Monday, July 4th, 2022

‘Raw’ results of Weald village design statement questionaire on display in Memorial Hall

VILLAGE DESIGN STATEMENT AND PARISH PLAN: The Steering Group overseeing the writing and production of Weald Village Design Statement (VDS) and Parish Plan (PP) are busy at work reviewing the thoughts and opinions given through last year’s questionnaire. The draft ‘questionnaire’ was printed and on display at the 2018 School Fete to allow villagers the opportunity to comment.

After all feedback had been taken into account, the final document was printed and delivered to all households the end of August 2018. Feedback from younger members of the community was taken in a discussion exercise held at Weald Community School. Villagers were given until the middle of October to complete the form and 277 replies were received – statistically a very good return. A display of the ‘raw’ results of the questionnaire and a map of the village detailing the conservation area and listed buildings in the parish was mounted and available for people to see in the tea-tent during the recent Christian Aid week. The display has since been moved to the Memorial Hall where it will be on display for the next couple of weeks.

In writing the formal documents, the working group have to take into consideration the rules and regulations determining the Metropolitan Green Belt as the village and its surroundings lie within it. Another driving factor is that the village is also entirely within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and part of it is designated a Special Landscape Area. In addition, the escarpment of the Greensand Ridge on the northern edge of the village boundary which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and pockets of land designated Sites of Nature Conservation Interest have to be taken into consideration. Within the village, the Green and some of its surrounding buildings and trees form a Conservation Area.

All these designations have to be borne in mind when describing the village in the Village Design Statement and the Parish Plan. The VDS, will set out what makes Weald special and what design features should be preserved or enhanced. Its purpose is to help ensure that all new developments preserve the distinctive look of Weald. It has to be broadly in accordance with the advice and objectives of the Countryside Agency. The PP will build on this and will set out a vision for the future of the parish as a community and how this can be achieved. The completed documents will be published and submitted for adoption by Sevenoaks District Council as Supplementary Planning Documents to be used in assessing planning applications that affect our parish. They will also help the Parish Council prioritise their work over the coming years, as well as encouraging other initiatives in Weald.

Once the report is in draft stage the community will be encouraged to review it before submitting it to Sevenoaks District Council.

STOOLBALL SUCCESS: Weald Stoolball team is going from strength to strength. The team is now winning matches and, in addition, three of the Under 21 Stoolball players, Millie-Rose Lingham, Cecilia Barwick and Holly Chatten were selected to play for Kent County in the Kent vs Central Stoolball Match on 2 June.

BUDDING FILM-MAKER: Rev Mandy Carr, from St George’s Church in Weald, recently attended the SERIAC (South East Region of the IAC) Film Festival for independent amateur filmmakers with fellow village film creators, Elizabeth Miller and Julia Downing  Fifty seven films had been entered from Kent and Sussex;  some comedies, some dramas, lots of documentaries and a few animations.

Mandy said: “We got a  ‘Competition Officer’s Choice’ for ‘And Mama Came Along Too’ and we got a ‘Highly Commended’ for our remembrance film set in Weald called ‘Distance’.  Helpful feedback was given and although we didn’t come back with any silverware there is always next year!”

She and Elizabeth Miller will be running an ‘Into Film’ club taster session at the end of June for a few year five and six children with a view to seeing whether there is enough interest to launch a bigger film club in September in partnership with Weald primary school.

CHRISTIAN AID WEEK: Following on from the success of the first half of the week, a stall, set up by children from St George’s Sunday Club, featuring jewellery, candles, ornaments, books, vases and home-baked cookies, raised £65.

If anyone would like to give Sunday Club a try, they meet on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month in the Church Rooms during term time. Contact Roberta Briant (07939 275649) or Steph Major (07872 928753) for more information.

The rest of the week continued with more than 90 people on the Monday evening dog walk. I had to borrow a toy dog to take with me but I needn’t have worried as most of the walkers were dog-less and, last On the Friday night, there was a packed Memorial Hall for the annual quiz. The final ‘hooray’ of the week was in Sunday with the annual open gardens event and cream teas being served from the caravan on the Green. It has been reported that around £4,000 has been generated by the week so far but there is still other proceeds to come in towards the final total.

SCHOOL BRIDGE: Weald Primary School hosted the recent Kent Inter-schools Bridge Tournament and Jessica Mauve, who helped organise the event, reported: “More than 50 visiting children participated in the annual Bridge Tournament. Concentration levels were at a premium and Weald Community School had its hall and library packed with youths who were astoundingly quiet!

Out of the eight schools who took part, three dominated the winner’s podiums. Mini-bridge was won by Sevenoaks Primary, and Primary School Bridge was a clean sweep for St James School of Tunbridge Wells. The most fiercely contested trophy was the Secondary School Bridge which was won by Tonbridge Grammar, with both second and third places going to pairs comprising a Weald of Kent player in partnership with a Tonbridge Grammar player.

