Ringwood residents are to have a unique opportunity to shape the town’s future but they need to move fast.

The Town Council has fired the starting gun to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan and is appealing for as many people as possible to get involved.

Tony Ring, the Town Mayor, said ‘For too long decisions have been made about development in Ringwood, based on the Local Plan for the District, that don’t meet the needs of local people.

We need to do all we can to ensure our voices are heard.

With a Neighbourhood Plan we can set out our vision for the future of our town and get planning policies set in law so they cannot be ignored.’

Joe Moorhouse, local architect and Poulner resident said “I’ve been waiting for this opportunity to do something about the problems of getting around Ringwood by bike.

I know many people who feel equally strongly about other things like the shortage of lower priced starter homes, the decline of our High Street, safe routes for pedestrians and retaining a sense of our market town history.

We need people with a passion for Ringwood’s future to lend a hand as soon as possible so the process gets off to a great start.”

The Neighbourhood Plan must be compatible with the Local Plan but can build on it in ways that the community approves. Preparing it will be a lot of work and will require a variety of talents.

Please contact Deputy Town Clerk, Jo Hurd, at the Town Council at Ringwood Gateway if you would like to join in or just learn more about how you can help.