Despite delays due to the COVID pandemic, the development of Ringwood’s Neighbourhood Plan is progressing well.
Steering Group Chair Cllr John Haywood said: “Ringwood's Neighbourhood Plan is developed jointly by members of the community and the Town Council - all the work is done on a voluntary basis. It is my pleasure now to be able to update Ringwood residents on our progress and to give them a flavour of some of the issues we’ve been considering as a part of the work to create the plan.”
“These include an architectural design code specific to Ringwood; identifying policies which emphasise affordable housing on deliverable sites; a strategy for wildlife corridors in the town; and a concept of a shared space in Ringwood’s Market Place. All of these promise to make Ringwood an even better place to live in, to work in and to visit for leisure and shopping. This work would not have been possible without the engagement and support of the community, who have given us their views and insight at every turn. Working alongside them, we hope to produce a plan that the whole town will support."
Joe Moorhouse, who is leading the Design and Heritage work, said: "Like most towns, Ringwood is constantly changing. Having our own design code will further help to ensure new development respects the existing character, is appropriately designed and creates high quality places. The Design Code will also encourage and guide enhancements to areas of the town which could benefit from improvement."
Ringwood Mayor Cllr Gareth DeBoos said: “The Ringwood Neighbourhood Plan aims to set a vision for our town, improve the design quality of residential and industrial developments, and protect and enhance green spaces for both the community and nature. It is a great opportunity for Ringwood to influence future land use in and around the town.”
The plan project welcomes all new volunteers but is particularly looking for people with experience of engaging with hard to reach groups and for people with experience of the planning system. An exhibition display showing current progress on the plan will be available to view during the normal opening times of Ringwood Gateway later in the year, including Saturdays. Whenever possible a member of the team will be available for questions and suggestions.
The project has four working groups: Design and Heritage led by local architect Joe Moorhouse, Environment led by Cllr Gareth DeBoos, Housing led by Chris Treleaven and Town Centre led by Janet Georgiou.
New volunteers can get in touch on email@example.com. Further details of the plan are available at http://www.ringwoodnp.org.uk and on Facebook at @RingwoodNP. Those wishing to stay up-to-date with the plan can sign up to a free email newsletter at www.ringwoodnp.org.uk/newsletter.