A document that will shape future residential and business developments in a town has been given the seal of approval by a town council.
The third and final draft of the Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan was approved by Uppingham town councillors at a meeting on Christmas Eve.
The plan is a 40-page document that highlights where and how the town can be developed until 2026.
There are a number of sections in the plan that discuss key issues such as technology and infrastructure, tourism, industry and employment, retail development and transport. It has been created to attract new employers and help create local jobs while protecting the town’s heritage and appearance.
It has been sent to Rutland County Council, and cabinet members will either approve or refuse the document at a meeting later this month.
If approved and signed off by an external examiner, a local referendum will be held so residents can support or refute the final document.
If 50 per cent of the voters approve the contents of the plan, Rutland County Council must bring it into force.
The plan is a Government based scheme that aims to give local communities a chance to have a say on plans for their area. It has been put together by the Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan Task Group, on behalf of Uppingham Town Council, following consultations with groups and businesses in the town and gaining advice from town planning experts and planning minister Nick Boles, who is MP for Grantham and Stamford.
Task group member Ron Simpson said he was delighted the final plan was complete and is optimistic it will be approved and enforced.
He said: “The feedback we’ve had has been excellent and mostly supportive.
“It’s taken us two years to get here and we’re very pleased with it.”
Uppingham mayor David Casewell said: “This is probably the most important document prepared by the town council since its formation.
“If approved in the referendum, it will give the local community a much greater say and more control over the shape of its destiny.”
There was a six-week consultation following the completion of the first draft in May, and another six-week consultation after the second draft was compiled, before the final draft was approved by the town council.
Small amendments were made to the first plan including removing plans for a bypass, as it was seen that it was unlikely that it would be built before 2026 and that the plan should be attracting people to the town centre, rather than forcing them around it, as well as doubling the size of land earmarked for employment development in Uppingham Gate.
The plans also includes potential housing sites, in which 170 homes have been earmarked for two sites to the north of Leicester Road and one site to the south of the road.
To see the final draft of the Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan, visit www.uppinghamneighbourhoodplan.info