Melksham Without Parish Council continue to work with Melksham Town Council on the joint Neighbourhood Plan. The Steering Group is made up of members of the public as well as councillors; with representatives for Business, Environment, Transport, Housing, Education, Melksham Community Area Partnership and Melksham Area Board. These groups have fed into the Plan and its policies, which have all taken a lead from the issues raised by the residents in the public consultations held to date.
Neighbourhood Plans are a tool for local communities to influence the planning of the area in which they live and work, a chance to shape where development will go and what it will look like. Some issues raised by the public are out of the scope of the legal framework, these have been captured into an “aspirations” part of the document to be addressed separately, but are unable to form part of the adopted Plan.
The next steps are for the draft Plan policies to be finalised over the coming weeks and then go out to local public consultation in the Spring; at the same time the Plan will also likely to be subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment which checks how the Plan provides a high level of protection of the environment. Steering Group meetings are usually held on the last Wednesday of the month at 6pm and are public meetings that any resident can attend, with a public participation section at the beginning. The next meeting will be held on Weds 1st May (to avoid clashing with the Area Board meeting on Weds 24th April) at the parish council’s new meeting venue at 1 Swift Way, Bowerhill Industrial Estate.