Coxhoe Parish Council recent sought the views of residents regarding a number of concerns, issues and potential projects. The results of the consultations were published here and we promised a response to more detailed and frequently asked questions in due course, which can now be found below.
Thank you for taking part in important consultations. It is vital we receive the views of the community to ensure we act on behalf of the majority as we work to improve life within our villages. As always you can discuss any concerns or comments with our Clerk via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cornforth Lane Consultation
Can we build a new school on the areas of land recently purchased?
A new school building would be under jurisdiction of Durham County Council who have a number of schools in a more urgent need of replacement builds than Coxhoe Primary. Durham County Council state the school building itself is in a good state of repair and well maintained, just in need of additional space as the intake grows year on year.
Why are residents of Gladstone Terrace being asked to purchase land? Why is this not given to them by the developer free of charge or for a nominal amount?
Residents are being asked if they would be interested in a strip of land if this was available to purchase per household, to provide off road parking and improve the traffic on Cornforth Lane.
Coxhoe Parish Council have no say over the cost of the land as we are not the owners. Councillors will do their best to secure the most competitive offer for home owners.
Why can’t a school drop off area be made on the road in between the School and Barratt’s Estate?
This land belongs to Durham County Council who do not have the funding to provide a school car park. Durham County Council have advised that the strip of land off the A177 would not be safe to be used for School drop off and pick up of children and would not permit this. The opportunity for an additional car park for school use comes directly from the new land owners who have approached Coxhoe Primary School and Coxhoe Parish Council to discuss community gain if development were to take place on the land, in line with our earlier consultation results from October 2020.
What parking restrictions will be implemented on Cornforth Lane?
No parking restrictions have been proposed or agreed, Coxhoe Parish Council are at this time exploring all potential solutions to the traffic issues that are regularly reported by residents of Cornforth Lane. If restrictions were to be imposed, there would be further public consultation and consideration to residents parking would be at the forefront of any plans. The most enforceable and potentially fairest alternative suggested by responders, was to ensure Cornforth Lane and the back end of Ashbourne Drive was a resident only parking zone.
We need a new Doctors Surgery, what plans are in place for this?
The Doctors Surgery is held by a private company and Coxhoe Parish Council are unable to mandate a new building/location. Previous consultations and projects have provided the opportunity for the surgery to move to a more central and accessible location but the GP’s surgery have declined not to investigate this.
Can traffic light timing be increased during school drops to allow more cars to leave Cornforth Lane?
The traffic light sequence is set to keep traffic flowing on all four roads leading to the lights. Altering the light sequence would impact other roads and the centre of the village. It would be preferable to move school traffic off Cornforth Lane altogether with the introduction of a car park, accessed via the A177 roundabout.
Why can’t the bus gate be opened at the bottom of Cornforth Lane to allow cars to exit during the school run, or make it a one-way system?
The bus gate was implemented as a safety measure and has proven to be successful in reducing speeding on Cornforth Lane, therefore Durham County Council are opposed to reconsidering the terms of the bus gate. A one-way system would also be an inconvenience to those living on the street and the Parish Council are keen to find solutions to heavy traffic with the least disruption to residents as possible.
Is housing planned for the land near Cornforth Lane and will I be able to an I object to proposals?
Any proposed housing would go through the usual planning application and consultation process. Coxhoe Parish Council are working with the new land owners to secure community gain, but this does not mean housing development is a forgone conclusion. The Parish Council are not advocating more housing but may not be able to prevent it. We are therefore trying to ensure that whatever development the land owner proposes, also delivers on community infrastructure needs for the school and relieves burden on most affected residents. We are keen to minimise the scale of any developments.
Will be there any cost implications to Parish Council for the car park and sports fields?
Coxhoe Parish Council will not spend public money on the purchase of any land and, as always, accounts and finances will be in the public domain for inspection. Historically, the Parish Council did attempt to purchase the land to limit future development within the village and provide much needed parking and open space, but this offer was repeatedly declined.
Coxhoe CCTV Consultation
Why has this location for the cameras been chosen over other areas of the Village?
The cameras have been planned around central areas with heavy footfall and in such places that areas people are walking to and from could provide strategical coverage of routes through the village to and from key locations.
Are there any concerns over how this will make the Village look, that it takes away the village feel?
CCTV cameras and associated signage would be as discrete as possible. We are proud of the village and value the aesthetic of the front street, but place as much importance on security and safety. Studies also suggest that communities look and feel more secure with the presence of CCTV as opposed to actually seeming unsafe.
How will you ensure the privacy of resident’s homes that are in sight of the CCTV?
Care would be taken to ensure very few homes would be in the line of sight, and any footage captured near housing would be appropriately blurred.
What is/are the rational/crime statistics behind the decision to look at CCTV in the village?
When this consultation was originally carried out, we published the data on antisocial behaviour in the area. Coxhoe Parish Council are working with Durham County Council and Durham Constabulary to obtain up to date crime statistics. CCTV would also be a preventative measure however that would prevent issues from cropping up in our area.
Who could access the footage and could I make a request to access the data?
The Parish Clerk would be the designated data controller with sole access to the footage, alongside Durham Constabulary when necessary. GDPR would govern the control and use of data, therefore no footage could be requested or distributed.
Quarrington Hill Churchyard Consultation
Subsidence is not a problem in the new section of the churchyard – why can’t this part be used?
The churchyard does not belong to Coxhoe Parish Council and The Cassop-cum-Quarrington with Bowburn Parochial Church Council who are responsible have made their own decisions regarding the use of the churchyard. Coxhoe Parish Council will continue to work with them and the Ministry of Justice to try and ensure all areas of the churchyard are accessed.
Are the Parish Council going to maintain the churchyard?
S.6(1) (a) of the Local Government Act 1985 prohibits councils from maintaining parochial land therefore we are unable to offer assistance of this nature. However, we continue to work with the Parochial Council to support where we can in keeping the churchyard open.