Charfield Parish Council is aware that these documents present an additional thousand homes for our village, doubling it in size over the next two decades, while making seemingly inadequate provision for the increase in traffic, the additional children, and the employment aspirations of the people expected to move to Charfield. That they also propose an additional two to three thousand homes just over the motorway, on the A38 between Whitfield and Milbury Heath, and offer little scope for improving the already “at capacity” junction 14 of the M5 leads Charfield Parish Council to believe this is a poorly thought through and unsustainable plan.
There are drop-in’s taking place, on:
- 2nd November (7pm at the Hall)
- 5th November (9 to 10.30 at Costcutters)
- 7th November (2.30 to 3.30 outside the school)
There is a prize draw into which every
returned survey is entered.
Take a look here http://tinyurl.com/ja2khe9 and tell me if you get past the first paragraph before nodding. Maddening, isn’t it. And yet, Neighbourhood Planning is the only tool we have in the toolbox, and today a group of us have been putting surveys into envelopes, ready for distribution to your doors. It’s not a single sheet survey; it needs a good half an hour to complete. It does come with a pre-addressed, pre-paid envelope though, and I urge you all please to fill in your Charfield Neighbourhood Plan Survey and post it back!
Last night, the Clerk and I attended a presentation by South Gloucestershire on The West of England emerging Joint Spatial Plan and Joint Transport Study [link] and how these major processes will affect Charfield between now and 2036. I need to be clear; this was a pre-consultation presentation, and everything can change. Nevertheless, what we were presented with was:
- another 1000 homes in Charfield over and above what’s already built, being built and permitted to be built at this time.
- 2200 eventually rising to 3000 new houses in a garden village at “Buckover” (which is on and around the A38 between Milbury Heath and Falfield)
- Massive transport infrastructure improvements within and tightly around Bristol but essentially doing little in our area even to improve existing traffic concerns.
My personal opinion is that Charfield appears in these plans solely because of the frankly bewildering commentary of the Planning Inspector when she ruled on the “Charfield Green Appeal” Public Inquiry and suggested the harm of developing Charfield was worth it to the county, and that the new garden village of Buckover is simply an opportunity grasped by the landowner in the face of the five year land housing shortage. In any sensibly managed infrastructure plan one would not put thousands of homes into a landscape served only by an overburdened motorway, an over-capacity motorway junction, and miles of congested country lanes.
My intention here is to encourage you to respond to BOTH the Neighbourhood Plan Survey now, AND to the WoE JSP/JTS Consultation when it goes live on November 7th. Both matters affect everything about your life in Charfield. If we present clear opposition, backed by evidence showing that the JSP/JTS is inadequate in our area and fails any test of sustainability we may cause them to look again.
Localism was a key target of the 2010 Government, and continues to be the mantra that is put out whenever housing need is discussed. Make it Local. Put your views forward. Make the Neighbourhood Plan for Charfield your aspiration for your community, and fight any top-down pressure to squander your right to a quality life.
I started with one link. Let me end with another, from Bristol. This is today’s Evening Post. It’s not just Charfield that is feeling abused by inadequate planning vision. Let’s get the message back to WoE and South Gloucestershire; this will not work. When the Consultation goes live, I’ll be here with the link for you to click.
The possibility or impossibility of re-opening Charfield Railway Station, closed since the mid-sixties, has been debated for decades. This week’s Gazette offers a new perspective to the issue. You can read about it here.
The Charfield Neighbourhood Plan is moving from concept into construction, and the matter of Charfield Railway Station will certainly be covered in the final Plan. As such, the Neighbourhood Plan working group would be most interested in hearing all viewpoints from residents of Charfield, and you can give them by emailing the Parish Clerk.
Following on from consultations last month – the Parish Council are in the process of getting Neigbhourhood Plan Area Designated. As such – please see note below from South Gloucestershire Council – the Local Authority that the request was put to…….
South Gloucestershire Council have had their first request from a Parish Council that they wish to do a Neighbourhood Development Plan.
We write to notify you that a 5 week consultation commenced today (9th December 2015) for the proposed Charfield Neighbourhood Plan Area. It follows there parish boundary and the Neighbourhood Area Notice being consulted on can be viewed on our Neighbourhood Planning webpages here.
We would be grateful for any comments regarding this proposed area by 13th January 2016.
Comments should be sent to PlanningLDF@southglos.gov.uk
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to us at 01454 863464 and ask for Jane Wormald.