The aim of The Ashfield Partnership is to build a legacy. There is no point in setting a radical agenda if it cannot be secured. An artist’s impression is one thing, but it only has meaning if it has integrity. One important way of securing our vision is to ensure the community our places serve are engaged and committed.
The Legacy Movement has always understood that working with the existing community to shape the new is essential if we are to achieve popular development. Local people know what is needed and what will work best. It’s important to reach out across the community yet to balance some of the louder voices with those who may be less vocal so as to achieve consensus. In the final analysis the primary objective, recognising that we can only develop once, is to ensure that we achieve the very best place-making. What we build will shape the resident community for hundreds of years.
The Ashfield Estate embarked on its community engagement journey in 2006. These early workshops prepared the ground for the major Enquiry by Design event held in the autumn of 2008 by The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. Over the intervening years Test Valley Borough Council was then leading public engagement locally as it worked to deliver its Local Plan. The Revised Local Plan was adopted by the Council in January 2016.
The Ashfield Partnership was formed in January 2011 and prepared the way for its first scheme at Luzborough with an open door event held at Romsey Town Hall on Friday the 31st of January and Saturday the 1st of February 2014. Now that Luzborough is nearing completion, we hope that it is living up to the expectations created through community engagement.
Each building at Luzborough, Hoe Lane, and Whitenap has been, or will be, designed not so much to stand out but to contribute to making the place. Phases and streets may reveal a particular character but they will conform to the overall Masterplan which aims to secure the traditional Hampshire, specifically the Test Valley, vernacular.
Hoe Lane as a proposal had emerged through the Enquiry by Design event in 2008 and was revisited following its allocation as a site in the Revised Local Plan. The Ashfield Partnership held an open event at North Baddesley on the 2nd of November 2015. An outline planning application was submitted in October 2016 and the Partnership has attended a number of meetings with North Baddesley Parish Council specifically to consider how the scheme might help to achieve improvements to Mountbatten Park.
A further event for Hoe Lane is to be arranged once the Reserved Matters Planning Applications are finalised.
At Whitenap in preparing for an outline planning application and having assembled a good deal of technical information, the Ashfield Partnership held a Pathfinder Day at Romsey Town Hall, including a tour of Luzborough and Whitenap, on the 24th of May 2019. This event attended by invited stakeholders has set the scene for further community engagement beginning on 14th and 15th January 2020.