Horsford Parish Plan 2006/07


Introduction. 1

Horsford – The Village. 1

Horsford Parish Plan Timeline 1

Those That Made it all Happen. 1

The Questionnaire. 1

Demographics. 1

The Environment 1

Housing. 1

Leisure and Recreation. 1

Essential Services. 1

Transport and Traffic. 1

Parish Council 1

Conclusions. 1

Action plan


Appendix: (supplied on request)

Complete statistical results of the main questionnaire…………………

Copy of the questionnaire


A copy of the Horsford Parish Plan, including the appendices are available online at http://horsfordpc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/ The online version will be updated as the plan is implemented over time. Please visit the website for updates on the Parish Plan.



Welcome to the findings of the 2006-2007 Horsford Parish Plan.  This report is designed to present a full account of all the data received in response to the Parish Plan questionnaire of 2006.

This is based on meetings with the village stakeholders that were held to discuss the findings and consider plans.

A Parish Plan is a scheme to help rural communities have a greater say in their own affairs. They were announced in the 2000 “Rural White Paper”, which set out the Government’s plans for the Countryside. They are intended to develop previous work such as village appraisals and village design statements and set a framework for communities to plan their own futures.

The White Paper Our Countryside – The future launched the concept of parish and town plans whose purpose is to:


  “…set out a vision of what is important, how new development can best be fitted in, the design and quality standards it should meet, how to preserve valued local features and map out the facilities when the community needs to safeguard its future.”  

The White Paper said plans should identity key facilities and services, set out the problems that need to be tackled and demonstrate how distinctive character and features can be preserved.

Parish Plans are a Countryside Agency led initiative, descended from village design statements (VDS). These village design statements wee linked to an aspect of land use planning, and therefore VDSs of suitable quality were eligible to be adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to the local borough plan to be used in the assessment of planning applications.

Parish Plans have a much wider remit than VDSs. They are community level plans and as such, go beyond what can be addressed through the planning system. As a consequence, adopting Parish Plans as SPG is not possible or practical in the great majority of cases.

The Parish Council will try to implement the recommendations made by the Steering Committee.  We will press our partners – Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council, Norfolk Police and the local health authorities and transport providers – for action on those issues which are in their remit.




Horsford – The Village

Horsford is an essentially rural community on the outskirts to the north of Norwich in Norfolk.  With a parish population of over 4,000 and a registered elector base of 3,078, it is a largely agricultural based area, but with a number of small factory units providing employment opportunities.  Clearly most people commute from the village to their places of work.

The village is based round the Holt Road a “B” road that leads to North Norfolk.  It has a mill, pubs and shops including a post office.  Horsford includes the hamlet of St Helena.

Horsford has the remains of a castle that can be seen on ordnance survey maps of the area.

The village has a first school and the children progress to a middle school.  These schools have continued to develop to accommodate the increase in numbers of people that have moved to the village following a programme of housing development.

Horsford has a bowling green/club, village hall and football playing fields and these facilities support many groups and activities.

In addition, there is also a surgery in the village, supporting both the parish and surrounding areas.



Horsford Parish Plan Timeline

January 2006                                         Stakeholder Group convened

February 2006                                        Questionnaire developed

March 2006                                            DEFRA and Broadland District Council support grants awarded

May 2006                                               Attended Middle School to launch survey for young people and award prizes to children who provided artwork

July 2006                                                Questionnaires distributed

September                                              Data analysis

October 2006                                         Results summarised and presented to public.

November 2006                                      Stakeholder group meeting to discuss the findings of the survey and prepare Parish Plan

December 2006                                      Preparation of this report

January 2007                                         Report and action plan to be submitted to Parish Council for approval

February 2007                                        Executive summary to be published with Horsford News

Spring 2007                                           Action Plan committees to be appointed and implementation of the plan to commence

Those That Made It All Happen

Thanks should go to all those that have helped to make this Parish Plan possible. To that end, the following is a list of all those that were responsible; many thanks to all of them.

The team is:

  • Veronica Beadle
  • Tim Blackman
  • Chris Brown
  • Jonathan Cook
  • Jim Graves
  • Janice Hullet
  • Malcolm Makins
  • Tim Newstead
  • Janet Peachey (Defra)
  • Jennie Reynolds
  • Linda Russell
  • Jean Sallows
  • Stephen Slack
  • Jack Smith
  • John Starling
  • Josie Sutton
  • John Symonds
  • Corinne Trett
  • Tony Woodley
  • Alan Wright



The Questionnaire

The Parish Plan set up a working group to prepare the main questionnaire and this was distributed via the bi-monthly Horsford News to each premise in the village.

