Minutes of CNP team meeting 15th August

  1. Meeting was attended by
    1. Mark Rosher
    2. John O’Neill
    3. Judy Law
    4. Yvette Andrewartha
    5. Sue Simmons
    6. David Lines
    7. Dick Whittington
  2. Apologies from
    1. Steve Hake
    2. Paula Evans
    3. Liam Balloch
  3. Meeting recapped the situation regarding Warner’s Court, drop-in application for 121 houses and a retail outlet by Barratts Homes. Refused by SGlos planning committee which cited unsustainability and demonstrable harm to the community in terms of strategic proposals, but by the time of that meeting Barratts had already gone to appeal and are seeking a Public Inquiry (cf Gladman). SGlos will likely use a consultant and barrister to defend the refusal, and any PI is likely to begin no sooner than January 2018. John O’Neill will advise when any date is confirmed.
  4. The JSP is likely to become available in draft form around early October and is scheduled to go to Council mid-October. These dates can change. It will then go out to consultation. There is a drop-in session at the Hall on 20th September between two and eight o’clock pm. CNP will promote both events to the village and encourage attendance and engagement.
  5. On the potential for challenge of the JSP on the basis of the tiered assessment in the 2015 Sustainable Access Report, it was noted that this report was apparently not foreseen to be made public (!) and had in any case now been superseded by the 2017 Sustainable Access Report which does not make use of a scorecard and tiered assessment. The tiered assessment had been devalued by comments regarding how the scorecard could produce irrational outcomes.
  6. The meeting was appraised of an informal meeting with CEG
    1. CEG are the agent working with Charfield Landowners Association to promote development of the land roughly from The Pear Tree pub to Little Bristol Lane, across the rear of the Manor Estate.
    2. This meeting attended by Mark Rosher, Liam Balloch, Sue Simmons, John O’Neil, Paula Evans and Stephen King (CEG) on 3rd August.
    3. Meeting agreed to on the basis that IF the JSP proves to hold a 1000 house extension of Charfield we need to be engaged with the developers involved to get the best outcomes for the village. Does not modify our current stance of opposition to the expansion proposals.
    4. King spoke of a new primary school – possibly a replacement leaving the current school site (church owned land?) for other development purposes. He spoke of utilising about 40% – 60% of the land for development and leaving the rest as green space, including the “dog walking” field (protecting the view to St James from Charfield).
    5. Mark Rosher proposed that any development should provide a peripheral footpath and cycleway around the development separate from vehicular traffic that would enable safe passage around the outer edge of the development, and “spoke linking” into it. This would provide a safer route for through cyclists than the current Wotton Road as well as providing a vehicle free recreational and utility route in the village.
      1. Tangential to this topic, Mark also spoke about Wotton Town Councillor Catherine Braun’s initiative to investigate the feasibility of a cycleway between Charfield, Kingswood and Wotton under Edge. This has support from all Town and Parish Councils but since the spend is all in Stroud District, Wotton Town Council have suggested it may take ten to fifteen years to come about – far too long! It was noted too that Gloucestershire County Council spend only about 0.2% of their transport budget on cycling – far less than most other similar councils.
    6. Following meeting, Mark Rosher walked Stephen King around the proposed area pointing out significant issues of access onto Wotton Road and into Little Bristol Lane and the junction of LBL with the WR. He also pointed out the community asset that was the green space, and the potential hardship that any “improved” access into the development from the Manor Estate would cause to existing residents including for a new school.
  7. The meeting then discussed the Charfield Neighbourhood Plan and it’s function in terms of an imminent JSP with 1000+ new houses.
    1. If such occurs the developers are likely to produce outline applications long before CNP can be put to referendum and adopted, and therefore developers would circumvent the work being done on behalf of the community.
    2. The CNP cannot move faster because the Plan has to align with the SGlos Local Plan not yet produced, which in turn has to align with the WECA JSP not yet produced!
    3. Ultimately therefore the CNP team may have more use as a provider of information to the likely (to all potential) developers than as a producer of a Plan. We have all the community engagement information and the survey results which give us a unique insight into community aspirations and needs.
    4. Whilst reaffirming opposition to a 1000 house expansion of Charfield, the team felt there was worth in an engagement with the developers most likely to move to application if the JSP confirms the expansion plans. These would be CEG and possibly Bloor Homes (for New Street – 250 houses proposed in call for sites).
    5. The meeting reaffirmed the desire and need to produce an actual Neighbourhood Plan noting the increased CIL proportion paid to NP led Parish Councils, and such a Plan would reflect the same topics as would drive engagement with developers.
  8. The current topic list derived from the community engagement and survey is
    1. Connectivity throughout village – footpaths and cycleways
    2. Eco positive design
    3. Size and type of homes – no of bedrooms, style of build
    4. Phasing of builds
    5. Zoning of new facilities
    6. Open Spaces – recreational space, street lighting, street trees, orchards
    7. New Community Facilities
    8. Parking provision
    9. Charfield Railway Station
  9. The meeting agreed to produce in-team drafts of topic themes, producing a narrative of the CNP without (of course) SGlos LP linked policy statements, from which a village mail-drop update and a more detailed narrative plan could be produced as continuing engagement documents.
  10. Next meeting agreed as Wednesday 27th September (19h00 – 21h00), booked awaiting confirmation.

