Friends of Mill Field

 

NEWS

Friends of Mill Field response to SKDC's Local Plan

July 29th 2018

Following our meeting on July 17th this is our response to SKDC's Local Plan.

Reg 19 SK Questionnaire protected form

Reg 19 SK Questionnaire protected form open space

The Village Green Application is approaching its last hurdle!

June 5th 2018

The Independent Barrister/Inspector has reviewed the counter arguments that we recently submitted and has decided to hold an Inquiry in the Deepings. Date to be decided.

This is good news!

Anyone who wishes to speak at the Inquiry should contact Pam 07850 825689 for further information.

LCC online survey (very short)

May 25th 2018

LCC want to hear your views on the future of Mill Field. There are 7 questions requiring a tick box answer and your postcode. Please click on the link below and complete before June 17th. Thanks.

N.B. go straight to online survey, no need to fill in the right-hand column "Did you find what you are looking for".

Online Survey

Fantastic turnout for drop in meeting with LCC this evening... thank you so much to all who came!!

May 17th 2018

Thank you too for your good humour as you were shunted back and forth as more folk kept arriving and we needed a photo shoot. It was great to have three Police present too, although I'm not sure exactly what they thought we were going to do!

Quite a few Friends of Mill Field couldn't make 6pm due to work or other commitments which is totally understandable. I counted at least 170 through in the first wave so that was fantastic especially as most residents had less than a week's notice. Some attended earlier in the session and some arrived later on, after we had been counted in, so it was a great turnout. It was fantastic that Cllr Martin Hill, Leader of LCC was there and spoke with many residents. Thank you all for your continuing support!!

Some Good News!

April 12th 2018

Just before Easter, a few of us finally made it to Grantham to meet with Cllr Michael King, Cllr Nick Neilson, Roger Ranson, Business Manager for Spatial and Economic Growth, and Steve Ingram, Strategic Director for Development and Growth, to discuss Mill Field.

We especially wanted to let them know:

  • How important Mill Field is to residents of Market Deeping and beyond.
  • How residents felt about the Consultation last summer.

The good news is that Mill Field, as a development site, has now been taken off the Local Plan, which will be published this month, because of the ongoing Village Green Application!!

Many thanks to everyone who sent in photos and messages prior to the meeting.

Thank you to SKDC for listening.

And thank you to all of you for your ongoing support as we continue in our fight to keep Mill Field as an informal, green, open space for the benefit of the community now and in the future.

Link to objection statements from LCC

February 12th 2018

https://friendsofmillfield.com/downloads/objection_files/

A very big thank you

February 7th 2018

A very big thank you to all those who attended the committee meeting last week, it was great that members of the Council came too... we appreciate their support.

Thank you to everyone for all the comments and information that we received prior to the meeting. It was a tremendous help and we are now busy collating our responses for our solicitor.

Meeting Tuesday, January 30th

January 23rd 2018

There will be a meeting next Tuesday evening, January 30th, for all those who wish to be more involved in the Friends of Mill Field. We will be discussing the objections from LCC and our response to them. To register your interest please contact Pam for more information... pamsteel326@hotmail.co.uk

Outline objections from LCC

January 9th 2018

Yesterday, January 8th, we received an email from the person who is managing our Village Green application with an outline of the objections that LCC has submitted. LCC have until Thursday January 11th to supply further evidence in support of these objections. Please follow the link:

https://friendsofmillfield.com/images/informalobjections.jpg

Good news for our Campaign!!

November 20th 2017

Market Deeping Town Council have sent a response to SKDC stating that they do not want the proposed leisure centre to be built on Mill Field. They believe that it should be in a more central position for residents of both Deeping St James and Market Deeping.

Village/Town Green Application action

October 25th 2017

The Environment and Economy Department, who are handling our Village Green Application, are preparing to advertise our application, within the next couple of weeks. Notices will be erected at Mill Field and also sent to interested parties ie LCC and the farmer. There will be an announcement about our application in a local newspaper and any objections must be received by December 21st. Objections received will be sent on to Pam Steel, who is the named applicant.

