Compton & Downlands Weekly News, Thursday 22 February 2024

Compton & Downland Weekly News header

Thursday 22 February 2024 

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: volunteers, a victory, breakfast, new bins and the rainforest – plus a bit more information about whether affordable homes are really needed in East Ilsley.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Compton area events include: a Sunday market and live music. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities

• Pen Meadow again

As mentioned last week, there are currently mixed feelings in East Ilsley about the proposal – application reference 23/02681/FULMAJ – for “Erection of 14 no. dwellings, public open space, a shared office space and associated infrastructure on Land West Of High Street”. I suggested that there seem to be two main concerns. One was the risk of the flooding: the other was the question of whether the village needed affordable housing, this being one of the main aspects of the plan which is being pushed by the developers.

Two housing needs surveys (2018 and 2020) have variously been referred to although I wasn’t able to fine the more recent one. Nor, it seems, has the Parish Council. The PC did, however, draw my attention to its minutes from its November 2021 meeting which included the following:

“The Pen Meadow Development Village Survey results were shared. 58 responses were received in total. A summary is below:

  • Support of building of 14 affordable homes on Pen Meadow. Yes = 29, No = 29 (50%/50% split)
  • Support of building 14 affordable homes on Pen Meadow with Parish Council control over the rest of the meadow. Yes = 34, No = 24 (59% Yes, 41% No)
  • 74% of responses wanted to keep the rest of the meadow as open green space. 55% wanted to generate a new wildflower meadow, 53% wanted to use the space for village events, 16% requested a village hall, 28% wanted a village shop and 12% wanted a cricket pitch and pavilion. Please note users could select multiple choices.

“A vast range of both positive and negative comments were received and have been downloaded onto a spreadsheet.

“Upon discussion, it was clear a decision could not be made during the meeting whether to approve or object to the proposed plans. Questions were raised over the title of the deed and who actually owns Pen Meadow, whether the right to develop/exception site can be implemented at Pen Meadow, whether the 8 identified needs in the Housing Survey of 2020 required 14 houses to be built and the fact Pen Meadow is in a Conservation area, a site of historic importance to the village and in an AONB.

“All Councillors agreed to postpone making a decision at this meeting and that the feedback received via the survey and the questions raised tonight would be sent to Manor Oak Homes for comment.”

This appears to suggest that, on the basis of the 10% of people (perhaps 15% of the adult population) who responded, there does seem to be a desire for affordable homes. As I concluded last week, “These points may, however, fall away in the face of the objections predicated on flooding (and some other issues including traffic). Given the number of these, the decision will go to planning committee if the officers are minded to accept it. There’s still time to make your comments, for or against.”

• Other news

Friends of Compton Primary School are calling for volunteers  on Saturday 24 February at 10am to help paint the school library.This will also include moving books into the hall and dismantling some shelving. Ideally, it should be completed on Saturday but might run over into Sunday. It is entirely dependent on the number of volunteers. Unfortunately they can not include your kids in this situation Please email FOCPS at contact.focps@gmail.com

• Fans of Compton FC were thrilled to watch their team execute a  a convincing 3-0 victory last weekend to take them into the semi final of the North Berks Cup. Goals came from Ty Driscoll, with 2 tap ins and an unstoppable screamer, from Gez Scarlett.

Downland Practice – Social Prescribing is keen to remind patients that Hillier’s Garden Centre is delighted to be able to host the Ladies Breakfast Club. If you have never been before, do  join in. Going forward the club will continue to meet on the second Wednesday of every month, so the next meeting will be on Wednesday 13 March.

Compton Pre-School is looking for your help. They are in need of donations of some small matchbox vehicles, a basketball hoop and a football goal. Contact  Dominique Barton on facebook to arrange drop-off or collection.

• The Downs School is excited to report, that in their pursuit of sustainability, the school is now fully equipped with new recycling bins.

Jane Gartshore reports that her dad has moved on from his famous bird boxes and now is making some  brilliant bird tables and for a donation to the pre-school or the local food bank, they could be yours. Go to 18 Newbury Lane, to bag one.

• A reminder that the Downland Volunteer Group has recently launched a new fully electric and fully accessible HandeBus. Anyone For those wishing to use the HandeBus or volunteer to help the DVG’s work, contact 07713 813 523; dvg.handebus@btinternet.com; or at www.downlandvolgroup.org. More information can also be found here.

• Would you like to help inspire the future workforce? Education Business Partnership helps prepare our local young people for the world of work, and to do this EBP relies on the support of local businesses and professionals. If you would like to volunteer your expertise please see here for more details.

