HALTON VILLAGE August – September – October 2018
As you may have read in the last issue of the Halton Village News, Grace Tipson has decided to step down as its edi- tor. We are greatly indebted to Grace and her colleagues who have done a splendid job over the past six years and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her for all the time and effort she has put into it.
As of now members of the Parish Council will edit the newsletter and, initially, it will be a more basic publication informing parishioners of village events and keeping them updated about the proposed closure of the RAF base at Hal- ton. Hopefully, as more contributors supply items for inclusion in the newsletter, it will naturally evolve and we would like to encourage villagers to participate in this.
The newsletter will be a quarterly publication so it may be that events will need to be advertised 2-3 months in ad- vance. Please bear this in mind when wishing to advertise an event.
The back cover includes dates for your diary and may highlight events occurring in the area but not publicised else- where in the newsletter so please browse the page so that events are not missed.
HALTON PARISH COUNCIL
Parish Council meetings are held on a Wednesday, about every six weeks and usually take place in the Village Hall at 7.30pm. The meetings are open to the general public. There will be no PC meeting in August and the September meet- ing on Wednesday 12th will be held in the church of St Michael and All Angels instead of in the Village Hall. The Oc- tober meeting is in the Village Hall on October 17th
The Parish Office is situated above the Village Hall in Old School Close. There is a supply of stamps in the office and a small letter scale. Parishioners can use the photocopier, 5p for an A4 black and white copy and 10p for colour. A3 is 10p for black and white and 20p for colour. The Parish Office is manned between 9.30am and 12.30pm Mon-Thurs. If there is a faulty street lamp please report it to the clerk, providing an exact location and the number on lamp post if possible. Mrs Fiona Lippmann, Clerk to the Council, can be contacted on 01296 626073 email@example.com
Join our mailing list. To enable the Parish Council to update parishioners on events taking place in the village as well as things happening at RAF Halton, the council would like to be able to email as many people as possible. Clearly your consent is needed for the council to use your email address to communicate with you. The Parish Council will not use it to send advertising messages and will not sell the list. It will use it solely to update you on events happening in the village. If you are happy to be contacted by email please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and in so doing you will permit the council to use your address to contact you.
The Village Hall is available to hire. It can seat 80 people and there is a smaller meeting room for up to 10 people seated. There is free wi-fi and a well equipped kitchen. Please contact Mike Jimson on 01296 622702 halton- email@example.com for bookings.
RAF HALTON CLOSURE UPDATE
Since the announcement in December 2016 that the MOD is to withdraw from the RAF Halton site in 2022 the Parish Council has been very active in developing a vision of the site post RAF.
The initial work was done by the Chairman who produced a discussion document setting out first thoughts on future land use. This was discussed and agreed by the whole Council and later in 2017 it was shared with the community in a newsletter.
Since then meetings based on the ideas put forward in our document have taken place directly with the DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisation) who plan and oversee such projects, David Lidington, AVDC, representatives of Lord Rothschild, Bucks County Council, The Wendover Society, The Forestry Commission, The Chiltern Society, Wendover Parish Councillors, the Halton Tennis Club, and anyone else who will listen! We have gained a lot of sup-port for many of the ideas and have secured a place as a major stakeholder in the closure process. The following summaries are of the most recent meetings which have taken place in summer 2018
Natural Environment Group
We had a lively discussion covering many of the points the PC had made in our original list of concerns. It was interesting listening to a different perspective from people who live in neighbouring villages although ultimately everyone was in agreement that the following concerns should be considered during any planning for the future.
- Areas which are green at the moment should be protected as green spaces during development.
- The wood between the main RAF site and the hospital estate should be kept in place – a buffer between Wendover and Halton and a sanctuary for a wide variety of wildlife
- Trees and vistas around the site are very important and should be retained – especially the avenues and the trees at the side of roads which will act as a screening from new builds
- When the population of Halton rises significantly the canal tow path will be used even more than at present therefore more should be done to maintain the towpath and the quality of the water and water flow. Again wild- life was mentioned.
- Footpaths were discussed. There are at present several which skirt the RAF site but none which cross it. The group stressed the need for new footpaths to connect with each other through the new area which will in the future be accessible to the public.
- There was concern about preserving many of the rare trees which are around Halton House
- Also concern that if the House is made into a private hotel it may be fenced in therefore restricting access for walkers.
- Lessons should be learnt from the Princess Mary estate re traffic, lack of parking, density of housing, lack of trees and open spaces. This point was acknowledged by the planners we had at our table.
- Retention of all sports facilities was seen as vital as these provide open space and are used by many locals.
I was pleased to represent Halton Village in this group as I explained how we are very concerned that we could be swamped by ‘new build’ housing which may well be out of keeping with the Rothschild nature of Halton. As we met in the upstairs room at the Nuffield hockey pavilion it was obvious to all the effect that the open green spaces have on the village. I pointed out the need to build sympathetically to make a new coherent village rather than an ‘old Roths- child area’ with a huge housing estate surrounding it.
