Birdham village consultation over neighbourhood plan

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the parish council with a few of the responses
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the parish council with a few of the responses

‘DEEP passions’ were stirred at a consultation over a village’s future on Saturday (November 17).

More than 200 people came through the doors of Birdham Village Hall to have a say in their neighbourhood plan, and a number of issues that have affected many parishes were discussed.

“It’s paid off,” said Terry Claughton, chairman of the parish’s Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, of their strong publicity effort prior to the event.

“A lot of people have come in and they’re very engaged. It’s stirred up some deep passions about developments.”

A number of the issues discussed affect the wider area, such as transport and flooding, and he added: “There’s got to be common ground across the Manhood Peninsula for a number of the infrastructure issues.”

In the hall, there were five stalls set out encompassing areas of the plan: Heritage, Transport, Community, Environment and Business, all of which invited villagers to leave their thoughts on post-its to help inform the plan.

The idea caught on and hundreds of notes were left for the group to take on board.

The event won praise from community development officer Rowena Tyler, from Action in rural Sussex, who said of the consultation: “This certainly has been the best turnout I have seen.”

The group now have to analyse their findings before continuing to develop a plan.