CNP responds to PT17/0357/F

The Charfield Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group now have a considerable amount of understanding as to the community aspirations and concerns, gleaned from the community engagement and survey responses. As such the CNP group feels able to make comments on significant planning applications where it can offer factual information. Today the CNP group responded as shown below. Continue reading CNP responds to PT17/0357/F

Lining up the Plans…

The work to produce the Charfield Neighbourhood Plan (CNP) has been progressing well and the Steering Group were confident that we would be able to keep to our planned timetable to produce the first draft.

However, the SGC Local Plan known as ‘the Core Strategy’ (adopted in 2013) has now been declared out of date and is being replaced by the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) and the new South Gloucestershire Local Plan (SGLP). These are in the very early stages of preparation. As it is a fundamental requirement that neighbourhood plans have to reflect higher level planning documents including Local Plans, we met earlier this week with senior planners at South Gloucestershire Council to review the impact that their changes have on the formation of the CNP.

It was concluded that this absence of higher level documents means that we have to extend our timetable of delivery to reflect theirs. However we see this as an opportunity to develop our policies based on the latest plans that South Gloucestershire has for Charfield rather than address outdated policies. It enables us to continue with our community engagement and to build on the body of evidence in support of our own policies. The resulting CNP would be relevant, robust and with a long period of validity.

The Neighbourhood Plan process has value at all stages of its formulation. The CNP steering group has already used your responses particularly those obtained from the recent parish wide survey to comment on consultations and planning applications in the area, and we will continue to offer such insights into the community aspirations and concerns as appropriate. Some of these findings will be used in detailed evidenced narratives on the CNP web site.

In the next few months, the CNP steering group will be undertaking further fact finding and community engagement. We will establish focus groups to address particular areas of policy development – for example – housing density, heritage assets, traffic management and the re-opening of the railway station.  We will keep you updated as to when these meetings will happen and they will be open to all interested Charfield residents. In the meantime, a number of residents who have already volunteered through the survey to join the project will be contacted. If you too would like to add your voice you can contact the team on contact@charfieldneighbourhoodplan.org

Letter to Sajid Javid MP

The CNP team, seeking clarification on the development of a Neighbourhood Plan which legally has to align with plans not yet in existence, has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Mr Sajid Javid MP.

2017.02.02 The Right Honourable Sajid Javid MP 2

When we get any response we will update this thread. In the meantime the CNP steering group will continue to analyse the data and prepare the preliminary draft plan where it is possible to do so.

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group recently accepted a request from a consultant acting on behalf of a “land promoter which delivers community infrastructure”. Part of the remit of the Neighbourhood Plan is to demonstrate community engagement and it was felt appropriate to meet with this consultant.

