Which plan is the right one for town?

A NEW town plan focusing on such issues as traffic, housing, employment and drainage will be produced by Market Rasen Town Council.

The authority is currently producing a questionnaire to ask residents what they would like to see included in the town plan.

Members of the public will then have the opportunity to comment on the final plan in the autumn and suggest inclusions or exclusions.

Mayor Steve Bunney said: “The town council want a detailed town plan.

“We need a town plan to help ensure decisions made by the council enable progress to be made, creating a more positive environment for people to live.”

As reported previously in the Market Rasen Mail, work had already begun on a Neighbourhood Plan, led by a steering group of volunteers.

However the new Neighbourhood Plans, launched by the government this year, are far more complicated documents as unlike a Town Plan they have a legal standing.

As a Neighbourhood Plan has not yet been completed in England, little guidance has been available to the Market Rasen Working Group and progress has been slow.

But Carol Skye, chairman of the Market Rasen Neighbourhood Plan Working Group said: “Without a Neighbourhood Plan there is the possibility of developers doing what they want to, they will have more of a free reign.

“It’s about growth, but putting in place legal guidelines to ensure it is sustainable and in the right place.

“Part of the reason the community chose to go with a neighbourhood plan, and is was a community decision, was that it had legal teeth.

“To say it is too complicated is silly, there is stacks of guidance coming out at the moment and maybe the town council need to bone up on it.”

Mrs Skye said the neighbourhood plan could not go ahead without the town council, but the working group would still look to work in partnership with the authority.

Coun Steve Bunney added: “The aim is this plan will form the basis for any Neighbourhood Plan when it becomes clear what is required from both West Lindsey and the national government. We are looking to walk before we can run.

“However, we believe the town council in the past has not had clear enough aims to work towards so time is wasted arguing over policy rather than ensuring projects get done.

“We will of course involve the positive work that has been done by various groups in the town already, eg MR BIG, the Neighbourhood Working Group and the Station Adoption Group, as we do not want to re–invent the wheel.

“We look forward to representatives from these groups helping us in the development of the plan and will require other groups and members of the public to come forward with their ideas.”

A further report on the progression of the Town Plan will be given at the Market Rasen Town Council meeting held tonight, Wednesday, July 4, at the Festival Hall Committee Room from 7pm.

There will be 15 minutes at the beginning of the meeting for public questions.