Bishops Lydeard & Cothelstone Neighbourhood Plan Passes Referendum Hurdle

Bishops Lydeard & Cothelsone Neighbourhood PlanVoting took place yesterday in a referendum on whether local people approved of the Bishops Lydeard and Cothelstone Neighbourhood Plan.  The votes were counted overnight and the plan was passed with an overwhelming majority of votes cast, as follows: –

Electorate: 2336, votes cast: 733, turnout: 31.38%.

YES votes: 583, 79.54%

NO votes: 132 18%

Void: 18

This makes us the first community in Somerset to pass their neighbourhood plan at referendum, quite an achievement.

The Committee responsible for preparing the plan are very pleased that it has been approved and that it will now proceed to adoption in a month or so.  Once adopted, Taunton Deane Borough Council, the local planning authority will have to make planning decisions in accordance with the neighbourhood plan.  As well as this additional control, the community will also benefit from an increased rate of returned Community Infrastructure Levy funding, with 25% of the levy being passed to the Parish Council rather than 15%, ensuring that as much of the funding generated by new development is spent in the community affected.

As the Chairman of the committee that produced the plan, I’d like to thank the Committee Members Paul Partington, Jane Warmington and Clive Martin and the Chairman of the Parish Council, Henry Davenport for all the work and time that they dedicated to the task. Thanks also to Ann Rhodes and her staff at TDBC for their support, thanks to the people of the two parishes who attended meetings, exhibitions and responded to surveys, which informed the process. But mostly, our gratitude must go to our Parish Clerk, Amy Shepherd, who guided us through the process, kept us on track and provided all the logistical support to get us to this point.

And thanks to everyone that voted.

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3 Responses to Bishops Lydeard & Cothelstone Neighbourhood Plan Passes Referendum Hurdle

  1. Michael Quick says:

    Remember the Days when the white Doves were present @ Cothelstone long time ago now in the 70s

  2. David Allison says:

    Ten years waiting for something to be done re the speeding traffic on Mount street. All very well patting yourself on the back in congratulation re the neighbourhood plan. When someone is killed by speeding cars/motor bikes coming down Mount street you might have wished you priorities had been more urgent.
    I spoke to you ten years ago about this and still nothing has been done.
    Speed watch volunteers [i was one] have done nothing to resolve the problem.

    Proactive measures are urgently needed, not waiting until some tragedy happens e.g. the recent incident on the proposed roundabout site. Time to get something done and less talk and political posturing and more action.

    • Mike Rigby says:

      We have used the neighbourhood plan process to gauge the views of residents on a variety of issues and there was broad, though not universal, support for a 20mph zone in the village. Since then, we have been in discussion with the County Council about implementing such a plan. I met the council two weeks ago and the next step in the process is to undertake a comprehensive set of speed measurements across the village and these are expected to take place over the next six weeks.

      I doubt whether you approached me on the subject ten years ago as I have only been a councillor for 5yrs, in which time, the parish council has examined various options, including the fairly muted Speedwatch programme, which I’m not sure achieved much. It would be fabulous to have physical traffic-calming measures in the village but, due to central government cuts to local authority budgets, there is no longer any funding for such works. There is, however, the prospect that the village could fund some calming measures itself, a prospect made all the more likely by the adoption of the neighbourhood plan, which enables the village to retain an additional circa £250,000 of infrastructure spending in Bishops Lydeard & Cothelstone, one of the key reasons we were so keen on producing a neighbourhood plan and why we’re very pleased that it has passed the referendum stage. I hope you can see how the neighbourhood plan is central to so many of our aspirations within the village.

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