When we reconvened I was the spokesperson for our group, giving the summary above. I hope that my passion for retaining our lovely village came across!! It was pleasing that both the DIO and the architects firm who are working with them asked for a copy of the photo book we produced last year. I got the impression that the more time the vari- ous people involved in the project spend in and around Halton Village the more they are realising that we are in a unique position worth preserving.
Halton Parish Council meeting with DIO : 10 July 2018
Parish Council representatives met with two people from the DIO on 10th July to ask for more detail on a range of con- cerns including:
The specific locations of the 1000 planned dwellings – the DIO had no answer to this as the numbers will depend on housing density in different areas and refurbishment of existing buildings. It was AVDC who set the figure at 1000 as there is no need to lift the restraints of Green Belt land for this allocation.
The expected total number to come forward in the final plan – the RAF closure business case is based on 2000 dwellings. Our response was that by dealing with the allocation in two phases rather than a whole we may miss out on some infrastructure, e.g. GP surgeries apparently need 2000 houses and separate phases may not count. We may also be disbarred from some central government funding for infrastructure because 1000 does not reach the threshold – a Garden Village to qualify needs 1500 new houses.
Plans for the airfield – the airfield does not come into the first phase of planning although approaches have been made by various companies to use parts of the site. The airfield itself is a green field site as the landing strip is grass rather than tarmac. Access to the airfield is difficult as the surrounding roads are narrow and run through adjacent villages.
More details of planned infrastructure – no more details available at the moment
Protection of sports facilities – in order for the Sports Village to be considered, a full business plan needs to be pre-sented to AVDC and the DIO. This is awaited
Details of proposals to protect the heritage areas – these details will be in the master plan yet to be developed.Agreement given that HPC should be acquainted with all the sites deemed as ‘heritage’ possibly with a site visit.
Impact on traffic – the view of AVDC is that 1000 dwellings in this location will have little impact on wider traffic issues and a few local tweaks, such as changing the junction of Chestnut Avenue and the Tring Road will suffice! This was not our view!
VALP Examination :17 July 2018
On the 17th July the Examiner of the VALP (Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan) heard oral evidence relating to the 1000 houses allocated to the RAF site. It was a popular session with representatives from Halton, Wendover, Defence Infra- structure Organisation and Historic England. In addition there were representatives from five developers. They were contesting the allocation of houses to RAF Halton because they had sites which in their view were better sited but had been excluded from the Local Plan. Being represented by QCs and barristers they were very serious in making their objections heard. The session which was planned to last one hour actually lasted three hours.
Harold Pearce represented the Parish Council and Brian Thompson represented his personal petition as a Halton resi- dent.
The Examiner had the task of trying to decide if the housing allocation is sound and deliverable from a planning point of view . The developers raised a couple of points relating to the green belt. Firstly they questioned the viability of the numbers if there was a suggestion that the Green Belt may be lifted in the near future – developers might hang back until such a decision is reached! Secondly they questioned whether the 1000 homes could be delivered within the highlighted area given the constraints around protecting the visual openness of the site. The protection of heritage assets was raised and Historic England raised their concerns and shortcomings in the VALP policies. AVDC said they would add more detail to their policies to ensure Heritage sites are protected. The issue of traffic was raised and its impact on Halton and Wendover – the existing issues in Wendover were aired.
We raised the point that Halton had to be seen as a separate discrete and sustainable community rather than as a resi- dential suburb of Wendover. We also requested a strategic review of the whole site rather than doing it in two or more phases. In terms of sports facilities AVDC did say they did not intend to build on the sports facilities.
At the end of the session the Examiner said he had a lot to think about. Clearly some points had hit the mark. We will know the answer in September. I think it could either be
- The RAF Halton is taken out of the housing allocation and another site somewhere else is substituted. This means we will face a lull and then a plan for the whole site with all the houses and infrastructure required.
- The Supplementary Planning Document for Halton is strengthened to address these issues.
An updated master plan has been drawn up by the DIO although this has not been accepted by AVDC, If you are interested you can find it on the AVDC web site under VALP documents.
STRANGE CHURCHYARD HAPPENINGS
Some of you may have noticed that there have been a couple of white vans parked in the church drive, and a skip sit- ting outside. What is going on? The churchyard has three categories of graves – Commonwealth War Graves for ser- vice personnel killed in action, service graves for service personnel who died whilst on active service and civilian graves. Until recently these were looked after by three different parties (the civilian graves are maintained by volun- teers).
What has changed recently is that the Commonwealth War Graves commission has taken responsibility for all service graves. The Commonwealth war graves commission set a very high standard on their graves, and have decided to bring the service graves up to their standard. This involves lifting the headstones and resetting them so they are perfectly aligned and straight. Overall the work will take about 6 weeks. In September they will be returning to look at the planting around the graves. So no body snatchers, no digging for treasure under the church just good solid maintenance.