Each questionnaire was delivered with a freepost envelope to “Research and Marketing Plus” a data analysis company in Wales.  This ensured confidentiality and assurance that results were presented without bias.

This was a 7 page document asking people to supply some demographic information and then posed 32 questions to encourage parishioners to give their opinions on a variety of subjects including transport, housing and recreation.

A second questionnaire based on the main survey was prepared with the schools and was aimed solely at the youth in the village and was shorter in length.  The results of these surveys make up the bulk of the results in this report.

There were 376 responses from the 1,600 questionnaires that were distributed.

The questions fell broadly into three types: tick boxes (yes/no style) or written (comments and suggestions).  The format worked well and did not appear to lead to confusion or spoilt returns.

As well as general demographic information, the questionnaire focused on the following areas:

  • – Environment
  • – Housing
  • – Leisure and Recreation
  • – Essential Services
  • – Traffic and Transport
  • – Parish Council

These areas form the basis of the discussion of the results that follows.

Each part will explore the findings of the questionnaire summarised with the key points that need to be taken forward to form the action plan for Horsford.

In order to keep things to a manageable length, we won’t discuss each mathematical result in detail, but a full record of the results can be found in the Appendix.



The element of the questionnaire covered basic demographic information – gender, numbers of people living in the household and how long respondents have lived in the parish.  This allowed us to build up a basic picture of the people that were responding.

  Gender of Respondent  
Total Males: 116  
Total Females: 242  
Not answered 18  

How many people live in your household in the following age ranges?

(Please state number in each box)


0 – 10 yrs 103


11- 16 yrs 58 17 – 25 yrs 52
26 – 35 yrs 89 36 – 45 yrs 126 46 – 55 yrs


56 – 65 yrs 90 66 – 75 yrs 42 75+ ‫yrs 36



It’s interesting to see the number of young children living in the village, this is actually quite a young place, probably due to the number of new homes, including smaller modern dwellings.

We asked each household how long they had been living in the parish?


Less than one year     5%


2 – 5 years                   20%

6 – 10 years                 26%

10 – 15 years               15%

15 – 20 years               6%

20 years or more         28%



It is interesting to note that despite the modern development of the village that the largest number of respondents indicated that they had been in the village for over 20 years.

Points To Take Forward


  • The population of the village is changing to include a larger proportion of younger people, both children and younger families.  Younger people should be encouraged to stand for election as Parish Councillors periodically when the opportunity arises.


The Environment


The questions we asked under this section covered facilities such as waste, recycling and the appearance of the village.


Do you think that the number of litter bins is sufficient around the village?


Yes                  32%

No                   47%

Not sure          19%

Not answered  2%


Is there anywhere that you would like to see an additional bin?

18 people said to put a bin near the shops, another 17 said that they could be located on the Holt Road and 12 said near the bus stops



There are already bins near the shops and on the Holt Road (though they may not always be used!) it is however agreed that further bins should be located at the bus stops.


Would you like to see an additional dog bin sited anywhere?

12 people said along the footpaths such as Sandy Lane



Again, there are dog bins along the footpaths and where a speciifded dog bin is not available it is acceptable to use the normal bins (or take it home!).


What do you think of local recycling facilities?

Excellent          8%

Good               55%

Fair                  29%

Poor                7%

Not answered  1%


What could be improved?

  • 44 people said that bottle banks should be emptied more frequently
  • 28 said that clothing/textile banks were required
  • 11 requested roadside collection of glass and others felt that the bottle banks should be moved away from the village hall car park



This is encouraging, we will continue to review potential sites to locate these bins and encourage Broadland District Council to reintroduce glass collections and consider textile and other recycling initiatives.


What do you think could be done to improve the environment of Horsford?

