In 2009, a meeting at the Melrose Hall in Hoylake called by local resident Jackie Hall MBE identified the need for a group of people to explore ways of improving footfall in Hoylake. This group became Hoylake Village Life in November 2009, and in May 2010 was incorporated as a Community Interest Company.
Hoylake Village Life Directors Mark Howard, Matt Biagetti and Richard Stowe, applied to the Department for Communities and Local Government to become one of the country’s first Neighbourhood Plan ‘Frontrunners’ under the Localism Bill.
Neighbourhood Forum status was legally designated in April 2011, along with a grant of £20,000 from central government. This fund was retained by Wirral Council and the money released to Hoylake Village Life as required for expenditure related to the development of the plan and associated consultation.
The Forum set about developing a survey which went out to every household and business in Hoylake, promoted by a billboard campaign, via extensive social networking and at a series of ten open public meetings. Over 550 responses were received, representing an equivalent ten per cent of eligible voters or 20 per cent of eligible households (only one survey was sent per household).
In 2012, the Bill received Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament. In April 2012, the government presented new Regulations about how to prepare and maintain a Neighbourhood Plan, including a minimum requirement of 21 people to constitute a Neighbourhood Forum.
As with other neighbourhood forums, the Hoylake forum was reconstituted and expanded in accordance with these regulations. In July 2012 the first Forum meeting was held, attended by over 40 people. A management group was elected and the work of the new forum ‘Hoylake Vision’ began work on the next consultation stages.
The results of the survey and subsequent public and online consultations were all collated and analysed. This evidence based formed the basis of the consultation that was to take place over the next four years.
During 2015 and 2016 the draft NDP underwent extensive review by independent advisers and a statutory pre-referendum examination. Some changes were made, in large part as a result of insufficient evidence base. Some policies were therefore, reluctantly, removed from the plan or amended in accordance with the wishes of the examiner.
Finally, on December 1st 2016, a referendum was held. Of the 975 people who voted, 834 voted “yes”. The Hoylake NDP was therefore “made” and is now a statutory part of the Council’s Local Plan and must be taken into account when planning decisions are made.
This website, along with ongoing public ‘conversations’ in various formats at venues around Hoylake, will form part of an ongoing public consultation process as we revisit the current NDP, gather the evidence required to re-introduce the policies we removed in the first iterations of the plan (for example a shopfront design guide) and explore new ideas that emerge so that the new iteration of the plan which will run from 2020 to 2025 will improve on the current NDP.
This is your opportunity to get involved.
Please take a good look around this website, do some research of your own on the issues, support us in our work, and take part in the conversations.