It has been five years since the completion of the parish plan and time for it to be reviewed. An open parish meeting was held on 11 October, it was attended by 25 members of the public. The main objective of the meeting was to ask the community what they would like to achieve as a village over the next five years. The meeting was opened by Parish Chair, Chris Knock; he introduced to the attendees four ideas for items for discussion.
Speakers had been invited to attend the meeting to give more information about each specific subject. Annette Grey of Suffolk ACRE described the options available at this stage of the parish plan process. Ben Skinner who lives in the village explained to the parish how poor infrastructure in the village is leading to slow and unreliable broadband, making it impossible for him and others to work from home. Jonathan Free from Mid Suffolk District Council attended the meeting, he offered to do what he could to help improve the broadband in the village and provided some helpful information about what the parish could do to get the broadband service improved. Stephen Andrews, Senior Planning Officer at Mid Suffolk District Council talked about how changes in planning legislation could affect a village like Battisford. He also spoke about affordable housing and reported that there was evidence of a need for affordable housing in the village. Bryan Hilton from the Punch Bowl CIC and Robert Laight, Chair of Battisford Village Hall Committee spoke about achievements in the village since the completion of the parish plan; the successful re-opening of the Punch Bowl and the extension and renovation work at the village hall.
After a short refreshment break, everyone split into small groups to discuss topics that were of interest to them. Ideas for new amenities or problems in Battisford included planting of trees (Oak) along the Straight Road, a village shop/post office, cycle paths, footpaths and a means of addressing speeding in the village. The results of the discussions have been discussed at subsequent parish council meetings.
The parish council has agreed that there was not enough support, time or resources to conduct another parish plan at this stage, but will review the situation again in five years time. Work has started towards improving the broadband service in the village and an Action Group has been formed, for more information about the Action Group see the Broadband Page on the website, or email Ben Skinner, Chair of the Broadband Action Group.
The parish council are closely monitoring any changes in planning laws and has also began investigating options for tree planting, addressing speeding and a village shop/post office.