Plant more trees                                  138 responses

Preserve trees in special places         114 responses

Flower planting                                    188 responses



  • More planting at the entrance to the village
  • Hanging baskets outside pub/village hall
  • Trees along verges on Horsbeck Way and Mill Lane
  • “Naturalise” beck banks where work undertaken for estate
  • Plant flowers along Holt Road
  • Trees to mark boundary between play area/football pitch

Points To Take Forward

  • Improve verge maintenance (litter removal)
  • More litter bins, immediately to place bins by bus stops
  • Review recycling services
  • The glass recycling bins need to be emptied more regularly and location should be reviewed.
  • Green policies should be researched further
  • Consideration to schemes such as “Flower Planting by local Business Competition” and daffodil bulb planting in verge schemes.
  • Specific tree planting and preservation to be encouraged
  • Positioning of footpath maps on the website
  • Investigate the possibility of local composting schemes.
  • To convene a task group to generate ideas and plans in support of the above.




The village has seen an increase in the number of new houses over the last 15 years, the village is growing and changing constantly.  This is of concern to some in the village who feel that there is a risk of the existing facilities (roads, schools, parking, doctor’s surgery, etc) becoming over-stretched.  This was reflected in the responses we got from the questionnaire.


Do you think Horsford can accommodate more new housing?


Yes                  3%

No                   86%

Not sure          10%

Not answered 1%

Do you think there is a sufficient local affordable housing?


Yes                  33%

No                   33%

Not sure          33%

Not answered  1%


Do you think there is a sufficient local sheltering housing?

Yes                  19%

No                   26%

Not sure          54%

Not answered  1%


Few people were in favour of more housing being built in the village.


Points to take forward


  • The village is unsupportive of any new housing, this finding should be passed to the Broadland District Council
  • A significant proportion of respondents felt that there was insufficient affordable or sheltered housing and this should be mapped so parishioners are clear on the range and location of these services
  • There is a concern that rapid expansion of the village has lead to village resources being over-stretched
  • The increase in housing has contributed to more traffic in and around the village.


Leisure and Recreation

This section of the survey tested parishioners views toward a range of facilities in the village:

Do you or members of your household utilise any of the following? (This section listed the various amenities and facilities/shops etc in the village)


Horsford Village Hall

Yes                  46.5%

No                   53.5%


Horsford Social Club

Yes                  28%

No                   72%


Horsford Football/Cricket

Yes                  11%

No                   89%



  • 24 people said that Horsford was generally well catered for.
  • 17 people said that Garage/ petrol station was an eyesore.
  • Quite a number said that they had been unaware of these facilities and that they should be better publicised.
  • Some mentioned that they would like supermarket with late/Sunday opening – this has now happened.  Suggest that public space utilisation issues are considered
  • 89% of people did not use the football pitches and 72% did not use the Social Club.  There is a need to review space utilisation and access to ensure best value from these facilities.


What do you think of the recreation ground facilities?

  • 13% felt that the park needed more equipment and some suggested a warden to help reduce vandalism and littering.
  • Others felt that picnic tables and or shelters would enhance the area


As well as covering some issues that affect the younger generation in the main questionnaire, we also sent out a separate questionnaire, to be filled in exclusively by young people that were distributed by the schools.  A plan for younger people is to be prepared separately.


Do you think there are enough facilities for younger people in the village?

Yes                  8%

No                   57%

Not sure          32%

Not answered  3%


What could be improved?

  • 18 people said that a Youth club was required, others mentioned specific items such as skate park and other sports facilities on the park such as tennis or basketball


21. Do you think there are enough facilities for older people in the village?

Yes                  24%

No                   19%

Not sure          55%

Not answered  2%


What could be improved?

  • 12 people said a weekly social club/luncheon club with activities
  • Others asked for more seating, sports facilities such as badminton and day trips etc

Tennis, netball, hockey, cricket, table-tennis and boxing all appear to have a much higher potential for support than is currently attended.  Similarly it appears that an internet café.

Points To Take Forward

  • Consider providing space to encourage other such as tennis, table tennis and basketball
  • Restarting the youth club had some support.
  • Consider providing a sheltered area to sit and more picnic areas
  • Consideration to be given to setting up a permanent luncheon club (the Church Rooms or one of the pubs or social club might be able to host this) there is currently a non-profit making coffee morning held every third Wednesday of the month which is successful and has been experimenting with a mini luncheon club on the 1st Monday of the month, providing Soup, Rolls, Sandwiches and Drinks.
  • A separate meeting to be convened to allow the young people to voice their opinion on the results and prepare appropriate action plans.

Essential Services

Under this heading we asked several questions about policing, health care provision and other essential services.  We asked:


Do you feel safe from crime and antisocial behaviour in Horsford?

