Public Consultation Plans for the community land at Old Road South / Pixham Ferry Lane as a Community and Sports Centre were on display to the public during the weekend of the 3rd and 4th February at the Youth Centre, Plovers Rise recreation grounds.

Over 200 members of the public attended the event and members of the council and project partners were present to answer questions and collect comments.

The plans were available at the Parish Council’s website for a further two weeks with an invitation to send in comments to the Parish Office. The consultation period has now closed. All the comments received have been collated and are being considered by the Council which intends to publish a summary document of the outcomes towards the end of March.

Four significant offers of help with the project were received from members of the public with particular expertise. If you would like to be involved in creating this facility, please contact the Parish Office.


Kempsey continues to face development on its doorstep. This time last year there was the possibility of nearly 240 more houses being added to the village from three speculative planning applications, all outside its defined development boundary. These would have been additional to the 540 or so developed in recent years and the 46% population growth between 2011 and 2021. All three applications were opposed by the Parish Council and residents, not the least because infrastructure and services have not grown to meet the extra demand created. One application was refused planning permission on appeal. Despite this success, another, for 40 dwellings, was granted by MHDC in December subject to a legal agreement first being completed.

This decision was strongly influenced by there not being a sufficient supply of developable housing land as the government requires. The same applied to the remaining application (M/23/00372/OUT), this time for 140 dwellings at the southern edge of the village, which led to it being recommended for approval. Over 280 letters of objection, a petition raised by a local action group and several Parish Council representations had been submitted. However, the strength of local feeling was made abundantly clear when District Councillors, inspecting the site, were met by 60 or so angry local residents bearing placards.

A similar number attended the committee meeting on 7th February with standing room only for many. The debate centred notably on the lack of services and particularly the fact that our primary school is at over capacity with no further room to expand. Forty or so young children would need to be bussed to schools elsewhere. Although the proposal included the offer of land for a primary school and a financial contribution, the estimated £13.7 million required to build it is not available now or is likely in the foreseeable future. The application was overwhelmingly refused by 11 votes to 2, against the officer recommendation. It is likely that an appeal will follow.

This is a good example of public involvement in the planning process. However influential such open expression of local concern may be, it is essential that you are proactive in these decisions. After all it is your lives, your homes, your towns and villages and your environment which are being affected.