This week, we discuss the background to three topics covered in the final Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire: Housing, Transport, and Economic Resilience.
Arguably, the most important policy area in any Neighbourhood Plan. Councillor Michael Earthey, a member of the Steering Group, commented:
“The EDDC Local Plan has allocated 150 homes within the Sid Valley. Strategy 34 of the Local Plan requires 50% of new build to be affordable housing. Strategy 21 further states that new builds must meet first and foremost the needs of local people.
We know there is a need in the Sid Valley for a gradual but sensitive increase in housing numbers to enable the continued growth and vitality of the Valley but obviously we have limited land within the Built-Up Area Boundaries on which we can build.
Our current survey asks whether affordable housing should only be sold to people who have links with the Sid Valley area. We will also be looking at the number of second homes and a policy maybe to ensure that second homes do not remain empty for most of the year. This can only apply however to new build homes and cannot be the subject to retrospective action.”
The EDDC local plan makes limited provision for transport improvements. Included are mention of Park and Ride provision, and upgrade of, or new access to the Alexandria Road Industrial Estate
Steering Group member Claire Russell said:
“How we travel through our community impacts on our health and wellbeing, safety, community cohesion, the environment and other people. Ideally we need an integrated transport system in the Sid Valley which offers safe routes for motorised vehicles, mobility scooters, bicycles, skateboards and pedestrians for both locals and visitors of all ages.”
Our survey asks for views on a safe pedestrian/cycle crossing over the A3052 to link with existing and future cycle and walking trails, and the proposed shared-use pathway from Sidford to Sidbury.
Peter Murphy, Economic Resilience Theme leader of the Steering Group, commented:
“In this final survey, we ask about levels of community support for projects aimed at increasing our attractiveness as a visitor destination, extending our tourist season, and improvements to the availability and quality of offices and retail space.
“We are also interested in learning how employment opportunities and start-up businesses could encourage young people to stay in the Sid Valley
‘Our vision is of a Sid Valley that maintains and promotes its rural coastal beauty and welcoming community, and advances its appeal to young and old through providing a vibrant diverse economy which supports a high quality of living, working and visiting.’”
The new Neighbourhood Plan website: www.sidvalleyneighbourhoodplan.com
Mid way through this survey period, response is running high, and the Steering Group are hoping for maximum community participation to this final survey which closes on 30th June 2017.