Local Plan

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West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan


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No Comments 10. Future Development; Promoting Inclusive Growth

10.1 Addressing Our Children's Future

Currently West Bergholt benefits from a range of assets and an environment which suits many in the community, but the forward nature of our plan means we need to examine whether the "place" aspects and the "people" aspects are indeed well matched in the future. We have decided to do this by looking at the people aspects first, and to assist with this we have made some generalisations. No one family group or indeed single person household, has the same needs or characteristics but by looking at typical needs we can tease out at a strategic level the issues that need to be addressed.

To promote community wellbeing and village sustainability as a whole the needs of separate but often interlinked family types need to be identified.

The various family types are defined as;

  • Younger & Developing Families - Early Years Play, Pre & Primary Schooling
  • Developing Families with Teenagers
  • Mature Families & Couples - Adult Households
  • Single Adult Living
  • Senior Years - Largely Retired Residents

We have further looked at the eight categories of our plan and made an assessment of the likely differing needs of each household type. This in turn gives an appreciation of the various facilities that will be needed in future years.

10.2 Matching Strategic Needs to Family Type Requirements

Presently West Bergholt has the assets needed to provide the facilities to support the current needs of the community. To a large degree this has come about as a direct result of the generosity and good planning by village benefactors. For example, Mr O.G. Orpen, (director of Daniell's brewery) whose estate paid for the village hall known as the Orpen Memorial Hall in 1938 and Mr T.D. Daniell who, in 1939, donated 4 acres adjacent to it for recreational use and now has an adult football pitch, tennis courts and children's play area. Similarly, the Poor's Land (c. 5 acres) and the village allotments (c. 6 acres) were donated by other benefactors.

Future benefactors with a willingness and financial ability to provide additional community assets such as those provided under the estates of Mr Orpen or Mr Daniell are most unlikely. In addition, other facilities such as the various housing stock, the transport services, our roads, footpaths and pavements, the shops and business facilities have largely been either market-led, developed over hundreds of years or planned centrally by upper tier bodies.

Given the above and the seemingly endless directions in which our plan could lead us across our eight categories, the strategic building blocks of our plan can emerge in a way that makes sense not only in their own right but which will best suit the needs of the community. This will help enable a sustainable outcome for all.

10.2.1 Younger and Developing Families – Early Years Play; Pre and Primary Schooling

Whilst the needs of this family group are currently adequately provided for through existing facilities in the village, some facilities are operating at maximum capacity. In particular, affordable housing for young families is scarce and as a result some may be forced to move away from the village even though other facilities such as the school would normally attract them.

Children's play areas are located at; The Lorkin Daniell Playing Field; Earle Havard Playpark by Pirie Road; Pocket Park by Maltings Park. All three play areas are constrained by limited space for future expansion in their current form. Pre-school facilities are provided by Bluebells which almost fully occupies the Orpen and John Lampon Halls during the term time week days. A lack of storage space means that equipment used by this award-winning group needs to be moved on a daily basis and stored outside the Halls.

Heathlands Primary School was extended to provide 50 additional spaces in 2014 for the children of West Bergholt and neighbouring villages. It is assumed this expansion will meet the schooling needs for the next 15 years. However, no provision was made to ease the congestion caused by parents bringing their children to school by car.

Footways and cycle paths to and around the school are in need of improvement. A new footway on the south side of Colchester Road adjacent to the school would be highly beneficial to help promote walking to school and ease parking during school time. Dedicated cycle paths would help parents feel more confident in allowing their children to cycle to school.

Summary of future needs:

  • Improved provision of affordable housing
  • Expansion and updating of children's play facilities
  • Measures to improve traffic safety around the school
  • New footways and cycle paths to change means of travel to school

