The February meeting of ‘thebestofhaverhill’ at the Days Inn welcomed Chris Rand, Principal Planning Policy Officer, Planning and Economic Development Services at St Edmundsbury Borough Council as guest speaker.
Chris spoke to over forty representatives from local businesses and organisations about the latest Masterplan for Haverhill - the Haverhill Vision 2031. He explained the requirement for the Vision and the consultation process that the Borough are working to in order to assemble ideas and opinions on how local people want to see Haverhill develop over the next twenty years. They were keen to find out what people thought was wrong with the town and what was right, these views would then influence the plan that would be proposed following the consultation.
Businesses were encouraged to go out and spread the word to their colleagues and friends about the Vision 2031 in an attempt to obtain as much feedback as possible. Chris emphasised the need to reach the 18-45 age bracket, those people who are often the busiest with the least time to participate in such an exercise. It was this group that would be most affected by what happens to Haverhill over the next twenty years, therefore their input was key.
There were several questions raised about the villages and the level of input that they would have into the plan. There was a concern that many villages were in neighbouring counties but viewed Haverhill as their main town. Chris assured that the views of those living in the outlaying villages would be gathered and taken into consideration. The issue of the balance between the growth of Haverhill and the impact on the villages was also raised. Chris explained that the villages were involved in the consultation process and that when they see the plans for development and see the relationship with the villages they may realise that there would be little effect on them and that they may actually benefit from improved services.
Elaine Carr, owner of thebestofhaverhill comments, “It was a very positive meeting. I think local businesses are keen to see the town develop and are pleased that St Edmundsbury Borough Council are engaging so actively with the general public and stakeholders to find out what we think and what we want. These continue to be very exciting times for the town and I hope that as many people as possible will leave their feedback and help to shape the future of Haverhill.”
Photograph: Guest speaker Chris Rand from St Edmundsbury Borough Council talking about the Haverhill Vision 2031.
Photograph courtesy of David Doughty @ The Gallery