Your chance to have a say! Draft Plan goes to consultation

Starting on Friday 23rd August a draft of the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan will go out for public consultation.

This gives all Stamford residents the chance to make comments on the plan.

Everyone is encouraged to have their say by feeding back comments, either by by letter or by email which should be sent to stamfordfirstuk@gmail.com If you wish to respond by letter, these should be posted to the following address

The Town Clerk
Stamford Town Council
Town Hall
St Mary’s Hill
Stamford
PE9 2DR

You can view or download a PDF of the draft plan here or obtain a bound copy from the Town Hall.

The consultation will run for a period of 8 weeks from August 23rd to October 18th 2019.

During the consultation period we will be holding a minimum of three consultation events at which you will be able to find out more about the plan draft and discuss it with members of the Stamford FIRST team.

Venues and dates for these events can be found here.

All comments provided through the consultation period will then be analysed and the document redrafted to take them into account before a final version goes to an independent planning inspector for approval.

Following that the final plan will be the subject of a referendum in which all Stamford residents will be given the opportunity to support the plan or otherwise. It is hoped that the referendum (a legally binding one) will take place in January or February 2020.

If adopted the plan then becomes a statutory planning document with which all future planning applications within Stamford will have to comply.

Neighbourhood Plan will protect Stamford

A LETTER FROM OUR CHAIRMAN PUBLISHED IN THE STAMFORD MERCURY 23RD AUGUST 2019

“Stamford is a very special place. It has a unique character, amazing architecture, and a multitude of heritage assets with over 600 listed buildings which are protected by the town’s conservation status.

The Meadows offers incomparable views across Stamford with its five mediaeval churches and the town also benefits from a multitude of other, precious, open green spaces.

Stamford remains a vibrant rural market town and visitor attraction, with a wide selection of pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, an arts centre and theatre, and a plethora of flourishing independent retailers which are a further attraction for visitors who prefer personal service over online convenience.

Those of us fortunate enough to live in this town are privileged to do so. But that privilege brings with it responsibility, that of being the town’s guardians for future generations.

That is why, some three years ago, I championed the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Stamford. This week a draft of that plan has been issued for public consultation and I urge all who care about our town’s future to give their feedback on the plan through this process.

The plan sets out a vision for the Stamford of the future, one that reflects the thoughts and feelings of the many local people who participated in our various surveys and engagement events.

Whatever our views may be, growth in Stamford is an inevitability; government targets dictate it, and over the next 20-30 years, up to 2000 houses could be built here. The Stamford Neighbourhood Plan cannot resist that growth, but through the policies set out in it, we can influence where the town will grow, what development should look like, and what infrastructure and services are needed to support growth.

The plan will protect our precious green spaces against development and will ensure that developers create more green spaces. It also calls for better connectivity both within the existing town, and to its new developments, enabling more journeys to be made on foot or by cycle thus reducing reliance on the car.

Policies set-out in the plan will encourage and support business growth through the development of employment space and offices which the towns business community are shouting out for. This in turn will also serve to attract new businesses to the town and create new jobs for Stamford people.

I cannot claim that the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan is a panacea – it will not immediately address all of Stamford’s ills. Our historic town centre constrains opportunities to develop new roads within it and incorporating additional parking is difficult. We cannot, through this plan, deliver a new bypass, much though we might all want to see one, and we cannot influence the delivery of additional rail services.

However, this plan is our opportunity to shape the Stamford of the future so that the town develops in such a way that we protect what we have now and ensure that any growth creates a sustainable future for our community.

The Stamford Neighbourhood Plan is your plan, based on your views and those of your community – I commend it to you and urge you to give your feedback on it through the consultation process. “

David Taylor

Chairman

Stamford FIRST (The Stamford Neighbourhood Planning Forum)

Stamford plan seeks to protect green space

 

Plans to protect parcels of green land in Stamford are among suggestions in the latest draft of the town’s neighbourhood plan.

The final draft of the neighbourhood plan is set to go out to its last round of public consultation and among the new proposals are plans to protect green spaces in the town by designating them as “local green spaces”.

This means they could only be developed in very special circumstances and would hopefully put paid to instances of housing developers trying to auction them off with the risk of potential further development, as happened with Jelson Homes in Stamford.

New developments in Stamford would also be required to have open green space, under the proposals put forward by the neighbourhood plan.

Another suggestion within the plan, which has been nearly two years in the making, is the creation of a “green wheel” around the town to link areas of green space. It is called a green wheel because it circles part of the town, with spokes leading from the outside routes into the town centre and will mean the town is more sustainable for pedestrians and cyclists.

