Village life in Witchford could be harmed from over developement, a new survey reveals

Witchford Village Sign

Witchford Village Sign - Credit: Archant

People living in Witchford are worried that the village’s strong community spirit, school, open spaces and rural character could be under threat with increasing housing development.

They are also worried about the village being used as a rat run by commuters.

The views are made in a village survey carried out to gather evidence for the parish council’s neighbourhood plan which will form part of a district wide planning document for the future.

Some of the views include:

• Community spirit is strong but is under threat from development.

• Two thirds of people want to see improved public transport.

• Schools are good but a third of people fear too much new housing will put it under pressure.

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• People want to see more shops - only 25 per cent felt there were enough in the village.

• The majority of people want to see a GP surgery.

• Traffic concerns were expressed by people if the village expanded.

• People said the village feels safe.

• Many people were concerned about the village being used as a rat run for commuters avoiding congestion on the A142 and A10.

Howard Palmer, chairman of the parish council, said: “We hope that the concerns raised by villagers will be addressed as we work with the county and district councils to develop Witchford into a thriving village for people to continue to enjoy a peaceful rural existence.”

“We are delighted that the villagers are taking such an interest in the future and I would like to thank all those who took the time to contribute to the survey - in particular the volunteers, especially Sue Baker, for many hours spent compiling the results.

“We welcome further comments and offers of help from villagers with the neighbourhood plan process.

The survey was delivered to everybody in the village - around 800 homes and 2,000 people.

Around half of those were adults and about a quarter of them responded.

In the survey, nearly eight out of ten people said housing development put the village under pressure.