/ Parish Council / Creech Neighbourhood Plan / Minutes 13th Feb 17


Minutes of the Meeting of the

CSM Neighbourhood Plan Panel and Ruishton and Thornfalcon Neighbourhood Plan Panel

held at 7pm on Monday 13th February 2017

in the Upper Committee Room of the Village Hall.



CSM: Co-opted Parishioner C Cudlip (in the Chair), CSM PC Chairman S Hutchings,  PCllr K Reed,  J Birch (CCfS) and S Altria (Parish Clerk).


Ruishton & Thornfalcon: Panel Chair and PC Vice Chairman Mike Marshall, PCllr Roy Bulgin, Co-Opted Cllr Jim Claydon and Catherine Faulkner (Administrator, R&T NH PP).


No Members of the Public attended.


NP17/17. Welcome  CC welcomed everyone to the meeting and everyone then introduced themselves.

NP17/18. To receive any apologies for absence.CSM Co-opted Cllrs J Scott, J McCarthy, D Summerfield (WYG).

NP17/19. Declarations of Interests. Co-Opted Cllr Jim Claydon declared his Trusteeship of Comm Council for Somerset.

NP17/20. Discussion areas of mutual interest with Ruishton and Thornfalcon NH Plan Panel;


(1) Update. Both Panels updated each other on their progress to date. CSM had undertaken two consultations with its Parishioners (A parish wide survey responded to by 39% and at APM16), its Employers and young people (both with Primary school, preschool and an informal event for teenagers), had met with West Monkton PC too and had engaged and tasked Planning Consultants to develop 9 draft policies that will form the basis of the CSM NH plan using the evidence from the consultations. Further consultation is planned at the CSM APM on April 21st and with the Sec School.  R&T explained that their time scales for a NH plan are alongside the TDBC Local Plan review over the next two to three years and are about to commence its consultations at the end of February . Both Parishes agreed to share detailed consultation outcomes and key outputs (nb CSM has since done).


(2) Employers. CSM advised that the Survey of Employers did not highlight a great demand from employers (a couple) for new units however the survey of Parishioners had highlighted some incubator units are needed. It was evident that the priority for employers is access to the motorway and therefore it was unlikely with the development of employment land at Henlade planned that the WM site would ever be built – prompting whether houses will be built instead and that would create even more traffic through the villages to access work at Henlade.  New Employers would need to be attracted to make the WM site viable and why would they prefer that site to Henlade?.


(3) Youth Consultation. CSM advised that they had undertaken an informal exercise for youth earlier that day. Professional youth workers had been employed to offer an afternoon of activities in the village Hall along with free sausage and chips in return for giving their views of CSM and what they would like to see in the future. The merits of doing a joint consultation at the same time in the Sec School was reconised should the School agree to this as long as young people are given an opportunity to respond specifically on their Parish. CSM advised that the Parish consultation had identified need for a youth club as the priority.


 (4) Roads. Recognised as one of the main issues for both Parishes. The main driver for R&T is the A358 duelling. Until the route is announced by Highways England it’s unclear what land will be freed for development. It may be that a village centre would then be created along the old A358 similar to West Monkton’s. CSM has yet to see the developer’s plans for the A38 but questioned whether extending the Relief Road would be the best use of limited funds for infrastructure when there are so many needs incl new school, pavilions etc. CSM wish to see a link (with traffic calming) between Hyde Lane and the WM relief road, improvements at Creech Castle (preferably ahead of J25 improvements) and traffic calming, village gateways and a 20mph limit in the village. A shared aim for all three Parishes should be the Creech Castle improvement and making the route safe through the villages as an integral part of the Schemes ahead of the work commencing.


(5) Employment Land. TDBC are about to issue a LDO on 62 acres in Henlade. This raises the possibility of it creating a precedent for future development to the east of M5.


(6) M5 J24a. CSM raised the merits of protecting the land for a Junction at Walford preferably coupled with a bypass to Cross Keys/Staplegrove. This would help reduce the traffic volumes going through the villages and Taunton seeking the motorway and A358.


