The first step in establishing any kind of future vision for the village is to survey the wishes and ideas of the local community.
Because this affects future planning we wanted as many residents as possible to take part. The survey ran for the month of June 2016, and people were asked to fill in the survey themselves and to encourage friends and neighbours to do the same. Participation was per individual, not just per household.
Flamstead Parish, which includes the village and its surroundings, has around 1,300 residents in more than 500 households. Not everybody is online, less than a quarter receive the Council’s Grapevine emails and not all belong to village organisations. So we delivered information cards to the households in the Parish explaining how to access the survey online or to get a hard copy. Follow-up reminder visits were made, and there were many posters around the village and a banner on Chequers Hill.
The survey was not just about housing: we wanted to find out what residents feel about the character of Flamstead, what makes is special, and how to preserve or change it moving forwards. Facilities for children and young people, footpaths, meeting places, parking, village organisations and services were all in the mix.
For those wishing to read more detailed general background, the Reference pages summarise our understanding of the local planning policy and the options available for influencing local planning and development. Methods such as Neighbourhood Plans and Community Rights to Build are mentioned but the survey did not form part of either process or assume that they will take place – it simply aimed to find out what residents want for the future.
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