Yes                  38%

Sometimes      43%

No                   19%


How do you rate the service provided by the police in our village?

Excellent          1%

Good               15%

Fair                  27%

Poor                32%

Unsure            24%

Not answered  1%


Is your property involved in a neighbourhood watch scheme?

Yes                  7%

No                   71%

Not sure          22%


Would you like to join a neighbourhood watch scheme?

Yes                  34%

No                   17%

Not sure          42%

Not answered  7%


Do you have any comments about the local health services?



  • 34 always found it good or satisfactory
  • Some felt that it takes too long to get an appointment and that thee are not enough doctors

Points To Take Forward

  • Share results with local GP surgeries and ask for explanation of “Out of Hours” service provision.
  • A significant proportion of parishioners wanted to see an improved police service in the village.  To review with Norfolk Constabulary, including the increased use of community police officers.
  • Few properties were involved in “neighbourhood watch” schemes, to coordinate a programme of awareness raising of this system to encourage higher uptake.




Traffic and Transport

We asked a wide range of questions in this area as we knew it was of concern from recent Parish Council meetings.


Do you have a motor vehicle at your household and if so, how many?

None               3%

One                 40%

Two                 47%

Three or more 10%


Do you or a member of your household regularly use a bicycle?

Yes                  33%

No                   67%


Do you think facilities for cyclists in Horsford are…?

Excellent          0%

Good               17%

Fair                  36.5%

Poor                36.5%

Not answered  10%


Do you or a member of your household regularly use public transport i.e. buses?

Yes                  39%

No                   61%


What do you think of the standard of public transport?

Excellent          3%

Good               27%

Fair                  33%

Poor                17%

Not applicable 18%

Not answered  2%


Do you think the speed of traffic is a problem in Horsford?

Yes                  41%

Sometimes      46%

No                   13%


Do you think the amount and weight of traffic going through the village is a problem?

Yes                  50%

Sometimes      37%

No                   13%


Do you think it is safe to cross the roads in Horsford?

Yes                  34%

Sometimes      51%

No                   15%





What do you think of the speed limits, road signs and road markings in the village?

Appropriate      63%

Not sure          11%

Inappropriate   22%

Not answered  4%



  • 40 people said 20mph speed limit should only apply during school times
  • 38 people said Speed limits only worthwhile if enforced
  • Others commented that there were too many different speed limits and signs
  • A few wanted Church Street to be closed to traffic, while others wanted all roads to be left open to maintain access.
  • Generally the condition of roads, footpaths, street lighting and car parking were felt to be reasonable.
  • A number of people said that the village needed an evening bus service and others that a Sunday service was required and others felt that the service was unreliable.
  • Some people said that there was a lack of facilities for cyclists such as bike lanes and secure parking.
  • 57% of households had two or more cars
  • Some indicated that there was a major speed problem on Gordon Godfrey Way/Horsebeck Way and Holt Road, others that full width speed bumps/calming measures were needed in the village.
  • 13 people said that pedestrian crossings ignored by drivers and some added that pedestrian controlled traffic lights would help
  • 17 people said that heavy goods vehicles are the major problem and others that street parking, particularly outside the paper shop was dangerous.

Points To Take Forward

  • Investigate the possibility of pedestrian controlled crossings
  • Investigate the deployment of speed cameras or speed sensitive signs.
  • Continue to pursue the need for footpaths/cycle lanes to connect Horsford to Norwich
  • Liaise with Highways to consider use of painted sections of road to slow traffic down
  • Review current speed limits and signs with local authority
  • Press for the introduction of weight limits on link roads to the village
  • Continue to liaise with bus service operators re timing and reliability of services

Parish Council

This section covers the remaining points raised by the questionnaire that do not fall under the main categories in the findings of the plan and that are most relevant to the Parish Council.


What do you think of the HORSFORD NEWS including Parish news?

Excellent          39%

Good               54%

Fair                  7%

Poor                0%


How do you think it could be improved?

10 people suggested more input from villagers/letters page


Do you think that Horsford needs more NOTICE BOARDS?

Yes                  18%

No                   64%

Not answered  18%


Where do you think that Horsford needs more NOTICE BOARDS?

18 people said near the shops on the Holt Road


Do you think that Horsford needs FOOTPATH SIGNS?

Yes                  23%

No                   55%

Not answered  22%


Where do you think that Horsford needs more FOOTPATH SIGNS?

