Hello. The high waters are back. Let's hope it does not get worse
Some of you have asked me for an update on the proposal for new housing along Station Road. Most of you know this application was refused, but the developers are appealing. Since appeals are risky and expensive, I, along with Cllr Ross Henley, was called to a meeting in Taunton last week, ostensibly to see if an appeal could be avoided. That was not going to happen. You can get the appeal statement here. The appeal process is quite slow and will not be resolved until the summer, longer if the Planning Inspector calls for an open hearing. A side-effect of the application is that it has prompted some residents to be more proactive about development. Two recent reports have been very critical of housing developments in the UK, and the South-West in particular. Poor design was one of the reasons for rejection along with sustainability. The links to the reports are here and here. If you are interested or have any special knowledge about planning, please let me know. You could become part of the effort to make sure any future development is in tune with the village and help us resist the appeal. (Everyone who objected in writing will be notified by the Planning Inspector).
Your Parish Council will consider its next steps on March 11th and we would welcome your input. There will be updates on other items such as the A358 dualling. (Remember your Parish Council meetings now start at 7pm.)
To the future! In previous years the Annual Parish Meeting has been held alongside the March council. We are considering something completely different this year, an open meeting for the village to talk about the future. What would you like to see? A push for improved recreational facilities, an effort to get a shop or allotments back in the village? We need views on what would make Hatch Beauchamp an even better place to live in. Your council will get behind them, but the ideas can only come from you. The provisional date Is April 29th. The meeting will be well advertised. Please be ready to come along and tell us what you think. (All the bodies which gave annual reports to the APM in previous hears will be asked to submit as before and the reports will go out with the agenda).
The Community Car Scheme is really getting underway now. The Walking Group, funded by the SCC, is building its membership and, in particular, looking for leaders. If you would like join the walks and go on the mailing list, please contact Eddie Reid (01823 481193).
I will soon come to the end of my term as Chairman. The role can be quite challenging. There have been decisions that not everyone agreed with, but if things have been difficult, I have always found support and encouragement in the village. Thank you, David.