HI, my name is Becky Britchford. I am a member of the public who lives in Ashbourne and has volunteered to get involved with the Ashbourne Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.
The Neighbourhood Plan is an opportunity for Ashbourne to seize back some control over what happens to the town in the coming 15 years.
Once approved by the community it will sit alongside District Council’s strategic plan and be an essential element in all planning decisions.
It is NOT a process run, undertaken, lead or even influenced by the District Council. The Neighbourhood Plan will be a planning policy document created by the community for the community.
Once complete it will be examined and tested at referendum and if successful will become a lead policy in ALL future planning applications, big or small.
It is essential that the community gets behind the creation of the Neighbourhood Plan to demonstrate that it reflects the needs of Ashbourne’s residents. So your views are critical.
So far, there have been seven ‘open consultations’ since the 21st Jan, held at various locations around the town, and we have been asking the public to fill out a short questionnaire with four simple questions;
What is good about Ashbourne? What in Ashbourne would you protect? What is bad about
Ashbourne? What in Ashbourne would you Change? You can still fill out your responses on the website (see below) OR at the Library, Leisure Centre or the offices of the Ashbourne News Telegraph, until the end of the initial consultation process on the 13th February.
For the next phase, the steering group will be studying the responses to the above questions and will identify the key issues raised by the community and draft those into the Plan. These ideas will then be put out to a public referendum.
I will be using this column, in addition to our website, to keep you informed.
We always welcome more volunteers to help to increase public understanding and awareness, as well as to gather data at consultations and help us develop the evidence base for the policy ideas which will be emerging. This is a fabulous opportunity for the community.
To find out more, please visit www.ashbourneplan.org