Dunkeswell Parish Plan – 13th October 2004
The Dunkeswell Parish Plan was produced by the Parish Council as part of the Countryside Agency initiative and it was formally endorsed by the District Council on 13 October 2004 and will be used to inform decision making. The text of the document is set out below, with contact details for the chairman and Clerk of the Parish Council who were instrumental in its production. If you have any queries please telephone 01395 516551 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
DUNKESWELL PARISH PLAN 2004
Issue 1- Affordable Housing Provision to meet Local Parish Needs
Issue 2 - Provision of more market housing
Issue 3 - Industrial/employment development
Issue 4 - Traffic
Issue 5 - Primary school
Issue 6 - The public rights of way network
Issue 7 - Community facilities
Issue 8 - Provision for youth work
Issue 9 - The bus service
Mr G Sworder, , Garden Cottage, Dunkeswell, Devon, EX14 4RE 01404 91623
Miss T Crook, The Old Kennels, Stentwood, Dunkeswell, EX14 4RW 01823 681138
Dunkeswell parish is situated in the countryside north of Honiton, and is fully within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The parish has about 1200 people on the electoral roll and about 2000 total population. It has grown from an electoral roll of about 300 in 1985 as a result of the construction of a new estate of about 550 dwellings on land originally used to accommodate the personnel for the wartime airfield. This airfield was used between 1943 and 1945 by the American Navy (Fleet Air Wing 7) for anti-submarine warfare.
The new estate, which includes a small shopping centre, post office and a doctors’ surgery, is separated from the old village by about a kilometre of narrow road. The old village contains the church, village hall and public house. At the time the outline planning permission was granted for the housing development in 1959, a large area of land on the airfield was also granted planning permission for industrial use, as Dunkeswell was then seen as a ‘key settlement’. No account was then taken of the effects of all these permissions on the traffic generated. In the 1980’s the maintenance area of the airfield was sold off by the government as a further industrial area.
We now have a large industrial area, not yet complete, all the associated traffic problems with no means for solution. The parish council has been at pains to find out the views of the inhabitants about the future of the parish, and initiated a Parish Appraisal in about 1991, a very successful Planning for Real exercise in about 1999, and a subsequent survey of planning needs carried out by a retired planner from the County Council. These gave the council some very clear indications of what needed to be done, and allowed us to formulate a draft plan for the future. This draft was displayed to the public at several venues, and the comments were incorporated to produce the plan below.
Issue 1 - Affordable Housing Provision to meet Local Parish Needs
Vision - Sufficient affordable homes will be available for any local people/families who need to work for local organisations
Action - Survey required to discover how many affordable homes are needed in the parish and where they could be sited. There are existing methods available to do this
Lead bodies/partners - The District Council has carried out a housing needs survey for the whole district. The Blackdown Hills Rural Partnership (BHRP) is interested in provision in the whole AONB. The Community Council of Devon has the know-how for a local survey but is awaiting further guidance from the Countryside Agency. The Housing Association (Hastoe) who already has six homes in the parish. The parish council should initiate a survey in conjunction with BHRP.
Issue 2 - Provision of more market housing is unlikely as the District Council has decided that any further housing will go to the Area Centres
Vision - No more housing will be built, other than affordable or the occasional infill
Action - No action needed
Issue 3 - Industrial/employment development has been excessive already, even though it has not yet finished on the land approved in 1959. The supply has been exacerbated by the sale of the old World War II maintenance area, which itself needs redevelopment to bring it up to modern standards.
Vision - The existing approvals will be completed, and the old maintenance area will be redeveloped (apart from the listed buildings). No more industrial development will be provided.
Action - Agreement from the District Council is required that no more industrial/employment land is needed until 2011 at least, and that the maintenance area will be redeveloped to modern standards.
Lead bodies/partners - District Council through the East Devon Local Plan. District Council Economy Section/Regional Development Agency over the redevelopment of the maintenance area, in conjunction with the parish council.
Target Date - Agreement as soon as possible. Action over the next few years.
Issue 4 - Traffic through the village and on the road to Honiton has built up over the last ten years as a result of the housing growth and particularly the industrial development (not yet complete) so that there are many complaints about the quantity of traffic, the numbers of HGVs and the excessive speeds through the 30 mile per hour speed limit.
Vision - The HGV traffic will have been diverted from the old village by the construction of a by-pass; improvements to the worst parts of the road to Honiton will be carried out; lower speed limits within the village will have been installed; enforcement of speed limits will be done by fixed speed cameras and regular police visits.
Action - It is necessary to persuade County Highways that the by-pass and Honiton Road improvements should be included in their plan. They, and the police, need to be persuaded that lower speed limits are justified. Enforcement measures, such as cameras, will need financial support from the parish as well as action by the police.
Lead bodies/partners - County Highways, Devon and Cornwall Police with the Parish Council.
Target Date - Agreements as soon as possible. By-pass within the next 3 years.
Issue 5 - There are more than 100 primary school pupils being dispatched by bus every day, and the parish would benefit from the construction of a new primary school. The effect of this on schools currently used by Dunkeswell pupils (especially Broadhembury) will need to be addressed.
Vision - A new primary school will have been built, and its facilities will be available to the community.
Action - The county education authority, which has so far refused to contemplate a new school at Dunkeswell, needs to be pressurised to change its mind.
Lead bodies/partners - The parish council, with support from its county councillor and MP, will make a renewed effort to influence the education authority.
Target Date - Start campaign immediately, in the hope of getting action in the next three years.
Issue 6 - The public rights of way network, which is fully open and well maintained, has no connection with the Highfield estate, so that all walkers have to use public roads to gain access.
Vision - A new connection will have been opened so that Highfield residents can access the network directly.
Action - Proposal for a new connection has been registered in the ROW improvement plan, but an approach to the landowner is now needed.
Lead bodies/partners - The parish council will approach landowner and then organise with county ROW section for new route.
Target Date - As soon as possible.
Issue 7 - Community facilities need to be expanded to cope with the steady increase in population
Vision - There will be sufficient meeting places, sporting facilities and children’s playgrounds for all inhabitants, and that they will be owned and operated by the parish.
Action - An action plan will need to be agreed between the parish council and the District Council, establishing what facilities are appropriate, how they can be acquired and who will operate them.
Lead bodies/partners - Parish Council and the communities section of the District Council will need to agree on the way ahead.
Target Date - As soon as possible.
Issue 8 - Provision for youth work is only just surviving, as youth workers are very hard to find. There is a clear demand for this work to continue.
Vision - There should be a well-established and popular youth club, operating on a weekly basis, and staffed by a qualified youth worker assisted by local volunteers.
Action - A regular youth worker needs to be appointed.
Lead bodies/partners - The county youth service, Blackdown Hills Rural Partnership and the parish council need to co-operate to solve this problem.
Target Date - As soon as possible.
Issue 9 - The bus service is inadequate, particularly since the termination of the post bus, and there is no service on Sundays.
Vision - A seven day bus service, which provides transport for those commuting in and out of the parish, and those needing to shop or visit entertainment in Honiton.
Action - Discussions need to be held with County Highways to see what improvements are possible.
Lead bodies/partners - Parish council and county highways.
Target Date - As soon as possible, with completion within two years.