Notes from the Public Open Meeting – 8 PM, Monday 23rd November 2015

Sutton Benger Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP)

Public Open Meeting – 8 PM, Monday 23rd November 2015

The meeting was held in Sutton Benger Village Hall and was attended by 38 members of the Parish of Sutton Benger.

The meeting progressed through the following Agenda:

  1. Welcome (Barry Worth)
  1. Why we are here & brief recap of the NDP process (Hugh Bellars)
  1. Themes emerging from 30th September meeting, numbers of responses etc. (Barry Worth)
  1. Initial Scope of NDP – the draft Vision and Objectives (Paul Chartier)
  1. Call for volunteers for the sub-groups (Kathy Smedley)
  1. What next (Joanna Watchman)

During various parts of the meeting, the following issues were discussed:

Vision and Objectives

A copy of the draft vision and objectives was circulated. These were the views of the Core Group based on the comments made at the September meeting, particularly from the SWOT analysis. The Vision and Objectives are a key legal component of the NDP process. As such what has been drafted and put to this meeting needs to be reviewed, with modifications suggested, by as many people in the Parish. To this end the draft version is here with a deadline for comment of 31 January 2016.

Proposed Sub-groups – Points Raised by Attendees

A document was circulated with some draft ideas of different sub-groups, together with some possible areas of research put in the form of questions that might need to be addressed. The groups were:

  1. Youth Groups & Schools
  2. Land Owners
  3. Parish Housing Requirements in Accordance with Wilts Core Strategy
  4. Roads, Pavements, Street Lighting, Traffic Density, Maintenance & Tidiness
  5. Parish Businesses & Surgery (Non-Farming or Significant Land Owners)
  6. Flooding & Drainage
  7. Infrastructure
  8. Project Planning

Everyone was invited to review and comment on the groups and the questions. What follows are the points raised by those present with responses shown afterwards, in red.

  1. Recreation groups should be consulted

Noted, the Core Group agreed that Recreation Groups will be consulted.

Elderly & retired to be considered

Noted, the Core Group agreed that the Elderly & Retired Members of the Parish will be consulted.

  1. Variety of housing to be considered, likely current shortage of smaller units

The Voluntary Group who will be analysing the Housing Stock across the Parish will consider this issue

  1. We need to use, or loose, our public bus service

Noted, the Core Group agreed that this issue would be considered whilst looking at transport issues throughout the Parish.

  1. Consider employment opportunities, especially for the young

Noted, the Core Group agreed that this issue will be considered whilst looking at Businesses & Employment Opportunities within the Parish.

  1. Turning into and out of Draycot Cerne very dangerous, especially as road becomes busier with expansion of Chippenham

Noted, this is an issue for the Highways Group to consider.

  1. Questions must not be ‘loaded’

Noted and agreed.

  1. Do we have a link officer at Wiltshire Council?

Yes, the Core Group are in regular contact with Wiltshire Council and have a nominated Link Officer who is keeping in close contact and has met with the Core Group.

  1. Will our documents & evidence contain an analysis as to the current status of housing etc.?

Yes, all matters that are considered within the NDP must have a ‘baseline’ or ‘starting- point’.

  1. We have a very untidy high street


  1. Great start but suggest you gather evidence visiting the village pubs & coffee shop

Noted & evidence will be gathered from all areas possible.

  1. Is there a risk from there being too few stakeholders?

Yes, that is why the Core Group are enlisting the help of volunteers and are also casting the net as widely as possible. There are approximately 1,000 residents across the Parish as well as many businesses and landowners. The Core Group would like to see all involved within the NDP process, if at all possible.

  1. Go to the Wellesley on a Sunday night and seek comments


  1. What is the process?

Hugh Bellars re-explained the process through to formal adoption by Wiltshire Council. Also refer to:

  1. Is the NDP process of value whilst it is underway and incomplete?

Yes, the Core Team has been informed that potential developers do take note that the NDP is underway.

  1. Once the NDP is completed, does it have the weight of the law behind it?

Yes, most certainly.

  1. What happens when Wiltshire Council already have agreed plans?

The NDP must take cognisence of the Wiltshire Core Strategy and effectively work in harmony with that. The NDP may however influence the type, tenure, size and location of houses that will be provided.

  1. Hydrogen highway / energy infrastructure?

Noted, this needs to be investigated, possibly by the Infrastructure Group.

  1. Email addresses & website, how can these be accessed?

All emails will be managed through the NDP website and website e-mail address.

  1. Concern regarding email security etc.

Noted, the Core Group takes the issue of data-security very seriously and has registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).   Individual email addresses will be controlled and subject to our registration under the Data Protection Act. No-one receiving emails should be able to see the addresses of others in the Parish. But the NDP does need a master list.

It is acknowledged that e-mail systems cannot be guaranteed to be secure but every possible measure is being taken to ensure the NDP systems are as secure as possible.  

21.  There will be an NDP Postbox and information folder kept in the Post Office


  1. We will need a detailed street plan of the Parish

Noted and there is a volunteer on hand who is helping with this issue.

  1. Commuters resident in Sutton Benger should have a voice

Noted, the Core Team will cast their net as wide as possible to seek information from all residents, businesses and others within the Parish.



Volunteers were sought to commence the formation of the Sub-Groups (listed above).

A number of volunteers had made themselves known prior to the meeting with more coming forward during discussions. Given the number of previous volunteers, more folk are required to participate in the sub-groups and will be welcomed into the NDP process.

The Core Team closed the meeting by stating that the Volunteers will be contacted during January 2016 when it is intended to commence work on much of the data gathering that is required.

Baz Worth


27 November 2015