Villagers’ ‘vision’ for future published in draft neighbourhood plan
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 August 2018
‘Direct power’ has been given to villagers, who hope to shape the future of Congresbury.
The village’s draft neighbourhood plan has been published, with hopes of creating a framework for housing, infrastructure and employment development for the next two decades.
A cap of 150 new homes in total and a maximum of 25 homes per development have been proposed in the plan, which vows to ‘preserve the unique identity of the village’.
Five sites – two south of Station Road, Glebelands, opposite Tesco Express on Bristol Road, and Smallway, adjacent to the recently-approved site – have been put forward as potential locations for around 25 homes.
The plan suggests a 20mph limit on a stretch of the B3133.
The importance of employment sites has been emphasised, with ‘exceptional circumstances’ required to convert commercial buildings into housing.
Improvements to the Strawberry Line, funded by developers’ contributions, are also planned.
Congresbury Parish Council chairman Di Hassan believes the plan will ‘give villagers the direct power to develop a shared vision and shape the development and growth of Congresbury’.
Neighbourhood plans were created under the Localism Act by the coalition Government in 2011, giving villagers more control over development.
Claverham and Backwell authorities have created plans, which have successfully staved off unwanted developments.
A consultation on the draft is underway, and a final version will be subject to a referendum next year.
Congresbury’s North Somerset councillor Tom Leimdorfer encouraged villagers to take part in the consultations.
He said: “After two years of work we have learned a lot about the possibilities and limitations of a neighbourhood plan.
“It cannot solve all the problems, but it can have positive effects on the future of the village as we saw in both Backwell and Claverham.
“It is very important now to have the views of residents, especially on issues like the proposed 20mph speed limit and other highways issues, possible changes to the settlement boundary and enhancing our environment and local heritage.”
To view the plan, visit www.congresbury-pc.gov.uk