Calls for public service improvements as responses pour in on development plan - The Droitwich Standard

Calls for public service improvements as responses pour in on development plan

Droitwich Editorial 24th Jan, 2024   0

PUBLIC service improvements must form part of Droitwich’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), according to responses from residents.

The council heard that over 800 consultation responses have been received as the scheme continues to make ‘good progress’.

Droitwich Spa Town Councillor Bob Brookes issued an update on the plan at a full meeting of the council on Monday, January 22.

The document, which aims to set the town’s planning vision until 2041, is expected to be completed within two or three years of its launch in March.

There are many recurring themes throughout the responses including support for development of the brine baths and an appreciation of the plan’s commitment to maintaining the history and heritage of the town.

Many residents were adamant on calling for improvements of public services such as GP practices, dentists, public transport and leisure and youth facilities.

Yet some residents were hesitant to encourage further housing development, while others called for increased access to homes for the town’s young people.

Others have called for further town centre regeneration and major improvements to road networks to reduce congestion and promote alternative transport such as cycling.

Councillor Duffy said: “I recommend everyone reads the responses we’ve had.

“All of them showed a strong community voice and an in-depth understanding of Droitwich and their opinions.

“It was really nice to see that their thoughts were in line with many of the focuses of the plan.”

A total of £10,000 has been spent so far on the project, with an expected total cost of £16,500. The council has been awarded a maximum of £18,000 from a Locality Grant to fund the plan.

If passed, the plan will dictate planning policy and inform Wychavon District Council on how to proceed with proposed applications for development, town centre regeneration, community led projects and more.

It will need to be in line with the Wychavon District Council’s South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

Coun Brookes confirmed that Wychavon is fully aligned and in support of the town council’s development plan.

Coun Rod Hopkins questioned whether the process of delivering the consultation to homes by post was effective.

He brought forward a motion at the meeting to call for an online questionnaire to be circulated via social media to alleviate fears that many residents were unaware of the survey.

The motion was withdrawn on the basis that options for improved reach during further consultations would be implemented.

Coun Brookes said: “The expert opinion from our professional consultant is that the questionnaire responses are proportionate to what would expected at this early stage of the project.

“There are no concerns from the consultant over the robustness of the process.”

Once the first draft is complete the council will begin a new six week consultation process to allow continued responses from residents.

Later, the NDP will conclude with a town referendum with a 50 per cent threshold needed to pass the plan.

Visit to read responses from residents.

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