Neighbourhood Plan: Update 10 February 2017

Post date: Feb 28, 2017 9:33:33 PM

New survey reveals “There’s no place like home.”

Many villagers wanting to sell their homes have decided where they want to move to – Bricket Wood. 

Demand for bungalows, homes with no more than three bedrooms, warden assisted housing and retirement properties reflect the “downsizing” plans of Bricket Wood’s older than average population.  It’s clear that if the property is right residents will simply stay put.

The continued popularity of the village is revealed in the early conclusions of the Community Survey, a critical snapshot of a community confronting the needs of demands of the short and long-term future.  

The survey will eventually dovetail into the Neighbourhood Plan – the official shape of things to come – and reflects the preferences of the 492 households in the parish that took part; nine per cent.  There were 5,593 homes recorded in the 2011 census.  However, the replies are a pointer to what the community wants to change and improve. They include

More two-three bedroom, starter homes and low cost properties to lure young families to their area – though few people are happy to develop Green Belt land.

90 per cent of homes want traffic calming measures including roadside warning signs and lower speed limits

A call  for a though train service from Abbey Line stations to London Euston – and improved frequency, reliability and affordability of all local public transport.

Concerns about parking on pavements, grass verges and near shops - and poorly maintained pavements and footpaths. The volume of HGV traffic and the risks crossing main roads are seen as a deterrent to walking and cycling around the village.

Two thirds of homes are happy with GP services and primary and secondary schools- but unimpressed by sports and youth facilities

90 per cent back the installation of solar panels- but are split over wind turbines.

Virtually all those who responded were over 55.  Because the needs and expectations of the next generation are central to the consultation programme the deadline of the online survey  has been extended to encourage those in the 35-45 age group.   Schools and churches are being asked to urge families and younger couples to help dictate  future housing, leisure, medical, green spaces and facilities for teenagers and younger children by completing the survey.

Arguably building homes is the most crucial and contentious issue that galvanises villagers as it inherently threatens precious Green Belt land and the future complexion of the village, increases housing density and puts pressure on services, schools and infrastructure.   So they key question in the next stage of drawing up St Stephen Neighbourhood Plan (and there will be more meetings to come!) is:

 “What to build?” “Where to build?”

United Reformed Church, West Riding, Bricket Wood

May 9th, 7.00pm – 8.30pm

Graham Newson, Editor, The Voice