Owmby-by-Spital Parish Council had an unusual and specific issue it wished to obtain its community views on. This was linked to a proposed housing development in the village with an associated ‘gift’ of a piece of land to be used as a recreational area jointly by the communities of Owmby-by-Spital (population 390) and Normanby-by-Spital (population 400).

A local landowner was seeking to develop a number of houses including some affordable housing. The last Housing Needs Survey for Owmby, undertaken in 2007, however showed a nil demand for affordable housing and the Parish Council require more up-to-date information to assist its decision-making process. Community Lincs was invited to a joint meeting of the two Parish Councils and it was
agreed that all parties, together with the District Council Community Action Officer,
would work together to deliver a Community Review.

The Community Review Practice

Consultation with both communities was undertaken through a one off event run in the Normanby-by-Spital Primary School Hall and facilitated by Community Lincs staff. The event was promoted in advance to encourage as many people from both communities to attend. As well as gathering local residents views on the proposed housing development the consultation also gave people an opportunity to highlight the positive aspects of living in these communities, identify key issues of concern and prioritise actions needed to make living in these communities better.

A wide range of ages were represented from the two communities and a whole range of issues were covered by the consultation. These included the Parish Councils and Communication in the parishes, Housing, Play Area / Community Park, Areas for Improvement, Graffiti Wall for young people, Identifying Support and Skills for Parish Activities and Prioritisation of Key Issues.

Benefits

In General

The parishes demonstrated that they could work together to successfully deliver an event attracting residents from both communities.
Attendees were fully engaged in the consultation activities and were able to learn more about the proposals for the housing development and the prospect of a possible ‘gift’ of land to the parishes for a community park. Comments were received from a number of participants who said they appreciated being asked for their views and enjoyed the activities presented to them.

Specific outcomes

Community Lincs provided a detailed report to the Parish Councils including key recommendations. The findings supported the Parish Councils’ desire to explore affordable housing need and development of a community park in more detail. A total of 13 people from across both parishes have offered support with a good range of activities and 10 people have indicated skills that may be useful to progress community
initiatives.

In The Future

Community Lincs will offer assistance in the coming months to the Parish Councils with developing an Action Plan to implement the findings from this Community Review consultation event. Support with the implementation process will be available from Community Lincs and
West Lindsey District Council.