First Consultation Event
Held on 2nd February 2019
The Neighbourhood Plan's first public consultation event was held at the Redesdale Hall, with over 200 residents of the parish attending to share their views and help build a vision for how we would like Moreton to be in the future. Discussion and feedback was encouraged around 6 key themes.
Summary of Feedback
Theme 1 – A thriving low carbon environment that is resilient to a changing climate with clean and affordable energy for all.
The analysis shows strong support for renewable energy with a clear steer towards community owned renewable energy. There was a high level of support for larger scale renewable energy projects that would be to the benefit of the community. There was a level of frustration that there have been a number of newly built houses in the town that were not required to have renewable energy technology installed and the highest level of support on this theme was for the comment that ‘new homes should have renewable energy built in, providing as much of the building’s energy needs as possible’ (53 votes). There were also high levels of support for secure bike storage in new homes, infrastructure for electric cars, facilities for drying laundry outside rather than using tumble dryers, and a high level of support for buildings to be constructed in such a way as to reduce their overall need for heating and cooling, thus reducing energy demand from the outset. Under climate change flooding was a key concern, in particular relation to the impact of Spitfire’s proposals on Fosseway Avenue homes. There were also a few comments about struggling to keep homes cool and ensuring developers are tasked with designing buildings that don’t overheat. This theme was popular with a total of 635 comments made.
Theme 2 – Good quality jobs and a thriving economy.
There was a clear desire for a wider range of jobs to be available within the town, and support for more employment land. The analysis showed a lean towards more office space rather than industrial/manufacturing space. There was also quite a lot of interest in smaller scale affordable employment units to support new businesses in the town, and particular interest in space for technology & creative companies. There were strong links to Theme 5 with respect to activity within the town centre, with a desire for a better range of shops, restaurants and bars. Accessibility, walking and cycling were commented on, which feeds into Theme 4. Finally, the need for affordable and fast broadband was a popular comment, something that would be critical for business space. While broadband provision in the town has been improved, it was not felt to be affordable for small businesses or for people who want to work more from home.
Theme 3 – Affordable Housing that is fit for the future.
The themes coming out of the analysis are the need for more housing aimed at local people and first time buyers; more information on what there is and more affordable price-wise. No other themes emerged other than a concern about the tourist/rental market distorting the local market. Types required - overwhelmingly for smaller family homes for all tenures (not just affordable) and support for some flats, housing for older people and down-sizers and self build.
Theme 4 – Promoting sustainable transport .
The most common form of transport from the feedback was a car, although walking was not far behind. Quite a lot of comments referred to a desire for better walking routes. Also, better connectivity of footpaths and cycleways and better lighting and signage, particularly around the train station. Safety came up, speeding in particular was flagged heavily and comments in relation to speeding and crossings which need to be made safer particularly for people with children. Accessibility was also commented on i.e. for scooters.
Theme 5 – A vibrant and welcoming high street / maintaining and enhancing the unique character of the town.
Asked to describe the heart of Moreton in three words: the most popular descriptions were “traditional market town” and “historic, busy, picturesque”, with the historic buildings being the most popular feature and the Redesdale Hall the most popular landmark feature. By a long margin, the traffic, particularly HGVs, are what people like least. An overwhelming percentage of respondents said that the town needed a far greater variety of retail outlets and many would like to see a wine bar and improved green spaces. Presently, residents use the doctors’ surgeries and supermarkets in town, but find they have to travel elsewhere to shop for clothes, homewares and to visit an NHS dentist. Looking to the future, residents hoped that HGVs would no longer pass through the town centre.
Theme 6 – Health, Leisure and Well-being for all ages.
The analysis showed that traffic scored highly in comments, particularly the need to reduce traffic through the town centre which will improve accessibility. There were a lot of responses in relation to the importance of green space. Victoria Park was voted as being the most popular green space in Moreton. Access to the countryside and wildlife areas was popular also. There were quite a few comments relating to the Fire Service College and in particular accessibility to the pool.
There was support for having an active Business Association in Moreton, as it is currently inert and not up to date with matters relating to businesses, such as major planning applications that might have a direct impact.
In general, one participant questioned how people find out what’s going on, particularly if you’re not on social media. The recently published Town Council newsletter had a good list of events, but it was thought more regular communications/advertisement would be helpful.
It was also suggested that more information could be available online, so people (residents and visitors alike) can easily find businesses and services in Moreton-in-Marsh; an app could even be developed.
Download the summary below: