Sir – I am struck by how many of your correspondents’ letters (February 18) could be influenced by well drafted Neighbourhood Plans.
Carbuncle Alley is a long running reminder of the effect of poor design; Library is essential asset applies not only to the Central Library, but to the smaller libraries such as in Summertown that are so highly prized by the community; Tell us how many of the importance in urban areas of good bus services and the connection to the volume of private traffic; and Community centre fears is something that the Summertown St Margaret’s Neighbourhood Forum has been active in defending.
I point this out in order to encourage the idea of Neighbourhood Planning – Wolvercote and Headington are already working on theirs as well as Summertown St Margaret’s.
In the days when the Government was excited by Big Society, giving communities the opportunity to make their own plans fitted well. The Locality Act enshrined it and we are now aiming to have a Neighbourhood Plan ready for a referendum sometime in 2017.
Once approved, this will create a layer of planning policy which is designed by and for local residents. And it will have to be taken seriously by the planning committees and the planning officers.
Every household in Summertown St Margaret’s is being leafleted to seek their views on the ideas for the emerging plan. I hope readers will take this opportunity to complete their consultation forms or go online to do it electronically at http://tinyurl.com/sstmsurvey.