A neighbourhood plan gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. It sets out certain principles which will help local communities to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead.
The changing nature of the high street has been well documented with regular reports in the news about high street businesses closing. One of Fleet’s strengths is its many independent businesses. As a Business Improvement District we provide significant support for these businesses. We also represent the entire business community on broader issues such as parking, helping businesses meet the challenges of the internet and the need for regeneration to ensure we have a town that reflects the needs of the local community with the right space for businesses to flourish and for people to live and work.
We therefore believe that a neighbourhood plan is essential for a town and, in Fleet, would give the local community a greater say in the future of the town. As a BID, we consult regularly with businesses on issues that affect them to represent their views but businesses are unable to vote on neighbourhood plans.
We therefore urge local residents to review the plan and to vote in the referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan for Fleet Monday 7th October.