Parish Plan

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The West Bergholt Parish Plan

West Bergholt postcard 1910This document is the Parish Plan for the village of West Bergholt, near Colchester in Essex.  It is the first Parish Plan for the village and is the result of three years of work.  The Plan was formally unveiled at the Annual Parish Meeting in June 2008 and a presentation was made describing the plan’s evolution and its main features.  The Plan was adopted by the Parish Council in September 2008 and has since been similarly adopted by Colchester Borough Council as a supplemental guidance document which is considered when longer-term planning activities are carried out.

The plan contains a number of sections each of which is accessible from the navigation buttons on the left.  To return to this page from each of these sub-pages either click ‘back’ on your browser toolbar of the ‘Up’ navigation button.  Students of the planning process may be interested in the references at the end of the document. These list some of the useful websites where Parish Plan information may be found. Also in the reference section are links to the Borough & County Councils.

Alternatively, you may download a PDF soft copy: West Bergholt Parish Plan v2.2.

How Parish Plans help their communities

Hillhouse WoodParish Plans help communities in a number of ways: firstly they document a process of allowing the community a chance to put forward its views on a variety of issues; secondly they provide for the first time a focus on what matters to a village, and what aspects of village life are important; thirdly Parish Plans prioritize those projects or initiatives which need attention. Lastly the published document represents our plan for the village in a way which allows the Parish Council and other organizations, to articulate their views in more formal situations such as Colchester Borough Council’s core strategy, or when applying for grant aid funding for projects.

The old saying that “a plan is nothing planning is everything” is very applicable to Parish Plans. Although we can be pleased that a Plan has been produced, the acid test is of course, how it influences village life, what projects start to come to fruition and how it involves local people. After nearly ten years since the Plan was completed the action plan is now largely complete as far as it can be taken. A successor Plan the “Neighbourhood Plan” is in preparation and will largely take over as the main community planning blueprint for the parish.

Help and Support

The Plan was made possible through the work of its Steering Group, the support of the Parish Council and the guidance and assistance provided by the Rural Community Council for Essex (RCCE) who promote Community Led Planning initiatives (see: and who generously assisted the Plan’s creation through a grant. Most of all the document has been shaped and formed by the views of the community including individuals, village organizations, schools and businesses.

The Steering Group who created the plan comprised:

  •     Chairman: Chris Stevenson
  •     Secretary: Gunter Klaphake
  •     Treasurer: Victoria Power
  •     Committee Members: Catherine Bailey; Chris Young; Harry Stone; John Ford; Jenny Church; Murray Harlow

I would like to thank all current and former members of the group for their help, support and enthusiasm in creating the plan and making it a pleasure to oversee. Those who especially warrant a mention in terms of the production of the plan include: Catherine Bailey; Jenny Church; Claire Cunningham; Gunter Klaphake; Harry Stone; Joe Gouldthorpe; Victoria Power; Avril and Peter Wright.

Chris Stevenson, Chairman, West Bergholt Parish Plan

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