Back in February 2014, the Town Council distributed a questionnaire to all 800 homes in the parish of North Tawton. 325 usable forms were returned and at last they have been fully analysed by the Group who are preparing the town development plan. The results were presented on 24th March in the Council Offices and summaries made available at the West Devon planning day Saturday 21st March.
Below is a reminder of the scope of the survey and some of the key findings which will shape the Town’s Development Plan.
The first questions collected data on where in North Tawton the replies came from, age group , how long people had lived in North Tawton and if they working or retired. It was pleasing to see we had a good cross section of post codes age and length of time living here.
The residents were asked what they enjoy about living in North Tawton, and about any concerns they had. They indicated their concerns and parking is the major problem, there were a lesser number of people raising litter and dog fouling. Perhaps partly because of the timing of the questionnaire some raised concerns about the state of the roads and pavements. Last summer saw a lot of work done in Fore Street and with the bridge so that may be less of a problem now. Returning to the key concern Car Parking there are two aspects to this issue to ensure the shops get used and parking for residents. Both problems will be discussed fully by the planning group.
Most residents highly value the rural setting of the town, and views of the surrounding countryside, in which many enjoy walking and observing wildlife. They said that they would like the greenfield areas surrounding the town to be protected from future development”.
The next part of the survey asked for comments on the current housing and the style of new housing preferred should some inevitably be approved. The clear message from these questions was please retain the style of North Tawton as small rural town. With residents saying quite clearly keep the additional numbers to a minimum, they should be traditional in style and built on brownfield sites. The gardens should be larger than those on recent new houses and 3 bedroom houses or bungalows are preferred.
The next important area covered by the survey was renewable energy with a clear majority saying we should have “Green Energy” in the parish but schemes proposed to date have been too big and on agricultural land. The town seemed to be saying several smaller schemes on brownfield sites (or roof tops) is the way forward.
Several other topics were covered by the survey and all have been analysed. A full set of charts and tables are available on the Town Web Site and a paper copy is in the Council Offices. Please come and see the full analysis.