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Area Selection

The rationale for the designated Ottershaw Neighbourhood Area

Map of the Designated Ottershaw Neighbourhood Area

The Ottershaw Neighbourhood Area was designated by Runnymede Borough Council Planning Committee on 14th October 2020, following six weeks of public consultation.

Legal guidance for defining a Neighbourhood Area

There is no legal limitation on the size and shape of a Neighbourhood Area, except that it must not overlap with any other already designated Neighbourhood Area. As such, a neighbourhood area does not have to follow any administrative boundaries. However, crossing a Borough boundary complicates the process, as it requires engagement with both local planning authorities and potentially integration with two different Local Plans.

There is some guidance available for the process of selecting a Neighbourhood Area:

"The following could be considerations when deciding the boundaries of a Neighbourhood Area:

  • village or settlement boundaries

  • the catchment area for walking to local services

  • the area where formal or informal networks of community based groups operate

  • the physical appearance or characteristics of the neighbourhood

  • whether the area forms all or part of a coherent estate

  • whether infrastructure or physical features define a natural boundary

  • the natural setting or features in an area

  • size of the population in the area

Electoral ward boundaries can be a useful starting point for discussions on the appropriate size of a neighbourhood area; these have an average population of about 5,500 residents."

"Electoral wards or postal districts may not coincide with what may be considered as a neighbourhood by local people."

Defining the Ottershaw Neighbourhood Area

  1. The obvious starting point for defining the Area was the Ottershaw and West Addlestone electoral ward boundary. Leaflets were distributed in early 2020 to find people interested in contributing to the process.
    33 responses were received from what is now the Designated Neighbourhood Area. Only a single response (which was not related to the process of forming a Neigbourhood Forum) was received from other areas of the ward.

  2. An Area Working Group with 19 members was set-up im May 2020. Members were encouraged to develop their Area proposals, which were then discussed. They all agreed that 

    1. ​not crossing borough boundaries avoids additional complexity as described above

    2. clear physical boundaries - St.Peters Way and the M25 - define the Northern & Eastern extent of the Area.

    3. the Area  East of the M25 clearly forms part of the Addlestone community and would better be included in an Addlestone Neighbourhood Area.

  3. More detailed discussions were held over the built up area south of Spinney Hill. As this area forms part of the Rowtown community, the two options were either to include all of Rowtown in the Neighbourhood Area, proposal, or to focus only on the Ottershaw Neighbourhood Area. The conclusion was that as Ottershaw village is a well-established historic and self-contained community, with its own village character and ‘feel’, the whole area of Rowtown (including the Northern area just South of Spinney Hill) is considered to be a separate community in its own right and  should therfore form another Neighbourhood Area, with its own Forum & Plan.

  4. Hare Hill Open Space was included in the Ottershaw Neighbourhood Area, as this aligns with the postal districts (KT16 vs KT15). It forms a natural division between Ottershaw and Rowtown equally enjoied by residents from both areas. As it is a protected site (SANG), it will not be negatively impacted by neighbourhood plans, regardless of the Neighbourhood Area it is included in.

RBC Planning Committe accepted the Ottershaw Neighbourhood Area as proposed by the working group.

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