Southbourne Parish Plan  

Following the Rural White Paper of November 2000, parishes were encouraged to develop Parish Plans with the co-operation of and input from parishioners.  The Southbourne Parish Plan has two purposes.  Firstly, it provides the Parish Council with valuable information on which decisions can be based.  Secondly, and perhaps of greater importance, it gives Southbourne the opportunity to provide input for the Local Development Framework (LDF) which is presently being drafted by the Chichester District Council and will in due course replace the current Local Plans.  The Parish Plan is reviewed by the Parish Council and updated annually.

Methodology of the Survey

Consultation with parishioners and the development of Parish Plans are key parts of the government's strategy to consult the citizens of the United Kingdom at all levels.

In approaching this project, Southbourne Parish Council took the view that, in such a large and diverse parish of some 2580 households, the most accurate result would be achieved from a 10% random survey of households with available resources concentrated on achieving a very high percentage return (90%+) of completed questionnaires.  The council was advised that the result so obtained would be more accurate than a 100% survey with a much lower return.  Subsequently the District Council endorsed this approach and granted up to £1000 to cover expenses.  Other money was necessarily limited as previous funding by the Countryside Agency for these plans had been exhausted.

The decision to proceed with the Parish Plan on this basis was taken by the Parish Council in November 2004, and volunteers were found to distribute and collect questionnaires on the basis of about ten households each; at the same time the questionnaire was developed using the list of questions provided by the University of Gloucester Village Appraisal for Windows software package.  Households were chosen through the application of random use of numbers to the Southbourne Register of Electors for 1st December 2004.  The exercise was also advertised extensively and parishioners were asked for their co-operation.  Finally a Steering Group was formed with parishioner participation.

In January 2005, following the briefing of volunteers, the questionnaires were distributed starting in late January, with the last completed questionnaire being returned in March.  A few extra questionnaires were issued to cover those who, for various reasons, were unavailable and could not be contacted.  The final result was that, of 261 questionnaires issued, 247 were completed and returned, thus giving an excellent 94.63% return, in large measure due to the hard work and persistence of volunteers but also to the co-operation of parishioners.  Considerable accuracy was thereby achieved.

For the convenience of the busy reader, the following summarises the actions set out in the Parish  Plan; a full detailed printed version can be obtained from the Parish Clerk on request.

Summary of Parish Plan

Housing Development

  1. To preserve the character of the parish by:

    A.  Continuing to monitor carefully all planning applications.
    B.  Resisting intensive development at infill sites, out of keeping with the surrounding area.
    C.  Calling for adequate parking space in new developments to avoid the increasing problem of parking in roads.
    D.  Resisting most vigorously development in strategic gaps.
  1. To recognise that "Affordable Housing" was the highest result in the survey by:-

Calling for affordable dwellings in suitable new developments, particularly in larger projects.  his is a common issue being addressed by the District Council Housing Department.  The Parish Council will liaise with them with a view to maximising the benefit to the Parish.

  1. To recognise that refurbishment of redundant buildings was the preferred development option for 46% of responses by:-

Encouraging the use of these buildings for redevelopment.  However, the scope for such projects in Southbourne seems limited.

Transport and Roads

The Parish Council will:

  1. Continue to monitor the traffic situation and press for the Stein Road improvements discussed.
  1. Consider an extension of the 30mph limit as least as far as the Nutbourne Post Office and perhaps as far as Broad Road.  In addition the council will continue to ask for a 20mph limit in Prinsted Lane in particular in the south part where there are no pavements.

The Parish Council will also consider specific applications for improvement in street lighting.  Similar considerations apply to the provisions of cycle lanes and paths, and other individual matters raised in the survey.

Social Amenities and Facilities

The Parish Council will seek an area to re-provide the small children's play area; it also actively supports the provision of a small recreation area in Nutbourne.

The Parish Council will support a publicity campaign to highlight the recreational opportunities and amenities in the Southbourne Parish.

The Parish Council will work with the Bourne Community College and the Leisure Centre to maximise the use of their facilities and where possible to improve on them.

Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour

The Parish Council will continue to work with the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership to reduce crime and disorder.

Communication

It is the intention to produce the Parish newsletter Clippings and deliver it to all households in June, October and February each year.  Clippings will promulgate the dates of Parish meetings, the annual Parish Assembly, and Parish events.

The Parish Council will consider other means of communication, including a review of notice boards.  A Web Site is being investigated.

The Parish Council recognises the need to attract good candidates as Parish Councillors.  The Council will seek to encourage volunteers.

Other Issues

The Parish Council will seek to employ a litter picker as necessary to help keep the worst affected areas free of litter and to supplement the street cleaning service provided by the District Council.  It will also encourage shops and services to keep areas adjacent to their premises clear.

The Parish Council notes the preference for shops and services.

The Parish Council will follow up any specific cases of uneven pavements reported.

The Parish Council will consider whether to increase budget provision to enable the Council to undertake some maintenance work on footpaths to achieve a better standard of maintenance than would be provided under the County Council's basic routine maintenance scheme.

The Parish Council will consider additional funding in an effort to reduce dog fouling and will consider suggestions for additional bins on Parish Council land; bins in other areas would have to be approved by the District Council.  Likewise additional attendance by dog wardens in difficult areas will be considered.

The Council will review the Parish Flood Plan annually to keep the data current.