The Park – Comments Received

Comments pertaining to Both Proposals & General Comments

Comment dated 26/07/2021

We are writing to you regarding the land directly behind our property (The Park), in South Stoke, and the possibility of leasing or renting part of this land.

We are interested in leasing a parcel of land directly behind our property, part of what is known as ‘the park’, to create an extension to our garden, develop a wildflower meadow and reduce the impact on the view from the house created by the railway gantries. We have attached a map and outlined the area of interest in RED.

This land is currently unused and overgrown by various weeds and nettles, with rutted ground underfoot. We would like the opportunity to create an extension to our garden and aid the screening of railway gantries by creating a small wildlife and conservation area, strategic native planting and partly laid to lawn. This could include:

A wildflower garden to attract insects

Apple trees to create a food source for wildlife

A hedgehog ‘hotel’ and ‘highway’

Partly laid to lawn

Planting and hedging to aid natural screening and privacy

Comment dated 28/07/2021

Just an idea, it might be good to find out if people are interested in allotments, we [have] friends in Leicestershire who have a thriving group of gardeners n the allotments

It could be a great use of the park

Comment dated 12/09/2021

Great to read about what’s going on in the village. I read the piece on the future of the village park land and thought I’d email to cast a vote for a tennis court (or two?). In our last village we had access to a community tennis court and it was fantastic.

Maybe with the success of Emma Raducanu in the US open last night it will inspire lots of young people to pick up a racket!

No pressure as the other suggestions also sounded great - we just thought we’d show some support for the tennis court idea!

If there is wider support for a tennis court then please keep me updated as I’d be happy to try and help with the initiative.

Comment dated 23/11/2021

I think having a pedestrian route through the village will be great, and moving the village shop to this location is likely to increase passing foot traffic and hopefully increase it's trade.

The tennis court will be a great addition - as stated, it may make sense to position it 90 degrees to the layout shown as it will provide a natural boundary between the rest of the space and the conservation zone.

I am for the selling of long-leases, as stated, to fund the project. Perhaps getting members of the village to help with any planting where possible would be a good way of saving on some of the cost and building villagers' connection to the space.

If there is limited interest in community gardens, perhaps the creation of a small number of allotments could be considered. Or a small space for a local plant/seed/produce swap.

More green space for the school is great.

If there are no other sport facilities requested, perhaps a small skate park or similar, or a secondary play area, or a fixed workout space (pull up bars, dip bars etc) could be considered.

I agree that the vehicular access from Ferry road should only be secondary and limited.

Finally, (and it's a long shot because of how I have understood the terms of the lease) could a small building/space be created that could be rented by local professionals [    ].

Comment dated 4/12/21:

I have seen both “plans” for the park [and] the community gardens plan has my vote.

Comments dated 4/12/21:

Regarding this proposal, has anyone costed it? How much will it put our precept up?

Comments dated 4/12/21:

Prompted by the creative suggestions from the SSW&CG I have given this project some thought.

Ultimately this is a community decision but I am concerned that whilst individuals have come up with good ideas, both for the Recreation Ground/Village Hall/Community Shop and now the Park, delivery is a problem. The limiting factor is always money, not ideas.

The Park could be the solution and not another good idea which runs into the ground for want of funds.

The whole field could be turned into a solar farm which would be funded by OPM, other peoples money. The profit would then be split with the funder(s) and the Parish Council. This “free money” can then be used to finance the village hall and community shop.

I claim no expertise in this field but there are people who specialise in this. The solar farm would need planning, access and grid take off. It will also have to be permissible under the ground lease.

If there is any enthusiasm for this I am willing to at least undertake preliminary research as I know a man who knows

Comments dated 6/12/21:

Thank you for the 2 options for The Park development proposals- from the PC and the South Stoke conservation group.

In considering the conservation group plan which generally is my preferred plan I trust you will consider the following comments to take forward to the PC.

