ECCLESHALL residents have taken the first steps towards shaping the future development of their area.
Eccleshall Parish Council is considering developing a Neighbourhood Plan, a statutory document which would address plan- ning issues in the parish.
Communities were given the opportunity to create their own plans under the Localism Act. Stone Town Council is also considering a plan for the town.
Last week more than 100 people attended a public meeting held by Eccleshall Parish Council to gauge residents’ interest.
Parish and borough councillor Peter Jones said: “The public meeting said a firm ‘yes’ to the call for a Neighbourhood Plan. When the vote was taken it was unanimous.
“Some 16 people signed up to join the working party which will work with members
of the parish council to form the plan, which will be presented to the people of Eccleshall for approval.
“It was the first step of a journey that could take up to two years.”
The Neighbourhood Plan can propose locations for housing and other developments, specify housing design and address road improvement, footpath and cycle network issues. It can also safeguard sites valued as open space.
But the Neighbourhood Plan would be unable to contradict elements in Stafford Borough Council’s local plan, which is in the final stages of development and considers Eccleshall a key village with potential for fur- ther development.
Once devised, the Neighbourhood Plan would need to be deemed satisfactory by an independent inspector and approved in a public referendum by a majority vote (more than 50 per cent) in order to become a statutory document.