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Stoke Ferry village survey helps it plan for the future

Stoke Ferry residents are being given the chance to have a say in planning their village of the future.

Questionnaires are being distributed to every household asking their views on issues ranging from housing development to traffic management and community facilities.

The Stoke Ferry Neighbourhood Plan working group was set up last year and held its first consultation event in February this year. Coronavirus and lockdown put paid to further meetings so the group decided that the questionnaires were another way of discovering villagers’ views.

Village sign at Stoke Ferry
Village sign at Stoke Ferry

Andy Hayward, who is chairman of the working group, said: “Stoke Ferry Parish Council created a Neighbourhood Plan Working Group from volunteers.

“We want things in our community to change for the better. Any neighbourhoods that seek a high quality of life should have a plan and there are always improvements that can be made.

“It’s important we identify what issues our villagers, business owners and landowners want our Neighbourhood Plan to address”.

Stoke Ferry
Stoke Ferry

Questionnaires have been posted to every address in the village and need to be completed by September 14.

They can be filled in online or delivered to the village corner shop or Bonnets Hardware.

Villagers are being asked what they love most about their village and what they would like to see improved.

The survey also asks about future housing development, about traffic issues, what can be done to encourage visitors, what businesses should be encouraged and how current businesses can be helped to thrive.

It asks what should happen to derelict buildings in the village, what aspects of its natural environment aremost valuable and what services the village will need as it grows.

There is also a section to be completed by under 18s asking them what they most like about their village and what they think needs to be improved.

The survey comes at a time when villagers are already campaigning for the return of their localpub.

The Blue Bell closed more than three years ago and was destined to be used for housing.

Residents arenowtrying to raise the money to buy and renovate the building and re-open it as a community pub and hub.

Stephen Ward is the chairman of the campaign, and said: “About a year ago we had a meeting about the pub and what people would like to see it used for.

“We did a survey which more than a third of residents responded to and the majority said they wanted to see it used as a community hub.

The community is planning to come together over the Bank Holiday with a day of activities to support the campaign.

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