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Town's place plan attracts national attention

Created on 02/07/2021 @ 12:10
Newtown's 'Place Plan' has attracted national attention for its impact and work in the community, it has been revealed.

Newtown Town Council, which began consulting on the plan in early 2019, said they had now presented the final version to a range of organisations who wanted to highlight it as an exemplar.

"Based on our communities views and suggestions, it has already helped to draw investment into the town to help post-covid recovery. All projects and policies within the plan have been based upon the response from the thousands of comments received and the 48 local organisations who have been actively involved in the project," said a council spokesperson.

Place Plans were introduced by Welsh Government as a way of encouraging greater community engagement in local planning decision making.

The Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Place Plan will be the first one of its kind in the Powys planning authority area. It is due to be considered by Powys County Council as part of its planning process.

"Work on the Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Place Plan started in early 2019 and it features detailed plans for the town covering the next 15 years. Over 7,000 comments were received at various events in the town and through public survey. 48 local organisations including local groups, schools & pupils, were involved in collecting evidence," added the spokesperson.

P"eople of the town gave their views on topics including community facilities, vacant buildings, health & well-being, housing & climate change."

Cllr Richard Edwards and Officer Sorelle White have presented on Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn’s Place Plan at an Audit Wales Town Centre Regeneration Conference and a joint conference of Planning Aid Wales and One Voice Wales on post-Covid regeneration.

"Audit Wales approached the Town Council as the Place Plan is seen as a model of good practise, and recognised that in developing a Place Plan, we are a town which is taking control of its development," said the spokesperson.

The joint conference with Planning Aid Wales and One Voice Wales on post- Covid regeneration was attended by over 90 other town and community councils.

A networking event with a focus on “Regenerating Welsh Towns and Communities Post Covid-19”. The Place Plan will also be featuring in the forthcoming edition of the National Architecture Journal – Touchstone.

Cllr Richard Edwards, lead councillor on the project, said: “Will it make a difference? I believe so.

W"e have built up policies, projects and evidence base that can be used by local government, private business, organisations, and individuals to plan projects and seek inward investment for Newtown.

"Even before the Plan has been officially adopted and published, the evidence collected has already helped to bring funding into the town. Of course, it will not solve every problem, but it does suggest a way forward. Helping us to create a town where people want to live, work and visit."