  • Vehicular access from Cross Keys road to the Park area is fraught with issues for the drivers due to the tight entrance between walls on the boundaries of each property- the turning allowance in less than minimal and on occasions causes extreme anxiety to all drivers and pedestrians. In addition emerging from the Hall/park area the visibility for drivers of likely pedestrians is almost blind
  • Only pedestrian access should be planned from Cross  Keys Rd
  • As a consequence of the first comment I feel it’s imperative that vehicular access IS ONLY from Ferry Road as long as this is compliant with Highways regulations on safe distance from the railway bridge
  • A gated access here is to be welcomed and ideally would be on the far corner from the bridge as out lined on the PC plan
  • SSW&GC group plan has more sympathetically allowed space for the School area immediately behind the school
  • By limiting the orchard planting in the SSW&CG an allowance could be left for the future extension to the graveyard should this be needed and Plot 13 is likely to be excess in the requirement for community garden plots
  • It is likely that the residents of the houses backing onto the Park would be more sympathetic to community plots on their boundaries than school children and their outdoor activities

I trust you will find these comments helpful to your decision making on these plans and weigh up the collective points for the benefit of the whole community.

Comment dated 9/12/21:

Having now received details of the Community Gardens proposal, which did not appear in the November newsletter along with other suggestions about the future of The Park, I would like to make some comments.

  1. I hope that there will be full consultation and a public meeting about the various proposals before any decision is made.
  2. Please ensure that dates of such consultation are widely circulated; do not rely on Facebook to do this.
  3. When and how was the decision made to allocate some of The Park to the school? How much land? Will the school pay rental? If so, how much?
  4. Any decision to offer plots of land for sale needs to be carefully considered in respect of the terms of the lease and the rights of all villagers.
  5. Potential usage of a tennis court and bowling green needs to be established before these are considered and future maintenance costs need to be identified.
  6. Is there evidence of the need for an extended graveyard? If so I would support it and assume that the church would maintain it.
  7. The Community Gardens proposal has a lot of merit. It supports many National objectives for land use and as the trend now is for houses to have small gardens, I think it would be well used by village residents. I assume that grants would be available for such a project? Several surrounding villages e.g Brightwell cum Sotwell have established community gardens/ orchards/ nature reserves and these appear to be successful. The proposed layout has been carefully planned and contains all the necessary elements to make the scheme successful as well as making good use of all the available space, in addition to providing all necessary facilities for users.
  8. The proposal in the newsletter leaves too much green space without a particular use which would need extensive maintenance. Too much land is allocated to the school- what are their plans for its use?
  9. Access to the site is a problem and needs to be carefully considered. An extended car park is essential.
  10. Please consider usage, rental incomes, grants, and future maintenance and management before making any decision. We do not want a repeat of the problems associated with the White Hill Quarry project.

In summary, I strongly support the Community Gardens proposal and feel that would provide the best future for The Park

Comments pertaining to Cllr Wortley's Proposal

Comment dated 12/09/21:

We liked the idea of retaining it as playing fields for the school, using it for tennis’s courts and also potentially for a bowling green

Comment dated 12/09/21:

I would be happy to see part of the park used by the church if they are in need of space and also to be used by the school. I would love the opportunity to rent an allotment and see this as a way of the village gaining income from the land and furthering the community feel that South Stoke has.  Whilst there are many large properties in the village, not everybody in South Stoke has a garden large enough to grow what they would like to.

I would be against the land being sold to private neighbours of the park which will increase the value of their properties, resulting in the loss of a village asset.  Once sold off, the land would be lost permanently.  If Christchurch gifted the land to the village to use, it should stay for the village to use, not to be sold off to those few who can afford it.

Comment dated 12/09/21:

In due course there will be a village meeting to discuss ideas and proposals. We do not wish to hinder that process and will, if necessary, express our views at that time. Meanwhile, we would like to agree an additional “conservation zone” as drawn at the bottom of the garden of Little House. Please see amended sketch plan below. [                ] In the conservation zone we would plant trees to visually screen the activity in the field, provisionally allocated to the school.

