2016/ 2017 Consultation

Consultation with the local community in the Parish was conducted during the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. We have collated a brief summary of the results of that consultation in terms of the information gathered and this feedback from the community will form the basis of a draft Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish.

Summary of Key Feedback from the Community

Housing

  • The seemingly uncontrolled rapid growth of housing development featured as one of the top 3 concerns in answer to and about the Parish.

  • There was strong support for restricting further housing expansion through the identification of settlement boundaries for Bowburn and Parkhill. Reasons given include
    - large scale of recent housing growth
    - loss of village identity
    - reduced separation between settlements
    - loss of open fields and inadequate infrastructure/facilities (e.g. - schools, surgery).

  • In terms of housing in the smaller settlements (Cassop, Old Cassop, Tursdale and Old Quarrington), most

  • respondents favoured this being limited to conversions and small infill sites. A few people mentioned possible scope for expansion at Tursdale in view of its position along the A688.

  • Other comments included ensuring that any developments were sensitively handled and in keeping with the scale and character of the villages. Several comments referred to the lack of infrastructure and facilities in the villages as a limiting factor.

  • In terms of the self-build sector, most respondents were supportive of the Neighbourhood Plan including measures to facilitate this. Reasons given include providing for local people with growing families and enabling more diverse house design instead of the usual uniformity. However, some caveats included making sure self-builds are still within the village boundary, are properly managed and that self-build residents are part of the local community.

Design of New Development

  • Almost all respondents were supportive of the Neighbourhood Plan including measures to promote good quality design for new development. The most commonly cited reason was the unappealing, characterless and poorly designed nature of much existing/recent housing.

  • Other comments included providing for a range of house types with green spaces and trees and including eco-friendly measures.

Business & Employment

  • Strong support for the Neighbourhood Plan to include measures to facilitate small business and employment opportunities such as start-ups and working from home. A few suggestions were put forward including provision of small low-cost workshop/incubator units with shared facilities (utilising empty buildings/units), providing opportunities for creative/crafting stalls in the village hall and backing it up with dedicated financial/business support.

  • Caveats included making sure such uses are appropriately located within village boundaries and don’t give rise to unacceptable impacts on neighbours. Concern was also raised about traffic and the need to improve access links between trading estates. The merits of a relief road were also mentioned, particularly in the context of development of the site.

Shopping & services

  • In terms of quality of life criteria, this was the area which performed the poorest according to respondents.

  • This was also borne out in comments received – in terms of the ‘ aspects of the Parish, shopping opportunities received the greatest number of mentions.

  • There was therefore strong support for improved and more accessible shopping opportunities (especially new supermarket & pub)

  • Support also for establishing a village centre or hub (though a concern was expressed that it could act as a focal point for youths gathering). Various sites were suggested for the hub, with the Ogden’s site receiving the most mentions.

  • Highest priorities to tackle under this topic were the general appearance of the environment and crime and security (however solutions for these would largely lie outside the remit of a Neighbourhood Plan).

  • Other comments referred to access, parking and traffic issues with suggested solutions including providing a relief road, changing formation at roundabout and providing for more sustainable transport (also largely outside the remit of a Neighbourhood Plan to tackle).

Green Spaces

  • Accessibility to green spaces scored the highest in terms of performing ‘well’ as a quality of life criteria in the Parish.

  • Therefore, strong support for the Neighbourhood Plan identifying and protecting green spaces from being lost to development.

  • Many sites were put forward, with most mentions being for the ‘green corridor’ near Mary Terrace (A177) and Bowburn Park/recreation ground and allotments. However, many other green spaces were mentioned individually.

  • Likewise, many neglected green spaces were put forward as contenders for improvement, most being individually mentioned, but with multiple mentions for Bowburn Park, recreation ground, bowling green and allotments, the wooded edge of Bowburn Industrial Estate and the environs of Bowburn beck.

  • Under the heading of ‘, it is noteworthy that the state of the environment received the greatest number of mentions. Issues to be tackled ranged from litter, dog mess, neglected open spaces, pathways, verges and streets.

  • There was also some overlap with green spaces which were also ‘routes’ i.e. – footpaths, bridleways, cycleways. This is covered more fully under the topic ‘.

Protection of Valued Assets

  • As with green spaces, most of the ‘valued assets’ put forward were one-off suggestions by individual respondents (nevertheless an interesting and diverse mix).

  • Most mentions were for protection of the limestone escarpment and views of it from Parkhill and elsewhere.

Getting Around

  • The greatest priorities for improvement were for pedestrians (including walking in the countryside), public transport and facilities for mobility vehicles/wheelchairs. Providing improved pedestrian crossing points in Bowburn was cited as one example.

  • The lowest priority for improvement was for traffic calming and provision for cyclists. However, this was not borne out by comments received. The largest number were in respect of traffic calming, specifically speed humps, which were mostly not supported. Preferred alternatives included speed cameras, chicanes or speed limit reminders. This is also reinforced by the multiple mentions of tackling speeding traffic.

  • There were broadly similar numbers of comments received supporting improved provision for cyclists (including utilising the old railway line), improved public transport (especially at non-peak times) and tackling parking problems at areas (e.g. – around the Co-op and school). These issues would however fall outside of the remit of a Neighbourhood Plan to tackle.

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