Plan to give villagers ‘power’ over Congresbury’s future
PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 August 2018
Parish councillors hope to shape the future of their village after publishing a vision for the next two decades.
Congresbury’s draft neighbourhood plan has been released, with villagers given ‘direct power’ in dictating how the village will change.
Policies including a cap of 150 new homes up to 2036 and a maximum of 25 homes per site have been proposed in the plan, which has been orchestrated by Congresbury Parish Council to ‘preserve the village’s identity’.
Five sites – two south of Station Road, one in Glebelands, one opposite Tesco Express on Bristol Road, and another in Smallway adjacent to a site already earmarked for housing – have been put forward as potential sites for around 25 homes.
Speed limit changes have been suggested, including 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.
Parish council chairman Di Hassan told the Mercury 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.
The likes of Claverham and Backwell 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.
“It is very important to have the views of residents 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 or find consultation dates, visit www.congresbury-pc.gov.uk