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Dear Boughton Monchelsea Parishoners

URGENT - WORK PARTIES NEEDED TO HELP SAVE NEWLY PLANTED TREES AT FIRMINS FIELD

30TH MAY /  1ST JUNE

PLEASE LET US KNOW IN ADVANCE IF YOU CAN MAKE IT

Work Parties needed to help save the newly planted trees at Firmins Field. Could you spare a couple of hours on Saturday morning or afternoon (30 May) or Monday morning (1 June)?

Sorry but no young children.

We have become concerned with the lack of rain and constant sunshine, all of which is placing the recently plant trees under a great deal of stress. There are signs that we could be losing more trees than we anticipated and have been looking to find a solution.

Three aspects we need to get sorted:

1. Watering - we anticipate that each tree will need nearly a bucket of water poured slowly enough to allow time to soak into the root area.
2. Cutting the spiral wraps in half - to reduce the trapped sun heat effect
3. Weeding around the trees - to prevent the saplings being swamped

We should be able to get this all completed with sufficient helpers, about 30 per session. So not too many to maintain social distancing.
The field itself is very hard and there are many cracks in the earth. The weeds have truly flourished here, but are at risk of swamping the young saplings through covering them and taking the available moisture / goodness in the soil. There are also quite a lot of rabbits here, but despite that it is believed that the trapped heat is a greater risk to the trees. This planting is probably most at risk.

WORK PARTY for FIRMINS FIELD (adjacent to Filmers Farm off Salts Lane

nb No parking here but can walk down the path from near the scout hut, Campfield Farm.

Who: Anyone who can tackle cutting the spiral Wraps, cutting down weeds around the trees and carrying water.

Anyone who can offer a morning and / or afternoon, or even just an hour.

Who should not come: Please do not come if:
- you have symptoms or
- are vulnerable and / or self isolating.
- if you are thinking of bringing young children. This is due to the use of sharp tools

WHEN:
Saturday 30th May 10am - 12.30pm or 1.30pm to 4pm 

We would like smaller groups to tackle some of the more difficult patches and then make a start on the whole field.

Monday 1st June - 10am -1pm

We would hope to complete the entire field. The bowser will be removed later in the day.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED:

Due to COVID-19 we consider that it is important that people bring and use your own equipment to avoid risk of viral transmission.
You will need:
1. Buckets or watering cans - ideally two (or one of each) so that you keep a balanced posture, carrying only as much water in each hand that you can comfortably carry and to avoid side straining.
2. A sharp pair of secateurs and garden shears (we will operate a supported 'safe distance' sharpening table - or you can sharpen your own). If you have some powered tools, such as a battery powered hedge trimmer or strimmer, this may prove useful. Please bring your eye protection / gloves
3. Gardening / work gloves
4. Wellie boots or stout boots / shoes along with lower leg covering
5. Eye shades or sun cap
5. Suncream
6. Some water or a drink
7. As we are to maintain social distancing, we should not need face masks but if you feel more comfortable with one, please feel free to bring / wear your own.

PLAN OF WORKING:
In order to track where we have watered and to vary the tasks to help avoid strain, we would like to try a one person does all at each individual tree / pair of trees.
- Firstly cut the spiral guard,
- Secondly clear the weeds in a 45cm circle ( about 1.5 feet)
- Finally leaving your tools to mark your space and collect and water your tree. Move onto the next tree maintaining social distancing. If there is a small household group you may be able to vary the tasks and work more efficiently sharing tasks. One cuts whilst the other collects water….etc. Any tree that has been cleared of weeds and had the spiral cut will also have been watered. We should include any of the saplings that look to be in a bad way. It is remarkable how nature can bounce back and we should give as many of these as possible a chance.

WEATHER
We are expecting sun and temperatures of around 19/20 degC. Wind is expected to be from the NE / E and light with some light to moderate gusts.

HEALTH & SAFETY / & COVID-19
Please see the attached H&S Summary sheet.

