18th Oct, 2017

Townspeople given last chance to have say about town's future

Stratford Editorial 24th Jul, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

TIME is running out for people to have their say on Stratford’s future.

Volunteers representing townspeople have spent more than two years working on the draft Stratford Neighbourhood Plan (NDP), which details the way forward for the town on everything from transport to tourism.

If the plan is approved, it will be subject to a referendum and if more than half of residents vote in favour of it, Stratford District Council will have to adopt it to use when considering planning applications in the coming years.

The team behind the NDP had previously raised concerns many people were confusing the document with the district’s key planning document, the Core Strategy.

This week Stratford District Council issued a report giving feedback on the NDP document in its current form.

And although the document is praised for coming up with some “interesting and attractive proposals for the town”, it also suggests parts may need to be modified as they do not differentiate enough from the authority’s own Core Strategy.

An NDP group spokesman for the group told The Observer: “We welcome Stratford District Council’s comments and understand the need for us to work together to take the plan forward.

“Although we cover some of the same subject areas, we feel the NDP has a different emphasis and goes into more detail in some parts.

“Ultimately however, the objective is to have both the NDP and Core Strategy approved and in place as soon as possible to benefit everyone in Stratford.”

A six week pre-submission consultation period was extended recently and is set to end on Monday (July 27).

Urging Stratfordians to make their thoughts known before the deadline, he added: “We want to ensure those who have been working on the plan have got it right and the only way we can do that is by townspeople telling us their views.

“Just 16 minutes of people’s time, or less, could make a difference for the next 16 years so we would ask people to take this opportunity to have their say about the future of the town.”

The council’s report is set to be discussed by members of its Cabinet at a meeting on the same day as the NDP’s deadline.

Printed copies are available at the library in Henley Street, Stratford Town Hall and the district council offices.

Visit www.ourstratford.org.uk to make your thoughts known.

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