EDITOR – At a meeting with Market Rasen Council and the Rasen Neighbourhood Planning Group, including representation from MR BIG, consensus was achieved with mutually agreed objectives.
A phased approach to developing a future proof plan for our area was agreed.
Based on the early community-led process, from which has arisen MR BIG and a new Health and Wellbeing Group, everyone agreed to work together for the benefit of our local areas and to ensure that all local residents are represented, alongside business and services.
Recognising the need for all parties to share the results of recent consultations to truly reflect what residents want to see happening, the first steps will be to get professional support from West Lindsey District Council officers to advise on whether a cluster approach can be used to ensure the needs of our three converging parishes of Market, Middle and West are carefully considered.
Middle Rasen residents are working on their Parish Plan and details can be found at http://middlerasen.org.uk/parishplan/meetings.htm#nb
They have agreed to mutual joint working where possible, especially where the parish boundaries meet.
West Rasen are keen to be represented to ensure sufficient infrastructure is put in place such as broadband, drainage and rural housing.
The town council have stated they will complete a Town Plan by autumn 2012, which will be a framework to plan their activity in a way that responds to local concerns and will be asking residents to fill in a questionnaire.
A youth activity has also been arranged, at which young people will be encouraged to give their views.
The town’s Development Trust will support the process by providing the results of the Market Towns’ Initiative, which is based on the 2000 census, and MR BIG will share its findings from local businesses.
Working together it is hoped the local parish planning results will form the basis of a Neighbourhood Plan.
This could take up to two years to develop and relies on a local referendum to finally be accepted.
The Parish Plan sets out a local improvement scheme, which groups and local people can work on together to achieve.
The Neighbourhood Plan is an opportunity to inform and influence future planning decisions on what developmemnt will be like in the future and gives localism a chance to work.
It has strategic ‘teeth’ as it would be a legally binding plan. The current overarching Local Plan that determines where and how development should be permitted comes to an end in 2014, which sets the clock ticking in developing our local agenda.
Mayor Steve Bunney said: “We had a very goood meeting at which all parties agreed the way forward.
“Each group went away with various tasks to be completed over the summer. We look forward to meeting again in the autumn to take the town and neighbourhood planning processes forward.
“The town council has set itself the task of producing a draft Town Plan (outlining the future development of the town and its community) by the autumn.
“The council will incorporate into the plan information collected by RNPG, Mr BIG as well as information they have collected from themselves and the local population.
“Once the draft plan has been published the public and stakeholders will be able to make comments on the proposals before the final document is written – making it a true community document.
“This plan will hopefully form the basis of the Neighbourhood Plan.”
Carol Skye, current chairman of the Rasen Neighbourhood Planning Group said: “The meeting gave us a chance to really work together and develop a fresh, professional approach.
“Exciting times are ahead and the RNPG are delighted that their excellent terms of reference will be used to have a properly established and recognised steering group that does the legwork of Neighbourhood Planning.
“We are all looking forwards to working on behalf of the town council in the autumn.”
Over the summer months the RNPG will start plotting available land and buildings in the Market Rasen parish and would like some help from the community.
Perhaps volunteers could adopt a street and pool information about vacant properties and plots?
If that appeals to you, please get in touch with the group via email at email@example.com or telephone 01673 844556.
You can find out more on the blog at http://rasen-neighbourhood-plan.blogspot.com/
Rasen Neighbourhood Planning Group and Market Rasen Town Council