Designed by Ian Parris © Nether Heyford Neighbourhood Plan

Nether Heyford

April 2017 NHNPG Draft Submission for the Prattler

As I’m writing this, the NHNPG is busy preparing for our Open Day, which will have happened by the time you’re reading this edition of the Prattler. That means that by now we have lots of ideas from you about Nether Heyford – ideas on developments, businesses, what you love about the village, what could be better. We are knee deep in sticky labels which have your opinions about our heritage, what younger people think, what has to be protected, and plans that some people already had about the future.

When preparing for the Open Day, I spent some time, going around the village taking first-hand photographs of places and views found on old postcards and in a couple of books about Nether Heyford, that were kindly lent to me. I wanted to produce a ‘Now & Then’ series of pictures to display, to help us think about what those buildings and views might look like in another 15 years’ time (the Neighbourhood Plan covers the next 15 years). I found that although there were some obvious differences – the Bricklayer’s Arms near the canal bridge on Furnace Lane closed in the 1930’s, and now is one storey shorter and turned into a house – there were lots of places that were preserved as they were many years ago. Even though the Jubilee Hall is long gone, the Village Hall was built and extended to keep the function of having a meeting place kept steadfastly at the centre of the village. The postcards from the 1960’s reflect a rise in village population with new houses being built, roads developed and flood management improving – but there is something about the atmosphere captured in those pictures which remains here today – a strong sense of community I sense. There is a history of the village at http://netherheyford.org.uk/website/html/history.html . – well worth reading.

So what happens next?

It’s really annoying to fill out questionnaires or write down your opinions for something like this, never to hear about what impact they had, or how they were used. We will keep you up to date with how your contributions will now go on to the next step in developing our own Neighbourhood Plan.

All of your comments will be typed up, grouped and analysed to identify the issues that are most important for us as a village. We will have some help from an experienced consultant to use these to build a questionnaire that will be delivered to every household in a few weeks’ time. More about that next month, but for now, a huge thank you to everyone who was able to go to the Village Hall and share their aspirations and thoughts for the future of our village.