Residents will be given the opportunity to have their say on the draft version of the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan which will be used to inform planning decisions in the town.
Wilmslow Town Council made the decision that Wilmslow should have a Neighbourhood Plan and make use of Localism Act 2011 which allows Local Communities to produce planning policies and guidance appropriate to their local circumstances.
The council also decided that the Neighbourhood Plan should be produced independently by the town's residents which led to the establishment early in 2016 by of the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan Group.
Brian Donohue, Chairman of Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan Group, said "Wilmslow is a great place to live. You the residents told us this repeatedly during the consultations we carried out and the answers and comments you made in reply to the surveys we conducted during the preparation of this Plan. It is a friendly town with a good atmosphere, good services with a variety of places to shop, eat and drink and is a thriving commercial centre which attracts people in to work. We have magnificent natural features within the town such as the Bollin River Valley, Lindow Common and open recreational spaces. We are also surrounded by open countryside and have easy access to National Trust and National parkland. The rail transport links and proximity to Manchester Airport also make it an easy and convenient place to travel from.
"Not to be complacent however it should and could be better. Local bus transport is an issue as is traffic congestion and long stay parking. The town centre could be more attractive and active both during the day and in the evenings. It is dominated by traffic and pedestrian movement is of secondary consideration. Many comments referred to the housing mix and the difficulty young people have in being able to purchase homes and at the other end of the scale the lack of appropriate property for people to downsize. The Plan recognises that the population of the town will grow over the coming years as a result of approved new housing. The policies and proposals take account of this.
He added "The Neighbourhood Plan sets out a vision that reflects the thoughts and feelings of local people with a real interest in the community. Policies have been written on the environment, housing, the Town Centre, Community etc. which are designed to be specific to Wilmslow and which complement and strengthen National and Local Plan Policies.
"In addition to planning policies we have identified key sites in the town which could be redeveloped during the life of this plan and produced guidance on what would be acceptable development proposals. We are supporting more town centre living through the conversion of commercial properties to apartments and higher density central housing developments.
"Wilmslow lacks decent public realm space and to this end suggestions are made to make over more road, verge and pavement area to the public realm, including in some instances shared space between pedestrians and cars. We are also supporting proposals which would result in the provision of facilities for theatre, cinema, learning and meeting rooms associated with the redevelopment and/or use of the library building."
The draft Neighbourhood Plan will be available for consultation on the 16th July up to the 1st September. It will be on the website and available in hard copy from the library and at the Parish Council office. Feedback forms will also be available inviting comment on the policies and aspirations.
The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan Group will be holding drop in sessions at the Parish Hall during the period of consultation and advertising the plan around the town with posters, banners etc. and also be showing the display boards that have been produced.
They have also produced a summary document which will be delivered to all 12,000 houses in Wilmslow.
Brian Donohue added "The Neighbourhood Plan will be adopted by the Town Council who will pursue the policies and suggestions for improvement and development through whatever means they consider best to deliver the desired results. The plan will be reviewed regularly.
"This Neighbourhood Plan is for Wilmslow based on the information and feedback received from the residents. I hope that you find it informative, stimulating and adopt it as a way forward to improve the town and the lives of those who live and work here."
Following this consultation the feedback will be used to produce a final 'Submission Version' of the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan in autumn 2018.
This document will be submitted to Cheshire East Council who will then consult on the Neighbourhood Plan. After this, the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan will undergo an independent examination before being subject to a referendum when all Wilmslow electorate will be able to vote on when to adopt the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan or not.