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Neighbourhood Plan: residents learn more

PUBLISHED: 06:30 20 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:57 20 January 2016

Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 7217-08-08AW

Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 7217-08-08AW

Archant

Residents find out more about a project which aims to give the community ownership of the Sid Valley’s future.

Scores of residents attended a meeting to learn more about a project which aims to give the community ownership of the Sid Valley’s future last night (Tuesday).

The Neighbourhood Plan will need a dedicated core of residents to make it happen and Sidmouth Town Council organised a public meeting to outline the aims of its project and to take questions.

The Herald reported last week how the town council, which gave the green light to a Neighbourhood Plan in December, is now recruiting a chairperson and steering group to take it forward.

The process, likely to take between 18 months and two years to complete, will give residents a say on where future development should be located, what it should include, and how it should look.

Councillor Louise Cole, who has led the project so far, said: “The process must be owned by the whole community and we know that there are lots of people in Sidmouth who have great skills to do this. We now have the funding and a statutory framework for it to happen.

“It will also help Sidmouth to shape what we know is coming in the Local Plan.

“We hope that a committed group of people will come forward to give their time and skills as part of the steering group who will help make the project a success.”

The process will be run by the community with support from the town council, to ensure the plan itself is relevant and meaningful.

Cllr Cole said a Neighbourhood Plan for the Sid Valley is even more important now East Devon’s Local Plan has been deemed sound and is approaching adoption.

The closing date for expressions of interest for the roles of chairperson and steering group members is February 8.

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