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A chance to shape your neighbourhood

A CONSULTATION is being held in Mendip to allow residents of Rode and Frome to have their say on the boundaries of the new Neighbourhood Plans which are being prepared by the two councils.

The Localism Act 2011 introduced new rights and powers for communities to shape new development by preparing Neighbourhood Plans for their areas. This will make it easier for local people to influence how new development takes place in their communities.

Two communities have taken up this opportunity so far:

• Rode Parish Council decided in early 2012 to adapt early work on a Parish Plan into preparation for a Neighbourhood Plan, to give the community a say where new homes should be provided.

• Frome Town Council applied to be a Neighbourhood Planning ‘frontrunner’ in September 2011 and the Department for Communities and Local Government awarded them this status. They have been working on the early stages of their Neighbourhood Plan since then.

The consultation, which runs for six weeks and commenced on Monday 3rd September, will allow the local people of Rode and Frome and the surrounding areas to notify Mendip District Council of any comments they have on the extent of proposed Neighbourhood Plan areas. The proposed Neighbourhood Plan areas encompass the parish boundaries for each.

John Meeker, principal planning policy officer at Mendip District Council said, “We would like to urge local residents to respond to this consultation if they think that the boundaries being used should be different from what is now proposed.

“Both Rode and Frome will be consulting directly on their draft plans in coming months and at that time local people will be asked to comment on specific local sites, projects and policies being proposed.”

Nigel Woollcombe-Adams, portfolio holder for built environment said, “The new Localism Act is of great benefit to smaller communities as it will allow them to work with their local parish or town council to shape development in their area.

The consultation is a vital part of this as it allows everyone a chance to become involved at any stage of the process. This is an opportunity that I urge other towns and villages to get involved with before it’s too late.”

The applications are available to be viewed online at www.mendip. gov.uk as well as at Frome Town Council, Frome Library and the Parish notice boards at Rode. A copy will also be available at the district council offices in Shepton Mallet.

If you wish to comment on the applications you can do so online at www. mendip.gov.uk, by email customerservices@mendip. gov.uk or in writing to Mendip District Council, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT.