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Proposed neighbourhood area for Abberley

Residents and workers are being asked for their views on a proposal to make the parish of Abberley a neighbourhood area.

Abberley Parish Council has submitted an application to Malvern Hills District Council to designate the parish as a neighbourhood area with a view to developing a neighbourhood plan.

Neighbourhood plans are a key part of the Government's localism agenda to give local people more of a say on issues like where new homes, shops and offices should be built, and the design of new developments.

One of the first steps in developing a neighbourhood plan is for the parish council to apply to the district council to be designated as a neighbourhood area.

A six week public consultation is being held from Friday, 3 July to Friday, 14 August. During the period anyone living or working in the parish can comment on the proposed boundary of the neighbourhood area.

Councillor Melanie Baker, portfolio holder for planning and housing at Malvern Hills District Council, said: "Neighbourhood Plans are intended to give local communities greater influence in deciding the look and feel of future development in their area. Being designated as a neighbourhood area will be an important first step to enable the parish council to draw up a neighbourhood plan for Abberley. The development of the neighbourhood plan would be a community effort and the final plan would have to be approved by local residents in the parish."

Councillor Trevor Nott, chairman of Abberley Parish Council, said: "It is hoped that a community-led Neighbourhood Plan will galvanise future growth in Abberley. It is also hoped the Plan will help protect and enhance the natural environment in Abberley from inappropriate development, in order to retain the character and individual identity of the area."

Any comments on the Abberley neighbourhood area application should be sent to Malvern Hills District Council by 5pm on Friday 14 August 2015. Comments can be sent via email to developmentplans@malvernhills.gov.uk or posted to Development Plans and Conservation, Malvern Hills District Council, Council House, Avenue Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3AF.