We have had a very successful summer so far with lots of sunny Sunday afternoons. Villag- ers, walkers and friends have all enjoyed a cuppa and a piece of home-made cake for a dona-tion towards Church funds. We will continue until the end of September, so if you’ve been intending to drop in but haven’t made it yet do call in on one of these glorious sunny after- noons that 2018 is providing! And if you are a regular we’ll be pleased to see you too.
Teas at St Michael’s 2.30 – 5.00 every Sunday afternoon until the end of September.
The Village Hall is managed by the Parish Council, by a committee of Councillors and villagers. We have avacancy for another member of the public. At the moment we don’t have a resident who lives close to the Vil-lage Hall and would find it helpful to have the views of a neighbour so please get in touch with the clerk if you are interested. Contact details are on page 2.
This is a plea for enthusiastic gardeners and waterers who would be willing to take over the management of the flower boxes on the bridge. For several years Gillie Turner has been responsible for providing beautiful flower displays, which have contributed to us winning the title of Best Kept Village on several occasions, but she would like to pass the job onto others now.
It would be greatly appreciated if a band of willing helpers could get together. This would mean that no single person would have the task of planting and watering. The Parish Council will cover the cost of plants and compost. If you would consider helping out please let Fiona know in the Parish Office.
SOCIALISING IN HALTON
Although the village is without a pub, there are a couple of places where villagers can socialise and have a drink. The Pavilion at Halton Tennis Club is open to the local community whether for a coffee and cake, lunch or supper. Free wi -fi and sky sports can be enjoyed and it is a dog-friendly club. It is open from 10am-10pm Monday-Friday, 8.30am- 6.30pm Saturdays and 11am-5pm Sundays.
The RAFA club is open on Thursday and Saturday evenings from 7.30pm. The Club Bar offers very competitive prices on alcoholic and soft drinks, including tea and coffee and bar snacks. There is a wide screen TV and music sys- tem, party lighting and a dance floor. A busy and varied programme of social events is provided throughout the year.
SAVE THE DATE
Save the date Friday December 7th for the Over 60s Christmas Lunch 12.30 for 1pm in the Village Hall open to Village residents only
VILLAGE CLEAN UP
Our spring village clean-up did not take place this year so we would like to have a late summer clean-up instead. We have set the date for Saturday, September 8th. Bin sacks for weed collection will be available from the village hall from 10am. When full, these will be collected from around the village.
We hope very much that all residents will participate in this, tidying up their own particular patch so that the village can look neat and tidy as we enter the autumn.
VILLAGE WEB SITE
Parishioners will be glad to note that the village website is in the process of being revamped. It is expected to be launched within a few weeks and further details will appear in the next newsletter.
WENDOVER CHORAL SOCIETY
Wendover Choral Society would like to welcome some new members to its friendly choir of approximately 40 strong. It meets on Thursday evenings between 7.45 and 9.45 during term time at St Mary’s church Wendover.
There are no auditions, but an enthusiasm for singing and some knowledge of music would be helpful. The ability to sight read is not essential. If you are interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or just go along. Rehearsals recommence on September13th for the next concert on December 8th, entitled ‘Christmas in Dresden’.
Halton Singers meet every Tuesday 8.00-10.00pm in the Village Hall. They have a production on September 28 and 29 in the Village Hall entitled That’s Entertainment
CHANGES TO RYCYCLING
Bin days and dates may change for Halton as from 3 September 2018. You will receive a letter in August from AVDC to explain
Did you know that you can now use a variety of bags in your food waste bin?
You can use any of the following plastic bags/liners:
- Plastic bags bought on a roll e.g. pedal bins liners
- Supermarket carrier bags
- Thin plastic bags, such as fridge and freezer storage bags
- Bags that food has come in e.g. bread bags, salad bags, cereal bags
BUT NOT black bin liners or rubble bags, hard plastic packaging such as for punnets of fruit. However, these can be put in your bluelidded recycling bin.
You can now recycle unwanted batteries and small electrical items at the kerbside but they need to be no larger than a standard shoe box.
Any unwanted small electrical items, that have a plug or battery, can be left on top of your recycling or waste bin, in a standard carrier bag, by 6am on your collection day. This includes items such as hairdryers, mobile devices, straighteners and more. The crews will collect your items at the same time as they empty the bin.
Batteries should be put into a separate carrier bag and placed on top of your recycling or waste bin.
This is the first of the Parish Council’s newsletters and has made a nod to those published in the past. Those who are responsible for it would like to know what you think and will be happy to take on board any comments or suggestions that you may like to make.
If you would like to do so please email email@example.com and we will see what can be done.
If you have anything for inclusion in the next Halton Village Newsletter you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01296624458 before October 10th 2018.