COVID-19: Safe Working Practice
- We would want to ensure that any groups working closely are household groups and all others must keep a 2 metre distance at all times.
- Use your own equipment to remove the risk of transmission.
- We will try to get hold of some antiseptic hand wash gel but as this remains difficult to obtain, if you have your own you may be wise to bring this with you for your own use.

If you have any questions my contact details are below.
Please do let me know if you can make any of the sessions - Saturday 30th am or pm, Monday 1st June am.

Just reply to [email protected] and let me know who is coming, number of you and which work party session.

Best Regards

Jonathan
Parish Cllr Jonathan Gershon
On behalf of Boughton Monchelsea Amenity Trust
[email protected]
Tel 01622 743072
Mob 07780 683801

Boughton Monchelsea COVID-19 support network

Please get in touch if you need our help

For further info and links click on the 'COVID-19 support' tab above

Boughton Monchelsea Volunteers has been set up by the Parish Council to provide support during the COVID-19 crisis to those people within the parish who are self-isolating as a result of symptoms, age or health condition. We have now extended this help to NHS workers and carers too.

Back in March, we delivered flyers to every household in the parish, giving information to residents on how we can help and how to get in touch. This information went out again in our April / May newsletter.

If you are being supported already by Boughton Monchelsea Helping Hands then please don't worry, this will continue and there is no need to contact us unless you need any further help. 

We are aware that many of you who are or will be self-isolating as a result of symptoms or being 'at risk' due to age or health conditions would under normal circumstances be leading fully independent lives.

If you are self-isolating then you have to protect yourself and others by staying at home for the relevant period of time but we're here to assist in any way we can. We can help with things like picking up shopping and urgent supplies but whatever your need is just get in touch. This is not just for the elderly, it's for every one of us here in Boughton Monchelsea.

Please contact your local Volunteer Coordinator if you need any help at all, we will be happy to assist. 

Contact details for all the Coordinators are shown below. If you are unable to get hold of your co-ordinator then please contact Cllr Steve Munford on 01622 741310.

Volunteer Co-ordinators

Area Name Tel E-mail

Heath Road

Bill Brown

01622 299760

[email protected]

Meadow View Road

Lewis Court Drive

Jo Gouldsworthy

01622 744391

07890 561031

[email protected]

Furfield Park dev.

Roman Way

Brishing Road

Helen Stevens

07976 057679

[email protected]

Green Lane

Caroline Kilbride

07974 495098

[email protected]

Haste Hill Road

Haste Hill Close

Windmill Court

Jen Cleaver

07743 893842

[email protected]

Wierton and everywhere 

south of Heath Road

John Starr

07966 015132

[email protected]

Church Street

The Green

Helen Love

01622 747072

07918 176028

[email protected]

Langley Park dev.

Helen Stevens

07976 057679

[email protected]

Joywood dev. (apart from

Brooker Close and Harling Close)

Brishing Lane

Nolan Wilde

07854 734125

[email protected]

Harling Close

Brooker Close

Carol Hudleston

01622 757464

07956 147440

[email protected]

The Quarries

Cliff Hill

Old Tree Lane

Gandys Lane

Rob Edmans

01622 743210

07971 584370

[email protected]

Beresfords Hill

Bottlescrew Hill

Atkins Hill

Boughton Lane

Wendy Smith

01622 749077

[email protected]

Boughton Monchelsea Neighbourhood Plan

We have now reached an important and exciting stage in the development of our Neighbourhood Plan for Boughton Monchelsea.  The Plan (along with other accompanying documents required by law) has been submitted to Maidstone Borough Council.  The next steps are for MBC to organise a formal consultation, and all the comments submitted at that stage will be considered by an independent Examiner.  You can find out more about this process below. However, we submitted the Plan in March and MBC have been unable to start the formal consultation due to the restrictions on daily activity which came into place at this time. This is frustrating for us but we are in touch with the Council and they will progress things as soon as possible and practical. We will provide a further update as soon as we can.

