Congresbury residents urged to vote in upcoming referendum

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 September 2019

Andy Brisley Head of Libraries in North Somerset handing over the key of the library to Parish Council chairman Diana Hassan.

Andy Brisley Head of Libraries in North Somerset handing over the key of the library to Parish Council chairman Diana Hassan.

Archant

Villagers in Congresbury are being encouraged to vote in a referendum next week.

The parish council and its steering group will ask whether villagers think North Somerset Council should use their neighbourhood plan.

If voted in, on September 19, the plan would take effect starting this year through to 2036.

It outlines areas suitable for housing development, others where land should be protected and areas also for leisure use.

Chairman of the neighbourhood planning steering group, Di Hassan, said full support is vital.

She said: "The Congresbury neighbourhood development plan is based on extensive research and influenced by robust engagement with the local community.

"Once the plan is made, it will have full weight in the determination of planning applications and provide details on how to prioritise the spending of any s106 or Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to ensure maximum benefit for the community.

"Full support of residents provides a clear message to both potential developers and North Somerset Council on how we'd like our village to change in the next 20 years to enhance and maintain its unique and special character."

Five areas for housing development are outlined within the plan, of which two are off the A370, either side of the Strawberry Line.

Sites to the east of Smallway and opposite Tesco Express are also mentioned, as is an area west of the recreation ground, which would be solely developed to meet affordable housing needs.

The draft plan though makes clear the areas south of Silver Street and Venus Street should remain off limit to developers.

It seeks to meet the housing needs of the community, while preserving the importance of the greenbelt, rural landscape, the conservation area and heritage assets.

Another aim is to support proposals of renewable schemes and it seeks to support the retention of business and jobs within the parish.

The long-term vision is to ensure residents are able to participate in village life and feel a sense of pride in where they live, while green spaces will be maintained for the benefit of all.

The vote will be held at The Old School Rooms, in Station Road, from 7am to 10pm.

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