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October 2009 Newsletter

NOTES MADE AT A MEETING OF STEEP PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON 7TH SEPTEMBER 2009


PUBLIC COMMENT

Approximately 65 members of the public were present at the meeting. Questions and comments regarding the Village Questionnaire and results, and the need for affordable housing, allotments, and a village green space were raised.

For the purpose of the Meeting Mark Taylor, Bursar at Bedales, outlined the contents of a letter to the Chairman, which he had delivered that day, voicing the School’s concerns – namely, the amount of traffic, the value of the open land to the Village and the lack of outline proposals. He also asked that the letter from Church Road residents indicating their concerns, be taken into account.

The Chairman then read out a list of questions from Church Road residents’ which had been circulated prior to the meeting and gave a reply. He asked for consideration to be given to the proposal for a meeting between Parish Councillors, Church Road residents and a mediator to resolve some of the issues and hoped that this could be achieved as soon as possible.

TO DISCUSS UP-DATED PLANS FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

A letter has been sent to Chris Buchan-Hepburn asking for an artist’s impression of the proposed scheme, suitable for use at a Public Exhibition. It was confirmed that the houses would be for rent and not for shared ownership.

David Llewellyn made a number of points opposing development of the Church Road site, saying that the Ridge Common Lane site would have less effect on residents and also fulfils HARAH guidelines; the Church Road site also ticks HARAH boxes but is wanted for a village green space and allotments; Steep residents want allotments; and a priceless green space will be lost if a compromise is not found.

The decision to discount the Ridge Common Lane site simply for being more closely aligned to Stroud, if E.H.D.C. is really under pressure to provide housing, was also queried by Jo Bell. Attention was drawn to the lack of footpaths, narrow road and distance to the Village Day Nursery, Steep School and the Church which would necessitate use of a car, and thereby increase traffic in Church Road.

Jenny Martin reminded everyone that at the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 3rd November 2008 it was agreed “to progress the scheme to the next stage – a sketch scheme for public consultation”. It had been hoped that an initial draft plan showing the houses, green space and allotments, would be available for circulation but this had not been received from Hyde Housing in time. The Chairman confirmed that as soon as the up-dated plan is received, it will be advertised on the website and Village Notice boards and further public comment sought.