We are happy to enter into dialogue and if possible to agree terms ahead of any future village meeting, if that would help advance matters

Comment dated 31/10/21:

We just like to say what a great plan for the area outlined in the recent newsletter. We fully support this new plan and use of land especially the wild flower and green areas also any hedging which would encourage wildlife, birds and all creatures great and small.

Well done to all who are involved in making this happen, it would definitely be an added benefit for our lovely village.

Comment dated 2/11/21:

I respond to the request made by Cllr. Wortley in the November Newsletter for comments on the future use of the Park land.

Firstly, some points of principle:

  1. The Park land use should promote interest by and benefit to as wide a section of the community as possible.
  2. The goal should be a vision that achieves an ecologically sound use of the land.
  3. The Park is a community asset and should not be nibbled away to satisfy private interests
  4. Use of the Park land will incur capital and maintenance costs and, where reasonable, these should be met by the users.

Now for the detail:

  • The area allocated to the school looks massive. What possible use could a school of 50 children make of this area? Does the school accept the costs of fencing and maintaining an additional green area? Does the school have budget surplus to cover the capital and running costs to maintain the land acquired?
  • The three plots allocated to private rental should be reconsidered.
  • The graveyard extension may be a wise provision but does the church want or need it in the foreseeable future? With dwindling church attendance and income it is conceivable that the additional financial burden of more land is what the church does not want
  • A wider community benefit is not demonstrated by the plan as submitted. There should be specific ecologically-sound areas of interest/engagement (e.g. community garden, allotments, support facilities) for all age groups and facilities for elderly and disabled users (e.g. benches, raised beds, flower gardens, water feature, level paths)
  • Access from Ferry Road looks possible but Highways and Planning will need convincing - it may be permitted as an occasional, controlled access point. There is a cost involved in excavating the bank, forming the roadway and gating the new entrance. It would seem that pedestrian access could be via the lane up to the hall but this will need resurfacing to make it wheelchair friendly.
  • Parking for users of the Park would be advantageous and may support ongoing use of the existing hall.
  • Sports facilities if required should be on the recreation ground
  • How much cash is the Parish Council able to invest in capital improvements and maintenance? How much would have to be borne by user groups? Have capital and operating cost grants been investigated that could be accessed for the development of a community project with green credentials?
  • There are various potential planning matters involved - will the PC front and pay for the applications?

Some suggestions:

  • plant lots more trees to help the environment
  • significantly reduce or eliminate the area allocated to the school dependent on the school's explanation of need and means to pay.
  • Increase the area of ecologically managed community garden/allotment for the benefit of the young, the disabled and ecologically-minded growers.
  • Grow food in the community garden for use by the village - this will reduce food delivery miles and a provide healthy and cheap alternatives to imported supermarket fruit and vegetables.
  • Set up a strong and motivated subcommittee of the PC or the Amenities Charity to establish a shared community vision for the Park, to arrange funding of capital and maintenance works and to manage the ongoing running. It seems the project needs an injection of focused energy to bring it to a consensus decision point.
  • Use the community garden management model tried and tested by other communities.

Comment dated 14/11/21:

Purchasing of leases - in principle ok with this however how long are we talking and can we put restrictions on them regarding extensions / building works. If the intention is to effectively extend their garden space for that use  ( and holding chickens  ) that seems fine however we should retain control over what it’s used for in the future. What money would this bring in?

