Churchdown & Innsworth Neighbourhood Plan

Churchdown & Innsworth Neighbourhood Plan

Perry orchards and a circular walk with new footpaths are some of the stand out ideas put up by the community to help shape the future of Churchdown and Innsworth.

The area has a rich fruit heritage, with Parton and Pirton Road named after variety of pears. That heritage could become a key part of the neighbourhood plan currently being thrashed out by the community.

Other ideas put forward for the new neighbourhood plan include compulsory solar panels on all new houses, the protection of historic trees and the development of wildlife areas to help protect species of birds such as yellow hammer, swift and skylarks.

Ideas have been offered by all areas of the Churchdown and Innsworth communities after an appeal was put out by parish councils to help form a blueprint for future development.

Pat Austin, chairman of Innsworth Parish Council, said:
There have been lots of good ideas to have been put forward so far, but we need more, especially from young people. Some think development decisions for this area are a done deal, but that isn’t the case. The idea of a pub to replace the old Bullfinch is a good one. We have also spoken with around 30 people who live in a three bedroom house on their own but would rather live in a bungalow and stay in Innsworth, but they are just not available. An older persons complex would be very popular, as would a football and cricket pitch.
I have lived here all my life and this area is changing. We need a bigger burial ground and a multi-faith place of prayer would also be good for the soldiers at Innsworth.

Residents and businesses first met at GL3 Community Hub in February to have their say on how they would like to see development progress in the area over the next two years.

Since then, steering groups have been formed so early ideas can be taken on to the next level of discussion and implementation.

A keen emphasis was placed on preserving wildlife in the parish.

Nesting boxes, bat boxes and the importance of suitable vegetation nearby in wildlife corridors were also suggested as part of a regional survey.

Ruth Warne, Churchdown Parish Council clerk, said:
The results showed an emphasis on retaining existing character and historic features in the area. This area used to be famous for its perry pear orchards. To have a focus on recreating some of these could be an interesting and distinctive feature of the plan.
There used to be many ponds which were once important to the local economy. Creation of new ponds and orchards would be of great benefit in terms of biodiversity. There has been an interesting proposal for a circular walk and we also talked about creating a forage trail and forage trail map.

Residents have filled out questionnaires online, with two major plans being prepared to influence new housing and development as part of the county’s Joint Core Strategy.

Planners will visit shops, schools, and community centres to help encourage public involvement with finalised plan expected to be in place by 2015.