The plan states: “Connectivity and movement through the town is important for it to be a sustainable and adaptable place”.

Stamford First is behind the plan and chairman of the group David Taylor, a town and district councillor, said green spaces were a “big issue” for Stamford.

He said he hoped the proposals outlined in the plan would be backed again during the next round of consultation, which is due to be before the end of the year.

Following that, it is hoped the completed plan will go forward to the Planning Inspector in the Spring with a referendum in the Summer.

If adopted by residents, the plan will help shape the development of Stamford over the next 20 years and will mean that any planning applications will have to comply with the policies set out in the neighbourhood plan.

Policies which are included within the plan aim to ensure –

– That development takes place in the locations preferred by Stamford residents, identified by Stamford First’s surveys

– That new developments are the subject of design codes which will mean new housing will have to be designed to be in keeping with its surroundings.

– That development is supported by appropriate infrastructure and services including appropriate provision for schools, healthcare and local amenities. (The plan supports a new primary school and leisure centre)

– Support for planning applications which provide appropriate employment space for existing Stamford businesses and which will be attractive to those outside the town wishing to relocate here

– That proposals for enhancing or enlarging existing car parks or creating new ones are supported

– The protection of existing green spaces within the town and the creation of new public open space within any new developments

– The creation of a “green wheel” around the town which will link areas of green space allowing connectivity between communities by foot or by bike

The plan sets out strongly that the “historic character and identity of Stamford is maintained and enhanced”.

It calls for the town to be developed “sustainably” while retaining “its unique, special and distinctive local character”.

Coun Taylor added: “What, above all things residents have asked is that the neighbourhood plan should protect Stamford – its heritage assets, green spaces and its special character – and that is exactly what this plan will enable us to do.”

Coun Taylor was keen to ensure residents know the limitations of the plan.

He added: “This plan is not a panacea and it has limitations – it cannot for instance, determine the number of new houses which should be built. The extent of development is set by the government which in turn issue local authority targets with which (in our case SKDC) are duty bound to comply.

In a similar way the plan is unable to influence local and strategic highway and roads, drainage or other utility infrastructure and it cannot conflict with the strategic policies in the SKDC Local Plan.”

Two further pieces of work are required before the draft plan goes to consultation –

The first of those is a full survey of all open public space in the town in order to develop policies to protect it. The aim of these policies will be to safeguard areas of green space from development and will include land on Rutland Heights and on the Scottish estate.

The second study will be an Urban Character Assessment, which will identify the existing design characteristics of the different areas of the
town.

Further information about the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan can be found on the Stamford First website

Read more in the Stamford Mercury

 

 

Stamford Plan is on the way

Following the recent consultation by South Kesteven District Council on its Local Plan, Stamford First, the group behind the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan for Stamford, says plans are progressing well.

Stamford First hopes to undertake its own consultation with residents early in the new year.

Speaking about the Neighbourhood Plan, chairman of Stamford First David Taylor, told the Mercury said: “Historically, Stamford’s future development has been guided solely by SKDC’s Local Plan with Stamford’s residents having little or no influence. That’s why we made the decision to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for the town.

“SKDC’s Local Plan shapes planning policies “district-wide”, but the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan will focus solely on our town and will comprise policies which give local residents greater control over development here.”

The essence of Neighbourhood Planning is that plans are shaped by local communities, based upon their views and aspirations. Since launching in early 2016, Stamford First has focused on consultation, through public forums, in meetings with residents’ groups and local organisations such as the Civic Society, and also with businesses and business groups including the Stamford Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally in the Autumn of last year, questionnaires were delivered to all 8,000 houses in the Stamford, encouraging people to give their views on how the town should develop over the next 20 years – almost 2,000 responses were received. As reported previously in the Mercury, based on responses from the survey, Stamford residents’ primary concern is for the town’s unique character and heritage to be protected as the area is developed. Other key issues of concern were parking, highways infrastructure, affordable housing, and a need to promote economic growth.

David said: “Stamford’s Neighbourhood Plan will not be a panacea and will not address all of the concerns which people have about the future development of the town, particularly the scale of it. Growth targets are set by local authorities in response to government demands. “In Stamford’s case this means that SKDC has proposed the allocation of land for almost 1,300 homes between now and 2036, with a further 600 by Rutland County Council, all to the north of the town. However, a neighbourhood plan cannot be used to prevent or reduce development. “But what the Stamford Plan will do is to shape that growth, influence where building should take place, what developments should look like and ensure that appropriate investment in infrastructure and services is made by developers to make growth sustainable. Already we have seen the benefits of developing the Neighbourhood Plan and by representing residents’ views to SKDC we have been able us to exert strong influence on its Local Plan.”

