Changes to Clevedon’s ‘identity’ need to make town more ‘vibrant’
PUBLISHED: 17:20 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:47 13 June 2018
Clevedon needs to ‘change its identity’ to keep the younger generation and develop its town centre, a meeting was told this week.
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group held a meeting on Monday to discuss the future of the town over the next 20 years.
People raised concerns about the town’s ageing population and said more needed to be done to attract and keep young families in the area. The number of families with dependent children in Clevedon declined by 10 per cent between 2001-2011.
Town councillor Elizabeth Fone said more needed to be done to attract a younger workforce.
She added: “We need to look at creating an environment which is beneficial and create places they can use, like business hubs or spaces which are friendly to that kind of person.
“We stand a much better chance of retaining the young people who are dead-set on going to the big city because it offers them things on tap.”
Both the meeting and the plan’s survey, which was completed by more than 200 people, found there was a lack of affordable housing in the area and the town centre urgently required redevelopment.
Of the 200 respondents, 65.7 per cent said there was not an adequate amount of affordable housing in the area, with only 183 open market houses and 16 affordable homes being built since 2012.
However some attendees pleaded with the group to uphold the character and friendliness of the area, with survey respondents wanting a ‘vibrant’ and ‘friendly’ seaside town.
One person said: “Transport is also massively key and we need to make it much easier for young people to be able to get a train or a fast bus so then they are more likely to stay put.
“We need a crystal ball to know where retail is going to go in the next 20 years. It is really important we start trying to change the identity of Clevedon.”
Cllr Carl Francis-Pester, who led the meeting, said the steering group felt it had enough to go ahead and create a draft of the plan over the next few months.
Once adopted, the neighbourhood plan will fit into North Somerset Council’s Local Plan and the West of England’s Joint Spatial Plan.
To find out more about the plan, visit www.clevedonplan.uk