Voters urged to give up five minutes to 'preserve village's character'
PUBLISHED: 12:41 13 January 2018
Voters have a chance to shape their community's future when polls open next week.
People living in Claverham will be asked whether they want to adopt a neighbourhood plan which outlines where villagers feel housing development is appropriate.
Claverham Future, which has drawn up the draft plan over the past three years, says the document will give the village some control over where any homes may be built.
Gladman Homes wanted to build 70-80 houses off Chestnut Drive but axed plans in 2016 amid concerns over housing density and poor travel connections.
However, a redevelopment of UTC Aerospace Systems’ plant off Bishops Road is on the horizon.
Gladman’s application made villagers realise developers were looking at the area.
Therefore, Claverham Future volunteers felt they needed to secure some control for the village with North Somerset Council facing big housing targets.
Its chairman Nigel Cooper said: “We want to preserve Claverham’s character and make sure development is appropriate.
“On one side we have greenbelt and on the other side we have farming (land) and that’s always been the way Claverham has been and there’s a good reason for it.
“We are almost at our limits. We wanted to try to find a significant development opportunity within the village and that’s available at the old factory site.”
Nigel has urged people to give up a couple of minutes and go out and vote for the neighbourhood plan.
He said: “This is about their community’s future up to 2026 and the way development takes place. I think it is well worth spending five minutes to gain that modicum of control so Claverham develops the way it should.”
Over the past three years, Claverham Future has consulted with villagers and liaised with parish and district councils to come up with a document which can shape planning for the next eight years.
Nigel praised North Somerset’s planning team and volunteers, including his deputy Dave Hayler, for their work, but admits he never realised it would take so long to reach the referendum stage.
Votes can be cast at Claverham Village Hall from 7am-10pm on Thursday.