Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan
Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan 

30 August 2016

Bridport and Area Neighbourhood Plan

Economy Working Group



MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 30 August 2016 at 2 The Walled Garden


An informal meeting of the EWG was held to review the issues and evidence papers


Agenda Item




  1. Present



  1. Review of Local Economy, Issues, Background, Evidence gathering, research and policies paper



  • Caroline Meredith (chair), Brian Wilson, Rosie Mathisen


Regeneration of St Michael’s Trading Estate


  • Contact AL to ask him to review Section One on St Michael’s TE and to complete the employment survey for the trading estates paper as requested by Katy Graham. Also request views from AL on overall TE survey and paper.  Check on latest information from Haywards.


  • CM to contact Hayward Brothers to discuss regeneration ideas.


Employment Sites


  • What is the view on South Street land with regard to housing and employment use?


  • CM to refer to Land Use and Housing Group at next Steering Group with a view to discussing land availability and use of South St for mixed use


  • CM to look at Rural Land policy?


  • Following discussion of the finding of the trading estates survey, it was proposed that EWG policies should ensure that a high end employment site is reserved on the Vearse Farm development and that a potential extension to Gore Cross should be considered.


To maintain, protect and enhance the independent nature and vitality of our town centre, shopping offer and markets


  • Wording in this section to be reviewed to suggest that the town has thrived on independent shops as shown by the survey and doesn’t want to see car parking lost to national chain stores (comparison retailers).  But evidence needed for this which is based on open-ended consultation.


  • The smaller premises available in the town centre suit the independent retailer.  Chain stores require larger, modern premises which would need to be built on the scarce car parking space as part of any town centre expansion.  We need to find out if this is what the towns people want.


  • Discussion on proposal to consult local people on BRID 4 of the LP – Future Town Centre Expansion in light of above. 


  • RM to draft proposal for next meeting on 13.09


Availability of access to town centre retain and business sector…..


  • BW to provide CM with paragraph on tensions arising on Bank Holiday Saturday with regard to parking


  • CM to write up car park survey and link to section above


  • Consideration to be given at later stage of incorporating this section into the one above.


To provide an improved and cohesive town environment/public realm


  • Add a few sentences regarding crowded pavements in South Street and East Street at the height of the season during market days and how a larger pedestrianised area would help to alleviate this problem.  It is particularly difficult for people with disabilities and for people negotiating around them.


Sustainable Tourism


  • Car parking is also at a premium in West Bay.  The proper marking out of car parking spaces in West Bay Road car park will help in the short term. However, greater use must be made of the 'pop-up ' car parking facility afforded by occasional use of temporary car parking on the Britt Valley Camp site.   It's recent use at West Bay Day, for example, took account of several hundred extra cars and added to the commercial success of the day.”
  • Thanks to PR for providing this wording which has been incorporated into the Sustainable Tourism section of the EWG document.
























































































26 July 2016

Bridport and Area Neighbourhood Plan

Economy Working Group


MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 26 July 2016 at Beach and Barnicott


Agenda Item




  1. Present
  • Caroline Meredith (chair), Brian Wilson, Rosie Mathisen, Linda Hull (local food organiser – CLS)



  1. Updates from Steering Group, Enterprise St Michael’s, anything else?
































  1. Review of Evidence Reporting Template





  • The meeting focussed on Linda’s input with regard to events on 14 September and 29 September


  • 14 September – How can Bridport feed itself?


  • 29 September – Bridport Soup


  • Local organisations Stir to Action and Communities Living Sustainably are teaming up to bring the ‘Soup’—a live crowdfunding event and community dinner—to Bridport this autumn. Supporting community enterprise and projects, the first Bridport Soup will take place on Thursday evening, 29 September at the WI Hall.
  • The idea is simple: You pay what you feel - suggested min contribution of £4 - and you get a bowl of soup made from locally sourced produce and a vote. During the evening four local projects will each deliver a four-minute pitch about their project, its community benefits and what the funding will support. Each pitch is then followed by four or five questions from the audience, and then the crowd votes. The winning project receives the takings from the door and pledges to share how they’ve used their funding at the next Soup.