(7) Housing Bill 2017. The new draft Housing Bill out the previous week for consultation is understood to propose that where a District Council is without a local Plan then the Govt can impose targets (it’s thought that TDBC Local Plan is delayed because of the possible merger with West Somerset) and in the absence of plans Developers can continue to submit development applications as they wish. The Bill is also thought to suggest PC’s share of CIL may be reduced so it is important Parishes respond appropriately to the consultation.


(8) Cycle Route. CSM has identified a route from Sedgemoor, past The Maypole PH to Bathpool and onto Taunton which would also go into CSM and onto Ruishton and M5 J25. R&T anticipate responses which suggest a cycle path along the old A358 and a path from Ruishton Church to Sainsbury’s. The need for a good cycle path around J25 roundabout and the A358 new road layout was agreed.


(9) Footpaths. The priority for CSM is in Hyde Lane (Motorway Bridge to Hyde Lane Cottages but this is in WM Plan area) in order that the school children have a safe route to their School. Other needs are a foot path from North End to Creech Heathfield and footpaths over the canal and railway bridges in St Michael’s road (thereby narrowing the road). The merit of the canal tow path was reconised. CSM has indentified the benefit of having a new bridge over the Canal near Queensdown. The desire for a network of footpaths and cycle ways in all developments and across Parishes wherever possible was agreed.


(10) Bus Services. WM are looking for a rapid bus route into Taunton and there’s to be another park and ride (which should have already been built) on the A38. CSM acknowledge an improvement in bus services since the consultation but see merit in linking the park and ride bus services through the villages perhaps using the bus gate in Deane Gate Avenue as the route into Town.


(11) Flooding. R&T advised that SCC and the Local Drainage board are looking at the Aquaduct Culvert. Ruishton has a ring bank to prevent flooding from the Tone however once its storm drains are full as the land is at a low level water comes back up creating flooding.  Policies on new development should ensure they contribute to resolving some of the drainage problems in addition to rather than simply ensuring that developments cope with the additional runoff they create. CSM suggested raising the height of Lipe Lane and the contradiction between actions/plans higher up the Tone to help reduce flooding whilst housing in Wellington was now being built on the flood plain.


(12) Heritage. CSM Survey has produced a long list of assets to be protected, from metal road signs to the Church.


(13) Housing. The CSM survey had indentified a desire for Village not Town houses, to lower build densities, properties of character, affordable accommodation, rented properties, bungalows, housing with equity shared ownership, self build and housing designed for people with disabilities. Affordable accommodation is to be identical to other properties e. g with garages pepper potted across the development. Solar, rain water harvesting and other eco/green measures to all housing. No 3 floor premises on prominent points such as roundabouts or stock houses. R&T will assess once the A358 duelling route is known and consultation undertaken.


(14) Leisure. WM PC wishes to see their green area continue alongside the motorway. CSM had yet to identify

Green areas/sites but wished to ensure the villages in the Parish keep green space between them and the urban development. Also recreation land is sited together with a pavilion rather than odd bits of “hard to develop” land spread piecemeal across the development area. A long list of desired facilities now exists but the priorities have yet to be developed. As all three Parishes are working together it was hoped that duplication should not occur and that other sports to simply Rugby/Cricket/Football pitches could be provided for. R&T highlighted the pressures on their Village Hall whilst the need for a village centre in CSM was discussed and the potential for using the area by the telephone box in St Michael’s Road was noted. A discussion took place on applying for Asset of Community Value Status.


Taunton’s designation as a Garden Town was noted and that this provided for Green ribbons (rather than green belts). As the Town layout is already in place it was of interest to see how the development of Garden policies will manifest itself in practice. CSM would like to see more trees alongside the M5.


(15) Summary. It was agreed that the meeting had been mutually beneficial and highlighted the extent for the commonality both Panels (and WM) have and the importance of being at one and supporting each other on overlapping issues was acknowledged including sharing emerging issues as they occur. A further meeting is to take place in due course.


NP17/21. Dates for future Meetings.  

CSM NH PP next meets on 28th February 2017 6.30pm Village Hall Lower Cttee room.

The meeting closed at 8.35pm


Steve Altria, Clerk to Creech St Michael Parish Council. Tel 01823 666295. Email clerk@creechstmichael.net