Councils invite comments on proposed Tenbury and Burford Neighbourhood Area
Residents and workers are being asked for their views on a proposal to make the parishes of Tenbury and Burford a neighbourhood area.
Tenbury Town Council, in conjunction with Burford Parish Council, has applied to Malvern Hills District and Shropshire Councils to designate the two parishes as a single 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 parishes to apply to the local planning authority to be designated as a neighbourhood area. Because the proposed Tenbury and Burford neighbourhood area crosses administrative boundaries of two councils, the application has been made both Malvern Hills District and Shropshire Councils.
A six week public consultation is being held from Friday, 4 December to Friday, 15 January 2016. 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 parishes to draw up a neighbourhood plan for Tenbury and Burford. 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 parishes”.
Councillor Mal Price, portfolio holder for planning and housing at Shropshire Council said: “Town and Parish Councils can put forward the neighbourhood area that they consider most appropriate for neighbourhood planning and this does not need to follow administrative boundaries. We recognise that many residents and businesses see Tenbury and Burford as being one community and the neighbourhood area application reflects this”.
Mark Willis, Tenbury Mayor, said: “The communities of Tenbury and Burford have developed together over time and are interdependent with retail and social services being concentrated on the Tenbury side of the River Teme, but the majority of employment opportunities are found on the Burford side of the river”.
Brian Howells, Chair of Burford Parish Council, said: “The two communities worked together on the Tenbury and Burford Community Plan in 2004 and 2012.We are hoping that a Neighbourhood Plan will enable future planning decisions to recognise the needs of our interdependent communities as one whole. It will also help protect and enhance the natural environment from inappropriate development in order to retain the character and individual identity of the area”.
Any comments on the Tenbury and Burford neighbourhood area application should be sent to Malvern Hills District Council by 5pm on Friday 15 January 2016. Comments can be sent via email to email@example.com or posted to Development Plans and Conservation, Malvern Hills District Council, Council House, Avenue Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3AF.