We had a fantastic response and, in total, received 243 completed questionnaires, which is a response rate of nearly 29%. This is much higher than we had hoped so many thanks to everyone who participated. As you might expect, the majority (74%) of responders live in Crudwell but the Steering Group were pleased to note there was at least one response from each of the groups listed on the survey form (see below).
We asked for views on the need for new developmentin the Parish and, in particular, on new house building. The question attracted a wide range of responses, from some who want no development at all, to those who would welcome significant development. The majority were somewhere in between (see below graph).
What sort of development
It is notable that the majority who responded do not oppose housing development per se. In fact, over 43% of those who responded support, in principle, the provision of moderate housing development which the survey defined as being up to 20 houses. House building was particularly supported where it would provide family and starter homes. Nonetheless, many expressed their views with a caveat. Significant concerns were raised about the capacity of the existing foul and surface water drainage system, the potential for increased risk of flooding, capacity of the school and adverse impact on highway safety. In terms of new housing development there was a strong preference for ‘small scale’ housing developments of 5 to 6 houses rather than large ‘housing estates’. There was also a preference for new housing to be brought forward incrementally to ensure that the character of the area is retained. One item on many people’s wish list is a village shop. Over 42% of people confirmed that they would like some sort of convenience store, with a number of locations suggested. Oaksey and Kemble village stores were given as examples and many people thought that combining a shop with a Post Office, with longer opening times, would be a good option.
The importance of existing facilities
It is clear that our existing facilities are highly valued. The school and the village hall came top of the poll with 67% and 63% of responders, respectively, confirming that each is very important. Many who scored some of the facilities less highly, explained that while they did not use a particular facility themselves that this did not mean that it would not be valuable to others. This reinforces the need to ensure that all of our existing facilities are protected wherever possible.
Causes for concern
Of the causes for concern listed under Question 5 of the survey a number stood out as being significant issues including flooding, speed of traffic, low internet speed and amount of traffic. Others not listed, but regularly commented upon, included issues associated with lack of parking at the school, pedestrian/cyclist safety (particularly along Tetbury Lane and the A429) and lack of return bus services to Kemble Station. Some also raised a concern about a lack of facilities for teenagers in the Parish, one suggesting the provision of a skate park. Anti-social issues such as car crime, vandalism etc. are considered to be less of a concern but it is clear from the comments that this should not be seen as a cause for complacency in these areas.
Inevitably, some of the issues raised fall outside of the scope of a Neighbourhood Plan, but the survey has been incredibly useful in helping the Steering Group to better understand the views of those in the Parish and will help direct the focus of the Neighbourhood Plan.