THE residents of Wanborough have 23 days to determine the future of their village and its surrounding area.

The questionnaire which will determine any future draft of the Wanborough Neighbourhood Plan has gone live.

The online form should take no longer than five minutes to complete, but the importance of those five minutes cannot be overstated, according to Wanborough Parish Council chairman Gary Sumner.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to have a say in how the village develops in the next 10 to 15 years,” he said.

“There has been interest in this. We are not a particularly big village, but people do care about the place they live, not just where they build houses.

“Employment opportunities and all of those things are important.

“We had a really positive meeting to publicise this, which was well-attended.

The Wanborough Neighbour-hood Plan is about the use of land within the parish of Wanborough up to 2026.

Through the auspices of the Neighbourhood Plan, residents are able to exert some control over the development of land within the parish without contravening the constraints imposed by national planning policies and Swindon Council’s Local Plan.

The deadline for responses to the questionnaire is December 15.

After that all the replies will be collated by members of a group made up of parish councillors and residents.

The feedback will be incorporated into an official draft for the plan, which will then be examined by an independent party.

If required, any changes will be recommended and Swindon Council will consider if these should be applied.

If substantial changes are put forward by the examiner, the questionnaire process may be revisited for more views on alternative options from the public.

When Swindon Council is ready to put an official plan forward it will be the subject of a community referendum, ensuring the public will have the final say.

When the plan is ratified and confirmed it will carry real legal weight and must be consulted by planners and developers before any changes are made to the landscape it covers.

Gary is sure any draft drawn up by the working group will account for all opinions within the community.

“We have a group of people on the parish council and interested residents, who all work in various fields with interests in housing or sports or community projects,” he said. “All of these people will help us draft a plan to put to people.”

The questionnaire is at www.