FORDINGBRIDGE residents are being invited to help devise a planning blueprint for the area.

Neighbourhood plans aim to allow communities to shape the development of their area by setting out how different areas of land should be used.

A referendum is carried out to decide whether the proposals should be adopted.

Speaking at a meeting of the town council Cllr Mike Jackson said: “Most organisations I have been involved with have always had a plan for a way forward and where they are going.

“I don’t think Fordingbridge Town Council has got a plan. I think we are letting people and businesses of the town down if we don’t grasp this opportunity.

“A thousand houses are coming. The local plan is going to be approved by May and then the developers will be submitting their plans - we’ll be ready for the changes this will bring .

“Our town will grow by 36% I doubt there has been any time in our thousand year history there has been such an expansion take place."