Making plans

DSCF3544-copy©Geoff Wilkinson

Co-chair of the South Woodford Society Pearl Arbenser-Simmonds reports on the group’s progress as they prepare the South Woodford Neighbourhood Plan. Photo by Geoff Wilkinson

We have been preparing for the South Woodford Neighbourhood Plan (SWNP) for a while now and it’s time to give you an update on what’s to come in this thrilling year ahead!

A key aim of neighbourhood planning is to allow the local community to play a vital role in guiding future development to achieve well-designed places and buildings; ensuring a positive relationship between development and quality of life.

Through the creation of the Neighbourhood Plan, the South Woodford community will be more aware of, more involved in – and therefore able to influence – the design of proposed developments. This will ensure that places and buildings reflect local community preferences.

The SWNP will be based on your vision and aims for South Woodford, drawn from evidence, consultation feedback and knowledge of our area. You may remember a survey we conducted at the very start of the process, where you gave us your views, hopes and aspirations for the neighbourhood, as well as agreeing the boundary area of the plan. These views have fed into the vision and aims outlined below.

There are three stages to the process. Stage one was completed with the approval of the boundary area and official designation of the Neighbourhood Forum, the group of people who will drive the Neighbourhood Plan forward to completion and acceptance.

We’ve recently applied for funding to set us off on stage two, which entails identifying information and policies to inform the plan. Stage three will bring the plan into force. You can find out more about the process in the Locality Neighbourhood Plans Roadmap (swvg.co.uk/np).

We will stay in touch to keep you informed and also to invite you to get involved, especially where you have particular areas of interest and expertise.

Our vision

The vision for South Woodford covers the environment, business and culture:

  1. South Woodford will be a clean, green and safe environment that is well-managed and maintained for all those who live, work, learn and visit. It will be a place that people of all ages and from all walks of life can be proud of and will want to work together to protect.
  2. Our town centre will be even busier and more vibrant with a great shopping experience for all.
  3. Our green spaces will be enhanced and an environmentally sensitive culture will be fostered to protect and improve our amenities for everyone’s benefit.
  4. The creation of well-designed and well-built structures that benefit all who depend upon South Woodford.

Our aims

We will achieve our vision through a number of strategies and actions:

  1. Building a stronger community, fostering a collaborative and inclusive approach.
  2. Creating a clean and safe environment.
  3. Engendering a coherent and sustainable approach to development to support Redbridge’s policy of becoming net zero by 2030.
  4. Ensuring a holistic approach to planning and infrastructure improvements.
  5. Improving and increasing access to green spaces within the community, encouraging residents to support biodiversity and Redbridge’s Grow Zones initiative.
  6. Enhancing the vibrancy of the town centre with a great variety of businesses.
  7. Supporting local businesses through the established South Woodford Business Forum.
  8. Preserving the heritage of South Woodford.

To achieve these aims, we’ll be exploring a range of topic areas such as social and community, economic issues, development and infrastructure and sustainability and environment. These will include arts, culture, sport and leisure, green spaces and more.

We’re now conducting a survey as our next step to confirm the vision and aims to allow the SWNP to progress. Please let us know what you think.

For more information and to take part in the South Woodford Neighbourhood Plan survey, visit swvg.co.uk/npsurvey

For more information on the South Woodford Society, visit swvg.co.uk/sws

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