Extension of the burial space for the church grave yard is sensible

Extension of Car park for village hall makes sense especially for disabled access

Like the idea of green space - tennis court and community gardens etc

School allocation - what does this really mean? Allocation for exclusive use by the school I would not support. I fully understand the school lacks green space that is safe to access and close by however I don’t support potentially utilising the space solely by the school or for the potential building of new classrooms. We would effectively be giving the local authority a village asset which is proportionally a sizeable chunk of the village land in question. I would support this area which is currently ring fenced  in the plan for school allocation to be integrated into the green space generally, flattened and turfed so it could be safely used by the school children for rounders, games. BBQs, parties etc as and when, but also could be used by villagers

Comment dated 18/11/21:

In the last newsletter you outlined some possibilities for potential usage of the area known as the park in South Stoke. One of which was a site for Village Hall Mk 2 /community building.

We had some discussion off the agenda at the last AC meeting. There’s a feeling that that idea could have legs, but obviously that’s wholly dependent on what the current situation is on the Rec.  as I understand it there have been several objections made to the CB planning documents as submitted. What is the latest? Is this likely to be resolved? If it’s going to drag for years, then the park becomes a more attractive option obviously.

I note that you mention that a few residents are looking to extend their gardens taking some of the Park space. I guess that it would be possible if that is under consideration to raise the spectre of a building to be constructed  there.

Ie the garden extensions could be granted on the proviso that a new building was acceptable ( within reasonable constraints obviously)

The other ideas mooted such as a tennis court and Bowling Green didn’t meet with a lot of enthusiasm… There was a feeling that this would benefit only a very small minority of residents.

Also it does seem that the various options don’t preclude more than one item. So a Hall and a tennis court could both fit for example.

Comment dated 27/11/21:

You asked for comments on the plan that you published for The Park, by 30.11.21.

  1. A lot of hard work went into getting The Park allocated as a public asset. As you should know, it was negotiated as compensation for the new buildings at Manor Farm. It would be deeply ironic if some of this land was now sold to those same properties. I am not sure how you can legally dispose of public land to a specific purchaser. The land would need to be subject to competitive tender. In any case, I object to the idea of disposing of any of this public asset.
  1. The creation of a long, presumably metalled access track across the whole site urbanises a green space, reduces its biodiversity and is unnecessary. It should not be built.
  1. It is right that some space be allocated to the school, but I believe the space shown in your plan is too big, and is an inappropriate share of this public land. Some controls will be needed as to what the school does with any land that it is given, in order to avoid the upset caused last time they built something.
  1. If there is demand for a public tennis court then this would be better sited at the Recreation Ground, where the very lightly used basketball court could be adapted for dual use with tennis at much less cost than a new court. More tarmac on the green space of The Park is not appropriate. If there is sufficient demand for a bowling green (which I doubt) then that could also go on the recreation ground.
  1. I’m not sure what you think a community garden is, but the space allowed for it on your plan is far short of what would be required to make one work.
  1. An alternative plan for The Park is about to be published by South Stoke Wildlife Group. I ask that you extend your consultation period to allow the community to respond to it, and given that the next PC meeting is in January I expect that this can easily be accommodated.

Comment dated 5/12/21:

WHAT DO YOU LIKE?

Extension to the graveyard

School Allocation - but believe this is in the wrong place

Suggestion for a Community Garden

No objection to the Tudor Barn option

 

WHAT DON'T YOU LIKE?

The Tennis Court - costly to maintain and do not believe that it is needed

Vehicle Access from Ferry Road

The interior road around the park to the additional Village Hall parking area:

Surely any local amenity should not be encouraging people to drive

There will be children and people enjoying the amenities - car movement should not be considered on the Park

For the relatively small numbers the access via Cross Keys Road should be sufficient

Also, this will be an unnecessary cost

 

IS SOMETHING MISSING?

An option to leave the main area of the Park as grazing for Horses as current

Consideration that the Village Hall may not remain in its current location

Location (and size) of the land requested by The Little House and Perch House

 

IS SOMETHING IN THE WRONG PLACE?

The school allocation would be better placed nearer the school - size dependant

Comment dated 5/12/21:

Currently we enjoy watching horses grazing, various animals including foxes and deer are regular visitors and the wild nature of it probably offers a haven for many other creatures.

