Village ‘has woken up’ as action group is formed in Sandford

PUBLISHED: 11:00 18 February 2017

Sandford Neighbourhood Action Group (SNAG)

Sandford Neighbourhood Action Group (SNAG)

Archant

A North Somerset village is ‘fighting for survival’, according to a neighbourhood action group which was formed this week.

Villagers have united to create Sandford Neighbourhood Action Group (SNAG) to ‘help the village prosper as a community’.

The group is hoping to give villagers a voice and ‘tackle the challenges’ which new housing developments will present.

Last year Strongvox Homes won permission for 118 homes off Greenhill Road after a drawn-out planning inquiry which resulted from North Somerset Council’s failure to make a decision within a suitable timeframe.

SNAG says it wants to strike the best deal in the wake of the inquiry, with reserved matters under discussion.

The group has highlighted a new village hall as its ‘first priority’ and an important bargaining chip, with the finer details of the development yet to be agreed.

But a hall, which was mooted in initial plans, has not been included in the latest proposal – which includes a community orchard and a football pitch.

SNAG spokesman, Cresten Boase, said: “We’re trying to ensure Sandford survives.

“We are targeted as an infill village, we are not a service village. We only have a convenience store and a tiny village hall.

“There is no provision for older children in Sandford, no youth club and scout hut is closing.

“Without attention, Sandford will go under.”

In the coming weeks the action group is hoping to speak with the developers and the council over how the need for a new village hall could be satisfied on the Strongvox site or elsewhere.

Simon Tannahill, of Strongvox Homes, said: “The hall was included as part of our outline proposals when we carried out the first consultation event.

“Unfortunately there was not a great deal of support for a new village hall so the scheme was amended due to the feedback.

“Strongvox has agreed to pay £59,000 towards improving the hall which is just part of the package which has been agreed with the council.”

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