• Quick reminder that The Living Rainforest in Hampstead Norreys is appealing for donations to help with the rocketing cost of energy. They report that they are struggling to cover electricity and heating costs for the animals and plants that live there. No support is available from government sources so they reply on public support to help. Click here to learn more or donate.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

• The Rural Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications and it’s aimed at providing funding to micro and small businesses located in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

• For road closures and other news visit Hampstead Norreys Parish Council‘s facebook page.

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Drop-in café at St Mary & St Nicholas, Compton on the last Wednesday afternoon of the month at Compton Village Hall. Refreshments and friendly chit-chat. Open to anyone.

U6, U7 and U16 footballers are welcome at FC Cougars. Please contact graham on graham@fccougars.com.

• Compton Parish Council is keen to remind residents to please take rubbish home with them if litter bins are full.

• Compton Karate based at Aldworth Village Hall is a small and friendly dojo that welcomes new members.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice. There is no shame if you do get caught out by scammers (Penny has) and you must seek help and warn others.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 24 Feb Live music at the Ibex, Chaddleworth.

• Sat 9 Mar Live Music with Fubar The Swan East Ilsley.m

• Regular events and groups 

• Stay, Play and Learn at Compton Village Hall on Thursday mornings during term for children 0-4 years to socialise with others, exploring a variety of play activities and crafts. Book online with West Berkshire Council here.

The Handybus service to Wantage picks up Chaddleworth and Leckhamstead residents from their homes on the second and fourth Tuesday morning. The round trip will cost £4. See here for more details and how to book.

• Marcham Cricket Club welcomes new cricket players and officials.

Tea and a Chat on Mondays from 9.30am to 11am at the Wilkins Centre in Compton: all welcome

Wellbeing and mental health free one hour introduction session with Recovery in Mind and The Downland Practice. Please contact pm.downland@nhs.net to book your place.

Drop Off/Drop In Coffee Morning every Wednesday during term time at Brightwalton Church from 8.45 to 10am.

Free coffee and cake morning at The Wilkins Centre in Compton from 9.30 am to 11 am every Monday.

Aldworth Saturday Market at Aldworth Village Hall, RG8 9SE from 10.30am to midday sells fresh fruit and vegetables, groceries, stamps and cards; tea and coffee. Contact Kathy on 01635 578090 or e-mail kathyneville@outlook.com

• The Gents Breakfast Club created by The Downland Practice – Social Prescribing is proving popular. If you would like more information please contact nicky.ager@nhs.net.

• Compton Tots on the first and third Thursday of every month at Compton Village Hall from 9.30am to 11am. Providing a safe, fun and educational space, in partnership will Compton Pre-school for 0-5 years and costs £2 per family (cash only).

• Quiz night at The Crown and Horns in East Ilsley every Thursday from 7pm with prizes to be won. You can reserve a table by calling 01635 281545 and see more information here.

• Brickleton Babes Baby and Toddler Group in Brightwalton Village Hall. Join their facebook group for details.

• Autumn Group regular meetings include the Hobbies Club at the Wilkins Centre, Compton. Visit their facebook page for details. Anyone from surrounding villages very welcome.

• Aldworth Art/Painting Group at the Aldworth Village Hall on first and third Tuesday of every month from 9.30am to noon. Details on the East Ilsley Communicator (issue 105, p 21) here.

 Aldworth Craft Group meet at Aldworth Village Hall on the second and fourth Monday of every month (within the school term time) from 10am to noon. More details in the East Ilsley Communicator (issue 105, p 16), which you can download here.

• Hampstead Norreys Village Hall club and event information is on Hampstead Norreys Community website.

• Ilsley Under Fives meet every Wednesday between 10am to 11.30am at various locations throughout the Ilsley villages. Please join their Facebook group or see details here.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent meeting of Compton Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; financial matters; reports from the working parties; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes click herePlease click here for the latest on Compton’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Peasemore Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 24 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the parish plan; thew Village Hall; repairs and maintenance; financial matters; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Brightwalton Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Community co-ordinator; the Church; a new clerk needed; planning matters; financial matters; and the Millennium Green Trust.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Beedon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereTo see minutes from past meetings please click here. Please click here for details of the planning applications currently active in the parish.

.• The most recent meeting of West Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 December and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees) please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 November and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldworth Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 November and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and mintues for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chaddleworth Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 November and you can read the minutes here. (There was also a meeting on 19 December to consider one planning application, the minutes of which you can read here.)
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Hampstead Norreys Council for which minutes are available  took place on 28 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meetings of Ashampstead Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Archives

To see earlier Compton & Downlands & Surrounding Area Weekly News columns, please click here.

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