19 July 2022, 10.00am

 Participants: Hitcham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group – Malcolm Currie,(MC),  Deborah Saw, (DS), Allan Scott, (AS)

Consultant – Rachel Leggatt, (RL)

Aecom: – Tim Fearn, (TF)

This was a ‘diagnostic’ call set up by Locality to discuss possible technical grant support for the Neighbourhood Plan

RL outlined where Hitcham was in the process and key activities going forward until the end of 2022 including: finalising vision and aims for the plan; a consultation event for the community with Placecheck; a data profile of the village; a household survey and a character appraisal that would feed into the design code

RL suggested a site visit for the Aecom teams to the village

Steering Group members described development to date, its demographic profile and the lack of both affordable housing and housing that could be designed or adapted for older residents that would allow them to downsize and stay in Hitcham

At this early stage of the Neighbourhood Plan process Steering Group members could not whether this would entail site allocation and a Strategic Environmental Assessment

Following the call TF drew up the applications for a Housing Needs Assessment and a Design Code and submitted them to the Department for Levelling Up for approval. Subsequentially both applications were approved

TF stated in an email to DS that a quicker process could be followed for any supplementary support applications if they are submitted in the same financial year. If we do need either the site assessment or SEA support, we can contact TF and he will  arrange for them to be set up, or we can advise the teams working on the design code and housing packages and they can start the process. It might need a quick follow up call to talk through the requirements in more detail, but it should limit the paperwork from our side.