Public consultation events to share your 2030 vision of Lyme Regis

A utopian image of Lyme Regis, put together as part of the Royal College of Arts’ ‘Future Towns’ project in 2020

LYME Regis Development Trust is planning a series of ‘Lyme 2030 Vision Community Conversations’ starting on Saturday, April 9 and running up to the May Fete on Sunday, May 12 as the consultation or listening stage of the development of a 2030 Net Zero Plan for the town.

The analysis of residents’ ideas, priorities and hopes for the changes needed to reach carbon neutrality will then be carried out between May and August, when it is expected that a few key issues will emerge which could subsequently be developed into project proposals, possibly with support from some of the expert stakeholders in the Royal College ‘Our Future Towns’ project, which some residents responded to in 2020.

Solutions to reducing social isolation and improving access, mobility and the opportunity to shop and socialise locally while supporting the local economy more, through safer pavements and streets with less pollution and congestion, could emerge, for example.

Residents’ ideas and visions for future sustainable transport options and priorities for school, college, work and leisure travel, as well as ways to improve access to green spaces and enhance biodiversity, or accelerate improvements to our homes, could then inform town council and Dorset Council planning.

Almost 50 per cent of the territorial greenhouse gas emissions in Lyme Regis come from housing, according to the Impact Community Carbon Calculator, so the town council recently supported a financial contribution for five Community Energy Champions to be trained with the scheme run by Bridport Town Council in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Energy.

The Lyme Regis area Community Energy Champions will be present at some or all of the ‘Community Conversations’ to offer advice and guidance on ways to reduce household fuel bills, on insulation, ventilation, energy efficiency measures and options for switching to renewable energy sources.

Lyme Regis Town Council’s Environment Committee agreed a proposal to support the project with up to £10,000 from the budget allocation for climate and environmental action planning in the community in January 2022. The funding request was to ensure widespread engagement with residents and to enable the continued involvement of the Royal College of Art (RCA) and their stakeholders in the ‘Future Town’ project.

A detailed project plan will be developed and presented to the full council meeting on April 6 for approval. The likely dates for consultation events will be:

  • Saturday, April 9 from 11am to 3pm at the Lister Room, Marine Parade
  • Tuesday, April 26 from 5pm to 8pm at Lyme Regis Football Club
  • Saturday, April 30 from 11am to 3pm at The Hub as part of the Fossil Festival
  • Tuesday, May 10 from 9am to 1pm at Lyme Regis Football Club
  • Sunday, May 12 from 1pm to 4pm at the May Fete on the Anning Road playing field

There will also be engagement with the local schools at different stages of the project.

Traffic gridlock, parking chaos and poor public transport provision were at the top of respondents’ frustrations in the ‘Future Town’ research project led by the Royal College of Art in 2020, with litter being the second.

Surface transport forms 17 per cent of the town’s territorial emissions, according to the Impact Community Carbon Calculator, though this seems not to account fully for the visitor impact which can increase the population of Lyme Regis of less than 4,000 to as many as 40,000, many arriving by private vehicle.

The Lyme 2030 Vision project also proposes taking part in a free three-month trial of the new Climate Heatmap community engagement platform and support service from Commonplace, one of the UK’s leading community engagement experts. This will enable residents to add their ideas, views and ambitions for the future development of the town onto a map of the Lyme area.

The platform will also enable the project to provide updates and news on local climate and environmental initiatives and will automatically show the type of response by topic on a daily basis.

The graphic above shows the RCA’s ‘Future Town’ toolkit for engaging ‘hearts and minds’ in the transition towards carbon neutrality.

The involvement of people who live here is vital to ensure that any changes proposed and undertaken are a result of listening to their priorities and hopes for a cleaner, greener future for everyone.

Cllr Belinda Bawden Chairman,
Lyme Regis Town Council Environment Committee

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