What is the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan? It is the chance for all residents to influence how Exmouth will develop in the next 15 years, filling in the details of the Exmouth part of the Local Plan for East Devon. How will it be drawn up? Working through the authority of the Town Council and supported by East Devon District Council, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group is starting a year of community consultation events leading to a referendum in the summer of 2017. When will you be able to put forward your ideas? To make sure that we look closely at each part of Exmouth, to see how it is and how you want it to be, we will have Ward consultations in May and June. Times and venues will be announced in April. Before then, on 28 April there will be an open day at the Town Hall. But here is your first opportunity to contribute your views. Please take a few minutes to this fill in this survey. How will that help? It will tell us what you do and don’t like about Exmouth and what is important to you, including community and leisure facilities, your well-being, getting around, education and training, business and employment opportunities and your shopping preferences. We will publish an independent report on the results in May and can discuss the outcomes at the consultation meetings. We will then look at the issues and work them up into a draft plan, which we will discuss with you later this year. Why do we have to bother? If you don’t, the decisions affecting you will be made as they have for years. This is your chance to be heard. Like every town in the country, Exmouth has changed over the years. Occasionally changes are forced upon us, such as the building of defences after the 1960 floods. Often new patterns of living have caused major changes such as out-of-town supermarkets replacing town centre outlets. Digital technology has given us flexibility previously unimaginable. Some of these changes are not welcome to all, perhaps because it feels as though somebody else is making the decisions and not listening to us, so you feel detached from the process. OK, I’m interested. What do I do? First, answer the questions that follow and it would be great if you can get other members of your household to fill it in, including children because we want a good cross section of ages. Then watch out for our regular newsletters - about one a month - which will tell you about the consultations events and how the plan is developing. This is the first step to creating Exmouth’s own unique Neighbourhood Plan. Please return it before the end of April by hand or post to the Town Hall, St Andrews Road EX8 1AW or drop it in to a collection box at your local newsagent or Exmouth library. We seem to have a lot of plans – will this one have clout and how will it be implemented? Once adopted it has to be taken into account when any future planning applications are considered and policies are drawn up. It will have equal weight to the Local Plan. Exmouth has never had a detailed and influential plan like this will be. And the bonus is that, through the new levy on developers building in Exmouth, there will be substantial extra finance available for the town itself to support its priority projects through a new implementation group. Roy Pryke (Chairman, Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group)
© Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group website: Rob Masding