At entrances at Pyehurn Lane, the woods and designated public rights of way through fields.


Do you think that Horsford needs more FOOTPATH MAPS?

Yes                  33%

No                   48%

Not answered  19%


Where do you think that Horsford needs more FOOTPATH MAPS?

85% did not answer, others stated near the new housing estate, near the church and to put maps in the Horsford News and on the website


Do you think that Horsford needs a PARISH WEBSITE?

Yes                  29%

No                   41%

Not answered  30%


Do you have ideas on what to include on the PARISH WEBSITE?

26 people said information on local events, bus timetables, maps, history of Horsford, more information on facilities available at the village hall, contact numbers and planning applications.




Have you attended a Parish Council meeting in the last year?

Yes                  13%

No                   86%

Not answered  1%


If you have attended a Parish Council meeting, do you have any comments about how these could be improved?

  • Comments included having an open question session outside of the set agenda, agendas to be printed and put out on seats for the public and use of councillor name badges


Would you take the opportunity to talk to councillors if there were regular surgeries held for local residents?

Yes                  31%

No                   25%

Don’t know      44%

Not answered  5%


What do you think of the quality of service you receive from Horsford Parish Council?

Excellent          2%

Good               34%

Fair                  28%

Poor                5%

Unsure            26%

Not answered  5%



  • Views of parishioners ignored by some councillors
  • Most issues addressed if brought to their attention
  • More effort needed to control litter/dogs mess
  • Council does not have sufficient authority
  • Parish Council restricted by Broadland City Council
  • Younger people needed on council
  • Conflict re first school playing field handled badly
  • Need to be more proactive/difficult to get anything done
  • Would like info on what Council has actually achieved


And summing up, do you enjoy living in Horsford?

Very much                   52%

Most of the time           43%

Not really                     4%

Not answered              1%



  • Horsford is a quiet, pleasant village
  • Mindless behaviour of a few spoil it for the rest
  • Close to city/Norwich
  • Traffic noise/ speed/pollution a problem
  • Close to countryside/coast
  • Getting too big – spoilt by building
  • Feels safe
  • A good/great place to live
  • Pleasant footpaths/walks in the area
  • Clean/ well maintained
  • Traffic perpetually breaking the speed limits


Would you like to make any further comments about issues that affect Horsford?

  • Need greater police presence
  • Vandalism/ anti-social behaviour need tackling
  • Any more large scale house building would spoil village
  • Clean out Beck/various water courses
  • Grass cutting needs to be done more frequently
  • Litter seems to be getting worse each year
  • Noisy events in local fields go on till the early hours
  • Stop boys on motorbikes going up & down alleys/woods
  • Should not cut off easy access to Drayton/St Faiths
  • Horsford not geared to heavy traffic caused by new estates and should be diverted away from Holt Road
  • Northern by-pass should be built as soon as possible
  • Main road area plagued by smell of drains/sewage


Would you like one of the Parish Councillors to contact you regarding any of the issues that you have raised in completing this survey?

No                   75%

Yes                  20%

Not answered  5%

Points To Take Forward

  • Consider ways of involving younger people on Parish Council
  • Newsletter item re follow up contact with councillors as data analyst removed contact details for data protection purposes
  • Clerk to action specific comments about administration of meetings



























We hope that preparing our Parish Plan will be worthwhile, but this will only be measured by the action that is taken to implement the plan.  Preparing the Parish Plan is one thing, making use of the findings, and ensuring we have an achievable Action Plan is another, and is the reason for all this hard work so far.


The results of the analysis of your questionnaires have given us some very important pointers for the future.  Firstly, it is clear that the demography of the parish has changed over the past few years.


The very nature of our village is it is a growing organism, which means that there will be a need to review and, in places improve or add to the existing facilities. The increase in housing is a key issue for future planning consideration both in order to provide housing for those most in need, and for the future growth of our community in a sustainable way.


We also need to manage our environment to better effect both through recycling and appropriate traffic control measures.


The issue of transport is clearly very important, both in terms of providing links to outside facilities and its impact on village life.


Clearly, from the survey results, recreation has a large part to play in future plans for the village and facilities are currently under utilised.


Whilst many of the above issues concern physical attributes of our parish, it is important not to overlook the social issues whilst have been raised in the questionnaire responses.  In particular issues concerning social inclusion and behaviour need to be addressed.






Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated. This may take some time as there is no full time moderator for this site.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with a *