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Councils working together on Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan
LOCAL councils have got together to kick-start the process of creating a Bridport Area Neighbour-hood Plan.
Bridport Town Council, Allington and Symondsbury Parish Councils have agreed their areas should be in the plan and an application to designate the area has been submitted to West Dorset District Council, which is currently consulting on the proposed zone.
A decision is due to be made in early February.
A neighbourhood plan sets out a vision for an area and influences planning policies for the use and development of land.
It deals with locally important issues rather than strategic issues.
If adopted, it would become part of the statutory plan for the neighbourhood and be used in making decisions on planning applications.
A meeting of representatives from the three councils discussed the initial stages and an outline project plan.
In particular, they discussed the need for volunteers, both for a steering group and working groups, and the need to confirm funding and to identify potential consultancy support.
The group will meet again in the new year to look at a possible constitution and terms of reference.
Coun Sarah Williams, leader of Bridport Town Council, said: “This is a great opportunity for people to have a say in how they want their area to develop over the coming years.
"While the local councils are discussing the initial arrangements, the plan itself will be led by the community and, hopefully, in the new year, people will come forward to be involved in the steering group and working groups which will develop the plan.
“There will also be a great deal of consultation and other opportunities for people to be involved.
“We will look forward to the area being designated so we can move forward with the plan next year.”
Coun Peter Smith, chairman of Symondsbury Parish Council, added that the council was pleased to join with Bridport and Allington to be involved in the future development of Bridport and especially areas to the west of the town, with the opportunity for the wider community to be heavily involved, assisted by WDDC and a professional consultant.
Coun Phil Lathey, chairman of Allington Parish Council, said: “This is a very exciting time for the local area and the neighbourhood plan will give all local people the opportunity to take part and make a difference to the future of the area.”