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Residents' key role

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

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RESIDENTS in several North Cornwall towns are being encouraged to come forward and play a part in formulating a plan that could help shape the future of their areas for years to come.

Tintagel and Bude are the latest places that could benefit from the formulation of a neighbourhood plan.

The parish council in Tintagel held a public meeting last week to gauge public support for a plan, with more than 70 people attending.

And Bude Stratton Parish Council is also spearheading its neighbourhood plan, with a steering group now set up.

If a town or parish puts together a neighbourhood plan, which is accepted by bodies including Cornwall Council, its contents will be taken into account when decisions are made on future developments, including planning applications and renewable energy schemes.

The parish council in Bude said before any decisions were made, it was important that they got the views and input from as many people as possible living or working in Bude, Stratton, Poughill, Flexbury and other areas that fall into their remit.

Currently the group includes representatives from Bude-Stratton Town Council, Cornwall Council, The Bude Partnership, Bude Chamber of Commerce and many local interest groups, as well as several concerned residents.

Lea Deely, chairman of the steering group, said: "It is essential that we prepare a neighbourhood plan to give us a greater element of local control over development in future. In recent years we have completed community-led plans that tackled much wider issues so, where they relate to housing or local business, they can be picked up in the neighbourhood plan.

"This gives us a much greater say on matters that in the past were out of our control, but can only succeed with input from the local community."

In order to get the views from as many people as possible the council hopes they will fill in a survey questionnaire.

"If you care about Bude and the future of our community please will you express that in the survey," said Ms Deely.

You can fill in the survey at http://www.budestrattonnp.org or e-mail budeneighbourhoodplan@gmail.com or visit Bude Stratton Council office for a paper copy.

Tintagel Parish Council has already successfully taken on the village's Visitor Centre, now running at a profit, and half the tourist hotspot's toilets which were due to be closed by Cornwall Council.

Members have now decided to explore the possibility of drawing up a neighbourhood plan for Tintagel.

The council has sent out a letter to every home to find out the views of residents and ask if they would be prepared to help draw it up.

They have had an encouraging response with over 140 comments being returned so far.

A public meeting in the social hall on Wednesday was attended by 73 people, which council chairman Roger Wickett said was "encouraging" .

However, of those who attended only 15 volunteered to help with the task of collating information and providing IT skills, which is needed. Someone is also needed who can help by project managing the compilation of the plan.

The parish council will be discussing the next move at its meeting tonight (Wednesday).

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