The Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan (NP) Steering Group is producing a scheme which will give statutory protection to the preservation of the town’s green spaces for future generations.
The group produced a far-ranging, 27-page report for the council, outlining achievements to date and a schedule of future activity. Last night’s meeting (Monday, 14 December) paid tribute to the community, volunteers and the NP committee for the enormous hard work, and many hours, to reach this stage.
Tenterden Town Council has agreed to the request from the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group for an additional £6,320 to cover the shortfall in expenses this year and to budget £20,000 for the 2021/22 financial year to see the plan to completion.
Following the meeting, NP chair Siggi Nepp said:
“Our report provided an overview of the current status of the Plan. It clearly demonstrated how much work has been achieved by the team and the many volunteers so far, and how well supported the initiative is by the local community.
“The scope has been expanded to include consideration of the local economy, as a result of a Visioning Workshop to take into account local residents’ views on the shape of the plan.
“It is also imperative that the plan is completed as swiftly as possible in light of the likely impact of the new Planning White Paper, to ensure that Tenterden’s unique mix of qualities are protected as far as possible.
“Now that the evidence-gathering phase is largely completed, we look forward to continuing to the next stages of the plan, focussing on the writing and crafting of the document with the planning consultant to meet the Reg 14 requirements, hopefully by the end of March 2021.
“The communications and public engagement team will be working closely with a digital consultant on a new website and other social media forums as well as traditional flyers and posters to ensure that the excellent public consultation carried out so far continues through the current crisis.
“The team will engage with the local community as much as possible, as it is the local community’s views and aspirations which must drive the Neighbourhood Plan, so we have a firm basis for the plan as proposed.”
Neighbourhood Plan team member Cllr John Crawford added: “The success of our work is due to the participation, commitment and views of the town’s residents, and is very much a plan for the community, developed by the community.
“It underlines how they feel our historic market town should evolve, while preserving it for the community and tourists who are the backbone of our economy.”