The people of Stamford will be asked how they want to see their town develop in future in order to form a neighbourhood plan.

Stamford Town Council has set up a task group called Stamford First to lead the process of creating the plan.

Once it is created it will be put to public referendum. If it is approved, it will form part of South Kesteven District Council’s development plan and will carry significant weight in future planning decisions.

Chairman of Stamford First, town councillor David Taylor (Stamford Group of Independents), said: “The neighbourhood planning process is designed to enable local people to exert a strong and effective influence on local development.

“A key part of the process for developing the Stamford plan will therefore be consultation with the public in order to gather their views on the future development of their town.

“I encourage everyone to have their say by engaging in the consultation process.”

While the neighbourhood planning process will be managed under the auspices of the town council and its strategic development committee, Coun Taylor said it was “very much the town’s plan, which will be influenced and directed by the views of its residents.”

Consultation will be done through public meetings and questionnaires. The town council estimates it will take two years to finalise the plan and put it to a referendum.

The Stamford First group comprises members of the town and district councils, as well as Lincolnshire County Council, together with representatives of businesses, retailers, developers and landowners, and also from education, tourism and the wider community.

Chairman of the town council’s strategic development committee Coun Max Sawyer (Stamford Group of Independents) said: “This is a genuine opportunity for Stamfordians to claw back lost influence over Stamford’s future.

“At the moment the influence Stamford residents and their representatives on the town council have over the future development of our town is negligible at best.”

Stamford First plans to launch a website and social media presence to allow people to keep up with its work.

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