10.2.2 Developing Families with Teenagers

State-funded Secondary Schools, Grammar and Further Education Colleges, are available outside of the village with some public transport available to and from Colchester schools. There are independent schools in the local area but also a small number of parents organise transport to schools in areas such as Ipswich. A few teenagers do cycle to school during term time when light and weather permits although there are no dedicated cycle paths between West Bergholt and Colchester or Lexden. Various clubs and sporting activities are available for teenagers including football, cricket, tennis, scouts, girl guides, etc. Bergholt Youth Group (BYG) operates from within the village halls and weather permitting uses the Multi Use Games Area and Lorkin Daniell Playing Field. This group has nearly 100 members and meets fortnightly. Holding additional club nights depends on attracting a sufficient pool of volunteer helpers. A youth shelter was constructed on the Lorkin Daniell playing field by the Parish Council and Essex County Council in 2012 but there is a growing need and demand to provide a venue, such as a café, for young people to meet socially. Unfulfilled demand has existed over a number of years for a zip wire to be provided however lack of suitable space and funding has meant this has not come to fruition. Facilities for adults within this group are met through clubs and recreational pursuits in the village. Neither an indoor nor outdoor gymnasium exists in the village nor is there a swimming pool. Adequate number of pubs, and restaurants exist to meet the needs of the future.



Summary of future needs:

  • Provision of a venue with the facility for young people to meet socially
  • An expansion and upgrading of sports facilities and opportunities.

10.2.3 Mature Families and Couples, Adult Households

As West Bergholt is deemed a desirable place to live many younger adults continue to live in the village, sometimes with their parents, as they grow up and parents tend to stay in their family homes when children leave. For those wishing to downsize it is often not easy to find alternative suitable accommodation. Shops, a Post Office and pharmacy provide an invaluable service and residents consider themselves fortunate to have a well appreciated doctor's surgery. A pleasant environment is important to this group and so open spaces, including the allotments, walks and woods need to be well maintained. Facilities for adults within this group are met through clubs and recreational pursuits in the village but these need to be expanded and well publicised.

Summary of future needs:

  • Maintain and develop the pleasant environment provided by the village open spaces.
  • Improve sports facilities and encourage opportunities for involvement in a full range of activities

10.2.4 Single Adult Living

Some living accommodation exists to meet single adult requirements and is provided through flats and apartments in various locations including the Truman Building in Maltings Park. Many of the facilities needed for this group match those defined above, but, in particular, there is a need to encourage involvement in clubs, societies and sports activities. At present the village has adequate pubs and restaurants but an alternative venue for meeting socially, especially for single adults, would be desirable.

Summary of future needs:

  • Encourage opportunities for involvement in a full range of activities
  • Provision of a venue with a facility to meet socially

10.2.5 Senior Years, Largely Retired Residents

Whilst some property downsizing does occur, many in this category choose to remain in the original family home. Sometimes there is a reluctance to leave the home where the family grew up and in other cases there is a lack of suitable or affordable senior years housing. Bungalows are sought after and desirable throughout the village and often change hands very quickly. Other features in the village currently that are relevant to this group include:

  • There is no sheltered accommodation within the village which houses a resident warden.
  • Sufficient clubs and societies exist to meet most needs but may need to be better publicised.
  • An adequate public transport system provides the means to shop in the town centre or to travel further afield if desired.
  • A well-developed Care Network involving volunteers provides transport for those that need it, generally for medical appointments.
  • A local doctors' surgery and pharmacy provides vital services for this group of residents.

As a caring society it is essential that vulnerable residents in this group, especially those without local family and friends, are supported. This will be achieved in an appropriate way through the various volunteer and professional groups which exist, and which would naturally come into contact with vulnerable people through their work programmes and initiatives.

Summary of future needs:

Make the village "senior friendly" both by providing a safe environment and sufficient well publicised recreational activities.

  • Ensuring an adequate supply of appropriate accommodation
  • Maintaining an efficient Care Network, well supported by volunteers
  • Providing good appropriate communications with all senior citizens, especially the lonely and vulnerable.

Matching Strategic Needs to Family Type Requirements & Prioritisation

Category

Younger Families Pre school

Developing Families

Mature families

Single adult living

Senior Years (largely retired residents)

Village society & community

✔✔

✔✔✔

✔✔✔

Environment

✔✔✔

✔✔

✔✔

Housing & planning

✔✔✔

✔✔

✔✔

✔✔✔

Business & commerce

✔✔

✔✔

✔✔

Sports & recreation

✔✔✔

✔✔✔

✔✔✔

✔✔

Community Safety

✔✔✔

✔✔

✔✔

Communications

✔✔

✔✔

✔✔

✔✔

✔✔✔

Transport, highways & infrastructure

✔✔✔

✔✔

✔✔✔

✔✔✔ Highly relevant

✔✔ Moderately relevant

✔ Minor relevance

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