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Neighbourhood Plan Survey Results

Volunteers working on the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Knutsford have moved one step closer towards setting policy following the analysis of the initial survey results. The results of the survey, undertaken in September and October 2016, have been considered by the working groups responsible for progressing the nine key areas of the plan.

Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee, Cllr Stewart Gardiner said “On behalf of everyone involved in the development of the plan I would like to thank all those who took the time to respond to this survey.”

“We are now working with our appointed consultants, Urban Imprint, to review the responses and use this information to draw up a vision, objectives and policies for the draft Neighbourhood Plan”

The raw data gathered from the survey has been published online here: RAW Survey Results (excel)

Volunteers interested in driving the plan forward through the working groups are still welcomed; if you would like to help drive the future of Knutsford, contact the Town Clerk on townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Survey Highlights

Getting Around

PUBLISHED PERCENTAGE* OF RESPONDING RESIDENTS IN FAVOUR OF SPECIFIC DEVELOPMENT

97% – Improve Safety & Efficiency of Transport Network

96% – Reduce Congestion

91% – Improve & Develop Pedestrian Networks

83% – Improve & Develop Cycle Networks

89% – Ensure Ease of Access of Public Transport across Knutsford

85% – Ensure all Homes & Businesses connected to Superfast Broadband

61% – Knutsford should have a Relief Road despite probability of infill development

(*Percentage of residents who both agree & strongly agree to specific development)

Heritage

Knutsford’s historic open spaces with their open views is the aspect that was seen as most important to Knutsford’s distinctiveness and character, closely followed by the historic ambience of its streets and its historic buildings and memorials. Nearly three quarters of respondents strongly agreed that new development should respect the local vernacular and character of Knutsford.

In response to how residents thought that the Neighbourhood Plan should enhance the historic feel of Knutsford the issues identified by the highest proportion of respondents were the preservation and conservation of the historic buildings and green open spaces; the improvement or enhancement of the public realm in the Town Centre and the character of Canute Square; the removal or reduction in excessive street signage, furniture, ‘clutter’ and traffic; the creation of infrastructure to improve accessibility and visitor services and a design guide for developments.

Respondent’s further comments covered a very wide range of topics, however there were a significant number of references to the importance of heritage to future generations and to the economy of the town, also contemporary architecture and sympathetic new developments and use of heritage assets.

Town Centre

The results of the town centre questionnaire resulted in no surprises, the opinions are totally in line with previous questionnaires.

In essence, residents wish to have a vibrant town centre which is friendly, clean, safe and a place where there is less conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.  On the whole whilst the town centre does fulfil their needs there is much which could and should be done to make significant improvements for the long term benefit of both residents and the town centre businesses.

Education & Community

Analysis of survey results indicate high support for youth centre for teenagers/young people, both indoor and outdoor facilities.  Also meeting halls to be available to everyone at low cost.

New school places must be sustained with house growth and adult education/evening classes should be accessed within the town. Schools should be within easy travelling distance from home to relieve congestion on the roads.  All schools to provide good exercise routines for children.

Housing

Between 92% and 97% of replies strongly or very strongly agreed that new housing developments should reflect the scale and building styles of Knutsford as a historic market town; that the quality of in-fill developments, conversions and extensions should add to the look of the town; that existing views of the local landscape should be protected and new vistas created; and that facilities and amenities in new developments should complement not replace those in the town centre.

Just under 90% of replies support a mix of housing types and tenures on each new development. One in three do not want Knutsford to have any more new homes than already allocated; rather more thought additional homes should be on the present sites and the rest suggested a variety of locations with in-town sites being the most suggested.  The responses provide strong guidance for Housing Policies in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Health

The views which the community have expressed in the survey will know help us to develop the town to have health services which will reflect our growing town in the future. Working with other health professionals we will be able to discuss the best outcome which can be achieved for the benefit of all, and how to access those services by public transport an be best achieved.

We shall also be considering very closely what levels of pollution that our town will be experiencing as the growth in traffic in general and aircraft will increase.

The response level also indicated the towns view that green spaces for the purpose of walking, cycling and generally keeping fit is a key consideration for us to take forward.

