MP for Grantham and Stamford, Nick Boles, has given his full backing to community group StamfordFIRST which is leading the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan for the Town.

Mr Boles commented “As Stamford’s MP and a former Planning Minister, I am delighted that the residents of Stamford, through StamfordFIRST, will have the opportunity to engage in the neighbourhood planning process and shape the Town’s future

The creation of a “Stamford Plan” will enable Stamfordians to develop a shared vision for their town and shape the development and growth of the area.”

Against a backdrop of a stated intent to build one million new houses in Britain by 2020, the Government remains strongly committed to encouraging the preparation of neighbourhood plans, allowing local people to secure the most suitable development for their communities, while still meeting the needs of the wider area.

Chairman and founder of StamfordFIRST, David Taylor, 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 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.”

Commenting further Nick Boles said “Stamford’s Town Council and the Towns 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% behind StamfordFIRST 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 commented “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.”

StamfordFIRST’s launch event will take place at New College Stamford on April 28th 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 StamfordFIRST’s Topic Groups (working parties) which will focus on issues such as Heritage, Business and Commerce, Highways and Environment. Those interested should contact StamfordFIRST through its website or by writing to StamfordFIRST at stamfordfirstuk@gmail.com.

Following completion of the plan and further consultation it will be 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.

http://www.stamfordmercury.co.uk/news/local/stamford-mp-nick-boles-backs-creation-of-neighbourhood-plan-for-town-1-7317696