One of the big successes for ONE Haverhill Partnership and its partner agencies was the community engagement with the Haverhill Town Centre Masterplan.
Adopted as planning policy by St Edmundsbury Borough Council in 2015, it sets a clear direction for the future development of Haverhill with realistic objectives that have regard to both what is achievable and deliverable.
One of its big successes was its interaction with the local community.
More than 350 written responses were received throughout the consultation period, 1,040 people were directly engaged and there were more than 15,000 hits on a dedicated web page.
Four years on, it is clear how much the national landscape around town centres has changed.
I wrote recently of the need for retailers and other town centre businesses to adapt to survive and thrive and the regeneration of our historic high street remains a top priority for ONE Haverhill Partnership.
Recognising this, I would like to welcome Cllr Susan Glossop, Cabinet member for Planning and Growth at St Edmundsbury Borough Council since September, who has kindly agreed to chair the ONE Haverhill Partnership task group dedicated to the Masterplan.
Susan played a pivotal role in developing the town centre in Thetford and her experience, enthusiasm and influence will be invaluable for delivering masterplan benefits for everyone who works, lives and visits our town.
In a changing world, high streets up and down the country have to look at every option to bring about improvements and football.
We mustn’t expect instant results.
It will take time to line up developers prepared to invest in Haverhill.
But it is possible to achieve. With so many people pulling together for a common cause, I feel confident that Haverhill will move in the right direction.