The first event held was on Friday, 21st. and Saturday, 22nd. March 2014 where the Neighbourhood plan was launched at a public exhibition. There were also displays at the Library and in the Heritage Centre. The idea was to introduce what a Neighbourhood Plan was about and the whole town received a leaflet outlining what can be done if there is such a plan in place.
On the 29th. May 2014 we set-up a stall outside the Library to really start to talk to the townspeople about what they saw as ‘Good’, ‘Bad’ and ‘Ugly’ about their town, and from that what they ‘would like to change’. It was an amazing morning with people of all ages taking part and really thinking about the questions. To add a bit of fun we made bunting in different colours for each category and pegged this up for everyone to see. It certainly attracted attention as you can see from the photos below.
What’s happened so far...
The results of this consultation were analysed and on Carnival Day (28th. June 2014), we had a stall where the top five items for each of the four categories were put forward for everyone to vote on. It proved to be another very successful day with even more people taking part and making their choices. The Steering Group ended up with two items in each category which we needed to focus on to produce the initial ‘Visions and Objective’ on the Neighbourhood Plan. That’s where we are now but of course there will be continuous consultation with the townspeople to make sure we are making a plan which the town supports and we haven’t missed anything important.
So what did come out of the consultation so far? Well in the ‘Good’ category ‘the strong sense of community’ and ‘people are friendly’ stood out, which is not a surprise. In the ‘Bad’, ‘the state of the roads’ and ‘derelict sites around the town’ were highlighted. The ‘Ugly’ (perhaps not the right term) pointed to ‘the old Co-op Dairy site’ and the ‘Lawrence Factory Site’. Finally, the ‘Need to Change’ brought up ‘the look of the town and parking issues’ and ‘the infrastructure not keeping pace with the growth of the town’.
We were not surprised by the hot topics and have started work on bringing these themes into the plan.
The next events were on Wednesday, 12th. November 2014 in Loatloands Primary School and then on Wednesday, 26th. November 2014 in both Havelock schools where we were available to have a chat about the Neighbourhood Plan.
On Gala Night (28th. November), we had a stall where you could come and pick-up a form to make comments on and join the mailing list. There was also a quiz about Desborough to test your knowledge.
The Have You Had Your Say leaflets which were delivered throughout the town were then put into shops and other premises around the town for peoople to pick up and complete. These have been collected and the analysis from these will be added to results of the other consultations.
The session at Marlow House on 7th. March 2015 was well attended with around 45 residents joing the Steering Group members and other volunteers to look at all of the issues raised and review these against the options put forward. It proved a very successful day and the write-up from this can be found on the 'Documents' page.
Public Consultation 8th February to 21st March 2016
This six week consultation was a significant event when the general public were able to view the Pre-Submission Draft Neighbourhood Plan for the first time. The aim was to obtain as much feedback as possible on the contents of the Plan from local residents, businesses and statutory bodies. The results of this exercise would help in the continued refinement of the Neighbourhood Plan to better reflect the needs and wishes of the local community.
Copies of the draft plan were available on this website, along with the Desborough Town Council website. Hardcopies of the plan and feedback forms were available in several shops and public areas within the town centre. Dropboxes for the feedback forms were stationed in the Library, Co-op (Station Road and Braybrooke Road), Post Office, St Giles Church Hall, and the Heritage Centre.
We also organised a walk-in display event in St Giles Community Centre for two weekends (February 13th & 14th, and March 5th & 6th), plus a stall in the High Street on 17th March.
These events in particular gave us an opportunity to meet local residents talk about the Neighbourhood Plan in depth, with discussions on how they view Desborough, what improvements they believe are a priority, and which aspects of the town affect them on a personal level. We had posters displaying the different sections of the Plan, along with a PowerPoint presentation which provided an overview of our aims and objectives, along with details of the Aecom town centre study that the Steering Group had conducted in August 2015.
Much of the resultant feedback was very much in line with opinions voiced in previous consultations. Prime concerns were:
- Population growth and scale of proposed housing developments
- The need for improved infrastructure to cope with growth, particularly with regards to schools and health provision.
- Protection of green space and wildlife habitats. As the details had been released at around the same time, the proposed development of the Ise Valley was also a major concern
- Lack of car parking in the town centre
- The need to have more shops with a better range of products
- The need for more local jobs and improved employment opportunities
- Better leisure provision
Further documentation concerning the results of this consultation event can be found in the 'Documents' section.
If you’d like to get involved with the Desborough Town Plan, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact us in writing (marking your letters ‘fao Neighbourhood Plan’) at Desborough Town Council, 47, Station Road, Desborough, Northamptonshire, NN14 2RS.
To find out more information about Desborough Town Council, please visit the Council’s website at www.desboroughtowncouncil.gov.uk