As Local and National planning policies continue to highlight the increasing need for more housing, communities all over the country are coming together to take back control of development in their own towns and villages. They are working to shape their community in a way that reflects its individual wants and needs, not simply the interests of developers or planning policy.
Rother Valley Farm on Lossenham Lane is an area of approximately 20 acres, which includes a dilapidated bungalow, stables and outbuildings in need of investment, and a newly planted 5 acre wood. This website represents the start of an exciting project that will explore the possibility of dedicating Rother Valley Farm to the sustainable future of Newenden, offering the opportunity for local people to influence and safeguard the future of Newenden for generations to come. The project is long term and ambitious, and will not be without its challenges, but we hope that there is no limit to what can be achieved.
We asked Archio, a firm of architects who specialise in community engagement, to conduct two workshops for the purpose of engaging the residents of Newenden. The aim was to find out what people who live in the village and the surrounding area think the community wants and needs as it moves forward. The initial workshop, involving a small group of local people, was designed to get an idea of whether there really was any appetite for contributing opinions and/or ideas to discussions about how best local assets might be used to secure a sustainable, and appropriate, future for Newenden.
Following the success of this initial engagement a further workshop was undertaken in The White Hart to open up the discussions to the whole community. We took the opportunity also to extend the question to cover not just possibilities for the land under our ownership, but to ask what could be done in general to facilitate sustainability in Newenden. This subsequent report reflects on the results of these two workshops and provides constructive feedback not just to us as landowners, but also to formal organisations who are responsible for the community as a whole, such as the Parish Council.
You can view and download the report in PDF format (1.4Mb) by clicking on this link.
If you would like to comment on the report and/or the project in general, please use the form below. We may publish your comment on this website (but we will not publish your name or e-mail address). If you don't want your comment made public, please tick the box below.
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