Latest news

Latest news on the Angel Meadow Play Area refurbishment

If you are a regular visitor to Angel Meadow, you will know that the galleon climbing frame is starting to take shape. We think the contractor has underestimated the amount of room it will take, and we may have to give it more space by moving the fence a bit. Although this wasn’t planned, we can use it as an opportunity to reshape the area so everyone has more room to move. If we do have to enclose the path, the contractor will replace it with a nice new one. Access may be limited while the work goes on, but looking at the new play equipment, we know it will be worth it.

Council objects to 550 home estate North of Broomfield.

Broomfield Parish Council has put in a thorough response to a planning application for 550 dwellings north of Broomfield, between the Hospital and Blasford Hill.  You can read it here.

Like most planning documents, it is long and quite complicated, so here are the main points:

  1. 550 dwellings is far too many for the site, which is only meant to have around 450.
  2. The additional traffic will add to the existing severe traffic problems on Main Road
  3. The development is supposed to include provision of a new access into Broomfield Hospital.  This must be included in the application and the Council would like it to be multi-use, not restricted to staff, deliveries etc
  4. The development should include a substantial tree belt to screen it from the higher land to the west and to act as a wildlife corridor.

We cannot object to it being around 450 houses, because city councillors have already approved this as part of the new Chelmsford Local Plan. But we have objected to the additional 100 houses. To read the full report, click here.

‘North of Woodhouse Lane’ Housing Development – Possible Increase in Housing!!

Chelmsford’s new Local Plan already says there will be a new housing development of around 450 dwellings north of Woodhouse Lane, between Broomfield Hospital and Little Waltham (see Google map below).  A masterplan for the site was approved by the City Council last year.

We understand that a planning application has now been submitted by the developers, Bloor Homes, not for around 450 – but for up to 550 dwellings!! In addition, two smaller pieces of adjacent land are being put forward for development, meaning a total of 570 dwellings could be built in this part of Broomfield and Little Waltham.

Broomfield Parish Council opposed the original development, mainly on the grounds of the increase in traffic going through the village.  Although we can’t stop the original development, as it has now been included in the approved Local Plan, we have lobbied hard to make it as acceptable as possible for the local community.

So we’re extremely disturbed to hear that the developers are now trying to squeeze in an extra 100 houses, as this will surely make the traffic even worse.  Working with our friends and neighbours at Little Waltham Parish Council, we’ll be doing all we can to challenge this proposal and mitigate its impact on our village.  We’ll also speak to other agencies and get professional planning and traffic advice to help us decide on the best strategy.

As more details emerge, we will let you know on this website.  If you’d like even more information, please let us know by e-mailing us at: [email protected] and we’ll do our best to keep you posted.

Most importantly, keep an eye on the City Council Planning website if you would like to comment.  The reference number is 20/02064/OUT – click here to read it.  At the moment, not all the documents have been loaded up and it doesn’t yet give the deadline for responses.

New Youth Club for Broomfield?

 

The Chairman’s blog has just been updated with some more information and  comments about the new youth centre. Click here to read it.

Parish Council meeting December 2020

It was the last meeting of the year and we would like you to read the Chairman’s report on a meeting that welcomed a new councillor, made another stride towards the new youth facility and fired the starting gun for the consultation part of the neighbourhood plan. This will be your opportunity to see the finished plan and have your say on what it means to the future of the village. Click here to see the report, and click here to find out more about the neighbourhood plan.

The Autumn edition of Broomfield Times is now available for download here.

The annual return and notice of public rights to inspect the accounts has been published. According to the law, you have until February to review the accounts but of course, you are very welcome to have a look at them at any time. Contact the clerk for more information. 

Not everyone is lucky to live in a Parished area, and not every parish is the right size. Every few years, Chelmsford has to review the boundaries and review how local government is managed. This community governance review is happening now and the City Council would like your views on what should happen next. Click here to have your say.

