Open Spaces Chair Report – May 2024

Open Spaces Chair Report – May 2024

Parish Council Chair Maureen Caton provides an update on support for TouchPoint and talks with developers on plans for housing near Walpole Meadows and Elms Farm

The Crafton Green Working Group, on behalf of the Parish Council, has agreed a new joint licence to occupy Crafton Green House and the former Day Centre – now known as Touchpoint –  with Touchpoint at no cost to them. This allows the Parish Council, with Touchpoint operational in both our buildings, to promote and support the well-being of our community. With the recent building and refurbishment work now completed both buildings will be fully accessible on the ground floor. Services are now able to start up again and the hiring of rooms will be managed by Touchpoint – with them also benefitting by keeping the funds this generates. It has been agreed that energy costs that the Parish Council had been paying whilst the service bedded in will be now be paid by Touchpoint.

Dist Cllr Neil Hargreaves circulated to all UDC parishes a list of highways defects that ECC have inspected and categorised – Stansted had 805 for the year to March 2024 – the significant percentage of these being blocked gulley defects and a very insignificant percentage of surface cover damage was recorded. This shows that ECC do keep records that we should have access to – but more importantly that the pot holes we are reporting are not getting inspected and therefore not being addressed. I hope our County Councillor can address these issues for us.

The Stansted Youth 2000 group will be passing over the remaining funds in their account (approximately £2,600) to the Parish Council for the benefit of the village Youth

The Litter pick was well supported last Saturday – with at least 20 villagers, plus some young children and  4 Youth Councillors from Forest Hall School joining in – pickers were deployed across the village and, although the rain held off, it was very cold and a welcome hot drink and biscuits were available to warm up at the end. Thank you to all participants.

Bloor Homes met with the Council’s Planning Group prior to their public consultation on the development of the land North of Walpole Farm. The group made it very clear that the development from the earlier Walpole  Farm South development had provided little in the way of benefits to the village,  and that not only land for a community building in the proposed new development,  but funding towards the build should be considered by them. The Council could then initially hold this in an Escrow account whilst the remaining funds were acquired for the build.

Discussions in relation to further development at Elms Farm are ongoing – we are seeking clarification on what are the likely/possible significant community gains that can be requested from such a proposal to develop in the Metropolitan Green Belt that meet planning policy and the needs of this community. We would only consider this proposal be included in our NDP if our community is able to benefit significantly.

A complaint has been raised by a resident about the location of the flood store in the Lower Street car park and requesting that it be moved to an alternative space closer to the skatepark. They have also queried whether planning consent is required.  The space was designated by UDC with a rationale for its selection. UDC officers did not think that planning consent was required but advised the Clerk to submit an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness as belt and braces – this has been done.

A reminder that the library is being used as a Polling Station on Thursday (May 2nd) for the election of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner – our staff will therefore be working from home for that day.

Also, for our Annual Council meeting next week can you please let me know if you wish to be considered for any different committees to those you currently attend, prior to the meeting – as we may need to co–ordinate numbers on each group.