Looking at the various proposals with our limited experience of past ideas, we can only comment on the immediate.

A tarmac road into the area, would totally change all characteristics of the area, diminishing the green area available for absolutely no obvious reason…

An extension to the current graveyard, if space is required seems sensible.

Tennis court, such limited interest for this, good courts/clubs available locally, expensive to build and maintain, unused courts around the village that would be better utilised!

Car park for the village hall - why? When all other plans we have seen are to move the hall… access is not good enough to encourage further vehicles, and the hall is within walking distance for virtually everyone in the village and ample parking for the few who require it.

School allocation - makes sense, on a lease basis, although would have to consider school numbers. Local demographics and whether the demand for school places will be there locally. Eg. traditionally Goring overflow came to South Stoke, but Goring struggling for numbers and reducing class intake …

Community garden - lovely idea, but as most people have gardens in the village would the demand for allotments locally be there? If the allotments etc. then go to those outside of South Stoke, who have to drive, increasing the traffic in the village, requiring parking, this then ceases to be a local community garden….

Overall we would love to see more trees planted, wildflowers, natural benches, horses grazing, fences maintained and the space maintained for villagers to relax in and enjoy as they walk past/through to the church etc. Maybe natural picnic tables, but a totally different but complimentary feel to the other fabulous South Stoke (play) park

Comments dated 8/12/21:

Dear South Stoke PC. What a brilliant idea. It looks well thought through to us, but I’m sure you’ll get lots of other ideas from locals This could make a far better Community Asset than another one which is now deceased,

I see there is a track presumably for vehicles. Will this be big enough for a tractor / lorry whatever to deliver stuff? Are there any plans to increase the size of the car park by the village hall --  it may be that others might like to visit when it gets going. Also are there going to be any benches for people  to sit on. People might sponsor one to remember a loved one.

Finally will free roaming dogs be welcome? (I hope not! --  only those on a lead!)

Comments Pertaining to Community Garden Proposal

Comment dated 2/11/21:

[I have been told] there is a possibility it might be turned into communal garden. She suggested I send you an email to give my vote for that option.

Comment dated 9/11/21:

Just a quick email about the park and if needed can supply names along with mine about some of the land needs to go to extra burial plots for our village church

I for one will hopefully buried there

Comment dated 1/12/21:

I would like to go on record as being fully in favor of the plan recently produced by the Wildlife Group.

In the past allotments have been raised as a provision have been suggested for the village but there were no takers. This proposal already has good support and is a considerable improvement on simply providing allotments.

It would provide many opportunities for people to meet, to learn and to chat and I for one would be happy to make regular visits regardless of whether I had a plot of my own or not.

It is well known that projects of this kind can make a significant impact on the problems of loneliness that people living on their own often struggle with.

Perhaps some of the Network Rail mitigation funds could be directed towards funding the project?

Nothing brings a community together like shared activity so I hope the Parish Council will think very carefully before adopting something that meets the needs of South Stoke less well than the excellently conceived and planned proposal from the Wildlife Group

Comment dated 4/12/21:

Can I express my views regarding the park after receiving the community gardens proposal from the SSWCG in a letterbox drop off,

Since the very beginning I think extra land should be given to the church for burial plots.

The SSWCG are great but seem to want to take over most things including the river land, I think the village has enough wildlife as it stands and if this is allowed it becomes like the recreation ground a habitat not a place to enjoy or pay respect to those who are not here,

So I object to this very strongly.

Comment dated 5/12/21:

I fully support, in principle, the proposal of the South Stoke Wildlife and Conservation Group for Community Gardens to make good use of The Park.

