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Halesworth's Town Plan on display

PUBLISHED: 10:26 26 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:29 01 August 2010

HALESWORTH'S most hotly debated issues are to be tackled in a consultation that will give people the chance to have their say on future levels of housing, the provision of sports facilities, and the development of the town centre.

HALESWORTH'S most hotly debated issues are to be tackled in a consultation that will give people the chance to have their say on future levels of housing, the provision of sports facilities, and the development of the town centre.

Community members are calling on Halesworth residents and businesses to help shape the future of the town by having their say on the Town Plan, which is currently being drawn up.

A consultation exhibition starts today at the Rifle Hall in support of the development of the plan, which is being created to reflect how residents want to see the town evolve over the coming years.

Richard Woolnough, chairman of the group spearheading the plan, said it was a vital to get as much input as possible from members of the public and businesses from Halesworth and the surrounding villages.

“These consultation events are extremely significant for the town,” he said. “They are a real opportunity for the local community to inform the decision making process.

He added: “This will be a key document for Halesworth. With a Town Plan in place, we may get what we need out of future development. Without a plan, we might not. Everybody from the Government down says that the views of local people are important and this is our way of testing these fine words. I would urge all sectors of the community to attend and play a role in shaping our future.”

The Town Plan provides people with an opportunity to take an active role in the future of Halesworth by setting out local requirements upfront, rather than reacting to proposals when they arise.

Topics for discussion will include the growing trend of young families migrating to other towns and cities. In recent months councillors have spoken of their concerns about it leading to an ageing population, which they believe will be exacerbated by the closure of the middle school when the county's new two-tier educational structure is implemented.

People will also be able to have their say on how they want to see sports provision developed in the town. Earlier this year both Halesworth Town Council and Waveney District Council called on landowners to come forward with potential sites for sports facilities, after it emerged that a document detailing proposals for development in the town over the next 25 years had not earmarked a single site for developing outdoor sports provision.

Residents and businesses will also be asked their views on how the Thoroughfare and Market Place areas could be developed to attract more shoppers to the town centre. Opinions over proposals for a Tesco store to be built in the town centre remain divided, with a decision pending by the Planning Inspectorate, after the matter was taken out of Waveney's hands.

Other priorities that are being set out for discussion include rail and bus links, and future levels of housing.

Today's event will be held at 4pm-8pm and will continue tomorrow from 10am until 4pm at the Rifle Hall on London Road.

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