Ross-on-Wye Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) is in its final consultation.

This will set the policies for all future development in the town.

Councillors will agree policies in the NDP, then planning officers will decide all future planning applications based on these policies.

This may all sound like boring bureaucracy, but a good example of why this is important is the recent Lidl application.

Because Herefordshire has policies to refuse development that will adversely affect town centres and the council’s consultant said this would be the case if Lidl went ahead, the application was refused by planning officers.

Despite the fact this correctly applies current policy, many residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the decision, though this obviously doesn’t change the outcome.

If people believe current planning policy needs changing, the best way to do this is the NDP, which is available for comment via the Ross Town Council website until October 7.

I have asked for the NDP to include a development plan for the Wolf Business Park and am arranging a meeting with the owners and planning officers to start that process.

However, the more comments are received about this, or any other issue, the more likely it is to be included in the NDP. Make your voice heard!

Councillor Paul Symonds