RESIDENTS and businesses are being invited to have their say on how Eckington town centre could be improved as the next phase of a major consultation gets underway.
People can now put forward their views on the draft ‘Development Framework,’ which was prepared by North East Derbyshire District Council following initial consultation with the community in March 2011.
The draft Framework is a planning document which will guide future development of Eckington town centre. Its aim is to improve the look and the feel of the town centre, make better use of land and to encourage new and high quality development and investment in to the town.
The official consultation period is now open and runs until 15 December – people can view the proposals and comment online at www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/eckington
People can also find out more at a public drop-in event being held by the council on 6 December, between 12 noon and 7pm, at Eckington Business Centre 2 (opposite Eckington Swimming Pool).
Cllr Graham Baxter MBE, Leader of the council, said; “Eckington has a lot to be proud of as it stands – including great heritage, attractive, historic buildings, and a community that cares greatly about its future.
“However, it is widely acknowledged that the town centre has much unrealised potential, and that investment and change is needed to create the successful, thriving town that we all want to see. We want sustainable, high quality development that will drive local economic growth.
“At the same time, it’s no secret that there’s very little public money around to plough into a massive regeneration project for the town.
“But a lack of resources doesn’t mean we have to sit back and do nothing.
“This draft framework is an important step forward in our efforts to identify what the community wants from the Eckington of the future, and provides a great platform for us to pull new investment into the town to make our aspirations a reality.”
The framework will be adopted as an official planning document known as a ‘Supplementary Planning Document,’ which forms part of the council’s overall Local Development Framework. It would be used to:
Suggest what sorts of developments would and would not be appropriate in different parts of the town centre
Set down guidelines that the council’s members will use when considering any future planning applications
Set down quality standards for building and development design
As it is a formal planning document, legislation means the council can only consider comments submitted in writing during this official consultation period.
Cllr Baxter added: “We would urge both residents and businesses to look over the plans, and let us have their views for their chance to shape the town.
“Just to stress, as this is a planning document we’re bound by legislation which means we can only consider comments which are submitted to us in writing during the actual consultation period which started on 3 November and runs until 15 December.
“People can submit comments to us online, in writing or by filling in a form at our drop-in event being held on 6 December.”
The proposals will also be available to view at community venues including Council House (Saltergate, Chesterfield), Eckington Library, Eckington Area Housing Office, Chesterfield Library and via Derbyshire County Council’s mobile library service, during the six-week consultation period.
Comments must be submitted in writing as below:
Online at www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/eckington
By email to: email@example.com
By letter to: Lucinda Chapman, Senior Planning Officer, North East Derbyshire District Council, Council House, Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1LF.
By Ellie Hunter