EnvironmentalThe Environment was identified as an important issue facing people from Bramley. Results from the June 2013 Questionnaire showed that 60% of respondents rated it 10 (10 being very important and 1 not so important).  Correspondingly, in question 20 of the Bramley Village Plan, over 85% of respondents felt that Public open spaces (e.g. greens) were important/ very important.  This report aims:

  • To examine the existing information at the disposal of the Bramley Neighbourhood Steering Group; the Bramley Village Plan questionnaire; the Neighbourhood plan questionnaire.
  • To gather sufficient evidence to support suggestions / make recommendations for overcoming the main issues that are highlighted by the various sources of information.

We identified questions relating to the Environment from the Bramley Village Plan questionnaire and associated comments, so that we could gather unbiased evidence. We also looked at the relevant comments from the recent questionnaire (including on-line comments).  In addition we looked at questions and comments on Footpaths & Rural and Living in Bramley.  The main issues are categorised as follows:

 Keep Bramley as a rural Village

Most comments on the environment concerned the desire to keep Bramley Rural, and objected to development which could jeopardise this. The comments are summarised as follows:

  • Bramley has received a high proportion of development, especially when compared to other areas. 66% of respondents from the Bramley Village plan questionnaire felt that there had been too much new building. Population density has increased from 2.8 persons per hectare in 2001 to 3.6 persons per hectare in Bramley in 2011, while Overton has increased from 1.1 to 1.2 and Basingstoke Non-metropolitan area has increased from 2.4 to 2.6. (Source: ONS).
  • Bramley does not have the infrastructure to cope with any further development (especially affordable homes which need more facilities). Recent housing has not been appropriate for a village e.g. three storey houses do not fit in with the rest of the village, and the “Green Road development is totally inappropriate in a village such as Bramley”.
  • There are not enough Green spaces in Bramley, and not enough attention is given to wildlife/conservation areas especially given that it is a rural village. Not enough allotments.
  • It is important that Bramley retains its village status combined with a real sense of community, surrounded by fields and trees and separate from other villages.

Suggestions for overcoming these issues:

  1. Have a Landscape Plan for the Public Open Spaces including the preservation and enhancement of conservation areas, provision of allotments to enhance the village and village life.
  2. Restrict further development to a minimum and in any event ensure that it is in keeping with the rest of the village (e.g. no three storey town houses) and infrastructure is improved.
  3. Ensure that any new development also has private open space (viewed as important by 92% of respondents) and that the density of new housing is restricted to an agreed limit.
  4. Ensure that any future housing developments do not merge together and that sufficient space is left between Bramley and surrounding villages in order to keep the rural feel (i.e. maintain a strategic gap).


There were a number of comments expressing concern about the amount of litter and dog mess in the village.

 Suggestions for overcoming this included:

  1. There needs to be more education on littering, as too much is dropped.
  2. More bins are required along paths
  3. Litter patrols should be undertaken by concerned residents in the village
  4. Keep footpaths in good order and well maintained (see also comments below).


There were several comments regarding issues with traffic pollution (and congestion), particularly when waiting at the level crossing.

Suggestions for overcoming this included:

  1. Increased provision for safe, off-road footpaths and cycle links. The aim is to reduce motor vehicle speed and numbers, increase walking and bike use, and thus improve energy efficiency, environment and health.
  2. Tie this in with further vehicle restrictions e.g. level crossing open on demand only; minor lanes one-way with 20 mph limits; restrictions on large vehicles going through the village (access only).
  3. Charging points at the train car park (such as it is).
  4. Have a sign at the crossing requesting people to turn their engine off while waiting for trains.

 Other Environmental issues

Comments surrounding the issue of maintenance in areas of the village are summarised as follows:

  • The pond along Lane End needs better care.  (61% felt it needed attention question 25)
  • Hedges owned by the council on the estates need to be trimmed back more often as they obstruct the pathways and cause pedestrians to step into the road to get around them.
  • Ditches need to be cleared to allow free run of water. Public facility for growing e.g. vegetables in village green spaces.
  • Lack of drainage maintenance
  • Roadside tree quality – dangerous in places (risk to life). Health and Safety override Preservation orders. Why does the Council not replace them (Trees)

 Footpaths & Rural comments

87% of respondents regarded a linked network of foot and cycle paths as important or very important (question 20). Question 28 on Maintenance of rural footpaths and existing village pavements gave a mixed response. Q29. Asked to suggest improvements to footpaths and/or maintenance of the village.  There were 242 comments which are summarised as follows;

  1. There are not enough rural footpaths, or ways to safely access other villages without resorting to the ubiquitous car.  It would be nice to cycle and walk more, safely.  Over 100 people commented on the fact that a footpath / cycle path to Sherfield would be very useful and would help to reduce car use.  Also a footpath to Bramley Corner past the allotments would be useful.
  2. Many comments focussed on poor maintenance of rural footpaths, that these were overgrown and required trimming etc.
  3. Some comments suggested improvements to provision of pavements and a crossing nearer the school to enable more children to walk to school thereby reducing traffic congestion.

Living in Bramley

Over 67% of respondents said that they moved to Bramley for the lifestyle/rural location and access to open spaces (question 64). 49% said it was due to location and transport links. Approximately half the comments related to people moving to Bramley to be in a rural village environment, many of whom now felt they would consider moving as the increase in housing has had a negative impact on village life. The overriding message is that Bramley has had too much housing already.

Reliance on the Bramley Questionnaire; this targeted all of Bramley receiving a 40% response rate, covered the whole age range of Bramley, so responses are a good representation of public opinion

Last updated: November 21, 2013 at 17:50 pm