The Fifield workshop was held on 18 October 2012, and attended by about 105 people. Here are the main issues raised and discussed:
BRAYWOOD SCHOOL CONGESTION
Issue: dangerous congestion at drop-off and pickup times. A solution was put forward by a local farmer to provide a dedicated drop-off zone behind the school in exchange for housing permission for one house along the road.
- Concern that the public was not shown the proposal beforehand
- Concern that this was the only proposal on the table
- Questions on if the proposal would actually address the traffic issue
- Concern that the proposal would not be for actual community benefit
- Realisation that the school would not sustain if it relied only on Fifield and Oakley Green
Resolved to look at other options that solved the issue and were of clear community benefit:
- More drop off zones along the road?
- Set of traffic light system during drop off times?
- Local resident offered to be a liaison between the school and the community
Clarification: only 8% of pupils come from outside the Borough. It’s a difficult issue because school location and other details are decided at Borough level.
A VILLAGE GREEN FOR FIFIELD?
A local landowner has offered land at centre of village for a Village Green – in exchange for permission to build some homes in the western corner.
In a 2009 survey, 67% said they would like a play area. 64% said they would like open space for locals. There was an open and positive to the idea of a Village Green at this site but, people were:
- Concerned about number, types, look of proposed homes
- Concerned about access
- Concerned that it seems the community has to give up something, to have something in return.
All local authorities have cut spending, and have limited resources. Section 106 monies have been a way of ensuring development impacts are taken into consideration and can deliver much-desired and needed community benefits.
WATER OAKLEY / A308 / GREEN BELT
- Even though the site is in the Green Belt, the site is an eyesore, and that appropriate development could constitute an improvement.
- The Bray Studio development provides a useful template in terms of the quality, density and positioning of the buildings.
- The area between the road and the buildings should be appropriately landscaped with the emphasis on an ‘open’ feel.
- The other sites, for example behind the Garden Centre, and the, Mushroom Farm site, should not be considered because they are pure Green Belt.
SHOULD THERE BE HOUSING? IF SO, WHERE SHOULD HOUSING GO?
- Brownfield and infill sites are preferred
- Open to considering the sites along Fifield Road
- Open to moving the recognised settlement boundary
- Would Water Oakley take in all the allocated Bray Parish housing number?
- To support and promote small and startup businesses utilising redundant farm buildings, providing affordable and sustainable employment for local people and taking away traffic congestion from town areas.
- To support and promote riding stables and livery yards, providing both employment opportunities and passive leisure use for local people.
- To support and promote plant and nursery stock production and sales, fulfilling market opportunities in surrounding area also helping to cut down on the importation of foreign plants.
- To support and promote local businesses who produce and add value, and retail locally sourced produce.
- To support and promote local people who run their businesses from home.
- To support and promote other leisure activities that do not conflict with other people’s enjoyment of our rural environment
All these points were okay, with one comment: a need to ensure appropriateness of new businesses.