Talking about some of the “emerging” policies within the plan Mr Taylor told the Mercury that he expects upwards of 70 policies to be included. Key among those policies is one which calls for an holistic “masterplan” to be created for the whole of SKDC’s proposed “Stamford North” expansion to avoid a piecemeal approach to development. Other policies call for the creation of design policies and guidelines which protect the character of the town. And, in order to promote business growth within the town, the plan calls for previously allocated, as well as existing employment space in the town, to be protected to ensure that it can only be developed as such.

“As a Neighbourhood Planning group, we are wholly supportive of SKDC’s wishes to bring inward investment and jobs into the town and we see it as incumbent on us to ensure that land is available for this purpose. Stamford cannot simply be a dormitory town but needs to enable existing, growing, businesses to remain, and encourage new ones to establish themselves here.”

Following consultation with residents in early 2018, the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan will undergo independent examination to ensure that it conforms with due process before being the subject of a legally binding referendum among all Stamford residents. David went on to say:

“Developing this plan been a lengthier process than we had anticipated and we have been delayed to some extent by SKDC’s Local Plan running behind schedule. However, our ambition is to still to undertake consultation on the draft in the Spring of 2018. “Once Stamford’s Neighbourhood Plan is approved it becomes a statutory planning instrument which sets out planning polices to which developers have to conform.”

Read more at: Stamford Mercury

Residents Survey results – Stamford residents call for the Town’s unique character and heritage to be protected

That was the one of the clear findings of a consultation by the Stamford First team, which is aiming to put together a town neighbourhood plan. The plan, if approved through a town referendum, will shape the development of Stamford over the next two decades – and will be used by other authorities to guide decisions.

The consultation, via questionnaire, ran between August and October and there were 1,700 responses – equivalent to 21 per cent of all households. Stamford First was delighted with the response.

Chairman of Stamford First David Taylor, who is also a Stamford town councillor, said: “The results clearly demonstrate that whilst there is general acceptance that there will be growth in Stamford, there is a very strong desire to protect the town’s unique character and heritage and for it to retain it’s strong local identity and distinctiveness. Equally there is a clear demand that, with any development, there is an appropriate investment from would be developers in infrastructure and services to support sustainable growth.

Mr Taylor went on to say “Residents, through the survey, have plainly expressed a view that such investment should enable ways and means of limiting further stress on Stamford’s already overburdened road system. This is endorsed by the commonly held view amongst those surveyed that there should be an link road joining the east of the town with the A1 and relieve some town centre traffic.”

Now, using, the results from the consultation, the Stamford First team and other working groups will begin to draft an initial plan. It is hoped this will be done by the new year.

The draft plan will then be the subject of further consultation with the community before being submitted to an independent inspector for assessment. It is hoped the final plan will be ready to go to a town referendum in the Spring.

Respondents of the consultation were given the chance to win one of five £100 vouchers to spend in a Stamford restaurant as an incentive. Winners will be notified shortly.

http://www.stamfordmercury.co.uk/news/stamford-residents-call-for-town-s-unique-character-and-heritage-to-be-protected-1-7674256

FULL DETAILS OF THE SURVEY RESULTS CAN BE DOWNLOAD HERE

Have your say on future development of Stamford

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On-line questionnaire – Click to complete

Every Stamford resident will, over the coming weeks, be given a unique chance to have their say on how the town is developed in the future in a major consultation exercise (see Video)

Stamford FIRST (The Stamford Neighbourhood Planning Forum) is in the process of developing the Stamford Plan and has already held a number of launch events with the public to get early feedback.

Next week every household in the town will receive an in-depth survey asking for their views on a range of topics. As well as housing development, topics include sports and leisure facilities, education, heritage and the environment and highways, transport and parking.

The deadline for completing the questionnaires (either the printed or ONLINE versions) is October 7th chairman  chairman of Stamford First David Taylor (a member of Stamford Town Council) is keen for people to get involved and have their say today.

As an added incentive, there are five £100 vouchers for a Stamford restaurant to be won for participants.

Coun Taylor said: “It is inevitable that Stamford will be required to grow in the future but we need to ensure that development occurs without loss of Stamford’s special and distinctive character.

“It is critical that Stamford’s defining assets as an historic and vibrant rural market town and tourist destination, are retained and enhanced, and that Stamford’s important heritage assets and precious green spaces are protected.

“Importantly also, where development occurs, our plan must ensure appropriate improvements to infrastructure and services to enable all sections of the community to enjoy a sustainable way of life.”

