Bewdley Town Council
District’s lack of planning stalls Bewdley’s Neighbourhood Plan
Bewdley Town Council
Bewdley Town Council has expressed disappointment that the ambitions to complete the Neighbourhood Plan have been stalled by Wyre Forest District Council.
The timeline for the Neighbourhood Plan has been in place and co-ordinated with WFDC from its inception. The Town Council is saddened that due to the activities of the Local Plan, the need for the two plans to synchronise and management issues around the Local Plan, the anticipated referendum in May 2018 will now be postponed until May 2019 at the earliest.
A Town Council spokesperson said “Town Council officers and Members have worked and communicated diligently with Wyre Forest District Council for the entire consultation and planning period for Bewdley’s Neighbourhood Plan. We are surprised that conflicts have only come to light now. We will be releasing an early draft of the Neighbourhood Plan to the community later this month and will welcome further comment from residents on the proposals. We wish to keep the dialogue going with all interested stakeholders.”
Cllr Philip Edmundson, Chair of the Council’s Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group said: “I am not sure entirely why I am so taken aback by this. Colleagues and officers have done their level best to ensure that the communication of ideas, thoughts and comments from the two consultations and issues of clarity around the Neighbourhood Plan’s timeline have been forthcoming from day one. Personally, I was amazed at the draft Local Plan, released over the summer, and its disregard of the opinions and views we had shared with the district council regarding sites and proposals in Bewdley. As hard as we have worked to create a hand in glove approach, the district council appears haphazard in these matters. I can only hope that their consultation has highlighted anticipated issues and they are busy re-considering the Local Plan. Is this another example of a lack of planning at district council?”
Nick Farress, Town Clerk added “whilst this delay is disappointing, it does give us the opportunity to produce the most up to date Neighbourhood Plan in the district following the adoption of the new district Local Plan in 2019. We will continue to work with our colleagues at WFDC to ensure the two processes are aligned and any further issues are identified and resolved as quickly as possible”.
- Bewdley’s Neighbourhood Plan began in July 2015, with a proposed timeline for referendum for May 2017; WFDC requested a change to the referendum for 2018, following on from electoral reforms and the launch of the Local Plan.
- The Neighbourhood Plan is being project managed by the Town Clerk’s office with support from Foxley Tagg Planning Ltd who are experienced in the areas of town planning and land related issues.
- Cllr Philip Edmundson has been Chair of the Town Council’s Steering Group since its inception in 2015
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