Thanks to all the residents who completed the recent survey. We had around 400 valid responses and we presented the finding at the parish council stand at this years fete. As you can imagine there were hundreds of comments and I will take the space here to answer a few of the most common ones.
There was a lot of negative feedback to any sort of development with some people saying that all further development should be stopped. Winchester City Council’s (WCC) development plan to deliver the amount of housing dictated by government dictates that Swanmore will be expected to develop at least 250 new homes in the 20 years from 2011. Whether that decision is right or fair is another matter. However, there is no repeal and we either work together with WCC to deliver a solution that has a minimum impact on all the things we love bout Swanmore or we have the development options dictated to us.
Appropriate infrastructure (or lack of it) was another popular response.
The proposed solution is the reason we have to plan for 20 years. This plan will enable WCC to plan the infrastructure requirements to support the level and locations of the development to ensure that the village can cope.
There was also a lot of feedback about the map and the lack of boundaries shown. The Parish Council purposely left off all boundaries and did not use the centre of the village or road/development layout as a guide to the layout of the segments. We did this to find the general areas of support and objection, these areas will be used as an initial guide in the plan and more work will be carried out at a later date to pinpoint exactly where development would cause least detriment to the village.
There were a lot of requests for Swanmore to retain its identity and not merge with the surrounding villages. These undeveloped areas are called the local gaps and the Parish Council has and will continue to maintain all our local gaps throughout this development and beyond.
On a slightly different note, we were very surprised by the number of requests for a swimming pool in the parish. We’re not sure how we can deliver this facility at this stage but we will use this information as we progress through the development of the local plan part 2 and beyond.
As you can imagine, neither WCC nor the Parish Council will be able to deliver a positive outcome to every comment made. This does not mean that your views are not important to us; we will all have to work within the budget and scope that has been set whilst trying to deliver the best solutions for as many residents as possible.
The survey results can be viewed at the Parish Council office or click here
The original questionnaire can be viewedhere