07413 932 406 / 01404 232100 clerk@westhillparishcouncil.gov.uk

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Picnic Benches in Broadoak Plantation - Letter to Residents

This letter will be delivered to households adjacent to Broadoak Plantation and is published here for the information of all residents in West Hill.

Dear Residents

At the 3rd December meeting of the Parish Council a few residents expressed concern that there had been no consultation concerning the council’s proposal to place picnic benches in the glade in Broadoak Plantation.

This letter is to advise you of the proposal which we plan to implement in spring of 2020.  This plan has been mentioned in Council minutes on several occasions, but since our recent WHPC newsletter was delivered to every household, the proposal is gathering interest.

WHPC carried out a Public Realm survey in 2018 and subsequent public consultations.  The public realm study, which is shown on our website, suggested that more use could be made of Broadoak Plantation. The council accepted this suggestion and negotiated with the Woodland Trust to create a glade within the woodland, the location of which was carefully selected  with regard to wildlife habitats, and the time of creation was chosen to avoid the breeding season. There were no trees in the glade site.

As West Hill has very little open space for public use, especially since the school closed access to the school field earlier this year, the proposed picnic benches within the glade will be for the use of the entire West Hill community.

The benches will not be advertised beyond West Hill, so the vast majority of people using the benches will originate within the village and will be encouraged to walk to alleviate parking issues. Signs will also be displayed, requesting that people take away all waste material, do not use barbeques, and leave the site clean and tidy for the benefit of all.

The picnic benches that WHPC aim to place within the glade are made from recycled material, which requires very little maintenance, but look like wood. The cost of buying and installing the benches will be met by CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) money. CIL is a charge that local authorities can apply to developers when new homes are built, such as the Eastfield development in West Hill, and so the funds are already available but can only be used for a community project.  WHPC will be responsible for long term maintenance.

Please send any comments you may have to the clerk preferably by e-mail. clerk@westhillparishcouncil.gov.uk

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