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Haverhill masterplan starts today

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Latest news from the Haverhill Echo, haverhillecho.co.uk, @haverhill on Twitter

Phase 1 of the Haverhill Town Centre Masterplan public consultation gets underway today (March 9) and invites members of the public to have their say on the broad ‘issues and options’ that need to be considered in preparing the town centre master plan.

Members of the public can have their say by visiting www.onehaverhill.co.uk and following the link to the consultation questionnaire and there will be hard copy questionnaires available in Haverhill Library, Haverhill House and Haverhill Arts Centre.

In the Vision 2031 Plan for Haverhill it was identified that a new town centre master plan was needed to to enable the town to be promoted effectively to potential investors and guide them on what the community wants its centre to look like in the future.

Phase 1 of the consultation will run from today (March 9) until Friday, April 17. Views from the public will shape the development of a draft masterplan for Haverhill town centre. Phase 2 will last a further six weeks from Monday,June 8 to Friday, July 17, when the public will be asked to review a draft town centre master plan drawn up from the comments and views given in phase 1.

Sarah Howard, Chairman of ONE Haverhill Board, said: “Please take time to fill out this questionnaire. It takes around 15 minutes and is far more than just a tick box exercise and I would urge people to take the opportunity to give their views in as much detail as possible. I think many of us feel strongly that improvements need to be made to our town centre and this will inform potential investors, local authorities and others to what we want as a community in Haverhill.

“Views and comments from the public from phase 1 will shape the draft master plan which the public will be consulted on again during a six week period starting in June. It will cover both short term aspirations as well as those for the long term.”

Previously, St Edmundsbury Borough Council has led the consultation on Haverhill’s town centre master plan but this time it has asked ONE Haverhill, an independent partnership that brings organisations and resources together in the town, to deliver the consultation guided by independent experienced planning experts. It is believed to be the first time a local authority has asked a community organisation within a town to lead on such a consultation.

During the consultation a range of issues will be examined including the type and mix of uses that could be accommodated in the town centre, how people move around the town centre, and ways that town centre streets and spaces can be enhanced and made more attractive. The masterplan will also identify a range of projects that can deliver beneficial change for Haverhill and build on the success of existing investment in the town in the short, medium and long term.

The aim is to have the masterplan completed in September and will provide a more detailed framework specifically covering the town centre that will build upon the strategy in Haverhill Vision 2031. It is being prepared as a formal ‘supplementary planning document’ with the aim of it also being adopted by St Edmundsbury Borough Council. There will also be a number of drop in sessions and events held in the town where people can ask questions about the town centre masterplan process and consultation:

Drop-in session at Haverhill Arts Centre - Thursday, March 26 from 10am to 6pm.

Town Centre Masterplan ‘stall’ at Haverhill Market on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 from 9am to 3pm where the project’s independent town centre planning experts David Lock Associates will be on hand to answer questions and capture views.

Information stand in Sainsbury’s foyer on Tuesday, March 31 from 9am to 12 Noon.

In addition, a number of drop in sessions will soon be announced at community groups, schools and other locations in the town centre.

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