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AXMINSTER: Getting to grips with planning

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

PLANNING: Delegates in Axminster Guildhall

PLANNING: Delegates in Axminster Guildhall

Axminster Town Council hosted a one-day Towns Alive Neighbourhood Plan conference. Formally known as Getting To Grips With Neighbourhood Planning, the conference attracted about 40 representatives from parish and town councils in the South West. Neighbourhood Planning is a result of The Localism Act, and Towns Alive was previously known as Action for Market Towns. Local communities have been invited to produce a Neighbourhood Plan which, if it meets certain criteria, would become part of the Local Plan. If approved, it would carry weight in planning decisions affecting the neighbourhood/locality in question. Before being approved, each plan would be subject to an independent examination and local referendum. The conference was organised to help and guide interested parties negotiate what is an extensive process. Axminster Town Council has successfully applied to designate the whole parish as a Neighbourhood Plan area. The next step is to apply for funding from government body My Community Rights to help pay for associated costs with the initial stages. Town councillor Andrew Moulding said it is likely that a planning expert must be hired to help develop the plan. He added: “Axminster is growing, so producing the plan is important.”

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