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Village meeting in the Village Hall. Friday 6th December 2013
Tonight saw an open meeting of the village at the village hall, called by the Parish Council, to allow any villager to express their views on the proposed development of the Recreation Ground.
About 40 people turned up, out of a total population of about 300. So fractionally over 10% of voting villagers. Every home in the village had been sent a leaflet announcing the meeting.
Four (out of five possible) Parish Councillors were present: Nic Coome, Gary Crumpler, Paul Outridge, and Jim Hynes.
At the meeting, the situation was very clearly summarised by Parish Council Chair, Nic Coome. The following is a very brief summary of what he said.
The Recreation Ground is not owned by the village, but by Sir Seton Wills, who used to own and live in Littlecote House, as did his ancestors. Sir Seton has granted the village full use of the Recreation Ground for a nominal rent, for several decades.
For many years, he has wanted to develop the site and build houses on it. Of course, he could have bulldozed his way in (subject to planning consent), but didn’t. Instead, he has provided substantial consultation proposals, and has listened to the village’s opinion. The current proposal is not the first to have been presented, and key features are that both the number and sizes of the proposed houses are substantially reduced from previous submissions. It also contains a small number of ‘affordable’ houses.
In recent years, the lease has been shortened to a 1 year lease. The current lease expires in March 2014, not far away. Sir Seton Wills’ options appear to be either to develop the site, or to let it revert to agricultural land. If he did the latter, the village would lose the facility entirely. If the site is developed, the current plans allow for 85% of the current space to be retained as land for the village to use. He also proposes to build some houses, as well as a good quality sports facilities, near the school. Of course, if the development is not approved by the Council, he could just give it to the village rather than turn it into agricultural land. This option was not aired at the meeting. Of course, if the landowner did that, although the village would gain ownership, it would have great difficulty funding the enhanced recreation facilities included in the current proposal.
If you want to see the detailed plans, please scroll down to links to the plans below.
If the development proceeds, one of the Parish Council’s preconditions would be to transfer ownership of the remaining open land to the village, as well as ensuring that play facilities for younger children are incorporated in the new development.
The meeting generated some lively debate, and one new villager was especially vocal against the proposal.
A ‘straw poll’ vote was taken on a show of hands. Almost half those present abstained, but 17 voted for the proposed development, and 7 against.
It was proposed that a postal (or leaflets delivered to every house) referendum was carried out in the village, to assess the village’s feeling. A number of people volunteered to help.
At the meeting, in addition to discussing the proposed development, various concerns were aired about the ability of 4 key facilities in the village to survive: the school, the church, the village hall and the pub.
There seemed to be no hesitation about the school surviving. The church has just had an estimate of £140,000 to re-roof it, which is badly needed. All these facilities are essential to maintain local property prices, and it is estimated that the absence of just one of these would reduce property prices by at least 15%, although this view was not aired at the meeting. The moral of this, of course, is that all villagers have a vested interest in ensuring that all 4 survive and prosper.
At the end of the day the decision rests with Wiltshire County Council’s planners. Although, if the landowner decided to withdraw the proposals and turn the site into agricultural land, neither he nor the village would gain.
Recreation Ground Development
Coming soon - a report on Friday night's public meeting in the Village Hall
Click on the images below to see the boards developed by the architects Fowler Architecture and Planning Limited showing the proposed scheme.
Click here to view the Wiltshire Council document 'Chilton Foliat Conservation Area Statement'.
The case of the disappearing clock
It was one of those moments in the village hall when you glance at the clock to check the time only to discover it isn’t there anymore. Having questioned the members of the committee and then the regular hirers of the hall no one seemed to know when or how it disappeared. Is the tale of a hall ghost really true?
Then whilst setting up for the Art Ex, hey presto the clock was found ......................... in the plates cupboard in the kitchen!
Curious and even more curious, so can anyone please enlighten us as to who took it down, why it was moved and why put it in a plates cupboard? Bizarre☺
Friday 20th December 7.30pm. Put the date in your diary NOW.
After discussion with the PCC it was decided that the Carols evening will have a change of format this year and is to be held entirely in the village hall. It will mean the weather will not be a problem, which is has been for the last three years. Full details will be published very soon but we will have our friends the McNeil family to sing for us and we hope to also have the children’s choir from Chilton Primary. There will a small gift for all children attending and warm mince pies and mulled wine for the adults, there will also be a Christmas 100 Club Draw. The date will be Friday 20th December. If you wish to donate mince pies or Christmas fair for the children or to hang on the tree, please email the village hall or call 01488 681334, thank you.
Location on Google.
Chilton Foliat is an ancient settlement, going back to Saxon times, and beyond. It is a small village with a current population of just over 300 adults. And it's beautiful, with many ancient houses. You could say it's a typical English country village.
The village lies alongside the River Kennet, a very beautiful and clean chalkland river, much loved by fishermen.
This web site has been created by a villager, for the villagers, and aims to provide visitors and locals alike with information about the village. Any comments on how we can improve the site are always welcome.
Click here for a map of the village published in 1773.
And click here to go to an excellent site with over 16,000 words on the history of the village.
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