We held a survey in April 2016 to ensure that our Neighbourhood Plan is based on a proper understanding of our area and of the views, wants and needs of local people and businesses.

Before Easter 2016, our volunteers delivered a copy of a Neighbourhood Plan survey to every home and business in our parish. Residents were asked to fill in the survey by 17 April. We asked for responses from all ages.

The survey could be completed on paper or online. A telephone line was set up for anyone needing assistance to complete the survey. Our volunteers called at homes and businesses between 18-23 April to collect the paper copies of the survey.

See a copy of the survey form.

Your opinion counts

The survey provided an important opportunity for you to say how our community should change and grow over the next 15 years. You were asked for your opinions on a set of draft objectives for our Neighbourhood Plan, developed from our earlier consultation.  Responses were anonymous.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Neighbourhood Plan survey. We received 482 completed survey forms. Representing close to half of the households in our parish, this is well above the average response rate for surveys of this type. We are a community that cares about the future development of our area.

We received a good representation of views from all parts of the parish and from all ages. The majority of the responses came from residents who have lived in our parish for more than 5 years.

Survey by area 2

Independent analysis of survey forms

The completed surveys were independently analysed by planning and regeneration consultancy, People and Places Partnership.

We held a series of three community feedback events in July to present the findings of the survey.

Saturday 23 July, 11.00am to 1.00pm at The Iron Room, Boughton Lees

Sunday 24 July, 11.00am to 1.00pm at Sandyacres Sports & Social Club, Sandyhurst Lane

Saturday 30 July, 11.00am to 1.00pm at Goat Lees Community Hall

You can download the full survey report or a summary of the key findings here:

We will prepare a draft Neighbourhood Plan based on the survey results. There is a great deal of consensus in the survey responses which gives us a clear direction for our Plan.

We expect a draft Plan will be ready towards the end of 2016. It will go through various stages of public consultation and independent examination. There will be a parish referendum in 2017. The Neighbourhood Plan must be approved by public vote before it can come into effect.

Why this matters

Once adopted, our Neighbourhood Plan will become part of Ashford Borough Council’s statutory Local Plan to 2030 and will be used in making decisions on planning applications in our area. As a legal document it will carry real weight in planning decisions. Developers and local authority planners will have to take notice of it.

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