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Watton residents are being reminded to get their views across for town’s neighbourhood plan

PUBLISHED: 12:51 20 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:01 20 October 2017

Watton High Street. Picture: Ian Burt

Watton High Street. Picture: Ian Burt

A community is being encouraged to make sure their views and concerns about the future of their town are raised.

Watton market. Picture by: Matthew Usher.Watton market. Picture by: Matthew Usher.

Watton Town Council has started the process of forming a neighbourhood plan.

After an initial questionnaire provided an outline of key issues these were then displayed for further discussion at the first Neighbourhood Plan Community Meeting held yesterday (Thursday, October 19).

Those who attended were asked to prioritise issues in four areas; access and transport, natural and built heritage, economy and retail and housing and development.

Resident Elaine Rodgers, who has lived in the town for 10 years, said she attended the meeting to gain “background knowledge”.

Watton clock tower and town sign. Picture: Denise BradleyWatton clock tower and town sign. Picture: Denise Bradley

She said: “It is for the wellbeing of the town and issues like drainage and infrastructure are important. The town is not going to thrive with lots of houses and no infrastructure.

“You have got to have a clear idea of where you are going.”

A neighbourhood plan is a way of helping communities to influence the planning of an area where they live and work. It can be used to choose where homes, shops and other development should be built and what those new buildings look like.

Another meeting will be held on Thursday, October 26 which any Watton resident can attend, before a planning surgery is held with MP George Freeman on December 1.

Town councillor Jane Fountain formed the neighbourhood plan steering group which is made up of councillors and residents.

She said: “The eventual aim will be to put a questionnaire out to every household when we have got enough information to say what the problems are. Everybody will be consulted.”

She added: “If they bring things to our attention we can get things sorted out. If things come up which are a priority it can be dealt with sooner.”

Mervyn Wilcox, a resident of two years, said: “The priority would be something to give the town a centre. We have some lovely resources like Queens Hall. But it would be nice to have a heart that people could use to shop and relax.”

The meeting on October 26 will be held at 7pm at the Christian Community Centre.

More information can be found at the town council website or by visiting the council offices in Wayland Hall.

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