  • LH requested a copy of the shop survey results and narrative.


  • CM reported on the public meetings held by the Steering Group


  • BW reported on the results of the trading estates survey which he has completed on behalf of the Town Council for the NP.  This will be incorporated into the Economy evidence base document.


  • BW was also able to provide further evidence for the shop survey from his interviews with commercial agents.  This is to be incorporated into the shop survey material.














































12 July 2016

Bridport and Area Neighbourhood Plan

Economy Working Group



MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 12 July 2016 at Beach and Barnicott


Agenda Item




  1. Present
  • Caroline Meredith (chair), Brian Wilson, Andrew Leppard, Katy Graham (p/t), Philip Ringer (p/t), Scott Condliffe, Rosie Mathisen



  1. Introduction to new Project Manager, Katy Graham


  • A warm welcome was extended to Katy Graham who left early to attend the Housing Group meeting. 



  1. Updates from Steering Group, Enterprise St Michael’s, anything else?


  • Enterprise St Michaels is currently devising a development scheme to provide a further dozen new retail units with up to 30 flats above, additional manufacturing workspace, and landscaping of the riverside area.  Job numbers at St Michael’s are estimated to have risen to 235.  St Michaels  listed as tourist attraction in Bridport area by Resort magazine.




  1. Project Manager - overview of Katy’s role, how she can help us and what she needs from us




  • Katy explained her role which has, as its priority, support to the Neighbourhood Plan process.  A consultation process is being held in August.   A public leaflet is being prepared which will be about awareness building as much as anything along with a questionnaire.  Concerns were raised about this consultation providing too bland a picture.


  • Attached is the schedule of public meetings and attendees.


  • PP suggested an evening in West Bay alongside the Craft Fair as well as on West Bay Day.  This will be discussed at the next Steering Group


  • Contact Sylvia Stafford





















  1. Review of Evidence Reporting Template
  • Much work has been done on the Shop Survey work in the last month and Brian and Rosie were thanked for this.


  • Need confirmation of Employment numbers at St Michael’s - by next meeting – initial work and comparative figures even if not complete.


  • The Group’s Evidence Base Index is attached.


  • Final version of evidence base required by KG by end of August









  1. Shop Survey, conclusions and role in our overall strategy


  • Low vacancy rate of 2.3 % compared with national average of 12.5 %.
  • Discussion on town centre boundary – and whether it could be extended to include St Michael’s. To be considered as a draft policy. See item 7.
  • Some revisions to charts suggested.  Complete by next meeting.










  1. Initial draft policies


  • After some discussion, it was decided that RM would pull together initial list of draft policies from the evidence base template
  • Agreed that group would attempt to understand better the opposition to temporary car parks and there would be a need to discuss this with key members of the group who have been against this proposal.






  1. Further work to be done and funding for external support


  • BW has been commissioned by BTC to complete work on behalf of the Economy Group, namely
  1.  Economic profile
  2.  Survey of trading estate companies to

                         determine opportunities and barriers

                         to growth












  1. Promotion of NP work and next steps


  • Schedule attached of public meetings


  1.  AOB
  • All covered in the meeting











17 February 2016

Local Economy Group meeting.                          Feb 17. 2016


Caroline Parkin, Rosie Mathieson, Phillip Ringer, Brian Wilson, Scott Condliffe, Jo Witherden, Andrew Leppard, Jonny Gordon-Farley, Joe Hewetson


1. Jo W;  SWQ issues clarified; 100 houses at St Michaels is NOT a strategic Allocation.

Employment is driver, not houising, but must be comprehensive development.

Viabilty is key issue but retaining B1 and B8 considered essential to Bridport       .          character and tradition here. Masterplan is needed. Evidence of demand for small business units.  A review of Employment Land. Also LP review 2019.


2.  Local Plan to be challenged re; 'Opportunity for more chain stores'. Considered inappropriate and highly detrimental to the particular character of local economy.


