The previous Chair of the Parish Council, Christine Scott, resigned at the end of June.Christine joined the Parish Council in 2019 and was Chair for the last two years. In particular she led the Parish response to the A358 dualling proposals, putting in a tremendous amount of work along the way, for which we are all grateful. She has pledged to continue this fight outside the Parish Council. On behalf of all the other councillors, we thank Christine for her service and wish her well.
The ‘supplementary consultation’ on the A358 is now complete and we await the outcome. Our Parish Council response reflected the views of those who attended the village meeting early in June, i.e. that the only necessary update is the Henlade bypass section and measures at the Southfields roundabout – a ‘high quality’ dual carriageway in between is superfluous. The response also highlighted errors and shortcomings of National Highways. The ‘Community of Parishes’ submitted a detailed response, which broadly supported the dual carriageway, albeit on a smaller scale and called for another junction at the south end of the village. The Parish Council A358 subcommittee has grown and is working on next steps as I write this.
At the last Parish Council meeting on 13th July, there was a brief presentation from West of England Developments, proposing housing on Station Rd opposite Neroche View consisting of 8 units, including a space that could be used as a village shop. A planning application has yet to come forward, and your council will consult the community before taking a position. Recall that a prior application on the same site was rejected at appeal 18 months ago, on several grounds.
On the subject of consultation, the Neighbourhood Plan Survey was recently completed, and we were pleased to get 57 responses, including new volunteers to our team. The data will take some time to analyse, and we will publish the results when we have a better picture. There are no big surprises, the major concerns being the A358 dualling, development not in keeping with the village, and the desire for a shop. Expect next stages to be announced in September, and this will include further consultation – likely to be an event in the village hall.
There are now three vacancies on the council, and although we already have interested candidates, I would encourage any others who would like to help make this a better place to come forward. New members will be co-opted at a special meeting in early August.
Chair, Hatch Beauchamp Parish Council