Designed by Ian Parris © Nether Heyford Neighbourhood Plan
Having met lots of people at the events held at the end of March, the Nether Heyford Neighbourhood Plan Group is now busy taking the statements and objectives that were discussed and are looking at how specific policies and actions will now ensure that they can be achieved.
Meanwhile, I took some time to ask one villager her thoughts on her personal hopes for where the plan needs to support people such as herself. She is in a situation that many younger people find themselves in – working, but living at the family home, as renting and buying a house are out of reach on her salary. So, what attracts her about the village?
“The village of Nether Heyford has felt like home ever since I first drove in, past the beautiful country pubs and well-kept green over 5 years ago. I have always felt safe when walking along the canal; making idle chit-chat with local dog walkers and feeling proud at all the annual events we have to share.
It’s a place I have no desire to leave, however looking to become a first-time buyer may leave me no choice. The properties of the village are timeless and stunning - with this often comes a big price tag.”
Do you have any ideas that the Neighbourhood Plan might encourage or support?
“It is a careful balance between keeping the foundation of what makes this village special and giving opportunities for the next generation. With this in mind there are other ways than just adding more houses that may help ensure we preserve our community rather than individuals having to go further afield.
Firstly, considering options such as house shares; these are affordable ways individuals can pay to live within the community without the massive rental prices. If you have extra room in your home then why not make some extra income? I spent a great deal of my time using house shares and found it greatly enriching. I got to be part of my landlord’s household: feeding chickens, getting fire wood and making sure Spud the border terrier wasn't up to any mischief. Some people just don’t use all of their property – some bigger houses could be separated into apartments.
We could look at what happens in other villages and look at initiatives between villages where co-funding and co-working might help make opportunities available. We have to get creative.”
The NHNPG are very open to creative ideas and hold a public meeting every last Thursday evening of the month, at the Youth Club on Roberts Field, where you would be welcome to come along and let us know more.
Tom Dodd (Vice Chair NHNPG)