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PARISH NEWS September 2017

 MEADOWGROUND

A large number of residents attended this month’s Parish Council meeting to discuss the notification received from the District Council that the open ground at Meadowground is considered to be surplus to operational requirements and as such is to be disposed of by them. Their preferred option is for the sale to be for market housing. All of those present voiced their opposition to this plan and it was confirmed that the Parish Council’s stance of op-position has not changed since a previous plan was put forward approximately two years ago. Cllr Jonathan Gray representing the District Council was due to at-tend the meeting to discuss various options available to the village, but was not able to arrive until 9.00pm, thus the people attending the PC meeting were unable to question him. However, when he did arrive, Cllr Gray was very informative and helpful.

There are four options currently on the table and these are:

  1. The site is developed in accordance with a proposal from Cllr John Morris, which is for 3 affordable homes administered by a housing association
  2. The site is sold to a private developer for the construction of market housing. Capital received would be invested in the District Council’s Commercial Investment Strategy with the potential for a windfall 10% contribution of the purchase price to the Parish Council.
  3. The District Council retains the site for development themselves, retains the properties by their property company and lets for private rent.
  4. Do nothing and leave the site as open space

 Option 1 was discussed and the Parish Council were at pains to point out that Cllr Morris was not speaking on behalf of the Parish Council or the residents of Grafham nor was he representing their views. This option was least attractive.

 Option 2 also provides for further development in the village which is unwanted, a further drain on stretched resources and unnecessary. Any financial contributions to the Parish Council were not brought into consideration

 Option 3 is rejected for the same reasons as Option 2

 Option 4 is Grafham’s preferred option.

Each option was fully explored with Cllr Gray and the Parish Council put forward a further option that the Parish Council might possibly itself raise funds to purchase the site. Cllr Gray’s comments were that this was not without the bounds of possibility although the site would be heavily covenanted to ensure that it remained an open space in perpetuity. The Parish Council owns the playing field which is similarly covenanted and was purchased to protect it for the village. Cllr Gray stated that the District Council were keen to do what is right for our community and that all consultation will be through the Parish Council (i.e. not on any website) and that the ultimate decision is his.

Cllr Gray further assured the Parish Council that all options were open for discussion and that the District Council were not disposed to upset the village over a relatively small sum of money.

The Parish Council is required to submit a response to the District Council by 26 September 2017. It was unanimously agreed that the response should reaffirm the position previously taken that Meadowground should remain as open green space.

OTHER NEWS

The Parish Council will be exploring the possibility of obtaining advice on tree management on the playing field.

There have been some complaints recently concerning the state of the waste bin in the children’s playground. Arrangements have now been put in place for this to be emptied on a weekly basis and disposed of in the village hall bin. It was noticed that, when the bin was last emptied it contained several parcels of dog waste. This is surprising as dogs are not allowed in the children’s playground for very good health reasons, so it is puzzling that people would allow their dogs to foul else-where, pick it up and bring it into the playground! In response to this, the Parish Council will investigate the possibility of providing a dog waste bin to be emptied by the District Council (at a cost, of course).

The Parish Council will be granting funds to the Village Hall Management Committee to help with the costs of refurbishing the gents’ toilets in the hall.

The date of the next Parish Council meeting will be Tuesday 17th October at the village hall at 7.30pm

Margaret Life

Parish Clerk

07780 119311   [email protected]