VILLAGERS in Houghton and Wyton are being urged to help shape the future of their community by filling in a survey which will form the basis of the area’s Neighbourhood Plan.

The parish is one of the first in Huntingdonshire, and one of just 350 in the country, to create the 25-year plan, which will become a legally-binding document that Huntingdonshire District Council must pay attention to when considering future planning issues.

Lesley Craig, chairman of Houghton and Wyton Parish Council, said she and her colleagues had opted to produce the document because they wanted to "give people in the village the opportunity to design and come up with the creative policy that will help the development of the area".

She added: "We like the place we live and are very proud of it, so we'd like to have a say in how its developed."

The parish council's Neighbourhood Plan Working Party, which consists of four parish councillors and nine residents, has already gathered some general feedback from residents and visitors about the best and worst aspects of the two villages.

Strengths identified included Houghton and Wyton's strong community spirit, its good neighbourhood facilities such as a shop, Post Office and pubs and its variety of architecture and historic buildings.

Traffic volume, noise and speeding were listed as some of the worst aspects, whereas over-development and flooding were registered as concerns.

Some residents also said they wanted a dentist and pop-up pharmacy, along with a care home for the elderly and a new sports facility.

The results of that feedback were used to devise more targeted questions in the resulting survey, where residents are asked about topics such as green spaces, tourism, leisure and recreation and infrastructure.

People have until Sunday (February 10) to submit their views.

Parish councillor Benny Barwell said: "If people from the grassroots of the village are given the opportunity to have their opinions, they are far more likely to support what happens in the future."

INFORMATION: Houghton and Wyton residents can complete the survey delivered to their homes or call 01480 466588 for an extra form. Alternatively visit the website www.houghtonwytonpc.org.uk/docs