Community orchard, car-sharing and traffic calming plans for village

A COMMUNITY orchard, a wind turbine and schoolchildren growing their own lunches are ideas in the pipeline for the future of Long Ashton.

Traffic calming and semi-pedestrianisation in the centre of the village were also high on the agenda for residents who attended a discussion about its neighbourhood development plan.

The meeting, organised by the village’s parish council and environmental group, Transition, produced a room full of post-it-note suggestions, including community-supported agriculture, a car-share club and a farmers’ market.

Another popular idea was setting up a wildlife and food-producing garden behind the churchyard.

Transition Long Ashton spokesman Bill Roberts said: “It is a part of a big society idea and many of the suggestions were truly inspirational.”

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The biggest wish put forward would be to have a 20mph speed restriction throughout the village, with traffic calming measures at both ends.

Bill added: “It was nice to see other people, rather than the usual suspects involved in decision-making, having their voices heard.

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“We want to move beyond individuals saying what they want to happen to a better way of doing things which involves more discussion and inevitably producing a framework of ideas.”

Transition Long Ashton came close to buying an 18-acre wood in December, after emailing 145 people on its mailing list, asking for �100,000.

Residents, who wanted to buy Keeds Wood and The Brake, at the top of Keeds Lane, for coppicing, community events, learning skills and education, pledged more than �101,000 in just four days, but were outbid.

North Somerset residents can have their say about what they would like to see in their communities, which will form a development plan.

The ideas will be put up for referendum and if passed will become part of North Somerset’s Core Strategy for the next 15 years.

The next public consultation in Long Ashton will take place at the community centre, in Keedwell Hill, from 2-5.30pm, on September 12.

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