RESIDENTS were encouraged to voice their views on everything from housing and open spaces, to retail facilities and parking at an open evening in Newton Aycliffe this week.

Great Aycliffe Town Council has been given the go ahead to create a neighbourhood plan to help shape the future of the Newton Aycliffe area.

The event, at Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre, on Thursday saw the launch of the initial consultation phase, during which people who live, work and study in the town can have their say.

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When complete, the plan will become a legal document that must be referred to when determining planning applications.

It will cover issues such as housing distribution, green spaces, parking, retail facilities, litter, anti-social behaviour, public transport and youth provision.

During the consultation event, Angela Corner, community neighbourhood engagement officer, gave a presentation explaining the plan and residents were encouraged to fill in questionnaires, identifying priorities and issues in the town.

Ms Corner said: “I am thrilled at the turn out. It is so important people get involved. This isn’t the town council’s plan; it is the community’s plan.”

Over the next few months surveys will be sent to every home in Great Aycliffe and Ms Corner will be spreading the word at events, such as The Great Aycliffe Show, and at various community meetings.

For more information visit or contact Ms Corner on 01325-300700 or