My comments are

-the project ought to be clear as to whether it is a community managed project allowing for individually leased plots ( as an allotment) or a wholly run community enterprise

-in either case a clear set of rules would be needed governing use of the area

-a clear set of principles to be used as criteria in settling disputes and responsibilities which may well arise where there is a conflict of ideas and interests

-there should be a board of trustees or management committee

-ideally a set of volunteers with a proper organisation ( as for Sonning Common Green Gym, noting they have undertaken three tasks in the village including planting of a row of daffodils in the Recreation Field by the lineside and putting in rabbit proof wiring along the railway fence)

- it would be very important to ‘carry’ the community including all the diverse interests even in a small village without sustained energy and continued enthusiasm the project will suffer and needs more than one or two strong driving personalities

Comment dated 5/12/21:

I believe the South Stoke wildlife conservation group -SSWCG- have done a great job in producing their proposal for the community garden. In my opinion it a well thought plan which will appeal to and be used by a wide range of villagers. This land was given to the village to be used by the village. There are other proposals that include tennis courts and the possible sale of land to villagers adding the site. Proposals of that nature will only benefit a limited number of villagers.

Comment dated 5/12/21:

I would like to register my support for the proposal put forward by the South Stoke Wildlilfe and Conservation Group as it lays out The Park being available to the whole village community young and old.

I am aware that the park was granted to the village which is why I support this proposal.

I am hopeful that all other proposals will be shared with the villagers in a transparent and timely manner prior to the end of the consultation period.

Comments dated 5/12/21:- FWD from SSWCG

Dear SS Wildlife group. What a brilliant idea. It looks well thought through to us, but I’m sure you’ll get lots of other ideas from locals

I see there is a track presumably for vehicles. Will this be big enough for a tractor / lorry whatever to deliver stuff? Are there any plans to increase the size of the car park by the village hall --  it may be that others might like to visit when it gets going. Also are there going to be any benches for people  to sit on. People might sponsor one to remember a loved one.

Finally, will free roaming dogs be welcome? (I hope not! --  only those on a lead!)

Comment dated 5/12/21:

I have seen the proposal put forward by the South Stoke Wildlife and Conservation Group, to turn The Park into Community Gardens, and would like to express my wholehearted support for this plan.

It would be an inventive way to turn this land into a resource for everyone in the village, one that is also friendly to the environment and wildlife, and I also welcome the proposal to offer pedestrian access directly from Ferry Lane.

The school area would an extra bonus for younger generations, one that is greatly needed.

I urge you to adopt the plan.

Comments dated 7/12/21:

We would like to state our support for the proposal put forward by the South Stoke Conservation Group for a Community Garden at The Park.

Its an exciting initiative and would be a marvellous facility for the village as a whole.

We hope the PC will approve the plans and put its weight behind getting this off the ground!

Comments dated 8/12/21:

What a great idea from the Wildlife Group. It’s a “Yes”

Comment dated 07/01/22:

Whereas we are not opposed to making better use of the space known as The Park, we believe the proposal is far too complex.

There is no real need for thirteen plots, polytunnels, raised beds in a village like South Stoke. Furthermore putting a road through the middle will only increase traffic volumes when we should be encouraging people to walk in nature.

Some of the prosed changes - introducing Orchards, Coppices and seating areas for the local residents - are along the right lines and using some of the Park for these initiatives should be explored further.

Comment dated 13/01/2022:

I’m responding in two parts to the community gardens proposal, as a resident of the village and as a school governor.

As a resident of the village I think developing the park would be very welcome and in principle support the idea of part of the land being used for community gardens, but I was a little concerned that the proposed design hadn’t taken into account the existing land users or agreed use going forward.

My understanding was that the parish council had agreed to implement the mend the gap initiative of tree planting along the railway line to mitigate the railway gantries. This has not been included in the community garden proposal.

Plot 13 is currently rented by residents and is already a wildflower meadow.

The orchard would prevent the church extending the graveyard should they need to do so.

The size of the plots is extremely large. What would happen to all the produce? Who would be responsible for managing the plots?

