KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
Public Consultation on the Neighbourhood Development Plan
held in the Village Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday 27 July 2017
Present: Councillors: Cllr A Brock (Chairman), Cllr R Curtis, Cllr H Griffith, Cllr R Lane, Cllr R Sutton
Steering Group members: Ms C Thomson, Ms J Mein, Mr G Searle, Mr D StJohn
In attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)
Public Session: 23 members of the public
1. Chairman’s welcome and announcements
1.1 The Chairman welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming. By means of a Powerpoint presentation, he then gave the reasons for producing a Neighbourhood Development Plan, what the previous survey results had indicated the Parish wanted, how these had shaped the draft Plan to date, and then summarised where we go from this point.
2. Powerpoint responses
2.1 At various stages during the presentation, those present were asked to indicate their support or otherwise for the conclusions drawn from the information previously provided. Specific questions posed included –
a. Was the approach towards protecting key features in the community such as the Beech Trees on the A3057 from the Romsey direction, the Yews and Ash on Cow Drove Hill and the views from both the top of Cow Drove Hill and Red Hill, supported and were any key features omitted?
Comment was made on controlling the overgrowth in the Borne and the need to protect both the Parish footpaths and the view from the top of Top Field towards the Church.
b. Were the numbers of dwellings and time scale appropriate?
Evidence suggested a growth of between 30 – 40 dwellings over the next 15 years of which 8 – 9 should be affordable. These numbers maintained the existing rate of growth and the socio-economic profile yet still allowed for small Windfall Brownfield site development. The Chairman explained the risks to the Parish of creeping ‘urbanisation’ and noted the view that a care home might be beneficial to the community.
c. Ideal development size.
Those present acknowledged the argument for developments of 11 – 14 dwellings in size, ideally any number over 10, and noted that three such developments over the 15 year period would meet this target. These numbers ensured we maintained the current ratio of affordable homes in the mix. The impact on the village school of type and size of house and its ability to attract young families was discussed; it was noted that house extensions were becoming more than norm in the community in lieu of new builds; and it was thought appropriate to include restrictive covenants on new build bungalows to prevent them from being enlarged thus limiting the flexibility of those wishing to downsize from larger houses to smaller bungalows.
It was agreed that the development of 2 – 3 bedroom smaller dwellings within any future new builds would address the needs of both young and old.
d. Development outside the Settlement Boundary
Taking Brownfield, Infill and Infilling sites as read, new development outside the Settlement Boundary should only occur if it was not within a Local Area of Green Space (LAG) or within the regularisation of the existing Settlement Boundary excluding Eldon and Furzedown Roads. Of those areas identified as having development potential, there was no clear priority, and although the view from Red Hill being compromised which was of significant concern, The Spencer’s Farm site along with the site on Winchester Road next to Cruck Cottage were the only sites to have at least 2 listings (each) as the prime preference sites making them marginally more preferable than the sites proposed between Frog Lane and Cow Drove Hill. The bottom (most southerly field) of Spencer’s Farm was much more preferred than the top (northerly field) which was rejected for development by some as it did compromise the view from Red Hill which was a key landscape feature.
Some additional sites were also suggested which will be discussed at the next steering group meeting.
2.2 Each of the above responses reflected the majority view with a few abstentions and occasionally the unanimous view of those present.
3. Design guidance
3.1 The Chairman explained the need for some of the detail within the draft design guidance which would be a standalone document within the Plan to be made available to builders and developers alike. The Guidance would reflect the views of the Parish, as expressed in the completed surveys undertaken, on such matters as no thatch roofs on tall buildings, use of communal satellite dishes, minimal overhead wiring, etc
4. Concluding comments
4.1 In seeking any final comments from the floor, the likelihood of a permanent doctors’ surgery was raised but deemed unlikely and if it was to occur it could put the status of the Parish at risk making it a ‘town’ which, in turn, could result in greater pressure from the Borough to accommodate more dwellings in future. Also queried was the future of the school which all agreed would be major loss to the community if numbers did not increase.
4.2 In closing, the Chairman again thanked everyone for their involvement in what had proven to be a very stimulating evening and for giving their support to the direction being taken by the Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group. He reminded all present that the Plan had to pass rigorous external inspection and be adopted by the majority in a Referendum; he urged everyone to vote in favour when that time came.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.30pm