4th January 2017

Glastonbury Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group held on Wednesday 4th January 2017 in the Small Hall at Glastonbury Town Hall at 7.00pm

PRESENT: Gerard Tucker (Neighbourhood Planning Officer), Cllr Jon Cousins (chair), Cllr Lindsay MacDougall, Cllr John Keery, Cllr John Brunsdon, Cllr Steve Henderson (for first part only), Cllr Gabriel Avalon, Robert Macbeth, Paul Lund, Kevin Redpath, Katherine Clarke, Paul Manning.

APOLOGIES: Cllr Emma George, Helen Moore, Malcolm Higgins

1). Welcome and introductions. Jon Cousins welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2). Results of the consultation event held in October. Gerard informed that in excess of 500 people had visited the Neighbourhood Plan consultation event over two days in October. This resulted in more than 800 suggestions of improvements that should be considered when creating Glastonbury’s Neighbourhood Plan. The event, whilst considered an enormous success is just one of a series of opportunities to consult with the wider public over the duration of the plans preparation.

3). Heritage and Character Assessment summary – delivered by AECOM. Glastonbury was fortunate to have received some additional support through My Community to help with a renewed assessment of Glastonbury’s Heritage and Character. Mendip District Council has commissioned a similar study in 2010, which was restricted to the defined conservation area only. This study had a wider scope and has recognised the importance of sites and buildings outside of this area, particularly Morlands and Beckery Island. From this study, a number of suggested policies have emerged dealing specifically with the heritage and character of Glastonbury. (An agenda item later deals with this detail). Gerard particularly acknowledged the guidance and support from Neill Bonham and John Brunsdon of the Antiquarian Society who added comments and amended the document at the draft stage. The final document is awaited and will be circulated electronically to all members when received.

4). Housing needs study – currently being researched by AECOM. The housing needs of Glastonbury are not unique, yet there are variations of requirement that feature less prominently in other towns of a similar size. The high level of deprivation is one consideration, the travelling community, percentage of leased properties are others. Gerard was able to successfully present a case to My Community who have agreed to undertake a desk to analysis of Glastonbury’s housing needs and provide a report. It is anticipated that the report will identify where there are shortfalls in knowledge and evidence which will then require additional research and involvement. This study is currently underway and Gerard was asked to contact the authors to determine when the first draft may be available. Gerard informed the committee that it appeared a solution to commissioning a Housing Needs Survey through an alternative route rather than with the Somerset Rural Community Council has so far proved successful, although there will be further work required.

5). Presentation on early stage ‘possible policies’ to include discussion on suitability. Please refer to the separate amended document which has incorporated the suggested changes from the meeting. A few additional observations were noted and are being considered.

  • A policy encapturing the character of Glastonbury and not just the Heritage
  • A policy on trees. It was suggested that other NHP’s, particularly Frome’s are referred to
  • Involvement of University students was mentioned by Katherine Clarke who offered to pursue on behalf of the group.
  • Facebook request to be circulated asking for nominations of open spaces to be included on a register to preserve.

6). Business Survey. The survey has been compiled and is currently in hard copy format. Gerard enquired if it was possible to create the survey also in an electronic format for respondents to complete through this method. Kevin Redpath offered to liaise with Paul Manning to resolve this problem. When this has been done, the survey will be circulated to businesses throughout the town.

7). Date of next meeting. It was agreed to hold the next meeting on Wednesday 8th March 2017 in the Council Chamber, Town Hall.

There being no other business, the meeting closed at 9.10pm