Posted on October 8, 2014
Make sure you are prepared for when the weather changes and the temperature drops. For dozens of tips on how to stay safe and warm this winter, please visit: www.metoffice.gov.uk/getreadyforwinter
Posted on August 17, 2014
Have you done something new since you retired? Started a new hobby or interest, joined a club or planned an event or trip? The Laterlife Challenge is looking for entries from the over 60s to demonstrate how people are making the most of their retirement years. There are some great prizes and also the knowledge that your story may help inspire others who are finding their senior years lonely or difficult. Chief judge is Blue Peter’s Valerie Singleton.
Find out more by visiting: www.laterlife.com/challenge
Posted on July 22, 2014
Further to a request, I am publishing below the developers response to the Parish Council’s objection to this planning application.
Following the Parish Council meeting on the 1st May with regard our recent planning application at Sturricks Farm I thought it might be useful if I responded to matters raised by your Parish Council.
The allocation of this site within the Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Local emerging Plan was made in response to public consultation carried in 2012. It was then endorsed by Tendring Council and formally put forward in November 2012; noting that the allocation was selected in consultation with the Parish Council. The Parish Council did not object and therefore we assume your concerns must be related to the detail of the application rather than the principle.
When confronted by an application it is natural for local residents to raise concerns which are examined by Council officers and their Statutory Consultee before reporting to the planning committee. The scheme has been designed to reflect its edge of village location with emphasis given to placing traditional building designs of different sizes within a landscaped context including verges, trees and hedges. You will note from the responses from the Statutory Consultee that technical matters have all been addressed and whilst local people would clearly prefer not to have the housing it nevertheless meets the standards required.
With respect to the specific points raised in you objections to TDC –
- “The highways are completely unable to cope with any further increase in traffic”.
- You will note that our traffic statement clearly demonstrates that the highways will cope and this has been endorsed by the consultation response from Essex County Highways who have no objections.
- “There is great uncertainty about drainage infrastructure. Residents are concerned that the current systems will be inadequate”
- Anglian Water have confirmed that there is spare capacity to handle the drainage infrastructure so this is not an issue.
- “There is no plan as to how the site would be built, and construction traffic would affect all the surrounding areas detrimentally”
- A construction management plan will be produced by us and we fully anticipate this being a condition of the consent to deal with this issue.
- “There is no affordable housing contribution. Any affordable housing contribution should be allocated directly to Gt Bentley for use in the future within the Parish”
- We are making an affordable housing contribution as required by Tendring Council policy.
- “Generally can the village infrastructure cope? Any extra children will have to be accommodated in temporary class rooms. Is there sufficient capacity at the Doctors Surgery?”
- We are making a contribution towards additional primary school places to ensure the village infrastructure can cope as required by Essex County Council. With regard GP service we contacted The Hollies practice manager and he confirmed that there was spare capacity and would be pleased to take additional patients if required.
- “General over-development in terms of numbers of the site.”
- The site is actually being proposed at a very low density of c.6 dwellings per acre and complies with all parking standards, garden standards, distances to adjoining property standards etc., so it cannot be seen as over development.
- “If the site is given permission it must be that any Community Contribution via the Section 106 contribution should all come to the PC so that it can be spent for the benefit of people within the Parish”
- There is set policy on contributions for community uses and we will be complying with them as required by TDC. I am sure the monies we will be paying will be spent in Gt Bentley.
- “At the present time the site is a haven for wildlife, and consideration should be given to its protection.”
- The vast majority of the site is a horse paddock and extensive ecological studies have been undertaken to ensure protection is given as necessary. This is therefore not an issue.
- “It is difficult to see how the (currently well used) bridleway would be practicably usable with the development.”
- We have specifically design the access to the development to leave the bridleway untouched so it will function as it does now.
In the light of this response we would be grateful if you could reply to this letter prior to the application going to planning committee at the end of this month as I am hopeful we have allayed your concerns.
I hope the above information has been useful but as always please contact me if you have any queries.
Brian Morgan RIBA MRTPI
Posted on April 9, 2014
There was standing room only in Great Bentley Village Hall on Monday 7th April when more than 300 villagers came to debate the 360ft, 1.5MW wind-turbine proposed to be built on land just to the south of the village and west of Aingers Green.
The meeting was chaired by TDC Cllr Giles Watling and opened by TDC Cllr Lynda McWilliams, Great Bentley Ward Member.
MP Bernard Jenkin’s Parliamentary Assistant Tom Fairweather attended on behalf of the MP, who has pledged support in opposing the development.
Cllr Michael Talbot of St Osyth Parish Council told the meeting of the successes and failures experienced in resisting the Earl’s Hall Farm development of five 405 foot turbines, which are visible over more than 120 square miles of the Tendring Peninsula and its coast.
Richard Harvey, Roger Adams and Comer Mead who form the Steering Committee described the likely impact on the community of Great Bentley, which is famous for having the largest village green in England. Great Bentley has won many awards over the years, including Great Britain Village of the Year in 2000.
Some houses and gardens would be less than 600 metres from the turbine, should it go ahead, Mr Harvey said, and would be likely to be affected by noise. It would be adjacent to the Local Wild-life site of Bentley Brook.
Mr Adams told the meeting that it would be six times taller than the village church and 15 per cent taller than Big Ben, and would overlook the green.
Mr Mead explained the planning procedure and how residents could express their views about the proposed development to Tendring District Council. Funding from local residents would be needed to pay for expert advisers, he said.
After a question and answer session, Michael Talbot summed up the mood saying that this proposal is by no means a foregone conclusion. The tide of opinion is changing against onshore wind turbines.
Updated on April 9, 2014
Two Essex Village of the Year winners have joined forces to fund a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). The officer will work in Alresford and Great Bentley. This is believed to be the first arrangement of its type in Essex.
The initiative was prompted when Essex Police made it clear that it is looking to refocus its PCSO resources away from rural communities to areas of greater need.
Alresford has had a dedicated PCSO for 7 years and became concerned that it would lose this service. PCSO Louise Cox has developed an excellent working relationship with residents and local businesses in Alresford and has made a positive impact on levels of crime in the village. In the UK we are told that it is often the fear of crime that is greater than the actual level of criminal activity in a locality. Alresford Council Chairman Ernie Osborne said the presence of PCSO Cox has contributed in this regard. Local residents have become used to seeing her go about her work in the village and that provides a sense of security.
Great Bentley Parish Council when approached by Alresford Parish Council spent some time investigating the matter. Councillor George Wright Chairman of the Sub Committee formed to look in to this matter said that Great Bentley Councillors were very impressed by PCSO Cox when they interviewed her and I am confident that she will be able to assist to address the issues in Great Bentley and will make a positive contribution to community safety.
The joint agreement is set to run for one year initially when it will be reviewed.
Updated on April 29, 2014
A public meeting is being organised to consider the views of the local residents of Great Bentley towards the High Barns Wind Turbine proposal. The meeting will take place at the Village Hall at 7.30pm on Monday 7 April 2014.
Posted on January 24, 2014
Once again the marathon annual task of collecting all the local information for this booklet has been completed. Many thanks go to Brenda Gourley, Yvonne Oxford and Bev Adams who collect all the details. Robert Taylor continues to edit this valuable booklet, which can be found on this website by selecting the ‘Village’ tab and then ‘Good Neighbours’