The consultant has already visited various parts of the village and engaged with local people in formal and informal situations. They are also a member of the Facebook page ‘Charfield Village Forum’ so have been able to access conversations that members have posted. They stated both they and the promoter will continue to canvass local opinion on the future development of Charfield.

The company they represent is very interested in the potential for development if the JSP figures of 1000 new homes become a reality. It is in the public domain that the Parish Council is against the proposed increase in housing in the village and has strongly challenged the basis for such figures. This opposition was made very clear at our meeting and we felt that there was no common ground at this time to encourage us to meet with their clients.

The Neighbourhood Team will continue to engage with any individuals, groups or organisations that express a wish to have their views known. All such engagement as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process will be included in the evidence that has to, by law, support the Plan and on which all Parish residents (those registered on the electoral role) will have the opportunity to vote.

This is an opportunity to encourage everyone to engage with the Steering Group on issues that they think should be investigated as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process. We want to thank everyone for their engagement so far. The support from the community of Charfield has been encouraging and there is a clear vision forming of what residents hope for the future of the village.

CNP Team responds to Barratt’s application

The Charfield Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has written to South Gloucester Council in response to the planning application for land at Warner’s Court farm. This is the first strategic planning proposal that has come to the attention of the Group since we started the process of ‘making’ the Charfield Neighbourhood Plan.

The CNP team have written firstly to recommend no strategic application is allowed while the Neighbourhood Plan is in its build phase, as this is premature and harms the concept of Localism. You can read that letter here:

Barretts Homes – Planning Application Final Jan 2017

The team then followed this up with a constructive letter showing how Charfield residents had put forward comments which should be taken into account IF any strategic application were to be Permitted. That letter is here:

Letter of comment Warners Court Planning Applications Neighbourhood Plan Final Jan 2017


Joint Spatial Plan update – invite to attend officer briefing

“Dear All,

Thank you to all the town and parish councils and local ward members that have attended the recent JSP/ JTS briefing sessions. We hope you found these informative and helpful.

Attached are the PowerPoints presented at yesterday’s briefing (these are the same ones that P&TCs received who attended the earlier briefings on 18th and 19th October).

As covered at the briefings, officers will be holding drop in exhibitions at the five localities where additional strategic growth is promoted through the JSP. The venues dates and times are as follows. It would be appreciated if you could promote and cascade these events through your local networks. Posters will be made available shortly too.  


WHERE: Chipping Sodbury Town Hall
WHEN: Thursday 10 November, 1 – 7pm

WHERE: Charfield Memorial Hall
WHEN: Tuesday 15 November, 1 – 7pm

WHERE: Armstrong Hall, Thornbury
WHEN: Friday 25 November, 1 – 7pm

WHERE: Coalpit Heath Village Hall
WHEN: Monday 21 November, 1 – 7pm

WHERE: Falfield Village Hall
WHEN: Monday 28 November, 1 – 7pm

Finally can I remind you details about the JSP/ JTS are at available at www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk


Patrick Conroy
Strategic Planning Policy and Specialist Advice Manager
South Gloucestershire Council”


cnp-survey2If you think you’ve not received your copy by the end of this week, please let us know at contact@charfieldneighbourhoodplan.org

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.

Envelope Stuffing!

2016-10-19-020aToday the team were packing envelopes – take one cover sheet, one guidance note and one Neighbourhood Plan survey, wrap it up in a pre-paid and pre-addressed envelope… put it in the delivery envelope. And again. And again…

We did more than a thousand and we have some spares. They’re with the CHADRA team now, out for delivery very soon. Please do give over some time to reading it and completing it, and then returning it. We are very much counting on you now – a good return rate will add weight to the Plan, a poor one will put questions into the mind of the Inspector when it goes before them.

If you feel you’re overdue your copy, or you want another one, please get in touch. We have a few spares. And please keep yourselves updated as to other developments in the area, on the main parish council web site.