This report first appeared in the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald.
February’s meeting of Wellesbourne and Walton Parish Council was unusually quiet. The meeting started with a representative from Friz Hill Farm explaining their need for an agricultural dwelling on the site and seeking the Council’s support for their revised planning application. The Council will consider the application when it is received from the District Council. The Council decided to object to an application from Walton Estate to convert a barn in Walton Lane to a dwelling on the grounds of highway safety and expressed doubts about the suitability of the building for conversion.
Councillor Christine Michael reported that, following the public meeting hosted by the National Flood Forum in the Village Hall, a village Flood Action Group has been formed. The Chairman Anne Prior, reported on a meeting at the Loxley Close underpass which was attended by the Anti-Social Behaviour Officer and the suppliers of CCTV, but not the police. In order to curb bad behaviour in the area and improve safety for users of the underpass, it was agreed a camera would be set up using funds earmarked under Section 106 contributions from developers. It is hoped that this will be achieved soon after the first house is occupied in the new Persimmon Homes site.
Reporting on the Christmas Lights event, the chairman said it went well and that the Council is considering extending the lighting in 2018. Two new pieces of play equipment have been installed in the Mountford play area using funds raised by the Street Fayre in June, and the Council is now planning a two-year programme of refurbishing the play area in Dovehouse Drive.
The Chairman reported that she had heard from the solicitors to Walton Estate about the damage done to the area of Dog Close outside the medical centre boundary by the contractors working on the new building. Walton Estate is seeking a written agreement with the contractors for the eventual reinstatement of the area.
Much of the meeting was taken up with the Chairman outlining the ideas the Council has for using over £220,000 of Section 106 money arising from the Persimmon Homes Development. Once the first house on the site is occupied the Parish Council will be able to apply to the District Council to release the money, but first the Council has to have properly costed schemes for the District Council to approve. This money is in addition to the £55,000 also promised by Walton Estate to be used on the three parcels of land to be leased by the Parish Council. The current ideas for using the money include: fencing the Mountford Play area to improve children’s safety and keep out dogs; more play equipment for Dovehouse Drive; works on Dog Close; providing an access, parking and possibly some playing pitches on the land in Newbold Road; renovating the hut in the Village Hall car park for use as a youth centre; assisting the cricket club with their fund-raising for an extension to their pavilion; and some money to be spent in Walton Village.
The Clerk, Lynda Scriven, reported on the phonebox in Walton being removed without warning and contrary to an existing agreement. Efforts are being made to get a new box. Also, negotiations are continuing with Severn Trent Water, the Parish Council and Walton Estate to get a public sewer laid to the village of Walton. Currently, effluent from the village drains into filter beds close to the river which causes contamination of the river during times of flood. It is estimated the necessary works to lay the sewer, upgrade the sewage works and connect each household could cost as much as £5.5 million.
Finally the Chairman proudly displayed the award she had won in January from the District Council for all her voluntary work in getting the Wellesbourne Sports and Community Centre built and operational. She said she had accepted the award on behalf of all the people who had worked so hard on the project.