PRESS RELEASE Friday 21st March 2014
The final St Neots Neighbourhood Plan takes shape...
St Neots Town Council delighted with community response over six week consultation period
The official community consultation for the St Neots Neighbourhood Plan closes today (5pm on Friday 21st March) after an intensive six week campaign to gather the views of local residents.
Running from Friday 7th February to Friday 21st March, the community consultation sought to raise awareness of the Neighbourhood Plan across the St Neots area. The organised campaign has provided a genuine opportunity for residents to help shape the future of the town by examining how to protect the existing facilities and assets, improve the local infrastructure and create new employment opportunities and community activity.
Over twenty events and dedicated focus groups, reaching hundreds of residents across the community, were held in and around the town during the six week period - enabling residents to find out more about the plan and to state their opinions face to face, on paper or online. A series of advertisements and articles also appeared in the local press and a high level of interaction took place through social media channels to generate extensive awareness of this significant community initiative.
The level of interest and local participation was high - demonstrating the strong community ethos that exists in the local area and showing how much residents value the town. Whilst feedback has come from a range of cross-sections in the community, from school age to retirement, there has been a clear pattern emerging across all views – with the protection of our green spaces, improving traffic and employment opportunities and creating better shopping and leisure environments being important for the vast majority of residents.
The St Neots Town Council’s Development and Growth committee developed the first draft of the plan earlier this year. Speaking about the plan and the recent consultation in the town, St Neots Town Councillor and Chair of the Development and Growth committee Louie Ruck said:
“We have been thrilled with the response from the community on the St Neots Neighbourhood Plan. In the last six weeks, my colleagues and I have been able to speak to hundreds of local residents to understand what they want to see for their town, to build on its successes and enhance its future. The feedback we have received has been truly invaluable and has helped us fully understand the local views and priorities and we are now working to reflect these themes in the final Neighbourhood Plan document.”
The current draft of the St Neots Neighbourhood Plan will now be reviewed and updated by St Neots Town Council based on the community views provided, for submission to Huntingdonshire District Council in early April for independent examination.
Once feedback has been obtained by Huntingdonshire District Council, plans are expected to progress to a community referendum later this year which, if accepted by the local community, will see the St Neots Neighbourhood Plan form part of the local planning policy.
St Neots Town Council will be keeping the community up to date with developments on a regular basis and also invites residents to view the final Neighbourhood Plan once it is online from the beginning of April (at www.stneots-tc.gov.uk/stneotsplan). Future developments will also be posted through the Council’s social media accounts on Twitter (@stneotscouncil) and Facebook.
For more info on the neighbourhood plan or the community consultation feedback, please contact Hayley Williams on 07974 135072 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Member since: 10th July 2012
Lived in St Neots since 1975 and boy how its changed, always looking to promote everything great in and around our town.