Dear Resident,

Through this note I want to give some feedback to the recent consultation which we carried out on the draft Neighbourhood Plan for Walton. Firstly, an enormous thanks to those of you who took the time to read the draft (summary or full copy) and who returned a completed questionnaire.

That is exactly what we needed – as evidence that we had fully sought your views and that many of you felt able to provide a response. So, thank you. A few facts, 61 questionnaires were returned, completed, of which 33 represented complete household views and 31 were from individuals. Most responses came from those who currently live in the village, with around 10 coming from a non-village postcode.

The comments were really helpful and covered areas of agreement and disagreement with the draft plan; helpful suggestions on implementing the policies; new ideas to provide solutions going forward and a further strengthening of the views around some hardy chestnuts which need to be addressed – particularly traffic; more areas to walk; technology/communications and the proposed allocation of housing sites.

Some really helpful contributions across the full spectrum – so, again, thank you. And then the two open events at the village hall. In total 81 people came to view the exhibition and talk with the Steering Group. And again, some really great discussions and very helpful thinking. The response was much appreciated as were the conversations. So, we will shortly be putting the complete set of results from the questionnaire onto the Parish Council website.

We will also be making public all the other representations that we received – so, the feedback from Leeds City Council, from Rockspring, property development, from Historic England and other parties who chose to respond – it will all go on the website, along with our responses. This should be available within the next month. In the meantime, we have provided a quick question and answer section onto the site – to give an immediate response to the specific questions you raised through the questionnaires. I hope that provides some clarification for those of you who raised particular questions.

So, next steps. We will amend the draft in line with responses to the consultation. We will add a couple of important documents to it – one, describing and evidencing our consultation efforts and the other titled a basic condition survey. When this is all completed we will formally submit the full Plan to Leeds City Council who will progress a further external 6-week consultation process and an independent technical examination of the Plan.

Subject to the outcome of that, the way begins to become clear for the final Parish referendum on acceptance of the Plan. We would hope and intend to submit the Plan to LCC by the end of December.

Brodie Clark.

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