Forty six people attended the Parish Plan meeting at 10am on Saturday 3rd March at the Memorial Hall. Residents spent a long time studying the draft and making written recommendations as well as talking at length to Steering Group members.
Comments were immensely helpful (see below). Some sought to “tidy up” the Parish Plan by making points more accurately and effectively. Others provided completely new ideas for the Parish Plan to explore. Parish Plan comments/action are in italics ✓
Although older generations were well represented, only one person under forty years of age attended; showing that either the Parish Plan had failed to engage with younger people OR that the time and venue were inconvenient for younger adults with family responsibilities. Parish Plan Steering Committee to plan further consultation aimed at under-forties.
COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT PARISH PLAN
(these are valuable but individual views)
Section I: PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT
1.1 Level of housing development over the next twelve years
New development should be a mix of affordable and less affordable housing that creates and encourages more mixed societies.
Development should reflect character and environment of an area.
The valley landscape of Ewyas Harold constrains significant development which would be inappropriate.
How many people completed the Parish Plan and how representative of the village population are the percentages given?
Not local people live in Oakbrook.
If we have new housing, let’s make it beautiful.
Affordable housing is needed for local young people.
No more houses at Elmdale, thank you.
Action Point 1: Any permitted housing development should seek to maintain local character and to enhance quality of life in the community. The opinion of residents as expressed in this parish plan should be material evidence in this process. Does this mean no council estates?
1.2 Infrastructure for new development
No central green space in village centre should be future goal.
Green space, adequate recreational space plus good environment for all society – quiet space, activity space.
Action plan: No Planning permission should be granted without proof of adequate infrastructure. Change this as this is a shifting action. Planning permission should demonstrate how there shall be no detriment to current infrastructure.
Can we be assured that the water supply to the new developments will not adversly affect existing connections on high ground.
New housing developments must be linked to new jobs. Ewyas Harold needs more young working people with children to keep the school and services going.
Provide parking but make people pay for it.
If housing associations succeed in building 20 units, currently being considered, does that count?
Need to improve parking for school access.
More off-road parking is important whether there is more development or not.
1.3 Size of proposed housing developments in Ewyas Harold
Only 21% from Ewyas Harold think 11-20.
39% from Rowlestone Dulas and Llancillo think Ewyas Harold should have 11- 20 ie. 59% of Ewyas Harold residents think less than 11.
71% said no building on Greenfield sites.
1.4 Type of Housing development wanted in Ewyas Harold
Affordable isn’t same as social.
Question 5 of the Questionnaire conclusion related to social housing wrong.
Herefordshire Council’s Ewyas Harold’s Housing Needs Survey (2009)
This survey is now out of date: source Graham Powell but new survey not completed yet.
School at capacity will need significant investment to resolve.
More houses will result in need for more school places, bigger GP surgery and other facilities.
Redundant buildings: do we have any in the village? Should this be expressed as in the parish grey area?
If school moved to site by Memorial Hall all traffic and housing problems will be solved.
Need to preserve village building envelope.
Can we be assured that the EHGPC will take into account the Questionnaire when talking to Hereford Housing about proposal to build 20 social rented homes on a single site.
Where is the vision. The future will soon be today.
Please note Q5 in the Questionnaire asks should it be “affordable homes for local people to purchase or rent.”
The main conclusion was “on balance respondents agreed that there was a need for affordable homes for people to rent. Wrong conclusion.
Problem with Questionnaire as didn’t have a map of village boundary. People may not have been clear about where village envelope is.
Section II: SAFER HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES
2.1 Public order:
Anti-social behaviour. National concern or local?
And veterinary surgery. (Conversation with writer indicates that this is a request to include animal welfare in this section on the basis that pet ownership improves human health).
Improvement could be tied to growth and GP surgery re-sited.
Dental surgery should be made more available for Ewyas Harold residents.
Need NHS dentist in village. Committee to enquire from PCT why no contract for ongoing dental treatment in village.
Audiology: Proposal for provision of new local service. What a great advantage this would be!
Audiology service in Hereford is very good but it is twelve miles away. Proposed outreach clinic welcome. Why not other clinics?
Section III: EDUCATION AND RECREATION
There is a least one local authority that has provided free bus transport for all.
No-pay buses make economic sense.
Parish Plan objective: To discover what additional educational and recreational facilities for young people the community would like to see developed. And develop these facilities ASAP
Move school from centre of village to Memorial Hall site.
New school would be fabulous.
Move the school to beside the Hall before you do anything else. It would help the parking in the centre of the villager and many other things.
Move the school. Sorts parking and housing problems at a stroke.
Walking bus: bigger issue is parking and traffic outside school.
Encourage sharing transport to school, one parent to 3-4 children.
Bar cars outside the school, and improve children’s health by making them walk some distance.
We need a swimming pool so all children can learn to swim.
Definitely tennis court. EHGPC has been advertising for someone to run a club but nobody has come forward. No investment in courts is possible without local support.
Development of cycle track on playing fields, low cost.
Contact local regiment for help with youth.
Soccer is by far the most popular and youth sport. For boys, we need girls’ sports too.
For a summer activity: why not put in freestanding swimming pool in front of St. Michael’s Hall as happened in the 1970s? Probably health and safety regulations have changed make this impossible, but please check.
No Cubs, no Scouts, no sport for girls.
Let’s forget about swimming pools and bowling alleys.
Please keep idea of swimming pool.
Children would love indoor swimming pool.
It’s 2012 British Olympic Year. What are EH / the School / the residents doing? Committee replies: The village is organising celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June instead. There will be a pageant through the village, and celebrations to take place on the Recreation Ground. The Olympics take place at a time when many are on holiday in July and August.
