Essex town's blueprint for future

A BLUEPRINT for the future of a riverside town in Essex is set to be unveiled to residents later this week.Last year, all households in Wivenhoe, near Colchester, were consulted on their opinions of life in the town and how they would like to see it develop.

Elliot Furniss

A BLUEPRINT for the future of a riverside town in Essex is set to be unveiled to residents later this week.

Last year, all households in Wivenhoe, near Colchester, were consulted on their opinions of life in the town and how they would like to see it develop.

The questionnaire covered a wide range of issues including social life, housing and planning, shops and services and healthcare.


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Feedback was also sought on the provision of leisure facilities while education, crime, transport, traffic and parking were also on the agenda.

The results of the survey are finally ready and the Wivenhoe Town Plan will be launched on Saturday.

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All local residents and community groups have been invited to the informal café-style event, which will take place at William Loveless Hall between 10am and 1pm.

Jo Wheatley, a local resident who has taken part in developing the plan's action points, said a lot of work had gone into the consultation process and Wivenhoe was one of the largest communities to have ever taken such an approach.

“But it's been worth it,” she said. “We now know what people think about living in Wivenhoe and how it could be made an even better place to live.

“We're hoping lots of people will come to the launch to learn about the findings of the survey.

“But we're also hoping that people will get involved in taking the action plan forward. Some parts of the action plan will be taken up by the town council or other bodies.”

But she warned that other parts of the new vision would only see the light of day if volunteers or community groups got together and made them happen.

She added: “At the launch, people will have the opportunity to get involved in car-share clubs, a residents' speed watch group, a community development trust, a local shops' support group, cycle and public transport user groups, the transition towns initiative and lots more.”

Key recommendations from the plan include limiting further residential development and ensuring the highest possible proportion of affordable and sheltered housing in any development that does take place.

Other suggestions include efforts to maintain the Coastal Protection Belt status and maintaining the Green Break between Wivenhoe, the University of Essex and Colchester town.

Another key issue the plan will consider is how to reduce the amount and speed of traffic in the town.

To see the plan visit www.wivenhoe.gov.uk and follow the link to the town plan section.

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