Chapel to lead UK blueprints

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PLANS to create a blueprint for the future development of Chapel-en-le-Frith could be one of ten pilot projects to take place nationwide.

Chapel Vision, spearheaded by the Parish Council, and set to involve all those who are interested from within the local community, will look at where future housing developments should go, as well as business promotion and enterprise and ways of increasing tourism.

If the coalition government’s Localism Bill becomes an act of parliament, parish councils all over the country could be doing something similar for their area.

With Chapel’s plans already moving forward, the scheme could be ideally placed to become a pilot project.

A bid will have to be submitted by High Peak Borough Council who have given the move their backing.

If successful it would be the Borough Council who would receive funding for a dedicated officer to provide support to the process.

Cllr Smith said: “We were very clear that it would be parish council-led and borough council-facilitated and that we did not wish it to be a borough scheme.”

A bid will be submitted later this month and hopes are high that it might be successful.

However even if the pilot status is not achieved, plans are already in place to start the process and consult with the community.

The Parish Council is working with Rural Action Derbyshire who would help with the running of up to four public meetings, to he held in various locations, to start to get the local community involved.

Council Chairman Mike Harrison said the high attendance at public meetings last year had shown the strength of feeling among residents for the developments they did not want to see.

“I think it is important to turn it around and focus on what people are in favour of so we can begin to drive this forward,” he said.

“This is something that is going to be very critical to the future of the town.”