NDP Update – Dec 2021

NDP Open Day – Questionnaire – Initial Results

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the NDP Open Day on the 23rd of October 2021 and took the time to complete a questionnaire. The window remained open for submission of completed questionnaires until 14thDecember, to provide an opportunity to those parishioners who were unable to get to the event to share their views with us. 

We have captured and analysed the results of the questionnaires received on the day. We are yet to process those responses received after the event. So, whilst the final results aren’t yet known, here’s an interim view, based on an initial analysis undertaken on the first batch of questionnaires. We have drawn some initial conclusions and will confirm or adjust them once we have all the feedback. 

For information, 180 people attended the event, from which 73 questionnaires were completed on the day; the actual number of respondents is much higher, as many were completed by couples or households.

Summary of the messages we’ve received:

  • There is strong support for protection of the village character, heritage, and the environment of the parish, with votes in favour of the proposed policies being:
    • Village character & Heritage – 99%
    • Local Green Space – 100%
    • Iconic Views – 100%
    • Dark Skies – 100%
    • Buffer Zones – 100%
    • Sunken Lanes – 98%
  • The support for sustainability is very high, but on specific design points there was less support:
    • Sustainability measures – 97% in favour
    • Electric charging points – 66% in favour
    • Cycle storage – 34% in favour
  • Many of our residents are users of the footpaths in the parish (98%) and many would support the use of parish funds, from development (s106 & CIL) to improve walking and cycling routes through the parish (92%)
  • Although flooding is seen as an issue within the parish, only 14% of those surveyed said they have had a problem with flooding in the past
  • Views on parking in the parish were more balanced with:
    • 45% of respondents believing there is insufficient parking, whilst 55% disagree with this position
    • 52% think there are areas where additional parking would be useful, but 48% didn’t think this was the case
  • Parking around the schools at drop-off and pick-up times elicited a lot of comment and is clearly seen as a major issue within the parish. There’s support for resolving the issues, with:
    • 93% of respondents thinking that we should look to the RC diocese to release land to provide parking for St Finian’s School
    • 59% supporting looking for local land and/or use of verges to resolve the issues around St Mark’s school
  • Traffic and management of its movement around the parish received good support from respondents, except on the subject of a Pelican-crossing. The results in favour of action are:
    • Additional traffic management, in general – 88%
    • 30mph roundels – 76%
    • New Gateway features – 75%
    • Vehicle Actuated Speed Signs – 83%
    • Pedestrian Safety Signs – 80%
    • Pelican-crossing – 47%
  • There is good support for the local economy, with:
    • Support for protection of existing commercial employment – 100%
    • Support for future large-scale employment in the Red Shute Hill area – 83%
    • Support for start-up opportunities – 87%
  • The support for provision of more local services is mixed, with:
    • Support for additional facilities – 50%
    • Improvement to existing facilities – 55%
    • Support for the creation of a Community Hub – 86%
    • Repurpose of the Rifle Shed for community use – 95%
    • Support for specific facilities (Shop/Post Office, Pubs, Acland Hall, Hermitage Road Recreation Park, Fisher Room) – 82%

Whilst there is strong support for our policies, and no need to change them, there will be some changes to our NDP at the next level down, to accommodate comments on specific features, such as:

  • Potential additional Local Green Space sites
  • Potential removal of some Local Green Space sites, to accommodate social development (e.g. a facility on the Recreation Ground)
  • Removal of some Iconic Views, as they’re not really views (e.g the WAG)
  • Addition of some new Iconic Views
  • Extending the Dark Skies zone
  • Adding further Buffer Zones

In summary, we appear to have good support for our NDP. We have received some good comments which, together with the quantitative data we gathered, will enable us to further develop our NDP; firming up and strengthen it in several areas.

We will provide an update once all the questionnaires have been received.

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to the survey.

Ivor McArdle
Chair of Cold Ash NDP Steering Committee