The latest Chairman’s Blog has been published – click here to read about the latest events in the parish.

Council Zooms Again!  Good news for Broomfield Scouts and New Facilities

At their second ‘virtual meeting’ last week the Parish Councillors made some significant strategic decisions. We have over £200,000 of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL, formally S106 Planning Development money) available to us and we have started looking at how that can be invested in the community. This is from money developers have to contribute to local communities as part of housing development projects.

We were very pleased to be able to agree a grant of £2,000 to Broomfield Scouts towards a new ‘horizontal climbing wall’ as part of their recent building project – good news for the 120 local young people who are part of Scouts or Guides

We approved a budget of £50,000 to refurbish and upgrade the children’s play area (full details to be decided later) and another £3,000 to commissioning a feasibility study into improving and extending the Village Hall to cope with increase demand and social distancing requirements going forward.

We allocated another £3,000 into investigating how best to upgrade Church Green, Broomfield’s only Conservation Area.

Councillor Angie Faulds has put forward a ‘tree for life’ scheme in Broomfield where we will plant a new tree for every child born in the village. The exact details have to be worked out but the initial plan has been approved.

We are continuing to support the new Broomfield community near Channels with a community notice board and dog refuse bins.

In May we received proposals for a new cafe to be developed in the old football club pavilion on Angel Field. To speed the negotiations along, the Council appointed a surveyor to help understand how this would work given the property’s restricted access across Council and Village Hall property. Regrettably, progress remains slow but we will continue to do what we can.

Other projects we are looking at include some way of celebrating the incredible contribution of key workers during the pandemic crisis, further bus shelters in the village and accessible plots at the allotment site.

Please let the Council know if you have any suggestions about spending the developer funding for new village facilities.  Contact Mike Letch at the Parish office or e-mail: [email protected]

Many of you will have seen first-hand, or on social media, the serious damage that has been done to some of the trees in Centenary Wood. This is not the first example of vandalism in recent weeks, two other recently planted trees were snapped off and some young men used a picnic table as a place to use their disposable barbeques causing considerable damage.

We have reported these incidents to Chelmsford Police but they are unable to help. There is very little we can do about this other than issue a plea for information.

In the first example mentioned above, people were stripping the bark from some trees and carving their initials into another. It is perfectly possible that these initials were not their own, but the photographs that one Parishioner put on social media did bring forward information linking the initials with the names of teenagers from the village who apparently attend Chelmer Valley High School. We were about to write to the Head Teacher to keep her aware of what had happened, but before that letter was sent we received a letter of apology. It came from two individuals expressing deep regret for the damage that they had caused and enclosing a contribution towards the cost of the damage. The next time you visit the nature reserve, you will see a sturdy new bridge over the brook. A much-needed improvement which was partly paid-for by this money.

While the contribution was appreciated and has been put to good use, the trees were living things and the damage cannot be repaired; we can only hope that some of them may recover. That said;  it is good to see that someone has come forward, apologised, accepted responsibility and contributed to financial restitution. We respect that they had the courage to do that and hope we can all learn from the experience.

The Parish Council now meets online and you are welcome to join them. There is a an opportunity to raise questions and make comments, and you can read the agenda when it is published on Friday.

This will be an interesting meeting because it will be the start of a discussion about improvements to the Village Facilities because the Council now has access to a considerable sum of Community Infrastructure Funding which will be used for the benefit of the village. We currently have £200,000 available and expect further sums to be arising. Don’t run-away with the idea that all these things will be decided at the meeting. This is a lot of money and there will have to be consultation and thought put into making sure that the money is spent wisely and within the rules which say that it must be used for ; “The provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure; or Anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area”

• This gives us plenty of scope and some of the things include, but not exclusively:

• The refurbishment and upgrading of the Children’s Play Area.

