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Views sought on vision for town’s neighbourhood plan in second phase of consultation

Richard Stubbings, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw and Dave Goldstone from the Beccles Neighbourhood Plan Operational Group. 
Picture: Nick Butcher.

Richard Stubbings, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw and Dave Goldstone from the Beccles Neighbourhood Plan Operational Group. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2018

The first look at a vision for the future development of Beccles will be unveiled at a public event next month.

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw and Richard Stubbings with the wishing tree last year at Beccles Library. Picture: Nick Butcher.Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw and Richard Stubbings with the wishing tree last year at Beccles Library. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Last year the Beccles Neighbourhood Plan operational group consulted residents about what they felt were the most important challenges facing the town.

And all the information has now been used to create the first part of the neighbourhood plan vision.

The draft of the document will be published on Monday, February 5, and an event is being held at Beccles Library from 4.30pm to 7pm for residents to give their feedback on the plan.

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, chairman of the operational group, said: “The last six months have seen the Beccles Neighbourhood Plan moving swiftly in the right direction, with its roots now firmly in the community.

“The initial consultation has highlighted many issues but particularly concerns about increasing development over the next 20 years, which generally focuses on having enough infrastructure to serve a growing population. As well as frustrations around lack of affordable housing and housing suitable for an aging population. Focus was also on current infrastructure and provision of services, including the medical centre, play parks, indoor sports and services for children, teenagers and the elderly. Issues surrounding traffic congestion, pedestrian and cyclist safety and ensuring that our highways are future proof were also high on the agenda.”

Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw is now also joined on the committee by resident Dave Goldstone, who has been elected as deputy chairman.

She said: “This means a balance between councillor and resident input has been achieved, which makes me feel confident that the resulting plan will genuinely reflect the needs of the community.”

A neighbourhood plan is a statutory document which enables communities to directly influence planning decisions.

The launch saw a wishing tree set up in the library for residents to share their views on what improvements they would like to see in the local area, which was then moved to other locations around the town.

The second phase, which starts with the unveiling of the vision, will include a series of consultation workshops, before a final document is produced. The plan will then be checked by an independent examiner and a referendum will be held, hopefully by spring 2019.

The event on February 5 will include free tea and cake and children are also welcome.

The operational groups meets on the last Monday of the month at Beccles Library at 10am. For more information contact Beccles town council clerk Claire Boyne on 01502 712709 or email admin@beccles.info.

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