It is now four years since Malvern Town Council took the decision to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for Malvern with the aim of allowing the community of Malvern to help decide the future of the places where they live and work.
An incredible amount of work has gone into running volunteer-led working groups, identifying policy areas, gathering evidence, drafting the plan and carrying out a number of public consultations.
Cynthia Palmer, Mayor of Malvern, has been involved with the Neighbourhood Plan from the start said, “Malvern is made up of a number of very different centres and the urban areas of Great Malvern, Malvern Link and Barnards Green are all very different. As a result, development pressures, transportation issues, settlement design, environmental issues and needs of the local community vary considerable across the town. Added to this, the population of Malvern as a large town has made this one of the largest Neighbourhood Plans in the country.”
The Town Council was fortunate to employ an excellent consultant - Peter Hamilton of Cass Associates - whose tenacity and excellent knowledge has played a major factor in bringing the plan to fruition. Added to this many members of the public and town councillors (both past and present) have volunteered their time to help provide the robust information and analysis required to support the plan and its policies.
Linda Blake, Town Clerk, added her thanks to Clare Lawrence, the Neighbourhood Plan Officer; Carly Tinkler, author of the Visual Study Report and Councillor Peter Smith, for their hard work, particularly in the final months of the project. “This has been a real community-led project”, she said, “and when adopted, Malvern’s Neighbourhood Plan will form part of the local development and will sit alongside the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP). Decisions on planning applications will be made using both this Neighbourhood Plan and the SWDP, and any other material considerations and hence has allowed the local community to play a stronger role in shaping and setting a positive vision to the development of Malvern over the next twelve years.”
The Section 16 Final Public Consultation ended on Friday 21 December 2018 with over seventy responses received. The document is now subject to an independent examination which is likely to take place in January 2019.
See the Neighbourhood Plan and associated documents here.