Wilmslow residents have until the end of the month to comment on the policies and aspirations of the draft Neighbourhood Plan, that will guide planning development in the town over the next 15 years.
The draft Plan, which has been two years in the making, has been drawn up by the Neighbourhood Plan Group following responses to questionnaires, group meetings and face to face meetings at local events. In addition to planning policies the plan contains a number of aspirations aimed at improving the visual aspects of the town and improving the public spaces to make the centre more user friendly - giving priority to pedestrians so it is less dominated by vehicles.
Brian Donohue, Chairman of the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan Group said "The plan recognises the changing nature of the high streets and supports more town centre living through accommodation in apartments and smaller properties. The environment and protection of green spaces and river valleys comprises a major element of the plan, something that came over very strongly when opinion was sought."
He added "We want the residents of Wilmslow to give their views and opinions during this final period of consultation so the plan will continue to represent their views and make it a stronger and more defendable document that gets handed over to the local planning department."
The objectives outlined in the draft Neighbourhood Plan include: sustaining Wilmslow as a desirable place to live, work and play by providing new homes for all ages which address local needs; promoting Wilmslow as a thriving and diverse business community; promoting Wilmslow as a destination rich in community and leisure facilities and promoting a healthly community which has excellent access to green and open spaces.
Additionally it aims to enhance and protect Wilmslow's designated and non-designated heritage assets; creating new opportunities for biodiversity; maximising the visual quality of the town centre and creating a safe, pedestrian friendly environment and support the improvement of public transport.
The second drop in session will be held on Wednesday, 29th August, from 3pm to 7pm at the Parish Hall when members of the Neighbourhood Plan Group will be available to receive comment and answer questions.
The draft plan can be viewed on the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan website which also contains details of the process involved and the necessary supporting documentation including a consultation feedback form.
A hard copy of the plan can be seen at Wilmslow Library and at Wilmslow Parish Hall. Hard copies of the feedback form are also available at these locations.
Fuller representations on the draft Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan can also be made by submitting them to: Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan, c/o Wilmslow Town Council, Wilmslow Parish Hall, Cliff Road, SK9 4AA, or via email by no later than 31st August 2018.
Following the consultation all comments will be considered and the plan altered accordingly to produce the final submission version. Once Cheshire East have sent the plan for approval by an independent planning inspector and carried out a six week consultation then the Council will organise a referendum for the residents of Wilmslow to vote on the plan.
Images: Artist's impressions of how the town centre could be developed: improved public realm and pedestrian connections along The Rex frontage; aerial view of the town centre highlighting key initiatives, improved parking and pedestrian environment with enhanced link to the library and potential for a transformed Alderley Road and Green Lane junction with residential apartments overlooking the new public space.