Residents urged to have their say to shape town's future

Residents are being invited to have their say and help shape the future of a Doncaster town at a neighbourhood planning event.

Thursday, 28th January 2016, 5:47 am
Crown Hotel Posting House. Pic: Chris Lawton

Bawtry Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, set up to develop a vision for the future of the market town, is inviting residents to a consultation exhibition.

If enough residents support the neighbourhood plan it will become a statutory document that Doncaster Council’s planning authority has to adopt alongside its own planning policies.

The steering group has been working to identify what residents value most highly and what concerns them most in the town.

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A spokesman said: “The sense of Bawtry obtained so far is of a friendly, busy place with a rich history, where residents value small town life but also enjoy the facilities of a larger community.

“The variety of independent retailers is highly valued, but the number of these is perceived to be diminishing and there is evidence Bawtry is having difficulty continuing to attract sufficient customers to sustain a wide range of retailers.

“The one sector of the town’s economy that is thriving is the nightlife.

“Many residents approve of the growth that has occurred in that sector, but just as many feel it has gone too far and is damaging the town.”

Issues with traffic congestion and parking charges were also flagged up as major concerns.

The spokesman added: “Traffic appears to be a big problem for Bawtry. There’s too much of it, congesting junctions and making it unsafe to cross the road. It goes too fast, and there are too many HGVs.

“Parking also attracts critical comment from many respondents.

“They say there’s not enough of it, it is too expensive, the charging hours are too long, it is too aggressively enforced, and it makes the town centre unattractive.

“Many residents complain of nuisance parking, in residential streets and on pavements.”

Concerns were also raised about unsafe and uneven pavements, poorly maintained verges, litter, and dog mess in the play areas.

The group also said residents and traders would welcome the return of a proper market to the town.

The spokesman added: “This is the purpose of the consultation exhibition, to enable the group to create a strategy for the future – to protect what is best about Bawtry, and to successfully address the concerns identified.

“It is hoped that the people of Bawtry will take advantage of this opportunity to shape the future of their home town.”

n The event will take place on Thursday, February 11 between 2pm and 9pm at The Crown Hotel, Bawtry,