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Deadline for Neighbourhood Plan Survey extended

The deadline to complete the Neighbourhood Plan survey has been extended to allow more time for residents to have a say in the future of Knutsford. Residents now have until October 23rd  to get their comments into Knutsford Town Council.

Photograph courtesy of Cllr Jonathan Farber

Photograph courtesy of Cllr Jonathan Farber

“We wanted to ensure everyone had the opportunity to have a say in the future of Knutsford and have extended the deadline to help ensure we can reach more residents” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

The questionnaire, which was delivered to every household in Knutsford, will help inform the first stages of creating the Neighbourhood Plan which will shape development in Knutsford alongside the Local Plan.

Last week councillors and residents on the Neighbourhood Plan committee met with Knutsford’s MP, George Osborne, who is encouraging residents to have their say, commenting “Knutsford Town Council is working hard to ensure that local people have a say in the future of their town and I am pleased to back this crucial consultation”

Residents who have any queries about the survey or want to find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan can visit www.knutsfordnp.org.uk or contact the Town Clerk on townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or 01565 653 929. The survey is also available in large print and if you need help completing the questionnaire this can be arranged.

 

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Neighbourhood Plan Survey Launched

Residents of Knutsford are being urged to help shape the future of their town through the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan. Knutsford Town Council, leading on the development of the community-led plan has launched the first survey to capture people’s views on a range of topics.

The questionnaire, which is being delivered to every household in Knutsford, will help inform the first stages of creating the Neighbourhood Plan which will shape development in Knutsford alongside the Local Plan.

Cllr Nicholson and Cllr Gardiner - Neighbourhood PlanCovering everything from Health and Housing to Education and the Environment the survey results will form the basis of the next stages of developing the plan.

“This is an important step in developing our Neighbourhood Plan and I implore everyone to spare the time to have a say in the future of our Town” said Mayor of Knutsford, Cllr Jan Nicholson.

“It is vital that this plan has the support of the community and built on firm engagement with residents and the first stage for this is getting as many responses as possible” Cllr Nicholson added.

Households will receive a paper copy of the questionnaire with a pre-paid envelope for returns and it is also available online.

“The more responses the better” was the call from Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee, Cllr Stewart Gardiner who added “We have set the survey out in theme groups and are happy for residents to choose the topics most important to them, whether that’s heritage, the Town Centre, sport or something else”

Residents who have any queries about the survey or want to find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan this website is the perfect place or contact the Town Clerk on townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or 01565 653 929. The survey is also available in large print and if you need help completing the questionnaire this can be arranged.

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Join a Working Group

Flyer1The Town Council has launched a drive for volunteers to help drive forward the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan. Following recruitment stalls at the Knutsford Lion’s Street Fayre and June Makers Market, leaflets are being distributed to all homes in Knutsford encouraging people to volunteer.

Volunteers are needed to help drive the plan forward and ensure it represents the views of Knutsford residents, who will ultimately approve the plan in a referendum.

The Neighbourhood Plan has been split into eight themes with working groups established to develop the themes and the objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan.

If you would like to volunteer, or find out more, contact one the Town Clerk on townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or 01565 653 929.

 

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Working Groups – We need you!

Knutsford Town Council needs you! The Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan committee have set out a clear structure to move the production of a Neighbourhood Plan forward. The plan will cover 8 key themes:

  • Heritage
  • Town Centre & Shopping
  • Housing
  • Environment and Open Space
  • Sports & Leisure
  • Health
  • Getting Around
  • Employment
  • Education & Community

Each working group will elect its own chairman and a representative to sit on the Neighbourhood Plan Committee and be responsible for developing that section of the plan. The Town Council is looking for volunteers to join the working groups.

“We are looking for people both with expertise and enthusiasm” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

“Whether you have skills in a particular area, a keen interest or ideas to shape the future – we want to hear from you”

The first meeting of the working groups will agree a series of sub-themes to be further developed in the Neighbourhood Plan. The meetings will be co-ordinated by a link councillor from the committee and include representatives of key organisations – the ‘Theme Representatives’.

The commitment will vary across the working groups but will primarily involve attending working group meetings with some members needing to undertake research, canvas opinion, co-ordinate engagement events and similar activities.