3.  Jonny Gordon-Farley explained the launch of a Community Enterprise initiative which would benefit younger people seeking work and skills; The 'Edventure Model'.

This was met with support as it targets the serious problem of the Bridport Area failing to produce sufficient opportunities for younger people to stay locally. (18-35 yrs)


4. It was agreed to look into possibilities of finding premises for youth training and local employment facilitation etc. To find out what land is owned by each council, the Dorset Explorer should be examined.


5.  Evidence of lack of car parking provision should be collected- including the overspill of up to 100 cars onto St Michaels and stats for all car parks. This should lead to a policy to support and protect the easy access to local businesses. Site specifically; Rope Walks and Bus terminal car parks are seen as essential. Ref; TC1. Tourism policy.


6.  The increased demand for car parking during peak seasons would justify the provision of pop-up car parks in locations such as Asker Meadows and West Bay.


7. Vearse Farm; 4 hectares of commercial use. A need to impose constraints on use for mega-stores, large supermarkets etc, which would threaten the vitality of shopping in town. Retail stores should be limited to serve only the needs of the new development.


NEXT MEETING;  Tues 1st March  6 pm.


9 January 2016

Local Economy Group Meeting   BANP                              


Present; Caroline Meredith, Andrew Leppard, Philip Ringer, Brian Wilson, Scott Condliffe, Patricia O'Neill, Rosie Mathieson.


Issues raised    


1. There are numerous sites adjacent to Bridport's South St where business or commercial activity could be developed. (Fishermen's Arms, Mountjoy, gravel yard, cement works, disused recycling center)


2.  It was agreed that a key policy for increasing job opportunities in the Bridport Area must be to retain and if possible increase and improve employment premises at St Michaels Trading Estate. It should be recognised as a key employment site with significant potential to promote trade and tourism within the town center and therefore should not be displaced by housing (although a limited number of flats would be acceptable). This was proposed without any input from A Leppard who is a director of Enterprise St Michaels. Brian Wilson to ask Jo Witherden if mixed usage at St Michaels is a 'Strategic' policy.

The Frome NP was identified as a suitable example of policy; 'Redevelopment of employment land for residential use will not be permitted unless proved that continued employment use is not possible.' The availability of centrally located commercial space is recognised as key to BA local economy. Occupancy rates and evidence of demand will be provided.


3.  West Bay suffers from a lack of new investment and winter activities. A desire for specific venues and events to be better organised and promoted to generate commercial activity off season. A bid for Coastal Communities Funding should be submitted for further economic development.


4. Central car parking is vital to the existing abundance of locally run businesses and the accessibility to local residents and visitors. Protection to retain these should be a key policy in the BANP. Evidence of market towns that have already suffered from such a critical blow to their local economy will be provided as well as key facts from the Mary Portas Report and the local petition submitted in 2015 etc.


5.  Vearse Farm. Whilst the provision of new employment opportunities are welcomed on a new industrial estate on the outskirts of Bridport (Symonsbury parish), concerns were raised about the possibility of  national chain stores or a supermarket which would lead to the displacement of local businesses and attract commerce away from the town itself. Furthermore the Economic Multiplier Effect is only applicable to local businesses. Local stores and services for the new development would be appropriate, whereas superstores with free parking should be excluded in local planning policy.


6. The development of Skills Training and Apprenticeships are to be given  priority, especially for young people. A genuine local agency or network for employment would be encouraged to set up.


7.  A need to build on the strengths of our local economy has lead to proposals to help provide sustainable businesses such as; a local food outlet and hub, courses and better promotion of local heritage in rope, nets, flax and hemp production and use, indoor recreation and sports, water-sports at west bay, design, manufacturing and the arts.



By end of April, policies should be emerging.

Group is to form questions to BA residents on the above topics for the upcoming questionnaire.

Members should print out the Employment and Tourism section of the Local Plan 2015.



c/o Bridport Town Council


Rax Lane



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