Dear Resident

This is our first newsletter since the Neighbourhood Plan process got under way again at the end of last year. Since then we’ve held several open events at the village hall – two for residents to come and give us their views on how they’d like to see the village and, most recently, for residents to come and see the comments that had been made and to add to them if they wished.

We’re now at the stage of gathering evidence to support the proposals we’ll be developing for the plan, which will be consolidated from all residents’ input. As part of this process, you may have come across members of the Neighbourhood Planning team taking advantage of a few warm summer evenings to walk Holwell’s lanes. Since the village is spread over such a large area, exploring on foot has helped us to familiarise ourselves with parts of the village away from our own home areas.

We’re also planning to meet with local landowners including Sherborne Estates and Magna Housing Association, and are setting up small groups to work on specific topics such as housing, transport and amenities such as the village hall.

Several of you have volunteered to help us with this work which is really appreciated. We’re also receiving advice and support from the Neighbourhood Planning teams at Loders and Buckland Newton, as well as groups such as Dorset Community Action, West Dorset’s Housing Enabling team who came and talked about affordable housing at July’s Parish Council meeting, and the Community Development team who assisted us with our application for a grant from Locality. We’ve just heard that our application has been successful, which will allow us to appoint a planning consultant to help us with the next stages in the plan’s development.

The response from the village to our first open meetings was good, but we need more of you to tell us how you feel about Holwell and its future. So we’re planning a more detailed survey for September which will be delivered to every home in Holwell. We need each and every one of you to respond, so that we can ensure the policies we deliver for the plan truly reflect what the village wants.

If anything is unclear, please contact one of the Neighbourhood Planning team or a member of the Parish Council, who will be happy to help.

With best wishes

The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group