Objectives to bring new life to Shepton Mallett are unveiled
ELEVEN objectives have been published by the group producing Shepton Mallet's Neighbourhood Plan to breathe new life to the town.
The objectives have been developed from a series of community events that took place over the summer.
The steering group's main focus is on providing the community and leisure facilities the town needs by protecting Shepton's historic and natural environment and revitalising the town centre.
The list includes the protection of open spaces used for informal leisure, making the most of the town's historic and key buildings, developing sports facilities and giving more for young people to do.
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The group would also like to improve cycling access across the town and to neighbouring towns, and improve the design quality of all developments by creating a so-called town design guide.
Matt Day, co-ordinator of the Neighbourhood Plan, said: "Myself and the steering group have been busy since the Mid Somerset Show working to refine this list. We feel it accurately reflects the key issues raised at the three events we held.
"People are clearly passionate about protecting what's best about the town but also want to see more made of the town's heritage and making the town centre useful and attractive to today's consumers."
Mr Day said there were some issues in the Cowl Street area regarding control of poor quality in-fill development and a desire to see an extension of the conservation area.
"We are looking at the options to determine the best way to solve these issues," he said.
The Shepton Neighbourhood Plan differs to most as it has no mention of additional housing and little mention of jobs and skills.
Mr Day said: "This reflects the fact that there has been virtually no interest from the community in discussing additional housing. This is a missed opportunity but understandable, given the Shepton Mallets' campaign against the showground allocated site and the coming Local Plan inquiry.
"Neighbourhood Plans cannot argue against allocated sites in district-wide Local Plans, though they can add detail such as what types of housing are needed or what they should look like."
Mr Day is asking for people interested in the objectives to attend workshops in November and December.
He said: "There were many issues raised and good suggestions offered on how to revitalise the town centre, mainly from shoppers and other users and a few businesses, however we need more consensus on what should happen before we proceed to the draft plan."
Workshops will be held to discuss cycling provision and to engage young people later this year.
Contact Mr Day for more information on neighbour email@example.com.