How will Park Street look in 2035?
The area in which we live is, in estate agents’ parlance, ‘a much sought after location” and it’s easy to see why. Although we sit on the doorstep of an historic city with its abundance of amenities we are still surrounded by green fields and open spaces. The nation’s capital is within easy reach by both road and rail, a cross-section of motorways lying just minutes away makes the area popular with commuters and also eases journeys to other parts of the country for all. No surprise, therefore, that Park Street is a popular place to live. Many residents have lived in the area, some in the same family house, for generations, with no plan or desire to move on. Numerous outsiders look on with envy at what they view as our idyllic location and lifestyle whilst sighing ‘if only’.
So how can we preserve this little piece of Utopia? How can we guarantee that in years to come Park Street remains a village, retains its character and, for example, ensure that the Green Belt is not sacrificed for ill-considered expansion? As residents are probably aware by now, one protective measure was initiated earlier this year when St Stephen Parish Council announced that it was embarking upon the formulation of a Neighbourhood Plan. Indeed, brief reference to the plan was made in the last edition of Park Street News.
So, what exactly is a Neighbourhood Plan? In simple terms it’s a piece of legislation that is generated from and by local residents and local businesses which, once finalised, scrutinised and adopted, will enable the council and residents to have a greater influence on how the parish and its villages will look in years to come. Many towns and parishes across the country are already treading the Neighbourhood Plan path, developing plans to meet their individual needs and circumstances. No two plans are the same, however, with the influences and issues to be considered and incorporated varying from location to location. In our case the Parish Council has identified five key issues to be addressed in its plan:
Community Housing Green Spaces
Community-led volunteer Working Groups have been established to identify and dig deep into each of these key issues – the initial step in the process of developing policies for inclusion in the plan
Park Street is your home and, perhaps, will be for many years to come so it’s vitally important that you have your say on how your village should look and how its facilities and infrastructure can be improved to best serve its residents over the next few decades – and the Neighbourhood Plan provides the portal to make your views known.
So, don’t waste the opportunity – you can add your comments and follow the progress of the development of the Neighbourhood Plan via the council’s website at:
Jon Breen, Plans Secretary, Park Street Residents’ Association,
Leader, St Stephen Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan Green Spaces Working Group
Cllr Bill Pryce, Leader, St Stephen Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan Community Working Group
Leader, St Stephen Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group