• Funding for Various Small Projects around the village where grants may be available. In order to advance, without undue delay, we agree to use our own funds and not necessarily apply for grants. For example Broomfield in Bloom, upgrading the frontage of Felsted Field, and establishing accessible allotment plots.

• Extending the Village Hall. We know that before the pandemic the Village Hall was running at close to capacity so had no scope to offer further facilities. Once we reopen we might expect there to be a greater demand for community facilities but we might also expect a need for more space in order to offer our existing facilities with greater social distancing.

Other things that might be possible but will require further work, feasibility study, additional external funding or agreement from other parties:

Cycle Path Network – Cllr Blake and the Neighbourhood Plan Committee are working on this.

Upgrade to Church Green Conservation Area.

Purchase of Land at Broomfield Place to develop another community café and other community purposes – Cllr Daden is working on proposals for this possibility.

This list is not intended to be inclusive, but is simply items that we are currently exploring. The finance committee have been working on a more detailed strategic plan which includes some other projects which we currently might aspire to but the opportunities are not currently available.

Normally we publish a paper magazine quarterly, but under the current circumstances we thought we would try something different and produce a monthly online magazine. If you know of someone that would prefer to read a paper copy, let the editor know by clicking here. If there is sufficient demand, we will have some paper copies printed for you to collect,

Read the May edition here

Community Café for Broomfield

Following the recent receipt of a proposal for the development of the Happy Angel Café on the old Football Club pavilion in Angel Field, the parish council enthusiastically welcomed the proposal.  So, to get things started, they unanimously agreed to appoint a chartered surveyor who will work with the developer to make sure that the public assets are protected  during the work.

Covid 19. What can I do to help?

Essex County Council is co-ordinating the work of individuals, charities and businesses that have time or resources to help those affected by the virus and the isolation. If you would like to register, click here

If you are a community group working to support those who have been affected by the coronavirus in any way, remember that the Parish Council may be able to help with a grant to support your work. If you think your work would be eligible for support, please contact the Clerk.

You will not be surprised to know that the Village Hall has had to restrict its activities while we all do our bit to contain the spread of the virus. Please note that there will be no stay and play or coffee mornings. The litter pick will be postponed to autumn.

What does the Parish have to say about Bloor Homes masterplan?

Quite a lot. The Parish Council has been on the case with this development since 2015. We’ve managed to get it reduced from 1,500 dwellings – first to 800 and then to 450.  It’s likely that the development will go ahead, so now the Council is trying to ensure that we get the best possible outcome for Broomfield, especially regarding traffic and the environment. That’s why the Council’s response is thorough, carefully argued and inevitably quite long.

If you just want a quick introduction, click here for a sneak preview of the article which will be in the next edition of the Broomfield Times.  But click here if you’d like to read the Council’s full consultation response . It’s a long read and includes sections on;  why the promised link road into the Hospital must happen, why the promised improvements to the B1008 (Main Road and Blasford Hill) must happen, how a significant number of homes could be for the active retired, closer to the bus route along the B1008,  and the need for new woodland along the western edge of the site, to screen it from the countryside and provide an amenity for existing residents (human and animal!) as well as the new residents.

As well as the words, there are the maps which should help you make sense of it all.

Finally, as the development crosses into Little Waltham, the two parishes have been working together and will continue to do so.  You can read the memorandum of understanding here – this helps us all to speak with one voice.

Tell us if you think we’ve missed anything!

The latest Chairman’s blog has been published. Click here to read about some potential futures for the library, and why you should always give-way at junctions in the village.

One of the articles in the last edition of Broomfield Times looked at the problems and benefits of working from home. Click here to read the article and let us know what you think.

The Winter edition of Broomfield Times is available here.

For those of you who are interested in such things, the Council’s annual audit certificate of completion has been published. You can see it here.

New defibrillator installed at the village hall.

We really hope that it is never needed, but there is now a defibrillator at the Village Hall. It is next to the main doors, and facing the car park. If you should ever need it, call 999 and you will be given instructions on what to do.