Plans to transform St Annes into ‘A garden town by the sea’ are to be unveiled next week as the town prepares to shape its own future.
A public hearing on Thursday will help to determine a blueprint for land usage, development and design for years to come.
For the first time, local people can create a plan that allows them to develop planning policies that reflect the priorities of their area and have real legal weight
Plans include cheaper housing, more tree planning and a network of cycle paths throughout the town.
At the hearing an independent examiner will inspect the NeighbourhooAd Plan.
Neighbourhood planning was introduced through the empowers communities to make decisions on development in their own areas.
Highlights of the Neighbourhood Plan are:
• Enhanced gateways and substantial tree planting scheme within the town.
• Encourage affordable housing.
• Additional protection of parks and open spaces.
• St Anne’s to become a model of sustainable development
• Developing pedestrian and cycle networks, ensuring links across the town
• An accompanying Design Guide to improve the quality of design in new developments
The public hearing is being held due to the size of St Annes at 27,000 people, recent legal challenges to planning decisions and the lack of a Fylde Local Plan.
St Annes Town Council’s overall vision for the Neighbourhood Plan is ‘A garden town by the sea” - originally planned in the 1870s.
Sally Taylor, town clerk, said: “We are all passionate about our Neighbourhood Plan and are anticipating a positive outcome from both the public hearing and the examination process.
“Despite many hurdles, we are rapidly approaching the stage when the plan will be ‘made’ and become part of planning policy within St Annes.”
The public hearing is at St Annes Palace, Garden Street, St Annes, from 10am.
The independent examiner who has been appointed is John Slater BA(Hons) DMS MRTPI.
There will be responses from supporters, objectors and representatives from both Fylde Council and St. Annes Town Council.
The town council is there to answer specific queries raised by Mr Slater
Fylde Council will attend to respond to questions regarding, housing allocations, Blackpool Airport and other strategic housing matters.
After the hearing Mr Slater will advise as to whether the plan policies are supported and if any amendments need to be made to it and associated documents.
Fylde Council must then arrange for a referendum to take place.
If more than 50 per cent of those vote ‘yes’, then the plan will become a legal entity.
A council spokesman said: “Neighbourhood planning is a vital part of the Government’s plans to help local communities play a much stronger role in the shaping of their area.
“For the first time, local people can create a plan that allows them to develop planning policies that reflect the priorities of their area and have real legal weight. St Annes on the Sea Town Council have worked hard over a number of years to prepare a robust evidenced based plan that captures the distinctive nature of St Annes.
“Once adopted the neighbourhood Development Plan will form part of the overall Development Plan for Fylde Borough Council.”