Local Development Framework Comments
from Chilton Polden Parish Council
1 Question 2: the Vision
Chilton Polden Parish Council feels that for small settlements, such as Chilton Polden, an appropriate ‘vision’ would be one of organic and sustainable growth which will allow settlements to grow over the plan period in a way which ensures that:
the basic form of settlements as ‘village communities’ is retained
new developments are easily absorbed into the visual and social fabric of the village
new buildings are designed to meet the requirements of village design statements in terms of form and materials
housing developments are targeted at satisfying local housing needs rather than simply the provision of housing units
Where housing for rent or shared equity is involved, priority must be given to the needs of local residents, particularly young people and young families, rather than being allocated to those outside the community. Unless this is done the issue of the lack of affordable housing for local people which will retain local family groups with local connections, will never be addressed.
2 Question 4: Level of growth/ village boundary changes
This does not appear to take into account development form ‘windfall’ sites. Although the parish Council is fairly content with the changes to the village boundaries, as part of the ‘organic’ growth of the village over the plan period, consideration should be given to including the parcel of land lying to the south of the White Hart Inn, identified as an ‘opportunity development site’ as a suitable site for the expansion of the village - subject to any housing proposed being specifically targeted at the identified needs of the local community, meeting local design criteria, the availability of adequate infrastructure and subject to the approval of the local community.
3 Question 6: Options for the distribution of growth
Priorities should be A, B then C – which should also depend on the capability of each settlement to absorb growth. The designation of Chilton Polden as a ‘Tier 4’ village is acceptable.
4 Question 55: Housing policy targets
Given the small scale of possible interventions in village communities, the proposals for cross subsidy for affordable housing from housing for sale do not seem realistic. The policy of cross subsidy should be revised to take account of rural conditions.
5 Question 66: Affordable housing policy
The current policy of central government to sell off social rented housing at a substantial discount, militates against creating more housing for rent. If additional affordable housing for rent is to be provided there must be local control over letting policy and housing which is built ‘for rent’ has to be held as such in perpetuity.
6 Question 67: Rural housing need
Housing for rent has been dropped in favour of shared equity. Housing for rent should be retained as a key requirement of any development.
7 Question 69: Sustainable transport policy
If employment is to be available to residents living in rural villages which have no local employment opportunities, there is strong need for local bus routes to be maintained and expanded otherwise the ‘flight from the villages’ will continue with the vacuum being filled by incomers who are mostly retired, further degrading the social cohesion of rural communities.
8 Question 80: Sports and recreation policy (pp125, 126)
Previous plans emphasised the need for local sports activity being included in Local Plans. The former cricket ground in the village has not been protected and consequently has been lost to recreation – this should be reversed.
Chilton Polden Parish Council
The village litter pick on the morning of Saturday 14 March attracted 17 adults and 5 Guides.
Using equipment provided by Sedgemoor District Council and the Campaign for Protection of Rural England the team scoured the village and collected 17 bags of rubbish.
This was much more than we expected, but shows what can be achieved in a couple of hours with a band of keen volunteers.
After their exertions the team were treated to refreshments kindly donated by other villagers who couldn't be there on the day.
Attached are photos of most of the team before they set off and the Guides with their leader Sue Burne and the pile of rubbish that was collected.
The consensus was that this was a worthwhile event which should be repeated on an annual basis.
Thank you again for all of your support.