“It is all about planning for the future of Knutsford and giving Knutsfordians a say in how our town develops” Adam added.

If you would like to join a working group or find out more about what is involved contact the Town Clerk on townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

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Neighbourhood Area Designated

Cheshire East Council has designated the Neighbourhood Area for the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan.

An application to designate the area was submitted by Knutsford Town Council in December 2014 and approval will enable it to prepare a neighbourhood plan with formal statutory powers. Once completed the plan will be adopted by Cheshire East Council and form part of the Development Plan for the Borough. The policies eventually held in the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan will be used for decision making purposes within the parish along side those other relevant policies form the Cheshire East Development Plan.

This is the first major step towards establishing a Neighbourhood Plan for Knutsford.

Cllr Tony Dean, chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee, said: “The Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan Committee is pleased that our Area Application has been approved by Cheshire East Council.”

“We are now moving on to set up working groups to produce the outline of the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan under the various headings in our scoping document, and we’ll continue to consult residents as we go through the various stages of the process.”

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Neighbourhood Area Consultation

Knutsford Town Council has submitted the application for designation of the Neighbourhood Area. The applied area is the Parish Boundary

The area applied for is the existing administrative and political boundary of Knutsford Town, familiar to residents, neighbours and the Local Planning Authority, Cheshire East Council. The proposed area is appropriate in spatial terms – the area does subdivide one proposed development site at Northwest Knutsford at Northwich road to the west of the town. The site is identified in the emerging Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy and anticipated to be delivered toward the middle and end of the plan period. This site falls within both Knutsford Parish and Tabley Superior Parish. Given the location of the site across two parishes, Knutsford Town Council will seek the views of Tabley Superior Parish Council on future neighbourhood planning issues and in particular issues that may affect the delivery of this site.

Beyond this issue, the proposed neighbourhood area does not overlap an existing neighbourhood area or include land within another parish.
The Town Council has held a public meeting which gave support to a Neighbourhood Plan and a subsequent meeting with representatives of community organisations where it was agreed that the best boundary for a neighbourhood plan was the Parish Boundary.

The area includes land already considered under a number of previous initiatives including the Knutsford Town Plan, Knutsford Town Strategy and the Cheshire East Local Plan. Consequently there is a library of research and evidence available which is appropriate for the production of a neighbourhood plan within this proposed neighbourhood area.

Application Documents

Consultation

Cheshire East Council is holding a six week consultation to seek representations on the proposed Neighbourhood Area for Knutsford parish. The consultation will run from 16th December 2014 until 30th January 2015.

Comments can be submitted to neighbourhoods@cheshireeast.gov.uk, or in writing to: Spatial Planning, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach, CW11 1HZ.

Please be aware that all comments received will be made publicly available.

 

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Public Meeting

A public meeting will be held in the Cranford Suite, Curzon on Tuesday 7th October at 7pm to discuss the prospect of creating a Neighbourhood Plan for Knutsford.

Organised by the Town Council, which has a commitment to investigate a Neighbourhood Plan for Knutsford as part of its 2020 Vision, the meeting is open to all residents, community organisations, property owners and businesses in Knutsford.

Neighbourhood plans establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in the neighbourhood, such as where homes should be built and what they should look like. The plan could be as detailed or general as the residents of Knutsford want.

Neighbourhood Plans can decide where and what type of development should happen and include policies on aspects such as design standards, providing more detail on existing policies within the Local Plan. The key aspect is that it cannot conflict with the Local Plan prepared by CEC.

The meeting, hosted by the Town Council, will feature presentations from Cheshire East Council and Cheshire Community Action on what can be achieved from a Neighbourhood Plan and how they fit alongside the Local Plan.

“The purpose of the meeting is to enable the community to ask questions to help determine if producing a Neighbourhood Plan is right for Knutsford” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

Neighbourhood planning must be led by the Town Council, but would involve a committee of representatives from across the town.

“The community engaged thoroughly with the Local Plan process and this is the next step. Other towns and parishes are also embarking on the process and Cheshire East Council is offering support and resources to reduce the costs of its production.”

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