The joint Abbots Leigh/Pill/Easton-in-Gordano Neighbourhood Plan moves slowly but steadily forward. A Progress Report was made to each Parish Council in late November and proposals agreed for further work in the coming months. A number of key issues for the Plan have emerged from local discussion – many shared across the two parishes, but some specific to one or other parish.
For Abbots Leigh, the main issues seem to be the wish to maintain the Green Belt, to prevent development sprawl from joining our village all along to Ham Green, to address overload, congestion and safety on the A369, to protect and sustain bio-diversity across woodlands and green fields, and to preserve the heritage of the many historic buildings in the parish. A number of comments reflect the aspiration expressed in the 2002 Character Statement that ‘the Parish Council take action to acquire the freehold of the village playground in perpetuity’.
The Progress Report will be updated and put on the village web-site early in December and will be discussed at the Civic Society AGM in January. In the meantime anyone willing to help in some of the background work needed should contact Murray Stewart.
The Parish Councils think there are advantages in preparing a joint plan because although the parishes are very different they have a number of important planning and development issues in common. The Parish Councils have had to make an application to North Somerset Council in order to set the neighbourhood area which will be covered by the plan. See the full application and the area to be covered here and read more about the plan here.
The Parish Council has submitted its response to the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and Transport Study consultations. You can download a copy here.
Former Parish Plan
The incoming Parish Council, elected in 2003, decided to put together a strategic plan for the whole village. The Parish Council applied for and was given financial support from the Countryside Agency and the first tranche of the grant was received in April 2004. Following a plenary village meeting in May that year, a steering committee of ten volunteers was formed, representing various interests and areas of the parish. This group worked together to drive the process forward and the end result was the Parish Plan.
This was a strategic document for the entire community. It outlined the issues and priorities that the residents of the parish wanted addressed. It was a five year plan reviewed every year. It aimed to cover all aspects of living in the parish with a view to improving the quality of life for everybody. A final report on the delivery of the plan to was produced in 2013.