The new Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan for Exmouth is a genuine chance to shape the future of our town. We have this one-off opportunity – not to be missed! If you support it, from early next year and for the next 15 years the NP will work alongside the Local Plan of East Devon District Council to add in the policies and actions which the people of Exmouth want. This is a community-led plan so our Steering Group comprises representatives from Exmouth Community Association, Exmouth Civic Society, Exmouth Churches Together, Transition Town Exmouth, Exmouth Chamber of Commerce, EDDC’s Champion for Neighbourhood Planning, Exmouth’s Town Clerk, a planning expert and one Councillor from each of the town’s wards. During the past year, we have met monthly to consider the independent report on the ‘Shape the Future’ survey completed by more than 2000 residents last May, taken on board suggestions from Ward meetings, looked closely at other local surveys and conducted detailed discussions with groups representing a wide range of interests. We have also engaged with the wider public, taking our yellow gazebo and our ideas to open events on the sea-front, in the Strand, at the Community College and at various community meetings. Once the picture of people’s interests and concerns became clear we engaged the expertise of individuals to draft sections of the draft plan. Now the Outline Plan is almost complete but is still a draft, as the public consultation continues and culminates in an open exhibition at The Ocean in September, followed by a public referendum early next year. There will be six chapters covering the themes identified by you as the most important: Natural Environment Built Environment Economy and Employment Housing Getting About Community Facilities Each one will have about a dozen policy proposals and action points. Here are just a few to give you the flavour: Protect and enhance the natural environment including woodlands Create four “green wedges” and a “green network” Retain prominent buildings as community assets Stop employment land being used for residential Secure the open character of the sea-front Prioritise affordable housing for local people Retain existing health facilities and provide more in accessible locations. So, this Autumn we hope you will get informed, get talking and get ready to vote in the Spring. Exmouth’s responses to the idea of a Neighbourhood Plan have been positive. Our vision is clear: “Exmouth aims to be a friendly, welcoming, safe, clean and vibrant town, protecting its environment, building on its traditional seaside heritage and balanced with an aspiration to be forward thinking – a great place for all, young and old, to live, work and visit.” We now need Exmouth’s voice to be heard loud and clear so that the future is shaped by the community. If we do not take this opportunity it will be shaped by others.
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NB: This is the text from the letter - the PDF of the original can be downloaded here
© Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group website: Rob Masding