Have your say in first stage of Beccles Neighbourhood Plan consultation
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The first stage of a consultation on a Neighbourhood Plan for Beccles has got under way.
The plan is an opportunity for residents young and old to share their views on the local area - what you like, what you would change and what improvements you would like to see.
And this week an exhibition featuring a wishing tree, where suggestions can be posted, was launched at Beccles Library.
If approved, the Neighbourhood Plan would be used in the determination of planning applications for the Beccles area, allowing the community to influence the type of development.
Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, chairman of the Beccles area Neighbourhood Plan Operating Group, said: 'It really is a chance for people to shout about what their neighbourhood needs.
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'We want it to be a grassroots, democratic process where the local community can really say what they want.
'It is an exciting opportunity to shape the future.'
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The exhibition is due to be on display in the library for about a month.
It will then be taken around to schools and community groups in order to reach as many people as possible.
Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw said: 'Over the next six months, we will be consulting with as many people in Beccles as we can to find out their views on how Beccles can be changed in the future to be better.
'At the start it is very broad, we just want people to write on a post-it note their gut feelings about how Beccles can be better.
'As the consultation goes on, we will focus on the main concerns.'
The plan is supported by Beccles Town Council.
The operating group is currently made up of four town councillors, although they need at least eight members of the community to join for it to be approved.
The second phase will include detailed consultation surveys.
All the feedback will then be brought together into a document. The plan will be checked by an independent examiner and a referendum will be held to decide whether or not the plan should be brought into effect.
'We've got to have really open minds about this,' said Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw.
'We are blank slates and we are here to facilitate the process and guide it through.'
For more information, visit www.becclesplan.com or search for Beccles Neighbourhood Plan on Facebook. Comments can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Community volunteers in Worlingham are also working on their own Neighbourhood Plan, with questionnaires delivered to all homeowners last month. It is the culmination of over 12 months of work from team, some of which helped with the parish plan process some four years ago. The results will be collated to provide an insight into residents' views about various planning matters and will be used to formulate planning policies specifically for Worlingham. The questionnaire can be done online or in paper form, and needs to be completed by December 21.