‘Tell us what you think of development plan’

Cllr. Llew Monger with the Winslow Neighbourhood Development Plan.'130814M-F145
Cllr. Llew Monger with the Winslow Neighbourhood Development Plan.'130814M-F145

Winslow residents are being urged to comment on a blueprint for future development that has been described as “perhaps the most important thing ever” for the town.

A six-week consultation on the draft Winslow Neighbourhood Development Plan was launched on Monday.

Every home in Winslow has been leafleted with information about the draft plan, which sets out Winslow Town Council’s vision for development in Winslow over the next 20 years.

The draft plan can be read online at www.winslowtowncouncil.gov.uk

Copies are also available to read at Winslow Library.

A series of drop-in sessions are being held where people can raise specific questions.

So far, public feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, said chairman of the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, Llew Monger.

But he added: “I’d really like to encourage as many people as possible to take the time to comment formally.

“We need people to write and say what they think.

“If they like it, tell us. If there’s questions, ask us. It’s not our plan, it’s the town’s plan. It really is important for Winslow – perhaps the most important thing ever.

“This is not a plan for tomorrow or next week or even next year, it’s a plan for the next 20 years.”

The draft plan embraces theVale of Aylesbury Plan requirement for Winslow to take 400 new houses over the next 20 years, but stipulates where that housing growth should take place, rather than letting developers take the initiative.

It also sets out sites for employment land, the newEast-West Rail station and the new Sir Thomas Fremantle School.

A new medical facility is proposed on the site of the current Winslow Centre, andseveral sites are considered for a new community centre.

This would enable a small supermarket to be situated on the existing Public Hall site.

Mr Monger said: “If we can provide a town centre site for a small supermarket, we can put that forward as a defence against a large supermarket on the edge of town, which would kill off the town. We know there’s already been supermarkets looking at sites on the periphery of the town.

“As a town council, we’ve worked very hard to protect the town centre, including keeping free parking to 2018.

“The Public Hall site is an asset owned by the town council and we can generate substantial income from leasing that building, which would help keep council tax down.

“The building is exactly the right size for a small supermarket and it keep trade in the town centre.

“But it could only happen once we’d completed the building of a new community centre.”