Brown Tail Moth Caterpillars

We have received confirmation that there are Brown Tail Moth caterpillars on the development which can cause an allergic reaction if touched. At present they have been found nesting in one tree on the communal area between Eagle Rise & Aqua Verde:

In addition they have been found nesting in the hedgerow that runs along the border of Channels Drive, into the Bellway estate area and along the stretch of Fairway Drive opposite the bowls club.

The larvae are dark brown and hairy with a series of white marks down the side and a characteristic pair of orangey-red ‘warts’ at the rear end.

They spend the winter months in tough webbing nests and emerge in spring to feed communally until about the end of May. Although occasionally found on oaks, brown-tail moth larvae are much more common on hedgerow trees such as blackthorn and hawthorn or on scrubby plants, especially bramble.

Note:
The hairs of these larvae can provoke an allergic reaction, so contact with the larvae or their nests should be avoided.

Channels Estates will be treating all infestation sites imminently and will ensure that clear signage is visible when doing so. Until the issue has been completely dealt with, please stay away from any areas where the nests are evident and take extra care when near the hedgerow as there is a greater risk of brushing against them.

If you come across similar infestations in other locations across the wider development, please flag it via the form below:

Please note that the above form should only be completed for sightings of the Brown Tailed Moth caterpillar on communal land!

Community Update

Footpaths
There has been continued discussion with local stakeholders (Chelmsford City Council, Countryside & Ptarmigan Land) about the fact that residents of Channels have no hard, lit, access to and from the development by foot either down to Essex Regiment Way or across to Beaulieu.

As a result of information received from the above stakeholders over recent weeks, which sadly confirmed that we would indeed be stuck for another winter with the same situation, a meeting was held with City Councillor Barry Knight so that he could see first hand (in the dark) the issues that we face. He agreed that it was far from ideal and that he would not be happy with the situation if he lived on the development.

Cllr Knight has lobbied on our behalf and a further meeting will now take place with planners and Countryside to explore whether a re-phasing of works can be agreed which could potentially see a hard, lit path extend from Niblick Green much earlier than the planned implementation date of May 2020. In addition Ptarmigan Land are working with Marden Homes (who are responsible for building the open spaces on the other side of Channels Drive) with a view to accelerating the installation of a hard lit path to and from the retail units on Essex Regiment Way.

It has taken a great deal of persistence to get this far and there is still no guarantee that matters will improve however the Estates & Amenities Sub Committee will take this action forward and do its best to secure better access for all off of the development.

Bus Issues
It has become apparent that there are issues with the 51 Bus Service again with many reports of buses breaking down or not turning up. It is important that if there is an issue that you continue to log it via the website so that evidence can be collated and presented to the organisation that is responsible for managing the contract with First Bus. There is now an option added to cover the scenario of the bus breaking down!

For those that have been waiting for it, the ‘real time’ bus display board is due for installation at the bus stop on Friday 1st November.

Community Fundraising
Other than securing grants when available, the Community Group is reliant on the goodwill of residents to continue with its activities. This could include helping out with the running of community events or fundraising for specific projects such as benches on our land.

The CRCG now has a Paypal account and as such if residents wish to assist with fundraising via donations, it’s easy to do so!

Channels Fountain
Our fountain is back and running again! Unfortunately despite much investigation, it is still unclear why the water level dropped so much and then did not refill, despite the extensive amount of rainfall that has led to other ponds and swales retain plenty of water. Bellway do believe that there is a link with the draining of the main lake however we will need to to monitor the situation over the coming months.

For now enjoy the fountain 🙂

Community News

Public Open Spaces
Following liaison between Ptarmigan Land and Marden Homes (who are responsible for delivering the site wide open spaces), construction of the strategic open space areas is now expected to commence in late September/early October this year and run through until the end of 2020.

Work on construction of the play areas on the area adjacent to Channels Drive is likely to commence in December 2019/January 2020 and be complete by Spring 2020. Final works to the village green will be completed before the end of October this year with pedestrianisation of Belsteads Farm Lane due for completion by January 2020 (subject to relevant Highway’s approvals).

There are however a series of works that the landowners are looking to accelerate by undertaking the work themselves, the detail of which is presently being finalised with Marden. This includes looking at where opportunities exist to enable early access/release of open space areas and more importantly in relation to safe access through to the retail units on Essex Regiment Way.

At present all timings noted above are indicative as the more detailed phasing continues to be worked up by Marden, the landowners and their technical team.

Neighbourhood Watch
We are in the process of arranging our own Channels ‘Cuppa with a Coppa’ event during the autumn. Channels Estates have kindly offered us a venue that we can use for the session and we are waiting for confirmation of availability from the local community policing team. The provisional date we are working to is Saturday 5th October between 3.00pm–5.00pm so note this time in your diaries!

The latest Chelmsford Crime Report, as at 18th August 2019, can be found via the Neighbourhood Watch Useful Information page or directly here. Unfortunately we have a mention on page 2.

Dog Fouling
As a result of a number of comments about Dog Fouling, there is some information here which includes how and where to report observed instances. Chelmsford City Council has a Public Spaces Protection Order in force which makes dog fouling an offence.

Fountain & Lake
We are currently exploring whether the significant drop in water level in our lake is as a direct result of Marden draining the lake at the front of the development which borders Essex Regiment Way. Given the level of rainfall that we have had (and observing many of the natural drainage areas in Beaulieu holding water), it is very odd that the water level of our lake remains lower than ever before.

It seems too much of a coincidence that the level in our lake started to drop at the exact point that Marden lowered the water levels in the front lake. We have logged the issue with POD Management and in addition Bellway will check the drainage gulleys that feed the lake from the adjacent roads to ensure there are no blockages as a result of the highways work that has been on-going for the last few weeks.

We do not want to end up with a shallow, stagnant pond and of course we would like our fountain switched on again!

Andrew Wright
Channels Residents Community Group

Estates: Log A Concern

Dear Residents,

As you will be aware, POD Management commence delivering their service for us on 1st August 2019. Over the coming weeks, POD will be implementing a live system whereby RMC Directors will be able to view and track progress of issues that have been raised. Residents will also ultimately have access to an overview of the status of issues to provide assurance that they are being managed appropriately in a timely fashion.

However for the next two months, whilst the handover of management takes place, estate related issues should be raised via the CRCG website ‘Log A Concern’ page.

This will ensure there is a robust audit trail and that during on-going mobilisation, RMC Directors can check that all issues raised are appropriately logged by POD on their system and are being dealt with accordingly. Once POD’s systems are fully up and running, issues will be logged directly with POD and as such there should be no need for doing so via the CRCG website.

POD Management may need to contact you in relation to a logged issue and you will note that the website form now asks for contact details to be submitted. Any personal information submitted will be held by POD Management only for the purpose of formally recording, dealing with and resolving estate management issues raised.

Please note that all issues relating to your property must be resolved through the normal channels (generally Bellway Customer Care) and any submissions of this nature will not be logged!