The Malmesbury Area Neighbourhood Plan, the very first community led Plan in Wiltshire, was overwhelming voted through by residents in a local referendum less than a year ago and is set to run until 2026. The successful Plan was drawn up by community members of the Malmesbury Neighbourhood Steering Group (MNSG) after much research and long consultation with residents, on behalf of Malmesbury Town Council, Brokenborough and St. Paul Without Malmesbury Parish Council.
As Chair of the steering group, I made sure that every local important community organisation was included in the 21 member forum and kept them and residents informed about every proposal that the steering group made. MNSG members have real knowledge about Malmesbury and the surrounding area and what is important to people locally. They include representatives of our Secondary and Primary Schools; our Residents Association, a Retailer (High St) representative, Doctors Surgery, an 'Older Persons' representative (with particular interest in the Burnham House assisted living/ extra care development), a younger peoples representative, Malmesbury River Valleys Trust (ecology), Civic Trust and Malmesbury and District Preservation Trust (heritage and buildings)representatives, Dyson and also a representative from each of the local councils, amongst others.
The MNSG continues to have a valuable role in helping to ward off any challenges to the Neighbourhood Plan, because there is still a perceived danger of speculative, special interest and inappropriately located development. If these challenges were to succeed, they could override the Plan and the wishes of local people. Also, our community forum can help and offer on the implementation the Neighbourhood Plan, to monitor local development and also to review the Plan in respect of any future Government changes to legislation and housing numbers, which are only likely to increase in the future.
Cllr Simon Killane,`
Chair of Malmesbury Neighbourhood Steering Group
Wiltshire Councillor for Malmesbury