He urged people to respond to the plan as soon as possible. Coun Taylor added:  “The creation of Stamford’s Neighbourhood Plan will enable the town’s residents to shape the development of Stamford over the next two decades and represents a genuine opportunity for Stamfordians to claw back lost influence over the towns future.”

Read more in the Stamford Mercury

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Stamford FIRST urges local businesses – “Give us your views”

Are you in business in Stamford? Do you want to have your say on the future of its local commerce? Do you have views on how the Town can increase tourism, create job opportunities for locals, and provide additional accommodation for businesses to grow? Then please complete our Business Survey here.  YOUR VIEWS COUNT!

Stamford FIRST, the Stamford Neighbourhood Planning Forum, has this week launched its Business Survey to help shape a business growth agenda as part of it’s plan.

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Nicholas Rudd-Jones – Chairman, Stamford FIRST Local Economy Group

Nicholas Rudd-Jones, who owns and has run the successful Local Living Magazines in Stamford for 15 years, is the Chairman of Stamford FIRST’s Local Economy Group –  he says “The creation of a Stamford Neighbourhood Plan gives a genuine opportunity for local businesses to share their views and so help us to shape the plan to ensure it reflects the views of employers, shop owners and traders (large and small) throughout the town. We want to make certain that the plan ensures that Stamford provides it’s businesses  with the infrastructure, workforce, customers and environment that they need to thrive. I am really interested to hear your views”

– The information you provide about you or your business will NOT be viewed or published in isolation to other responses.
– Stamford FIRST is interested in your views even if your business or directorship is registered to you in Stamford but operates elsewhere.

Complete the BUSINESS SURVEY Here

Thank you in advance for your help.

Stamford FIRST – Your chance to have a say

Initial Questionnaire

Initial Consultation – Click to complete

Following a number of public meetings in Stamford – with residents, community groups, and the Stamford Chamber of Commerce – Stamford FIRST (which is leading the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan for the Town) is encouraging local residents to complete the first of a series of questionnaires.

The questionnaire is available on-line and is downloadable via this website. Additionally links will be posted via our social media pages and hard copies are available from the Town Hall.

Chairman and founder of StamfordFIRST, David Taylor, said “Consultation with the community is central to the ethos of neighbourhood planning. Our initial questionnaire is designed to help ensure that our group is heading in the right direction from the outset, enabling residents to help us shape our Vision and Objectives for the plan. I urge everyone to engage in this process and take just a few minutes of their time to complete our survey.”

A further and more detailed questionnaire for residents will be issued in July and will cover a much broader range of issues and seek views on (amongst other things) highways and transport, the local economy, tourism, heritage and the environment, housing and education.

There will also be a business focused questionnaire, available in late June, which will give the local business community to give its’ views on Stamford’s future.

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)

Those interested should contact StamfordFIRST through its website or by writing to StamfordFIRST at stamfordfirstuk@gmail.com

Stamford FIRST starts consultation

DAVE TAYLOR PRESENTATION 014

David Taylor – Chairman of Stamford FIRST

Stamford FIRST, the group behind the preparation of Stamford’s neighbourhood plan, was delighted with the turnout at its launch event at New College Stamford last Thursday (28th April 2016)

Around 70 members of the public attended the launch, together with members of the Stamford Neighbourhood Planning Forum. Cllr Bob Adams (Leader of South Kesteven District Council) and Steve Ingram (Strategic Director – Planning and Growth at SKDC) were also present to answer the public’s questions.

David Taylor, Chairman of Stamford FIRST, introduced the proceedings and made a presentation explaining the neighbourhood planning process, how Stamford will benefit from having a plan, and how the community can become involved in shaping it.

A second presentation by Mr Ingram explained how neighbourhood plans fit within the regional and national planning framework.

The event was the first in a series of consultation meetings which will be held in different venues around the town, and those present were invited to share and to discuss what they like about living in Stamford, what they don’t like and how they would like to see Stamford to develop in the future.

Mr Taylor commented, “It was great to have so many Stamfordians having their say on how their town should develop over the next 20 years. Many issues were raised and discussed including whether there is a requirement for further housing within the town, how the existing infrastructure will cope with growth, and how our precious heritage assets and green spaces can be protected. The plan will need to address these and many other issues besides”

The next of Stamford FIRST’s consultations will be a business-focused event, hosted by the Stamford Chamber of Commerce at Borderville, on May 12th, from 6pm-8pm. A further meeting with the St Peter’s Residents Group is also planned for May 19th starting at 7.30pm at the Masonic Centre, All Saints Street, Stamford. (See forthcoming events)