Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan 2018 - 2031

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8. Amenities and Facilities

8.1 The Red Lion is at the heart of life in Preston, with most residents visiting it sometimes and half of residents visiting it at least monthly.

8.2 Many people also visit the Village Hall, St. Martins Church, Preston Cricket Club and the schools. Green spaces are enjoyed by many, especially the Village Green, but also the Recreation Ground and Church Meadow Playground.

8.3 Walking is popular in Preston and footpaths are well used, with a fifth of residents using key footpaths in the community at least once a week. Over half the residents of Preston use a pathway to Wain Wood at least once a month. Seven in ten residents of Preston use pathways between the Village Green and Primary School and the Hitch Wood Trail at least once a year.

8.4 The community spirit in Preston is evident by the popularity of village events such as Village Day, which around four fifths of the community regularly attend. Open Gardens, the Harvest Auction and Christmas Carols also attract substantial numbers.

8.5 Walking, rambling and dog walking are very popular pastimes, with at least three quarters of residents doing one or more of them at least once a month. Residents also enjoy the countryside by jogging, cycling and horse riding. Swimming in the open-air pool at Princess Helena College and cricket are other notable activities to take part in. Even the young people like to be outside, meeting friends and walking.

8.6 Residents of Preston would like a shop. Although many acknowledge the impracticalities of a local store, it is certainly the addition to the village most desired, as illustrated by the survey. The shop could be a community run business and the feasibility of a community shop has been added to the Project List. Following that, there is a desire for more activities for young people, especially teenagers, and some demand for tennis courts or a football pitch / club.

8.7 Most residents (92%) said that they liked living in Preston because of its rural character and atmosphere and feeling part of a community. Residents appreciate the community facilities within the village and there is strong support for retaining them.

8.8 For the purpose of the Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan, a community facility is a building, land or other structure that provides a service or facilitates recreation for the inhabitants of Preston.

8.9 An important objective for this plan is to sustain and support, where appropriate, the development of facilities for the parish, particularly as the number of inhabitants will increase with potential new development.

8.10 Economic development is important for the future of the parish to ensure it remains a thriving community. Thirteen percent of adult residents run a business from home and 1% run a business from other premises in Preston. Connectivity is vitally important to enable these and potentially new businesses to be sustainable. See Policy TC2 on page 51.

Objective A1:To support all existing amenities, facilities and services available in the parish and new ventures where appropriate for the benefit of the community.

(1) Policy AF1: New and Improved Community Facilities:

Proposals for new or improved community facilities which fulfil the needs of existing and new residents will be supported unless any adverse impacts would significantly outweigh the benefits.Improvements should improve accessibility for children, the elderly and those with disabilities.

See also Community Rights paragraphs A & B

(1) Policy AF2: Community Facility Change of Use:

Change of use of an existing community facility to a non-community use will be resisted unless either:

a.The facility will be (or has been) replaced by an equivalent or better community facility; or

b.It can be shown that the existing community use is not viable and no alternative community
use is viable.

Change of use of part of an existing dwelling to provide a community facility or village shop will be permitted, providing it is consistent with the other policies.

See also Policy QL1

Objective A2:To support existing businesses and promote businesses and employment opportunities on a scale compatible with Preston Parish’s rural character.

(1) Policy AF3: Home-based and Small Businesses:

Existing home-based and small businesses and new homes or home extensions, which provide space for a home office or craft/artisan workshops, will be supported subject to satisfying considerations in relation to design and car parking and other policies in this plan which protect the amenities of neighbours.

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