This report first appeared in the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald.
For the first time in many months, there was full attendance by councillors at the monthly meeting of the Parish Council. Issues raised by members of the public included a planning application to demolish the existing doctors’ surgery and build four four-bedroomed houses on the site. The concerns were that the proposal was cramped, would cause highway issues with the accesses on to Kineton Road, and the rear aspect was not appropriate for the listed buildings facing the site.
Roger Wright, a former councillor, questioned the wisdom of a recent decision by the Council to take out a loan from the Public Works Loans Board in order to build a multi-use games area alongside the Sports and Community Centre in Mountford Sportsfield which is nearing completion. He was concerned that the Council would have difficulty in repaying the loan and that the minutes of the meeting did not reflect the detailed and lengthy discussion that had taken place. He and others also raised the lack of maintenance on the hedges and ditches around farmland in the Newbold Road area which could lead to a repeat of the flooding of 2007. This will be taken up with the County Council, as will the need to cut back vegetation obscuring road signs.
Finally, Barry Coleman from Wellesbourne Youth Services, asked for a response to their offer of £30,000 towards the Sports and Community Centre in return for the youth having use of the facilities. In discussion later, it was agreed that a letter would go to him asking for his ideas on how the money could be used. At the same time a meeting with all the youth organisations in the village will be convened to discuss their needs and how the new building could be used to help them. A revised planning application for the multi-games use area has been submitted to reflect the slightly altered positioning of the facility. Meanwhile the new building is currently being fitted out and decorated internally.
The Council decided to object to two planning applications – one for storing 50 containers on agricultural land to the rear of Newlands Caravan Site in Loxley Lane, and the other the four houses on the existing surgery site. It was felt that the containers were not appropriate in a rural area and would be introducing an industrial element. There was also concern at the increase in traffic on a narrow lane. The councillors commented that the planning application for the surgery site was very confusing and they objected to the lack of amenity space within the site, over-development of the site, the accesses onto Kineton Road and the lack of consideration of the listed buildings and Conservation Area to the rear. An application to build one house alongside no.9 Kineton Road was met with approval.
John Hargis reported on the comments received so far on the draft Neighbourhood Plan which show over 80% of respondents agreeing with the plan. The Chairman, Anne Prior, congratulated John and his team for the excellent organisation of the recent public open day held about the plan.
Eric Lawley reported that work has started on producing a Conservation Statement for Walton Village in the hope that it will be adopted by the District Council. Councillor Rosalind Bolton stated that the Index of Shops and Amenities produced recently by the Council and distributed to every household in the village, is expected to make a small profit. Work needs to start on solving the printing problems before the next issue is produced in 2018. Finally in a follow-up to previous meetings, the Parish Council will be pressing the County Council to carry out the agreed programme of investigation of the ongoing pollution in the River Dene.