Parish Council Consultation

Chelmsford City Council is carrying out a review of the way decisions are made on local issues and wants to hear your views. This process, called a ‘Community Governance Review’, will look at whether a parish council should be created in unparished areas or whether changes need to be made to an existing parish.

You can give your views online now at:
www.chelmsford.gov.uk/parishconsultation
The closing date for comments is Friday 25th September 2020.

Two years ago the Community Group attempted to invoke a Community Governance Review on the basis that the Channels development is split between the Parish of Broomfield & the Parish of Little Waltham. Due to a number of factors, the review was not invoked and once we became aware that a wider review was to take place across Chelmsford, there was no point in continuing with our own process.

We currently have three residents that sit on Little Waltham Parish Council although recently we have been working with Broomfield Parish Council on a number of projects. A visual explanation of the current Parish Boundaries can be found here .

To find more, visit www.chelmsford.gov.uk/news/help-shape-the-future-of-local-democracy-in-chelmsford/

Affordable Housing (Lt. Waltham)

FAO Residents of The Lanes & Pompadour

Little Waltham Parish Council would like to bring some important information to your attention regarding an Affordable Housing scheme being progressed by the Parish Council in collaboration with a social housing company.

The aim is to build a small number of affordable houses in the Parish which would only be available to persons with a strong connection to the Parish. To demonstrate that the scheme is viable the Parish Council is asking residents to complete a survey.

Key information about the scheme including an explanatory letter and a link to the survey can be found here.

If anyone is not able to access the survey link please contact the Parish Clerk via the details below and a hard copy of the survey can be sent by post.

Suzanne Walker
Clerk to Little Waltham Parish Council
Telephone 01376 331251
littlewaltham@gmail.com

Broomfield Parish Council

Dear Residents,

As our part of the wider Channels development currently still sits within the Broomfield Parish (see information here which explains why), I recently met with officers from Broomfield Parish Council with a view to deriving some local benefit for the proportion of Council Tax that we pay each year.

I met with both the Chair and Parish Clerk and both were very open to consider how Parish funds could be used to enhance our community. Initial suggestions include a community notice board, benches for our green spaces and a defibrillator, all of which residents have suggested/requested at some time over the last year.

The Chair also noted that the Parish Council still has vacancies and that he would welcome engagement from Channels residents by either applying to be co-opted as Councillors or by involvement in one of the three key sub-committees (Village Amenities, Finance and Planning) for which members do not need to be Councillors.

If you are interested in getting involved with Broomfield Parish, either via becoming a Councillor or through working with one of the sub-committees, do get in touch with the Parish Clerk:

Michael Letch
01245 441660
clerk@broomfieldessex.co.uk

It would be great to have residents involved with both Broomfield and Little Waltham Parish Councils whilst we are still waiting for our final destination to be confirmed and at the end of the day, we are all neighbouring communities that can work together.

Andrew Wright
Channels Residents Community Group

Parish Boundary Petition

Dear Residents,

You will recall that a number of you signed a petition a few months ago to invoke a Community Governance Review with a view to requesting an amendment to existing Parish Boundaries. The purpose of the review was to ensure that the Bellway phases of Channels would form part of the Little Waltham Parish (along with the rest of the Channels development) rather than Broomfield which is where we currently sit.

Unfortunately we are still struggling to finalise a petition that meets the necessary conditions to invoke the review. An update can be found here which fully explains the history and the issues encountered. This is worth a read for both those new to the development and for those who have signed the petition and are wondering why the process is taking so long!

In short, we need a minimum of 14 additional signatures from residents that must be registered local electors. If you would like to sign the petition and have not yet done so, please complete the form below and someone will be round with a clipboard and a pen 🙂

Information submitted via the above form will be held only for the purpose of knowing who to contact and when in relation to the Community Governance Review Petition.

Community News

Channels Summer Event
As you may recall, we have been working with Channels Estates to facilitate a joint summer event for residents. The recent ‘Summer Fest’ event that Channels ran was a great success however it did highlight some unforeseen issues, primarily that visitors (and playing children) were wandering around the wedding garden whilst wedding events were taking place.

As such whilst we will work with Channels on the coordination of events where possible over the coming year, it has been agreed that until further works are completed to formalise the boundaries between the Village Green and the Bar/Wedding areas, it would not be practical to host community events on the Village Green.

We are therefore looking to hold a late summer event, probably early September, on our own area of land (between Eagle Rise & Aqua Verde). Those residents that have offered help have been contacted to get the ball rolling again however if anyone else wants to get involved, simply fill in the form here and someone will be in touch!

Nursery Site Update
We have been advised that whilst contractual discussions are taking place with a company that wants to take on the Nursery site, there are a number of legal issues to be resolved and as such it is unlikely that any building work will commence for another 12 months. On this basis Bellway will prepare the area so that it is left as managed grassland with a ‘paddock’ fence around the perimeter to prevent access.

Community Micro Grant Funding
An application, led by Melanie Williamson, has been made for a community micro grant to support a programme of community activity throughout 2019/20. The grant on this occasion will assist in supporting the purchase of a marquee to support delivery of community hosted activities around the development. This will form part of a wider proposed project to enable Channels to evolve from merely a location with lots of new houses to an all-inclusive, vibrant community (keep an eye out for more news on this).

