Thursday, 6 September 2012

Chaucer Fields Update - Please try to help on 11th September!

1. Village Green Application

A key day for us all is 11th September 2012. This is the day when Kent County Council (KCC) will decide the prospects for the ongoing Southern Slopes Village Green application. Specialist officers (Council employees) have been scrutinising the material gathered by the proposers of the application, residents familiar with how the fields are used by local people. The Officers will have presented a report based on what they have been told – by the proposers, their supporters (through statements and written representations, and the University authorities themselves (as the sole objector) – to a panel of elected members (that is, KCC Councillors). Based on this report, against the backdrop of national legislation which organises this process as a non-political one, and what emerges through their deliberations, those elected members will decide whether to:

  •     accept the village green application;
  •     reject the village green application; or
  •     launch a public enquiry to examine the evidence in more detail.
The panel will be informed by a visit to the site (that is, the 40+ acres of the Southern Slopes) at around 11.15 am on that day. It would be very helpful if people can try to be on the fields in the morning, enjoying them through walking, cycling, running, or other recreation. That way, KCC Councillors can get some sense of the uses of the space by witnessing these activities.

There will then be a formal meeting at the Westgate Hall, Canterbury, at 1 pm. The discussion on Chaucer Fields is unlikely to start before 1.30pm. If you can organise your diaries so as to allow you to attend the meeting at Westgate Hall as well (or instead) that would be fantastic. Although you won’t be able to speak at this meeting, a good attendance would help the KCC panel understand the extent of commitment to this place locally.

2. District Plan – continuing plans for development of Southern Slopes

The University has not given up on development of the Southern Slopes and has announced that a “public consultation” will begin on 11th September. This will include an “open day for the general public (including detailed presentations)” on Saturday 22nd September. Further information on this will be provided here as soon as it is available.

You can read more at: http://chaucerfieldspicnicsociety.wordpress.com/

(The previous article on this subject can be found here.)