Kington shouts up for more jobs, affordable homes

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Kington shouts up for more jobs, affordable homes

Posted: 19/02/2010 16:36:52

Kington residents are to have their say on how their market town and surrounding villages will be developed in the future.

It is all part of the Shaping Our Place consultation, which aims to help turn Herefordshire into a new land of opportunity, with more and better paid jobs, more decent and affordable homes, and better transport links.

Due to popular demand a special evening event has been arranged, due to start at 7pm at Kington Primary School on Monday 8 March, following a council road show, which visited the market town earlier in February.

Launched by Herefordshire Council on 18 January, the consultation is due to finish on 12 March and will affect everyone who lives and works in the county. The consultation sets out options for small-scale improvements to employment in Kington, as a lack of high quality jobs causes residents to travel further afield and there are local constraints on land available for employment use.

“It is heartening to see so many people energetically entering into discussions about how Kington could benefit from planned growth over the next 15 or so years”, said Councillor John Jarvis, cabinet member for environment and strategic housing.

“Kington is the smallest of Herefordshire’s market towns but serves a large rural hinterland, and we have to ensure that people in this part of the county have the opportunity to influence how we create better quality jobs and more affordable housing, as well as improve transport links and safeguard public services, for the benefit of their communities”.

The council has undertaken road shows or events in Hereford and all the market towns, as well as workshops in schools and colleges, business briefings and several public and parish council meetings.

The consultation is driven by the need to grow the county. Herefordshire has below average wage levels for the region but above average house prices. There are 5,000 people on the county’s housing waiting list and demand is high for homes that are decent and affordable.

Herefordshire is recognised as providing a good education. But without a university, or sufficient higher education to build skills and qualifications, or good career prospects, the council knows young people are more likely to find better prospects elsewhere.

The county also needs more enterprises, offering high quality jobs. More space for employment land has to be found. Growth in the county will provide stronger markets for local firms to thrive and prosper - and safeguard local essential public services.

The strategy for the market towns is to further promote their roles as service and economic centres for their rural hinterlands but also improve links with Hereford. Several villages could see development designed to increase affordable housing and sustain essential services, including schools, and new shops, along with rural transport improvements.

People’s views will be analysed and proposed policies developed and presented back to cabinet later in 2010 and publicised, before being submitted to the Secretary of State, who will arrange for a public examination and inspector’s report with final adoption anticipated in 2011. It provides a chance for everyone to help finalise the Local Development Framework, which will be the blueprint for planning and developing Herefordshire for the future.

In parallel, the council is also running a consultation on the Local Transport Plan, which will be adopted by April 2011 and will drive the county’s transport strategy for the next 15 years. The review of the transport strategy is intended to align transport policy with the wider needs of the county and will help coordinate support for growth. The Local Transport Plan consultation enables local people to let the council know what their priorities for transport are for the county, whether it is greater public transport investment, more cycle routes, better highway maintenance or further road safety improvements.

Members of the public wishing to comment can access the consultation documents and complete a questionnaire on the council’s website www.herefordshire.gov.uk. Literature can also be picked up from council info shops.


Permalink: http://www.thesite.co.uk/viewnewsstory.asp?newsid=3329

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