As a governor and school parent I would like to see a larger area of green space allocated to the school. This could include many of the features present in the community garden proposal. The two areas should be not be in competition with each other as I strongly feel that they should be symbiotic.

The school children need an adequate amount of space to run and play, an area to den/ shelter build, to engage in risky play and outdoor learning.

Comment dated 15/01/2022:

I have studied the Community Garden proposal and it looks like a very good idea. Something that a wide range of age groups and people of various interests would benefit from. I used to work for B.B.O.W.T and can see various aspects of the project that I could assist with. I hope the Parish Council approve of the project and can give it the support and backing neccessary to get things up and running.

Comment Received 16/01/2022:

I think the idea of a community garden is an excellent one and a great use of the space on the Park.  I would like to see a sizeable space used for the school (significantly larger than what you have currently in the plan).  My youngest will leave the school next year so won’t get the benefit of the park, however I think it would be great for the future of the school to be able to have a playing field and a vibrant school will be great for the village as a whole.

Regarding the area directly adjacent to Ferry Road - I don’t like the idea of removing the existing mature trees and planting others.  I would rather leave this space as it is.  I love the idea of insect log piles though - great for the younger children in the village.

The plots are very big. The total allotments in Goring by the car park are approximately 25x10m in total (possibly slightly larger). I’d be surprised if more than 2 or 3 were needed.  Perhaps fewer / smaller plots but more raised beds (which may benefit the older population in the village)?

The design gives over the village hall car park to the school area and a smaller car park.  We should probably think about more parking for the village hall rather than less.

Wildlife pond- is this feasible?  My understanding is that the water table there is low.  However if it can be made to work, then great.

I’d like to see the Mend the Gap planting that we agreed last year included in the design.

I like the idea of a manure, compost, leaf mould bays, but given the size of the site, perhaps a larger area for this would be needed?

Finally, maintenance and upkeep.  This should be self sufficient and should not become a liability for the Parish Council.  Costs should be borne by the SSCWG (obviously re-couped by some rental / solar income).

Comment Dated 17/01/2022:

I am writing in support of the South Stoke Wildlife and Conservation Group community gardens proposal for The Park and wish to make the following points:

  1. The provision for allotments is particularly welcome. It offers all kinds of opportunities for exercise, socialising, the production food and the enhancement of local biodiversity. Over the four decades I have lived in this village increasingly new housing has been constructed on former garden land and/or with pocket sized gardens reducing space to grow things. I take it that the twelve plots marked on the proposal plans are the maximum that can be accommodated and can easily be reduced if there is insufficient demand to take up all plots.
  2. The provision of a path from Ferry Road through to the Bier path offers some mitigation to serious issues of accessibility for the elderly or those with small children simply to get around the village. It has always been hazardous to attempt to walk along the top road to Goring or in the other direction. Now due to hedges being allowed to grow out and the blockage of customary paths it is hazardous to walk to the shop! This is appalling.
  3. The provision of extra burial plots meets an existing community need.

The Park belongs to South Stoke and this proposal is a superb and positive project for the village community and the environment.

Comment dated 18/01/2022:

I do welcome the fact that you have an imaginative plan in place with many good ideas.  However, I wonder whether it is being over-planned without enough grassed open space.  It is good to have trees planted, but when they grow large it could be dark and oppressive.  I wonder who is going to benefit from fruit trees.  It is good to see that there will be allotments, but I wonder whether things like a poly tunnel, and maybe other things, should wait until the demand is known.  I would suggest that things are done gradually, which is probably what you intend.  I am glad to see that the school will have an area.

Originally Christ Church were going to give the land to the church and then more recently wanted to sell it.  The church felt it could be a liability.  Part of that plan was to have an extended graveyard at the back of the churchyard for use when the church’s one is full.  When a churchyard is full, the Parish Council has the responsibility to provide a burial ground, so this needs to be borne in mind. It does seem logical to have it there, but maybe you have other places in mind.