Last updated on September 25th, 2017 at 04:42 pm
Date for your diary: 22nd September, 7pm, Memorial Hall. Meeting to discuss the drawing up of a Neighbourhood Plan.
As announced in July Walsham Observer, Parish Council has been working to set up an Open Meeting for anyone interested in finding out about Neighbourhood Plans especially in relation to Walsham. This needs to concern you, each and every one of our residents.
Please try to attend to find out exactly what we can do in order to have our say about how we want our village to develop, as develop it must, rather than become a dying community.
Bill Newman is Babergh/Mid Suffolk ‘Local Plan Man’ as well as Neighbourhood Plan supremo. It was felt that he is the person to give a presentation /overview of what needs to be done, the why, how, pros and cons; methodology and process; and support available.
Jessica Fleming will be able to explain what support she could give as both County and District Councillor if we choose to ‘go it alone’ or join with a neighbouring parish.
In the past, Parish Councils and communities have been little more than pressure groups and decisions have been made remotely. While certain aspects of planning will remain at District Council level, we have the opportunity to strongly influence where development in our parish should go and what it should look like. Moreover that plan will carry legal weight. Producing a plan represents a unique opportunity for the village. If there isn’t a plan, there will be a presumption in favour of development applications. We will have lost our voice!
We need residents’ views so that we can properly represent them. We need your local knowledge, any specialist skills, and help to spread the word. Above all, we need local people to come forward to help to draft this plan. Putting together this plan is not Parish Council responsibility, it is a whole community responsibility with over 20 representatives required to carry it forward in consultation with the village as a whole. We need householders, tenants, landowners, business representation, people who have spent their whole lives in the village, newcomers, in other words a real cross section of our local community. Without you, there may not be a plan or there may be one with which you disagree. Use your voice, contribute or lose local control over local issues.
Put 22nd September into your diaries and come to make sure that you have a voice that is heard.
Maggie Barber, Chair, Walsham Parish Council.