Neighbourhood Plan – an update


First, the steering group would like to thank the many people of the parish for taking the time to complete the survey and to apologise for the delay in responding with the findings.  The difficulties caused by the pandemic, as well as other more mundane issues, have led to a delay that the steering group did not anticipate.  Your patience in this regard is much appreciated.

You will recall that last summer we carried out a ‘scoping survey’ to raise awareness of the NDP and discover community views on what the most pressing local issues were and what the NDP should cover.

We used the ‘GoCollaborate’ online survey system, and 240 adults replied, which gives us reasonable
confidence that the answers are representative of the overall community feeling.

The headline results are that when asked generally how they would like the Parish to change in the
future, only a few called for ‘no change’. Almost all respondents said they would like to see more
affordable housing, and fewer or no second homes. They called for fuller range of community
facilities, and prosperity for local people and businesses. Comments supported a thriving and
connected, healthy community that was more balanced across age-ranges, living in a healthy
countryside environment in well-designed housing, enjoying lifestyles that were climate friendly.

The impact of 2nd homes in reducing the viability of schools and local services (particularly out of
season), and the lack of interest of their occupiers in helping to organize and support community
activity, was noted.

However, most people said the post offices in the parish were currently sufficient for their needs,
and those that didn’t mentioned inadequate opening hours at both POs, poor range of services, lack of
internet, and lack of space.

The same applied to shops, although there was some concern over poor stock and high prices. People
mentioned the need for fish & chips, chemists, bakers, fruit & veg/farm shop, coffee shops.
A large majority felt the health centre was sufficient for their needs, but people did mention a lack of
range of services, underfunding, understaffing and access difficulties [physical and opening hours].
There were very positive opinions on the quality of service and staff.

Pubs were also regarded by many as being very good and praiseworthy, but there was also some
concern over lack of competition, the pubs being too small for busy times, poor range of drinks, lack of
live music, and excessive prices.

There was marginally less support for restaurants and cafes and those dissatisfied mentioned
inadequate number of eating places, poor variety and choice, off season closing and seasonal
overcrowding, the lack of straightforward coffee/tea café premises, and lack of evening opening.
About two thirds said the schools were ok, with those that didn’t focusing on mainly on Coverack
school, referring to the threat to the school posed by falling roll numbers, that small size means less
good education, that loss of the school would make the villages a less sustainable place to live, a lack
of wraparound care provision, and poor access to accessible child care for working families.

In comparison less than half of people thought that the adequacy of public transport was ok. Those
saying it was inadequate said the buses are too expensive, infrequent, unreliable, lacked evening
services, did not access hamlets within the Parish, and thus did not provide an adequate alternative to
car travel. Several mentions were made of the 2hr trip to Truro college outside of standard times, the
inadequacy of convenient bus times to health appointments, and that tourist season services were
better and should be maintained year through.

The lack of activities for young people was also criticised, comments including that apart from gig
rowing and table tennis there was little organised activity available for youngsters and that playspace
was either absent or inadequate across the parish. The need for more and better facilities was
strongly made.

On the issue of activities for the elderly of the parish, only a third thought that were adequate,
mention being made that there could be more non Church activity, and more for the lonely needing
befriending. Several comments suggest whilst there is activity available, local information about them
is lacking.

This point was taken up more generally also, and the point was made that the Parish could do a lot
more to give community information.

On housing, people ranked the need for affordable housing the highest priority, and reference was
made to the need to ensure that the size, tenure and design of new homes addressed local needs, and
that most should be zero-carbon if possible.

The survey did not include climate change as an issue, but in the other comments space available
there were several mentions of this topic. There were also many comments on traffic in the Parish,
particularly around parking congestion and speeding, leading to road safety problems.

Looking forward, as the Neighbourhood Plan process continues, there will be more opportunities for
people to have their say on what matters to them about the Parish area, as we collect more
information to back up the planning policies it will contain.