School are thinking of doing their own para Olympics but if not, our sports day will definitely have an Olympic theme.
Is there a timescale for this provision?
Section IV: HIGHWAYS AND ROAD SAFETY
Road safety: back in 2003 we had a public meeting with MP etc – action? – zero!
Liz Overstall comments: After that meeting traffic lights were installed on Llangua bridge to prevent accidents there. The lights ensured traffic coming from the Abergavenny direction passed the Rowlestone, Ewyas Harold and Pontrilas junctions intermittently in groups. This does improve safety. Slightly. Unfortunately the traffic is heavier now. The A465 is no longer a trunk road, There has been major development on the Rowlestone corner and the the junctions are no longer easy to identify at night, let alone any pedestrian who might be crossing. The situation for motorists and pedestrians has become vastly more perilous.
A465 Pontrilas main road – lack of pedestrian crossing situation – this is horrendous. Ideas needed.
Traffic is used to 60mph on A465, the reduction to 40mph must come sooner on the way from Pontrilas, and the 30mph too.
The turning out of Olde Shoppe Lands is dangerous because of poor visibility and the speed of oncoming traffic which is up to 40mph.
Need to signpost public parking at Recreation Ground.
Please can we avoid garish signs and road marking.
Priority needs to be established for vehicles outside the Dog pub.
Dog/bridge is a serious accident waiting to happen. Please drive past between 10.30pm and 11.30pm and have a look.
I often have to walk in the road because the pavements are covered in stones and grit which could be removed occasionally.
Off road parking in the centre of the village would help.
Pavements should be extended from Trappe House to beyond Gilbert’s Wood.
Illegal untaxed fuel use. I have emailed the Chief Constable about two illegal tractors – our local police seem unable to act.
Poor road surface in Dark Lane.
Pavement needed opposite Temple Bar up to Stone House.
Obviously, car parking.
Exit from Memorial Hall on to Pontrilas Road is dangerous – limited visibility.
School perceived to be cause of traffic problems.
Relocate school to Memorial Hall area and use school building for elderly housing and add a swimming pool.
Put School by Memorial Hall.
Dark Lane should be one way from Trappe House end to School.
Relating to lower speed limits:
30mph from A465 then reduced to 20mph before bridge.
30mph through whole village.
Yes! 30mph in the village is impossible safely.
Reduce speed by 10mph throughout village.
A 10mph speed reduction is a great idea. Ie. 40 to 30mph, and 30 to 20mph.
Please hire on a trial basis, an electronic speed sign for Pontrilas Rd approaching village.
Why not try a nice positive approach – a sign saying Thank you for driving carefully through our village.
In my experience the vast majority driving too fast are locals. Lets try something radical and name and shame.
Section V: Economic Development and Transport
Background: Pubs (please add to list of businesses)
Relating to poor public transport provision and the impact it has on young people! YES!!!
Are there any rural charities to fund a community bus?
A good bus service and safe minibuses.
Relating to job and training difficulties: Ask the Prince of Wales to help.
Farmers’ Market: Farmers plus local crafts together.
Public transport: One bus only arriving in Hereford before 10.15am is not acceptable. Work starts earlier.
GPC should resist cuts and fight for timetable improvements that meet local needs:
X3 and X4 to stop in village at Memorial Hall or Smiths Garage.
If you re-engineered the corner by the doctors’ surgery, you could establish a proper bus stop and shelter there together with provision to turn the bus round. Then the X3 and X4 could stop at Ewyas Harold.
Later bus service to suit finishing work and social. Eg. 8pm bus from Hereford.
Checking current X3 / X4 timetable.
The plan does reflect the view of the majority of residents. Please pay special attention to transport needs.
Section VI: Environment
Infrastructure a problem now. Water/sewage can’t take more.
Dogs should not be allowed to foul pavements in centre of village.
Need to understand environment to inform changes.
Remember people will not give up their cars even if petrol goes to £2 a litre.
No more ugly brick.
100% tarmac poured over the front garden of new rural houses is horrible in a rural village.
Inappropriate for new rural houses facing road to be given planning permission without a front garden and reasonable distance from fast-moving traffic.
I’ll be your lighting Tsar. (Signed ) Barry Thomas
Can we have allotments? Section 23 of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 places an obligation on the borough, district or parish council to provide a sufficient number of allotments for residents who want them. If six or more registered electors request allotments then the parish or town council should take this request into consideration and try to provide them. Land would have to be purchased by agreement, or compulsorily purchased – no light undertaking! Thousands of pounds would have to be raised by taxation and these are financially difficult times.
Another way forward is to seek out people who own gardens but either don’t want to, or cannot, look after them. There are many elderly people who would welcome a friendly neighbour who offered to grow vegetables and supply a few occasionally. A Garden Club could facilitate this.
Environment Group – Help at school would be greatly appreciated.
Interaction with Common Society needed.
Further written comments made on the way out….
The plan does reflect the view of the majority of residents. Please pay special attention to transport needs.
Well done, this is good.
Well done, great show.
Traffic? School? School? Traffic?
Well done, but where is the vision? Move the school to a site near the Memorial Hall. Develop the old school site carefully. Work with the Doctors to expand surgery and provide parking on Roman Catholic Church site.
The editor agrees that vision is needed. But it is only when you have brought the ideas, opinions and statistics together into a draft that you can see clearly which way to go. The important thing is to involve every member of the community in the planning of the community. That is why we do a Parish Plan.
Thank you to everyone who attended and especially those who offered to DO SOMETHING!