Town’s second neighbourhood forum established in Welland ward

Published Tuesday 25 July 2023

A group of volunteers in Welland ward has been formally designated a neighbourhood forum.

It is the second of five potential neighbourhood areas across Market Harborough to have a neighbourhood forum and neighbourhood area designated by Harborough District Council, with help from Harborough Town Hub, a non-party political volunteer group.

Neighbourhood planning in Market Harborough supports the council’s vision by promoting community leadership to create a sense of pride in our place, helping to create a sustainable environment to protect future generations and supporting businesses and residents to deliver a prosperous local economy.

Residents will have more of a say in planning and land use in their community as well as tackling issues such as flooding, traffic and the care of green spaces.

Forum members will start to develop a ‘neighbourhood priorities statement’ with a longer-term view of writing a neighbourhood plan.

Susan Garon, chair of Welland Neighbourhood Forum, is keen to obtain residents’ views in the area which stretches from Farndon Fields to Northampton Road and south of the River Welland.

Susan said: “We have started work obtaining residents views about their community and have regular meetings to which everyone is welcome. We want to know what residents value about Welland ward and what they would like to improve. We will use this information to write a neighbourhood priorities statement”.

Cllr Simon Galton, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for Planning, said: “Neighbourhood forums can help protect and enhance the character of an area as well as highlight what is important to a community in the writing of a neighbourhood plan. We are delighted that Welland Neighbourhood Forum is now designated as its formation will help strengthen the community.”

Chris Durham, chair of Harborough Town Hub, said that other meetings are planned this month to establish forums in Arden, Town Centre and Logan, and he encourages residents and businesses in those areas to engage with the neighbourhood plan process. A minimum of 21 members are required in each area to form a neighbourhood forum.

Market Harborough residents are not represented by a town council in the same way some towns and villages are in the district so must form a neighbourhood forum, also known as a qualifying body, to be eligible to write a neighbourhood plan.

Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. It was started under the Localism Act of 2011 and since then 29 neighbourhood plans have been adopted by parish councils across Harborough district. The Market Harborough forums are part of a wider government pilot scheme encouraging communities to develop neighbourhood plans in a simpler way.

If you live or work in Market Harborough and would like to know more about the neighbourhood forums being set up, please contact Harborough District Council at

More information about neighbourhood planning can be found