RESIDENTS in South Marston are taking a firmer grip on the future of the village after applying for designated neighbourhood area status.
After they have been granted the status by Swindon Council, the village will be able to develop a neighbourhood area plan, a document which will help control where and what kind of developments will happen in the area in the future.
While it cannot determine how much development the area will have to cater for, a neighbourhood plan gives guidance to planning authorities on what residents and the parish council see as suitable development for the area, including the character and location of any potential schemes.
This will then inform the detail of the Swindon local plan, which will set out future development plans for the whole of the borough.
South Marston Parish Council chairman Colin McEwen said work was now being carried out in earnest to prepare the plan.
He said: “A neighbourhood plan is a statutory planning document that is produced by the community itself.
“However, it must comply with the Local Plan for an area.
“Swindon’s Local Plan sets out the number and broad locations of new houses to be built in South Marston.
“A Neighbourhood Plan can address the layout of the roads, footpaths and green spaces and the overall design principles for the expanded village.