The Axminster Town Council Neighbourhood Plan working group needs your views so that the people of Axminster are better positioned to influence what the future looks like for the town.

Last year, the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group asked for the views of Axminster's residents and visitors to help them begin writing a neighbourhood plan for Axminster. The feedback informed how policies contained within this version of the draft Axminster Neighbourhood Plan were drawn up.

However, those residing in an area covered by a neighbourhood plan must support it before it can be adopted as a planning policy. Whilw this is not the final draft, the working group is now seeking your feedback on various policies to ensure they are still on the right track.

The town currently has no neighbourhood plan. This means its residents have less say over which planning applications are approved or refused than other communities with a plan.

A neighbourhood plan is just one of several legal documents or legislative acts of parliament to which anyone seeking planning permission (homeowner or developer) must comply. Of these, the one most specific to the settlement it relates to is a neighbourhood plan.

If a planning application is submitted to EDDC (the planning authority for our area) and it accords with everything within this planning framework, including the policies laid out within the relevant neighbourhood plan, it will be considered favourably. However, failure to comply with these policies by the applicant could lead to a refusal of their planning application.

Having a strategic and well-written neighbourhood plan is crucial for Axminster's long-term future because it gives the community more say over which applications are successful, what infrastructure they as a community need, and how the town should grow in a sustainable way that works best for all existing and future residents, and businesses.

Your feedback can be provided via the 'Axminster Neighbourhood Plan Policies Consultation', which is live until midnight on November 5.

Axminster Town Councillor Bernie Steadman, who became chair of the working group earlier this year, said: "Your feedback is crucial to ensuring that we get this right so Axminster can grow in the way most appropriate for our community in the long-term. A good neighbourhood plan will help protect the most precious things to our residents and highlight the infrastructure we need to enable us to thrive. We ask that you take a few minutes to review the draft policies in our survey and let us know if you are happy with each of them. For those that do take the time to participate, we thank you. We could not do it without your input."

The Axminster Neighbourhood Plan Policies Consultation is here

You can also pick up a hard copy of the survey from the Axminster Town Council office at the Axminster Guildhall, located on West Street, Axminster (Office opening hours are: 9am - 4pm, Monday – Thursday). More information can be found at: