People are being urged to have their say on the future of Oakham and the wider county.
Oakham Town Council is planning to write a community-led Neighbourhood Plan, which will direct the future of development in Oakham.
The town council estimates it will take two years to finalise and once complete, it will be subject to a public referendum. If the referendum finds in favour, it will go forward to Rutland County Council for independent examination before coming into effect.
The town council intends to start work in the New Year but is holding two information sessions this week to provide information.
They will be held on Saturday, November 21, from 10am until 2pm in the town council’s offices in Victoria Hall in Oakham, when information will be provided and questions will be answered.
If you’re keen to join the group that will influence future development in the town or just interested in what we are doing come along to one of the information sessions and we will be pleased to hear your views and discuss it further with you.
Mayor of Oakham Alf Dewis said: “This is an ideal opportunity for members of the community who are interested in influencing the direction and the way the town is to develop to be fully involved in writing the Neighbourhood Plan that will carry more weight when planning decisions are considered.”
If you are interested but unable to attend either of the sessions please contact the town clerk on 01572 723647 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and contact details.
Meanwhile, residents from across the county are being asked to share their views on an extension to the county’s Local Plan, as part of a public consultation that will run until 2016.
The Local Plan outlines Rutland’s planning policies and identifies the main locations for future housing and other development throughout the county.
At present, the Local Plan is made up of three documents covering the period until 2026. Rutland County Council is reviewing the plan in order to extend it to 2036 and provide for any additional housing, employment or other development that will be needed.
This is the first stage of consultation and the council is seeking people’s views on a range of key issues and options, such as how much new housing there should be, are sites for employment, retail or other uses needed, and what additional infrastructure will be needed to support this.
Portfolio holder for development at Rutland County Council Terry King said: “The revised Local Plan will look at how much additional development is needed in Rutland over the period to 2036 and consider any new issues that have arisen. It will also take into account a number of neighbourhood plans that are being prepared by local communities.”
Rutland has worked closely with other local councils to establish what additional housing will be needed from 2015-2036 and a revised figure of 173 dwellings each year is being put forward as part of the consultation.
This an increase of 23 new homes per year from the last Local Plan review in 2008, of which 10 per year are required to make up for a slowdown in development throughout the recession. The extended Local Plan seeks residents’ views on how the new housing and other developments should be distributed between the towns and villages.
The consultation started on Monday and runs until January 12. Further details, including full documentation and how to submit your comments, can be found online at: www.rutland.gov.uk/localplanreview.
Exhibitions are being held throughout November on the plans and details can also be found at the website.