Friday, 20 October 2017

Villagers show the Poles how to plan

A POLISH researcher spent a day in Whitchurch as part of an international fact- finding mission.

A POLISH researcher spent a day in Whitchurch as part of an international fact- finding mission.

Aleksandra Goldys, from the University of Warsaw, was part of a team examining planning systems across Europe.

Their findings will influence policy in Poland.

Ms Goldys decided to visit Whitchurch after reading on the internet about its village plan, which was published in 2009.

The document sets out how residents want to see the village develop and more than half of Whitchurch’s 786 households gave their views.

Ms Goldys was met by council chairman Harry Butterworth and fellow councillor Keith Brooks and given a guided tour, including lunch at the Ferryboat pub.

The men explained the British planning system.

The visitor also met representatives of the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council, Stephen Trinder, who wrote most of the plan, and Richard Wingfield, editor of the Whitchurch website.

Cllr Butterworth said: “Aleksandra had also visited Portugal, where she said local planning tended to be more ‘top-down’ than our community-led approach.”

After her visit, Ms Goldys wrote to Cllr Butterworth saying: “Meeting you and all your friends was one of the most inspiring experiences in my research history. You were extremely kind and helpful.

“My boss told me that Whitchurch would be the best case in our research.”

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