Local communities asked for their views

Published on 20th June 2016


An exciting new project to encourage Cheltenham’s communities to get involved in developing the Cheltenham Plan, which guides planning development in the borough, has just begun.

The project aims to help local communities produce their own personal profile including historical background and local opinion on their area’s issues, needs and opportunities.

Working with Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC) will be going out into communities and providing hands on practical help along with a ‘toolkit’ to support their research and consultation. It is hoped that local areas will work together to create aims and aspirations that they would like to see as well as identify planning related issues and potential solutions.

Initial meetings with parish councils and neighbourhood groups are being held to find out how they can best gather views, such as information stands in local libraries or stalls at local summer fetes.

Elin Tattersal, executive director at GRCC, says: “We’re delighted to be working with the council and communities in Cheltenham.

“This piece of work is community–led so we are talking to parish councils, neighbourhood co-ordination groups, borough councillors and others. We’ll give advice and help in practical ways to make this a manageable task.

“Although we are at very early stages, some communities have already started. One example was at Fairview Day last Saturday (11 June) where residents were asked for their opinions. Lots of good ideas came forward and we will support the community association to consider these over the coming weeks.”

Philip Stephenson, planning policy team leader for Cheltenham Borough Council, says: “This project will enable communities in Cheltenham to identify the local issues that are important to them and find a way either through the Cheltenham Plan or through a neighbourhood development plan to further develop a vision and plan for their area. The information that we receive will go to the heart of community level planning.”

This work will help to inform stage two of the Cheltenham Plan, and provide a starting point for those communities wishing to undertake a neighbourhood plan.

To find out more and how to get involved, call Hannah Millman, planning policy officer, telephone 01242 774988, email planningpolicy@cheltenham.gov.uk

For media enquiries, contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk

In March 2016, Cheltenham Borough Council was awarded a bid for £40,000 including officer support, from the GRCC to carry out work to encourage local communities to become more actively involved in developing the Cheltenham Plan.

The Cheltenham Plan is currently being formulated and will make up the development plan document for Cheltenham alongside the Joint Core Strategy which is being undertaken in conjunction with Gloucester City Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council.

This project coincides with other work Cheltenham Borough Council is currently undertaking to review the conservation areas which cover a large amount of the Cheltenham borough. Local knowledge of places within the conservation area are key when undertaking reviews of this kind, and input from the public will be sought through consultation.