You can see all the documents we have submitted below, and here is a brief explanation of each.  

Neighbourhood Plan draft March 2020  – this sets out planning policies which, if we are successful in the independent Examination and subsequent referendum, will be used by MBC to help make planning decisions in the parish.

Consultation Statement  and Appendices 2019 – this describes all the community consultation the Parish Council have carried out on the Plan as it was drafted, and how your comments have shaped its contents.   

Basic Conditions Statement  2020 -  a Neighbourhood Plan  has to meet various legal requirements, known as the “Basic Conditions”.  This document explains how the Plan complies.  It also lists all the publicly available sources of information used to help develop the Plan.  

Environmental Statement 2019 – this is another legal requirement, and it explains why key national bodies consider that the Plan does not require a Strategic Environmental Assessment or a Habitats Regulation Assessment.

We have also submitted key pieces of information and reports which were compiled specifically for Boughton Monchelsea to help us develop the Plan:

Colvin and Moggridge, Boughton Monchelsea Landscape Management and Masterplan 2018 – this report was prepared by landscape architects to help the Parish Council understand, maintain and improve the landscape of the parish in partnership with landowners.  

Colvin and Moggridge, Boughton Monchelsea Priority Local Landscape 2019 – this report by landscape architects identifies an area of high quality landscape which is proposed for protection in the Neighbourhood Plan

Boughton Monchelsea Housing Needs Survey 2018, Action for Rural Communities Kent – this report supports the Plan’s policies on housing

A folder of additional parish-specific Evidence on Flood Risk, MBC Housing Register and Housing Density – these are shorter documents which support the Plan’s policies on locally important topics   

What Happens Next?

MBC will check all the documents, they will then arrange and carry out a further formal consultation, which has been delayed due to COVID-19 as explained above. An independent Examiner will then be appointed who will review the documents and all the comments made during the consultation, and issue a final report.

Any final changes to the plan will then be made and MBC will organise a local referendum in the parish. National regulations resulting from COVID-19 mean that this will not be before May 2021. A simple majority in favour would mean that the plan is adopted and becomes part of the development plan used by MBC to make planning decisions.

We are working towards formal adoption of the plan in 2021 and will continue to keep you updated on progress.

On behalf of the Parish Council I would like to thank you for your input to date and hope we can rely on your continued support in getting our Neighbourhood Plan adopted, thus allowing us to properly influence and manage any future development in our parish.

Cllr Doug Smith

Chairman of Boughton Monchelsea Parish Council Planning Committee

Update on local needs affordable housing at Lyewood

We are pleased to let you know that the first of the local needs affordable homes at Lyewood will be ready for occupation very soon. There are 34 affordable homes in total, 24 of these are rented for which you need to be registered on Maidstone Borough Council’s housing list (eligibility criteria applies). 5 of the homes are shared ownership and the remaining 5 are shared equity.

We have passed on all the register of interest forms we have received and the housing association, Town & Country Housing Group www.tchg.org.uk have advised that they will soon be in touch with all those who have expressed an interest in the shared ownership homes.

We are advised that the first of the affordable rented homes will be ready to bid on via the Kent Homechoice website in the coming days. If you are registered on MBC’s housing list and fit the local needs criteria we suggest you keep a close eye on the site www.kenthomechoice.org.uk so you are ready to bid as soon as the properties ‘go live’.  Please note that the Parish Council has no more involvement in this process so if you have any queries regarding your eligibility or the process itself you must contact Maidstone Borough Council’s housing officer for further advice www.maidstone.gov.uk

We are advised that the first homes ready will be as follows :

Rented – 5 homes initially, 3 no. 2 bed semi-detached and 2 no. 1 bed maisonettes (1 ground floor, 1 first floor)

Shared ownership – 3 homes initially, 2 no. 3 beds and 1 no. 2 bed

If you are interested in the shared equity properties please contact Crest Nicholson directly via the Lyewood sales office.