Stamford MP Nick Boles, has given his full backing to community group StamfordFirst which is leading the creation of a neighbourhood plan for the town.
Stamford First, operating under the auspices of Stamford Town Council’s strategic development committee, is leading the creation of a Stamford plan, which will give local people the chance to shape the development of the town.
Conservative MP Mr Boles, a former planning minister, said: “I am delighted the residents of Stamford, through Stamford First, will have the opportunity to engage in the neighbourhood planning process and shape the town’s future.”
David Taylor, an independent Stamford town councillor is founder and chairman of Stamford First. He said: “The creation of a Stamford Neighbourhood Plan is a really exciting opportunity for Stamfordians to engage in a process which will enable them to shape the development of Stamford over the next two decades.
“It is our intention that, through the creation of the neighbourhood plan, Stamford will lose none of its special and distinctive character.
“We want to ensure that its defining assets, as an historic and vibrant rural market town and tourist destination, are retained and enhanced, and that its important heritage assets and precious green spaces are protected.
“In order to harness the town’s growth potential the plan will also seek to secure appropriate improvements to infrastructure and services and enable all sections of the community to enjoy a sustainable way of life.”
People in the town will have the chance to have their say on the plan and following its completion, it will be the subject of a referendum when everyone in Stamford will be able to vote for or against it’s adoption, at which point it becomes a statutory planning document which South Kesteven District Council must consult.
Mr Boles added: “Stamford Town Council and the town’s residents currently have little influence on local planning issues, where development should take place, and the type of development which should be undertaken – these decisions are made by South Kesteven District Council.
“The creation of the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan gives the opportunity for Stamfordians to have a real say and I’m 100 per cent behind Stamford First who are championing the project.”
Central to the ethos of neighbourhood planning is engagement and consultation with the community, community groups, businesses and other interested stakeholders.
Mr Taylor said: “It is our intent to ensure that every resident has the opportunity to give their views on the future development of the town. This process of consultation will take place at public events, meetings with community groups and local business representatives, through our website, and via online and paper based questionnaires.”
Stamford First’s launch event will take place at New College Stamford on Thursday, April 28, at 6.30pm and all members of the public are welcome.
For those who would like to become more involved in the neighbourhood plan, there is the opportunity to volunteer for one of Stamford First’s topic groups, which will focus on issues such as heritage, business and commerce, highways and environment.
Those interested should contact Stamford First via the website at www.stamfordfirst.org.uk or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.