Parish Chairman’s Notes January 2023

Parish Chairman’s Notes January 2023

Capel Parish Council welcomes the Inspector’s initial findings on the TWBC Local Plan. These state that the plans for Tudeley development do not meet the exceptional circumstances required to take the site out of the Green Belt. We are also heartened by his comments that means there will be no building in flooding zones in East Capel.

The first draft of the emerging Capel Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to TWBC for the SEA/HRA screening and their initial comments on 9th December. We do not expect a reply before January, and it is likely there will be some revisions necessary in response before the plan goes out to wider consultation in the parish later in the New Year.

KCC has now told us it has secured the funds for us to install two electric vehicle charging points in the Village Hall car park. It is hoped that work will proceed on these early in the New Year.

Network Rail will be using the accommodation pod in the former under-fives play area and six parking spaces in the car park from this month until August (see last month’s article for more details). The Parish Council have yet to decide how to best spend the agreed rent to the benefit of the community. Any ideas on this are welcome, though we think the focus should be on the Recreation Ground.

Eagle eyed readers will spot that the trees around the toilet block have been removed and are due to be replaced by a new hedge made from saplings donated for the Jubilee.

Five Oak Green Community Gardening Group have erected seven new cherry trees in the orchard and plan an inspiration board and bench to accompany them. The Parish Council are planning a finger post next to the car park which will direct visitors to the Community Orchard, play area, MUGA and other points of interest. These should happen in the first half of the New Year.

The Council has put out to tender a project to update and extend the CCTV on the Recreation Ground. We want to ensure the system is fit for purpose so wish to update the present system and cameras and possibly extend their coverage to include the cricket pavilion, MUGA and allotments. This should help deter the antisocial behaviour that residents have complained about and provide additional security for users of the Recreation Ground. Over the next few weeks, the council will select their preferred contractor with a view to the project being carried out in the new financial year beginning in April.

Councillors are meeting with KCC officers on the 18th January to consider the results of the traffic surveys in the village carried out in the Autumn. We will be asking KCC Highways how the speeding issues that the surveys revealed can be addressed more effectively than at present.

The Parish Council are looking to establish a rota of ‘warm spaces’ in the parish where residents can come along for a chat and tea and biscuits during the winter, thus saving on the cost of heating and providing an opportunity for social interaction. We realise that the cold can bring social isolation and there are few places in the parish for people to meet socially during the colder months. If you would like more details of this scheme as a user or provider, please contact


Hugh Patterson