Has your community been heard?
As Weymouth’s Neighbourhood Plan is open for consultation until the extended closing date of Friday 15th December, we delve deeper into its five main themes. Our Communities piece is written by Weymouth resident and Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group volunteer member, Penny Quilter.
Penny says: “Many of us have intimate knowledge about the places we live in, and the views of all people are important when considering how we protect and develop our town.
“Many communities lie within the boundary of Weymouth’s large Neighbourhood Plan area. Whilst appreciating the unique character of each community and acknowledging that each area has its own specific set of needs, there are some common community themes that stand out.
“Take traffic and transport for example. There are proposed policies in the Plan which relate to traffic and transport, reflecting a concern about traffic levels in and around the whole of Weymouth. This is coupled with a need to shift towards more sustainable forms of transport. The proposed policies put forward in the Plan require developers to assess traffic impact and to include measures that promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport. Examples include policies that support a new Park & Ride scheme, electric vehicle charging points and an improved cycle network. As a regular cyclist myself, I think that improving the cycle network to schools, shops and places of work would help more people to make the shift towards this more sustainable form of transport.
“Community social and recreational centres are an essential part of our community life and policies are proposed to protect pubs and community buildings from redevelopment as well as protecting and enhancing our existing local sports and recreation facilities.
“Public support for the protection of allotments and for the provision of new community growing space has also been addressed, along with the importance of collaborating with communities on how public open spaces are used.
“If, like me, you care about your community then do speak up and tell us what you think about the Plan. The summary version makes it easier to understand the scope of what is in a massive document and identify the bits you are most interested in.”
My idea is missing!
“Many innovative ideas have been generated by residents during the 3 years that the Plan has been in development, covering things like waste management, public transport improvements and cultural events. Guidelines dictate what can and cannot be included within a Neighbourhood Plan, so not all suggestions, however good, can be reflected in policy. So that these ideas are retained they have been collated for future reference and action, in the Community Aspirations Section 13, of the Plan.
“This Plan is for all of us, so try and find time to check it out before the extended consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 15th December. Comments are invited from residents and business, and you do not need any special expertise in planning to submit a view. Tell us what you like as well as what you don’t like. Is there anything missing or wrong? Full details or a summary version are available online and at Weymouth’s central library.”