RESIDENTS of a West Dorset community can have a say on shaping the future of their area.

Loders, near Bridport, was one of the first parishes in the district to get involved in progressing its own Neigh-bourhood Plan after hosting presentations and meetings over the past year.

A Neighbourhood Plan aims to give residents more say in the future use of land and buildings in their area.

It includes such items as where new homes, shops or offices might be built or identifying and protecting important green spaces. A well-attended open event kickstarted the parish council’s drawing up of the plan in October 2011.

The meeting identified areas and issues of particular concern to residents about future development.

A steering group put together a village survey, and in the summer a questionnaire was sent to residents.

Results are being collated and the next step is to analyse the data collected and then formulate the draft plan.

Once the plan is formulated, it will then be submitted for independent examination, and will also be subject to a local referendum to check it has the support of local people.

Loders Parish Council has chosen its parish boundary as the area the plan will cover and this area has to be approved by the local planning authority.

The district council is currently asking for comments.

Details and how to respond can be found at www. or by calling into West Dorset District Council offices.