At a packed Village meeting on 2nd December 2017 an overwhelming majority of those Otford residents present demonstrated their support for an Otford Neighbourhood Plan. About 130 people voted for the proposal with just three abstentions and no votes against. The advantages of having a Neighbourhood Plan were explained, together with the effort that would be required from the Community to see the project through to final approval. The presentation (see below) included updates on the progress of the working parties on Traffic Management and on Sustainable Tourism, and a statement on accessibility and making Otford a dementia and elderly friendly village.
As might be expected, the wide range of questions and comments covered – among many other topics – included housing, preservation of the Green Belt, pedestrian safety and traffic through the village, community spirit and tackling loneliness, air pollution, services, the provision of public toilets, infrastructure and health facilities. All the comments have been recorded and will be taken on board by the group preparing the Neighbourhood Plan.
It was repeatedly stressed that the development of the Neighbourhood Plan must be a community effort and the initial Steering Committee was very pleased to receive over 30 offers of practical help. We will be contacting all of those who volunteered before the Christmas break.
This project will take about 18-24 months to complete and throughout that time we will be in regular touch with the whole of the Otford community by every means at our disposal – the monthly Parish Newsletter, social media, the Parish website, and further Village meetings. This is a transparent process to which everyone in the Village is invited to contribute. It is our Village and our future!