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  • Richard Hanks

Neighbourhood Plan Draft Meeting

Wells Civic Society Meeting - 12th October 2022




Wells from the sky. Photo by Jason Bryant
Wells from the sky. Photo by Jason Bryant

What a hubbub there was before, during and after the October meeting, when members of the Wells Civic Society, members of the public, and the mayor and a number of city councillors not only learned more about the draft of the Wells neighbourhood plan, but had the opportunity to record their reactions, suggestions and recommendations. Led by Adrian l’Anson, who has been much involved over a number of years in compiling the plan, and who showed himself to have a very considerable local knowledge of matters highly pertinent to the built and green environments, this meeting was one of four official consultations, and the society was pleased that it had specifically been asked to host it.


With clear maps and diagrams, Adrian first detailed a number of the local areas particularly mentioned in the plan, as well as describing how the plan can and should eventually achieve a statutory weight and have to be taken into account by the Somerset Unitary Council which will be taking over from Mendip DC in the near future, although there are several procedures to go through first. Perhaps his main message was that the plan is a community plan, and it is imperative that the general public now make their views known before things go further and become finalised.


Then everyone really got down to business as they were put into groups of about six and given items and proposals from within the plan to discuss and react to. These embraced the main themes of the plan: heritage and the built environment; housing; moving around; retail and commercial buildings; tourism; and the environment. Then came the sharing with everyone else by each group of their conclusions, recommendations, approvals, and disagreements. The noise level suddenly dropped and you could have heard a pin drop, except when anyone was moved to interject a question or seek clarification. Crucially, all the notes made by the groups were collected and passed to Adrian, who will collate them so that they then form part of the official feedback to be taken into account before the plan is finalised.


Adrian was thanked for and congratulated on his running of the evening, which had been a stimulating one with a truly local flavour.


The next meeting of the society will be on Wednesday, November 9 at 7pm in Wells Museum. Westbury’s Romano-British villa will be the subject of a talk by Andrew Buchanan, with refreshments being available before and after. This meeting will be preceded at 6.00 by the annual meeting. Please go to wellscivicsociety.org.uk or chair@wellscivicsociety.org.uk for all further details about the society.


Richard Hanks

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