Parliament has provided the opportunity for local communities to help to shape their neighbourhood over the next 12 years and beyond. Southwell is one of the first to engage in this Neighbourhood plan process.
Whilst in our case the Newark and Sherwood District Council will remain the Planning Authority, the Neighbourhood Plan, if accepted by Southwell residents in a referendum expected to be held next year, will have a very significant impact upon the type, design and density of the extra housing which the District Council requires before 2026.
The Neighbourhood Plan is, however, about much more than just housing because it will also cover such important matters as, for example, keeping the town centre retail trade vibrant, preserving the town’s rich heritage, protecting its attractive rural setting, flood alleviation, providing educational, health and leisure facilities and ensuring that people can travel around by public and private transport.
Whilst the Town Council has set up the process for preparing the Neighbourhood Plan it will not be its author. That is the task of a group of local residents, most of whom are not councillors, and they need your help in identifying the issues which you feel are the key issues facing the town and its future.
If the Plan is to be credible and effective it must represent the views of local residents and not the preconceived ideas of any local authority or politician. That is why we hope that you will respond by the end of February to the questionnaire. Every house in Southwell should have received one, alternatively you can fill the form in online at: www.southwellplan.org.uk/your-view
Brendan Haigh, Deputy Convenor