NEWENT’S first big public event on the town’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan was a glowing success, say organisers.

The display and brain-storming session on Saturday October 5 was attended by around 200 people, all keen to hear more and make their views known on the development and direction of the Gloucestershire market town.

When completed, Newent’s Neighbourhood Plan will be a planing blueprint, with legal force to guide or oppose planning applications for the next two decades.

Newent’s town clerk, Katherine Noble said: “People in the parish of Newent were invited to have their say on matters that will shape the future of the town and its surrounding area in the Newent Neighbourhood Development Plan’s first big public event.

“Twelve display stands offered topics to talk about such as housing, the environment, traffic and transport, community facilities and business.”

She added: “Approximately two hundred people visited the consultation event. The Memorial Hall was aglow with post-it notes where people were encouraged to leave their comments on maps and documents.

“A detailed questionnaire was also available which gave the opportunity to express preferences and make comments on the things that matter to Newent. This questionnaire is available in The Library, the Town Council Office and at Gooch Sports until October 21. It can also be downloaded from and dropped off at any of the same places.”

The aim is for the plan to be “community led from start to finish”.

But now the challenge is to develop Newent’s Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, in particular by taking on board, as members, any residents who have the necessary and needed expertise.

Mrs Noble said: “Gathering opinions and ideas at the start is crucial to making the policies which will form the plan.

“ It is eventually finalised by approval at local level with a public referendum.”

She added: “For more details of what happens in between and how to offer help, please contact us through the website or the Town Council. The Steering Group welcomes people with specific knowledge on the topics involved or with technological expertise.”