Neighbourhood Watch
Steve Leverett, Chelmsford Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, attended the Little Waltham Parish Council Meeting on 4th July to raise awareness of the benefits from belonging to a local Neighbourhood Watch. Don’t forget that we have a local scheme running and you can find more about it and the benefits of getting involved here. For those that have not yet signed up, you can do so here. Our NHW Co-ordinator (John Buckberry) will bring you a window sticker and you will receive useful updates via e-mail.

Broomfield Parish Council Links
As you will be aware, the Bellway phases of Channels currently sit within the Broomfield Parish which receives a not insignificant sum of money each year from our Council Tax. The majority of the Bellway phase has been here for well over 2 years and yet we have seen no local benefit. We have made contact with Broomfield Parish Council to ask whether there is potentially any access to funding that we could use for our locality.

Examples could include the installation of benches placed at strategic locations around the development, perhaps some small items of public art (much like the little wood carvings across Beaulieu) and to assist in funding our summer event as part of the work to develop the local community.

Progress is slow however we will continue to pursue the possibilities that may be open to us with Broomfield Parish Council until such time that we finally become part of the Little Waltham Parish.

As always, sign up to follow the website and encourage all your neighbours to do the same and you will kept up to date with everything that is happening in and around your community 🙂

Andrew Wright
Channels Residents Community Group

Community & Parish Updates

There was a further Little Waltham Parish Council meeting on Tuesday 4th June and a number of issues were discussed that impact on the Channels Development. You will note from the updates below that the Parish Council, together with City & County Councillors, are all very supportive of residents on the Channels Development and the Community Group has forged good relationships with each of them to ensure continued engagement.

Planning Applications
The Parish Council will formally submit an objection to application 19/00581/REM which proposes the construction of 300 new dwellings in the area on the other side of the bridle path (Zones K and L). This is on the grounds that the design of the dwellings are not in keeping with the surrounding area and more importantly that there is insufficient infrastructure in place to support them, including the lack of a crossing at the bottom of the bridle path on Essex Regiment Way.

Bus Service (51)
The Parish Clerk and Parish Councillor Melanie Williamson attended a transport stakeholder meeting on 4th June and it transpired that First Bus have amended timetables (by increasing the gap between buses) to ensure buses run on time. First Bus indicated that once the new route begins to include the parts of the wider development on the other side of the Radial Distributor Road, the time between the 51 services will increase with the service only running every 40/45 minutes (assuming it’s on time!) rather than the 30 minutes as originally planned, even at peak times.

This is considered unacceptable and County Councillor John Aldridge confirmed to the Parish Council that he would take up this issue on behalf of residents. The Community Group will also write to Councillor John Aldridge on behalf of residents and will again make contact with the organisation (Transport Planning Associates) that was initially secured to arrange the contract with First Bus as we believe that developers have provided funding to deliver a bus service every 30 minutes.

Crossing for Essex Regiment Way
The Parish Council confirmed that it would formally support Councillor John Aldridge in continuing to lobby for a crossing at the bottom of the bridle path to enable safe passage across Essex Regiment Way. Councillor Aldridge believes that residents are essentially ‘land locked’ and does not accept that there are any valid reasons as to why a crossing cannot be installed immediately, even if it is not in line with the planned trajectory for the work taking place. The Community Group will additionally write to Councillor Aldridge on behalf of residents noting the same concerns.

Highways Adoption for Phase 1/2
Residents will no doubt be aware of the poor state of the roads on the Bellway phase of the development. Many of the roads are only a few months old and yet look more like they have been in place for many years. There are sunken drains, sunken paving, damaged and poorly laid paving, pooling of water, weed growth and general poor workmanship. The Community Group has been pushing Bellway in recent months about this and yet we have only received high level generic updates and no evidence of any tangible corrective action.

As a result contact has been made with City Councillor Barry Knight who has raised the issue on our behalf and he formally advised the Parish Council that he will be supporting residents in ensuring the problems are resolved. Key stakeholders within the City Council (Planning) and County Council (Highways) are aware and are currently investigating.

Community News

Parish Council Update
There is some more good news in that a further two residents, Chloe Tron & Michael Eve, have been co-opted onto Little Waltham Parish Council (following a formal application process). Together with Melanie Williamson, we now have three residents involved which will help give us a voice in what happens locally in what is a rapidly growing Parish.

We are still waiting for the outcome of our petition to amend parish boundaries so that the Bellway estate forms part of the Little Waltham Parish along with the rest of the wider Channels development. The City Council has been busy over the last couple of months preparing for both the City Council elections and the European Elections however we are due to receive an update imminently.

Site Wide Update
The village green area adjacent to the Channels complex will soon be ready for use by residents and as soon as confirmation is received, a notice will be posted on the website.

The landowner, land agent, developer and design company also met at the end of last week to discuss the construction plans for the public open spaces and information is awaited as to which areas will be made available for residents to access over the next few months. Again as soon as confirmation is received, the areas that can be used will be posted on the website.

Phase 1/2 Update
Bellway have advised that they will be leaving the site within the next month, although it may not be until the end of June. The central green open space between Eagle Rise & Aqua Verde will be landscaped and the nursery site will be prepared although as yet it is not clear how this will be left. There are still multiple highway snagging issues which need to be addressed and which are a cause for concern. These issues have been raised with both Bellway and local councillors.

Summer Community Event!
Following the success of the Christmas event (if a little damp), it has been suggested that residents get together and organise a summer event including a fete and if possible an open air cinema. The owners of the Channels complex are very keen to work with the community on this project and the new village green area will be an ideal location.

If you want to get involved in planning and running the event, click here!