Chairmans Newsletter – November 2019

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Dear Member,

Your Village Association – New Constitution

At the AGM in October we were able to share with everyone the new Constitution approved by the Charity Commission. There had been some disagreement on the wording of Clause 3 (the Association’s Objectives) which we were able to resolve by assuring the Charity Commission that the Association would conduct its business exclusively for the public benefit and for charitable purposes in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. The wording of Clause 3 has therefore been changed from that published after the consultation in the autumn of last year. Nothing other than Clause 3 has been changed.

A copy of the new Constitution can be found on the WVA website. Our Charity Number is now 1185622

Membership and Subscriptions

We have worked hard this year on increasing our membership and encouraging as many of you as possible to pay your household subscription by standing order with your bank. Unfortunately, the new Charity will require a new bank account and we will be writing to members asking them to change the bank details on their Standing Orders for the coming year. We apologise profusely for having to do this, and will be sending out a separate letter explaining what needs to be done.

Indigo Spice

We await the outcome of the planning application (MO/2019/1452) for two dwellings and two parking spaces on the site of the former restaurant. We still have concerns about the provision of parking and will continue to work to minimise any adverse impact in the vicinity.

Church Bank

The church bank has now been landscaped but the sewing with grasses and wild flowers has been delayed as a result of the very wet start to October; hopefully when this is completed, by next spring the bank will be transformed!!  For those who have asked, we will be returning the “Silent Soldier” memorial to its former position once the work is completed.

The Wotton Estate has also agreed to plant a mixed species hedge along the length of the parking area to try to screen cars parked here from the road. We would remind residents however, that this is private land and that parking is only permitted when the church is being used on a Sunday or for other services/meetings; it is not a free parking lot for the village.

Box Hill to Leith Hill Off-Road Cycling Route

Surrey County Council, in partnership with the Surrey Hills AONB, has put in a bid for the development of a 15k off-road multi-user route between Box Hill and Leith Hill via Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, Westcott, and Coast Hill Farm at Wotton. The proposed plans will include a Cycle Hub with café, toilets and showers, a cycle repair shop, and parking for up to 70 vehicles all contained within existing buildings on the existing site of the Business Park.

If the bid and development plans are approved this will undoubtedly provide parking for visitors to the area who have in the past been minded to park their cars for long periods of the day in the village. If you are a resident who is, or has been, impacted by visitor parking outside your house, I am sure that you will want to follow developments closely. When the Planning Application for the Coast Hill Farm Cycle Hub is made, we will publish the details on the WVA web-site.

Parking in Furlong Road

We have made a request to the Highways Department at County Hall that whilst The Hut site remains closed, the current double yellow line parking restrictions outside the site are temporarily lifted so that this section of the road can be used by residents for parking. Until we get confirmation however, the restrictions will still apply, but we will let residents know if an when we get the green light.

Speeding and Noise

At the AGM quite a number of residents approached me after the meeting to offer help and ideas on how we tackle this problem which has afflicted the village for a very long time. This issue has not dropped off our agenda, but finding ways to tackle the problem in a practical cost-effective way continues to prove difficult. The Surrey Hills AONB are supportive but lack the finances to do anything meaningful, and the current state of the County Council’s finances means that they too can offer little help. Raising the issue directly with both your District and County Councillors will ensure the matter is kept alive.

Diary Dates

Westcott Bonfire Night – Saturday 9th November at the Sports Club on Milton Street – this is one of the Sports Club’s main fundraising events of the year so please support them by going along.

Village Christmas Craft Fair – Saturday 23rd November -10.00am to 3.00pm. If you have not been for some years or never been, please make the effort to come. Gone are the days when this was the opportunity to recycle unwanted “stuff” from the house. There are lots of interesting stalls with some great opportunities to buy Christmas gifts and other craft products.

As always, you are invited to write to me on issues which concern you, and the WVA will do their best to address them. Thank you to all of you who attended our Open Meetings and the AGM which are an important way for the WVA to stay connected to what you as residents want for your village.

Tim Way
Chairman, Westcott Village Association