Two villagers submitted special responses, making particular points about the principle of Neighbourhood Planning. These are given in full here

Return number Response
7

To whom it may concern.
I object strongly to a new village plan - it would be DIVISIVE, UNNECESSARY & DETRIMENTAL.
There were two such village plans in recent years. They were nobly wrought and published in book form. However they came to nought.

A village plan involves a REFERENDUM which, as we know, can be quite divisive, despite appearing to be democratic.
A QUESTIONNAIRE is involved. This encourages villagers who are happy with the village as it exists, but they are inclined to think up ways of "improving" the village.

The following suggestions are some of those made at that time:

  • We need public toilets
  • Tennis courts
  • a cricket pitch
  • The pond could be filled in to give more parking
  • Puddledock Lane to be adopted by the Council complete with pavements and street lighting (to improve the traffic flow!)
  • A shelter to be erected where teenagers could meet at night (what teenagers?)
  • We should absorb a number of foreign refugees
  • etc.

Sutton Poyntz is a unique village of great charm. It is palisaded by the CONSERVATION AREA boundary. It is designated an AONB - which means "hands off".
The Sutton Poyntz Society Committee is democratically elected. It copes perfectly with the day to day running of the village.
Sutton Poyntz is vital to Weymouth as a tourism attraction - the Jewel in the Crown, so to speak.

The BANE OF VILLAGE LIFE is when, from time to time, a development application appears, which has to be fought and unfortunately is sometimes lost.
After all, the main aim of the Society is to protect the village from development.
One of our greatest achievements in this respect was when Sutton Farm was sold and we no longer saw the cattle driven to the great barn in Sutton Road.
As fate would have it, the incoming new owner was a man we could do business with. He was a conservationist at heart.
The great barn had a broken back which was subsequently repaired at great cost. A new stone road on the eastern side of the sheep field, adjacent to the pub, was changed to the other side ofnthe hedge as a visual improvement.
Incidentally a very large boulder, as a favour to the village, was placed just west of the start of the drovers road halfway up the ridgeway, which makes a good resting point!

I have loved this village since childhood. It was always a magic place ... The gardens, the lanes, the pond, the ducks and the conker trees.
It is my good fortune now to have lived in the village for thirty years.
I was a veteran dog-walker, well into my eighties. I walked at least twice daily all rund the area. This gave me an intimate knowledge of Sutton Poyntz and its surroundings. This was useful when I became the Footpath Officer.

My five year stint as Sutton Poyntz Chairman, some years back, was a memorable happy time, without rancour or division.
We won awards for the best kept village and so on. We were finally barred from entry because we were considered a chocolate box type village, we gave us an unfair advantage over others!

With AONB open spaces are important, especially the sheep field opposite the pond, which is the only spot to glimpse the rising sun.

I AM EXTREMELY FOND OF THE VILLAGE AND DO NOT WISH TO SEE IT CHANGED OR "IMPROVED".
 

(I have no axe to grind, I am enjoying deep retirement with my walking trolley)
8

Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Plan

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines a neighbourhood as "a district especially one forming a community within a town or city" and a village as a "group of houses and associated buildings, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town in a rural area". We are definitely a village!

On the whole Sutton Poyntz has just about managed to maintain the characteristics which define a village.

This has been achieved by the powers that be through consultation and recognition of the measures needed to conserve the character of the village and its rural surroundings. Hence the recognition of

  • protected areas and boundaries
  • Area of outstanding natural beauty
  • Conservation area
  • Development boundary

It should be noted that within the last 50 years the number of domestic dwellings within the Sutton Poyntz development boundary have more than doubled.

It is my belief that a large majority of Sutton Poyntz residents would wish for these protected areas and boundaries to remain as they stand at present and to be adhered to. See "community survey 2007" page 28 (see copy of questionnaire attached).

If the Localism Act is to be meaningful, village residents should be notified and fully consulted at the earliest stage about any proposed changes being considered with regard to protected area and boundaries. Is this a reasonable expectation or am I living in cloud cuckoo land?

At the risk of being tedious, I do feel strongly that when negotiating or submitting our plan, we draw attention to the difference between a neighbourhood and a village and its implication when judging our plan. To get to the point of “what can our community include in the plan”. I will try to be proactive, positive and forward looking.

  1. House planning. New building should be contained within the existing development boundary. Important scenic gaps should not be obscured from public view.
  2. Land use and conservation / sports and recreation. Outside the development boundary, agricultural pasture and natural cover for wildlife should not be encroached upon. Ref, “Community Survey, 2007” page 28 (see attached copy of questionnaire response).
    I would however make exception for the provision of an unobtrusive location for sports and/or a children’s playground.
  3. Transport & Highways. Chronic! We have a narrow lane through the village (single vehicle width in places) without pedestrian or cycle way.
    e.g. I was cycling into the village along Sutton Road and a bus and cars were blocking the way trying to pass each other. A pedestrian let alone a cyclist could not get past. The top of the bus made contact with and scraped past a lamp post damaging both.
    We should not be surprised when the bus company announces that it can no longer provide a village service. What about the many village residents who depend on the bus service?
    There seems to be a complete disconnect between our planning department and the highways authority. Our planners are giving permission for more housing developments with little if any regard to the desperate need for off road parking.
  4. Local services and community facilities. We have a lovely village hall (maybe a bit small now) which has been greatly improved in recent times by village funded initiatives. We have a good well patronised pub. What more do you want? A small shop/post office and a doctor’s surgery? Unviable I suspect. Get on the bus!

Extract from Sutton Poyntz Community Survey 2007

 

Aspect

Important (%)

Not important (%)

Preservation of open spaces and green gaps

93.1

2.8

Prime views from and into village

88.2

3.6

Resistance to in-fill development

72.5

10.7

Protection of the development boundary

87.3

3.6

Creation of affordable housing

28.7

44.6

Preservation / enhancement of village design

84.3

2.5

The 'old' character around the millpond

90.9

2.2

Preservation of the few remaining lanes

88.7

2.2

Other

1.7

0.0

Table 5Opinion concerning key features of the built and natural environments of Sutton Poyntz.