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Civic society seeks clarification on Altrincham Neighbourhood Plan
ALTRINCHAM and Bowdon Civic Society has expressed concern that some residents may mistakenly believe they are excluded from joining the Altrincham Neighbourhood Plan forum.
Altrincham Forward has provided a map of the proposed Neighbourhood Plan boundary on its website and invited anyone who ‘lives or works’ within the boundary to join the neighbourhood forum that will be responsible for preparing the Business Neighbourhood Plan for Altrincham.
The aim of the plan is to revitalise Altrincham into a ‘modern market town with an exciting mix of diverse retailers, leisure opportunities and place to live and work’.
However, the civic society argues that the text of the advert and application form to join the forum ‘are making a lot of eligible residents, businesses and organisations think they are excluded’.
Chairman of the Civic Society and Altrincham Forward board member, Judie Collins, said: “Those outside of this area boundary are also eligible to join the main forum, as well as drawing up the plan.
“Under the Localism Act 2011, the membership should be broad and can include anyone with an interest in the Neighbourhood Plan area.
“Those adjacent to the area affected by developments, as well anyone from the wide range of interests in the town centre, including education, leisure, culture, heritage, religion, health and the environment, should all be represented on the main forum.”
However, chairman of the Altrincham Forward board and leader of Trafford Council, Cllr Matt Colledge, has clarified the group’s postion on the issue.
He said: “It’s thriving businesses that will drive Altrincham’s revitalisation, be it shops, markets, restaurants and small businesses.
“That’s why Altrincham Forward is asking the council to consider a Business Neighbourhood Plan.
“The boundary for this plan would be around the immediate town centre and under Government rules the membership of this forum can only consist of people who live and work within that area.
“We have already had a good response from a range of different people from within the boundary who wish to be considered for the Neighbourhood Plan team.
“As a valued member of the Altrincham Forward board the Civic Society’s views will be taken into consideration, as will their input into any work to benefit the town, and I hope they will play a key role on the new team."
The Altrincham and Bowdon Civic Society had requested that the October 31 deadline to join the forum be extended, but as the Localism Act will not allow Altrincham Forward to widen the boundary, it will not be extending its deadline.
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