Why the Housing Survey is important

Written by Susanne Harris on .

Sirs,   I'd like to offer David Thornton and his neighbours some reasons why they should complete the Marlborough Area Plan Housing and Business survey. I am a member of the Steering Group. I am not a councillor or in business. I was born in Marlborough and have lived here most of my life.

There is a strong feeling amongst residents  that for some time we have had developments imposed on us  that are driven more by what will make developers maximum profit rather than what the town actually needs.

Only by the creation and approval of a properly structured Neighbourhood Plan will the community gain some influence as to what gets built in the future. The evidence for this was seen in Devizes recently where an unpopular planning application at Coate was defeated because it was contrary to their Neighbourhood Plan.

Developing an NP is a long and complicated process, subject to Government statutes and inspections, which requires extensive community involvement and approval.  All members of the Marlborough NP Steering Committee are unpaid, local people who give freely of their time. Some members have brought their professional experience to this endeavour, others have had to learn new skills.

It is necessary to gather hard evidence from the community rather than relying on hearsay. Care has been taken to select consultants with the knowledge and experience to carry out the Housing Needs Survey and to interpret the results. Some of the questions may appear intrusive but the survey can be completed anonymously.

This is an important opportunity for the residents of Marlborough and the immediate area to take part in a community consultation into what accommodation is required in the future.

Those who cannot be bothered to complete the survey will have missed their opportunity to influence the future mix of housing in the town and through apathy or cynicism they risk the destruction of the very essence of what makes Marlborough a desirable place in which to live.

Come on Marlborough – have your say!
Susanne Harris