1. Have your say on the future development of your Parish

You may be aware that the Government has given communities powers to guide the future development of land within their local area over the next 15-20 years through the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan. The Parish Council has set up a Steering Group, composed of local residents and Parish Councillors, with the aim of preparing a Plan for our Parish (which includes the communities of Laverstock, Milford, Ford, Bishopdown Farm, Hampton Park, Riverdown Park, Old Sarum and Longhedge). The Plan, when approved, will give greater influence over:

       the scale and location of any housing development

       the protection of key green spaces which residents value

To become approved, the Plan and its associated policies for the use of land need to be consistent with the plans and policies of Central and Local Government, including any strategic allocation of housing  for the Parish, and we will also need to demonstrate that the Plan and policies are based upon, and supported by, the views of residents.  To this end, we have already held a number of meetings and talked to local groups. These community engagement sessions have already provided us with a good indication of what residents value about living in the Parish, their concerns and their feelings about the future.   The next (and by far the most important) part of the process of community engagement is to gather views of as many residents as possible via a questionnaire which all households in the Parish are encouraged to complete.

In addition to a few questions about yourself and your household, the questionnaire has 5 short sections, in which we ask for your views on:

·      The Parish setting and green spaces

·      Local community amenities

·      Movement (footpaths. cycle ways, traffic issues within the Parish)

·      The scale of future housing development within the Parish

·      Possible policies to be included in the Plan

The Government has not given Parish Councils any substantive additional powers relating to the provision of local amenities or improvement of transport infrastructure despite the well known problems which new housing development brings in both these areas.  However, we have included in the questionnaire short sections on local amenities and traffic issues, so that the views of residents can guide the Parish Council in its representations to Government and developers on these issues, especially when new housing developments are being proposed.

We have tried to keep the questionnaire as short as possible. At the end of the questionnaire, there is an opportunity to give your own views on any aspect of the future development of the Parish or make additional comments relating to your responses to the questions in this questionnaire.  

The closing date for completing the questionnaire is 30 September.

Many thanks

Vic Bussereau

Parish Councillor, member of Laverstock and Ford Communities Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

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