It is hoped the children will participate in future Youth Bridge events, which now include weekend bridge-breaks at venues such as Bowles Rocks (6th-7th July) and Phasels Wood (31st August -2nd September). For more information, go to the Kent Contract Bridge Association website at: kcba.org.uk

TABLE TOP SALE: Everyone is invited to help raise funds for the Weald Community Shop at a Table Top Sale on Saturday 8 June in Weald Memorial Hall, between 10am and 1pm. Twelve stallholders from around the village will be selling books, toys, CDs, clothes and household items, raising money for themselves and the shop in the process. Homemade cakes, tea and coffee will be on sale.

Shop manager Karen Elsom explained: “It’s like an indoor car boot sale – without the cars – to give people a chance to sell their second hand things that are still in good condition. The proceeds will be put towards extending the product shelving at the end of the shop where prescriptions are dispensed, creating more space for additional stock and newspapers.”

BADMINTON WINNERS: The Sidiot Badminton Club Handicap /Sheild Tournament which was held last Tuesday in Weald’s Church Hall, was won by Alan Venables and Heather Olley.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING: Chair of the Council, Rosie Wood, thanked her fellow councillors, and gave a special mention to Lucy Harris (Deputy Chair) and John Caird (Secretary) as well as both retiring Parish Councillors, Karen Long and John Blackman. In addition she praised the numerous village volunteers who help to keep the many and varied groups functioning.

Special guest at the evening reception was the new Chairman of Sevenoaks District Council, Cllr John Edwards-Winser, who had only just taken up post the night before. The Weald annual parish meeting was his first formal engagement. He was asked by the council chair to make a presentation to Susan Gidman of an award for ‘Individual Village Champion’. Susan should have received this in the district awards evening in February but she was unable to attend the formal ceremony.

Susan Gidman is presented with her ‘Individual Village Champion’ award by the new Sevenoaks district council chairman Cllr John Edwards-Winser.

Susan said: “Although I am honoured to have been chosen for my voluntary work I want to share this award with ALL volunteers in the village. What I do happens to be visual and is, therefore, noticeable but lots of other activities by volunteers are done in a quiet, understated fashion. Weald village has a massive heart and so many people contribute to what it is.”

Other guests included District Councillors, Roddy Hogarth and Julia Thornton, both re-appointed after the recent local elections, and Peter Lake, the Kent County Councillor, representing Sevenoaks Rural South. He reported on his various activities and advised the audience that the deplorable state of Glebe Road makes it high on the agenda for repair.

PIZZA THE ACTION: If you haven’t yet sampled the pizzas from the van run by ‘Il Forno Volante ‘on the Green you are missing a treat. They set up on Tuesdays from 4.30pm -8.30pm.

A TIME TO SHINE: Elizabeth Miller will be launching ‘Penumbra’ her book of poems dealing with dementia on Friday 14 June at 10am in the Weald Community Shop by The Green and the following day, Saturday 15 June is The Weald Horticultural Society Summer Show.

HERITAGE EXHIBITION: Keith Wade, a member of the Weald VDS/PP steering group is also a member of the Sevenoaks Society who, with fellow members Elizabeth Purves and Geraldine Tucker have been working on the book to support an exhibition relating to the 900 years old heritage of Sevenoaks.

The tale is told through its buildings, artefacts and iconic landmarks such as the Vine cricket ground, Knole and the historic Town Centre, the landed estates, farms, public houses, industry, schools, churches and the towns expansion following the arrival of the railway. The fully illustrated book, called ‘Sevenoaks: a Remarkable Town’ can be obtained at a special price of £10 from Keith if you contact him at: kwc@keithwadeconsulting.co.uk.

A Heritage Exhibition is being staged at the Sevenoaks Library (Kaleidoscope) from Wednesday 19 June to Saturday 6 July where the book will also be on sale. More information can be found at www.sevenoakssociety.co.uk

FLOWER APPEAL: The Rogers family at Riverhill have supported the Hospice in the Weald annual forget me not appeal for the past several years. The ceramic flowers are made by patients, families, staff members, volunteers and members of the community. Hospice in the Weald is asking people to support the Hospice in memory of their loved one by dedicating a flower in their memory. Flowers are available to purchase for a suggested £25. The flowers will be on display at Riverhilll Gardens for a private moment of remembrance and reflection from the 25 June for two weeks. On Sunday 7 July Hospice in the Weald will hold a Ceremony of Dedication – a remembrance event – for loved ones who are no longer with us. After the ceremony, people are invited to pick the flower they would like to take home in memory of their loved one. If you would like more information contact Leeann at Hospice in the Weald on 01892 820 533 or email leeann.wilmer@hospiceintheweald.org.uk

The Weald Village news is compiled by Susan Gidman. If you have any news or events you would like her to consider for the village column you can call her on 01732 454222 or email it to her at: wealdnews@hotmail.com

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