Plan aims to keep village life sweet
5:30am Wednesday 16th April 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
A PLAN to help secure the quality of life in a North Swindon village has taken another step forward.
Representatives from Blunsdon are developing a neighbourhood plan which, when complete, will mean residents have a far greater say over future development.
On Saturday, the second level of consultation took place and more than 100 people came to put across their views.
The next stage will see members of a steering group develop a number of policies around development.
“This is important because if it passes it means we can stop developers riding roughshod over the village,” said parish council chairman Ian Jankinson.
“I have been really pleased with the input people have put in.
“When we were first starting out I think we were all a little concerned about the input people would have over it.
“In fact people have been very pro-active and come forward with many ideas, some of which we have not been thought of, so we will now take those away and develop the policies.
“The main benefit is that people are getting to decide on the future and not the parish council.”
Last year, the first level of consultation took place in which an overwhelming desire to maintain village life was revealed.
From there a narrow set of ideas was put forward for people to respond to.
Ian said: “The first level of consultation was more quantative to see if there was backing for a plan, while this latest consultation was more qualitative.
“Now we are asking for more input around key issues like the environment, transport, and the community.
“Although the turnout has been great and shows people care about the community, there were not many people under 30 who answered. We are looking to address that and are working with the school.”
By May the group hope to have examined all the responses to the second level of the consultation.
From there they will submit the plan to the council before it is then looked at independently.
From there the neighbourhood plan will go before a referendum in Blunsdon. If it receives 50 per cent approval it will be adopted.
Members of the steering group who have put the plan together will be holding a talk at Swindon Civic Voice, in Milton Road, tomorrow night to explain how to go about developing the plan.
The meeting starts at 7pm and tickets cost £2.50.
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