.
We received the detailed report towards the end of April, and although there is quite a bit more work to do to ensure the plan meets the Government’s very stringent requirements, it was pleasing to read the overview. The following quote is taken directly from the report. “The plan is a well presented document, with the right balance between the description of the area and the development plan policies looking forward and makes good use of maps and photographs. It is an easy read and appears very professional. There is extensive evidence of public consultation and liaison with the existing business community within the plan area.” There are some criticisms which we will have to respond to if we are to ensure the plan is in general conformity with the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework and the Borough of Poole’s Core Strategy/revised Local Plan. The report provides us with appropriate advice. We are currently working on the changes so that, by the time you read this, the plan will have undergone its Basic Conditions testing and should be ready for submission to the Borough of Poole.
In the last update reference was made to the appointment of consultants to help us kick start the master-planning process. At this stage in the process we do not know what the end product will look like but we do know the issues that need to be addressed. At the top of the list is traffic congestion, the Toast Rack and poor public space. We received a visit from the lead consultant on Wednesday 10th May and he spent several hours in and around the Broadway familiarising himself with overall character of the central area. During the day he visited a number of local businesses who were given the opportunity to have their say. Another visit is being planned, and, as the process moves forward, opportunities will be scheduled for anyone to contribute to the exercise if he or she so wishes. One such opportunity will be at the Family Fun Day on Sunday 2nd July. The Neighbourhood Forum will have a stall with information and displays. Do look us up, ask questions and give us your views. We will also keep you updated through our Link articles and the Forum’s website: broadstoneneighbourhood.uk
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum.