MINCHINHAMPTON residents will have a chance to help shape and influence the future development of their town.

In October the parish’s 2700 households will receive two surveys through their letterboxes which will help form and mould the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP).

One is a Residents’ Survey seeking opinions about a broad range of local issues and needs.

The other is a Housing Needs Survey, designed to yield essential information on the type and quantity of development needed by parishioners.

Both will be used to help town leaders design the NDP, which will set out designated areas that can and cannot be built on in the future and stop “predatory applications” from housing developers.

“Local housing and planning are sensitive topics so it’s important that we get feedback from everyone in the parish and design a local plan which reflects ideas and opinions from all local residents and organisation,” said Phil Raby Smith, chairman of the Steering Group.

Each survey is designed to take less than 15 minutes to complete and can be sent back in a pre-paid envelope.

Parish stakeholders including businesses, schools, sports clubs and churches will also receive surveys later in the year.

The views and opinions expressed in these surveys will shape the content for roadshows, consultations, further meetings and the actual policies.

The final step in the process is planned for early 2018 when the parish council will hold a referendum and ask the community to approve the NDP.

Stroud News and Journal:

Nick Hurst, Minchinhampton Parish Council Chair, said: “The parish council started with a community planning exercise - Planning for Real - in 2010.

“Local requirements and opinions have changed over the last few years and it is now time to develop a legally binding plan that will form an essential part of local planning policy.”

A NDP is a new approach to planning where communities have more control over local development.

The Minchinhampton NDP was formally launched at a public meeting in April 2016 at the Market House.

At that meeting, the NPD Steering Group was established. It consists of volunteers and parish councillors representing the five wards: Amberley, Box, Brimscombe and Minchinhampton North and South Wards.

The group welcomes new volunteers at any time to help with the project.

More information and a full timetable of events is available at www.minchinhamptonndp.com

Interested individuals can also register on the web site to be kept updated.

You can also visit the Facebook page and Twitter at @minchinhampndp