Vote YES in the Referendum
Thursday 8th September for Ongar Neighbourhood Plan policies can become planning law, ensuring that all new homes proposed for Ongar retain our rural character.
After a number of years of consultations, public meetings and surveys, Ongar Neighbourhood Plan is ready to become planning law, having been passed as sound by the external Examiner. It is now just waiting for your vote. This will be the first town in EFDC to have a Neighbourhood Plan with policies that will only apply to the localised area. Because Ongar’s rural character is so different from the urban locations of the majority of homes in EFDC, our concerns are often different. Ongar Neighbourhood Plan 2020-2033 has 15 robust and evidence-supported localised Policies.
The type and size of new homes in Ongar must reflect our needs and the location, not that of the district as a whole. New developments in Ongar, including those allocated by EFDC must also reflect our existing rural character, and existing massing, low rise houses, existing density, and have more off street parking than is being proposed in other parts of EFDC. Flats and smaller homes will only be acceptable in Chipping Ongar town centre, with family sized homes with gardens and sufficient parking at edge of settlement locations. Our historic character of Chipping Ongar is protected, but there are also policies to encourage the regeneration of the High Street. The natural environment is not forgotten, with policies protecting several open greenspaces from future development. Contributions from developers for the wider community prioritise new playing pitches and courts, a town park and a pre-school, all in the centre of Chipping Ongar. There is a policy to prevent the loss of facilities such as Ongar Leisure Centre, except by replacing it with a similar or improved facility elsewhere, but in Ongar.
Ongar Neighbourhood Plan goes much further than the more general planning policies for the district can. Ongar residents have complained for many years that EFDC does not cater for our needs, whether in the type and design of housing or the facilities the community wants. This is now the opportunity to put that right, by voting YES to Ongar Neighbourhood Plan in the Referendum on 8th September.
How to Vote
Polling cards have been distributed by EFDC. Polling can be in person or by postal vote or proxy (although time limits for applying are 23rd August and 31st August to EFDC accordingly)
Available on Facebook, Ongar Neighbourhood Plan website, Ongar Town Council website, and EFDC website where Ongar Neighbourhood Plan can also be downloaded. ONPCG is distributing leaflets with more information and an information drop-in session has been organised.
Chairman of Ongar Neighbourhood Plan Community Group (who has produced Ongar Neighbourhood Plan on behalf of Ongar Town Council)