‘It’s our neighbourhood and we want to protect our village’

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People in Walton will be helping to shape planning developments in their village after forming their own neighbourhood plan.

The project – which is Wakefield’s first neighbourhood plan – it means villagers will have more of a say on future development going ahead and will ensures planning applications are developed in line with what the community wants.

Parish councillors and villagers have teamed up to form a steering group to set out proposals for the future of the village. And villagers are being invited to have their say on the final version the plan.

Helen Massey, chairman of the steering group, said: “After 18 months of hard work we are delighted this week to kick start the final consultation on the draft Walton Neighbourhood Plan. We have just delivered questionnaires to every resident and business in Walton to seek their views on our draft plan. We are really excited about it and it is creating a buzz within the village.”

The draft has been shaped through feedback from children, businesses and residents.

It will protect land around Walton Hall and the countryside surrounding the village and also proposes new heritage trails, footpaths, green space and allotments.

The steering group has organised a drop-in session at Walton Village Hall, School Lane, from 3pm to 7pm on Sunday, November 9, so people can view the plan and speak to group members.

Ms Massey said: “It has been hard work at times but very rewarding. We have a really good group of volunteers made up of parish councillors and individual residents of Walton who care about the future of the village and who are willing to give up their time to help to protect and enhance it.

“I would strongly recommend that any community in Wakefield seriously think about preparing a neighbourhood plan to take control of how their community moves forward.”

Walton resident David Rolinson said: “We are not anti-development, but we want to ensure that any new development is of an appropriate scale for the village, reflects the character of the village and importantly pays for new services and facilities.”

Visit www.waltonplan.co.uk to view the plan. Questionnaires must be returned before November 26.