A Friends of Mill Field committee meeting will be called and our responses will be sent to the objectors. It is likely that a non-statutory Inquiry will be held locally if there is no resolution after these exchanges. At the Inquiry an independent inspector would hear evidence and witnesses from both sides before making a decision. Members of the public would be able to attend.

We have access to legal advice and will use it along with other means to endeavour to protect this beautiful, highly valued, natural open space for our community and for future generations.

1000 Members and counting!!!

September 27th 2017

Today we welcomed our 1000th member to the Friends of Mill Field and the number continues to rise as more and more residents hear about our campaign.

Friends of Mill Field join the Open Spaces Society!

September 22nd 2017

The Friends of Mill Field group has now joined the Open Spaces Society which is committed to saving precious open spaces and parks. When we applied for Village Green status for Mill Field we used the Open Spaces Society's questionnaires to gather information and they were very helpful. Now the Friends of Mill Field group is a member we will have access to more advice and support for our campaign. We need to be prepared !

SKDC consultation deadline extended!

August 16th 2017

Although the original deadline for responses to SKDC's consultation for their Local Plan was August 11th, it has just been brought to my attention, by Adam Brookes, that on the online questionnaire SKDC has written:

"Given the level of interest we have had in the local plan and a number of requests to extend the deadline, we have now allowed another week before this round of consultation will close. All comments must be received by 4pm August 18th."

I don't know how many people would actually have looked there to see this announcement once all responses were in on time on August 11th but nevertheless if anyone hasn't commented, they have 48 hours to do so.

Responses to SKDC Consultation

August 2nd 2017

All responses need to be received by SKDC by 4pm on August 11th.

1) Written letters must be sent to:
Planning Policy
South Kesteven District Council
Council Offices
St Peter's Hill
Grantham
NG31 6BZ

Every letter counts no matter how long or short!

Some more points you may want to include and comment on:

In the foreword of the Local Plan it says” The purpose of the new Local Plan is to pave the way for growth and to ensure that we protect and safeguard what is special about our natural and built environment”

SKDC says that the key issues in their Local Plan include-“Improving access to open space, the countryside and recreational facilities”

In the vision part of the Local Plan it is written”The distinctive local character, unique local heritage and environmental and cultural assets will be a source of enjoyment for all”

“The planning system should contribute and enhance the natural and local environment by protecting and enhancing valued landscapes”… this statement is also part of the vision for South kesteven

Natural England says that natural green places provide natural solutions to many 21st century diseases.

Highway constraints….Millfield road would have to be widened for development and ruined

Mill field has been an area of natural beauty and of special significance for hundreds of residents for over 20 years

Mill field is the last area of countryside in Market Deeping reflecting the historic rural character of what Market Deeping used to be like

Mill field is a gateway to the town and its character should be preserved.

If Mill field is developed then Market Deeping would become a large mass of housing estates with one park... John Eves to cater for everyone... it's not enough!

2) If you're brave try the online questionnaire

You don't have to comment on everything…you can click on Don't know. An explanation and a link to this questionnaire can be found in the section below the John Hayes letter paragraph. You may need to copy and print the explanations to number 2, the written form and number 3, the online questionnaire before you start the questionnaire.

Good luck…….Use your own ideas…these are guidelines in case you're stuck!

John Hayes MP supports our campaign!!

25th July 2017

Having presented our case to John Hayes, we were delighted to receive a copy of the letter that he sent to the Chief Executive of SKDC expressing his desire to see Mill field remain as an open green space.

Response to SKDC Consultation on Local Plan to 2036

20th July 2017

  • It is vital that everyone sends in a response to the Local Plan Consultation.(SKDC did not record any comments made at the meetings )
  • Responses can be: Letters or completed forms or online questionnaire
  • All responses must be received by SKDC before 4pm August 11th 2017
  • These are guidelines only…all responses need to be individual….and express your views. Tel: Pam 07850825689 if any questions
1)Some points to make which may help if you choose to write a letter
  • Mill field is accessible natural green space for hundreds of residents within up to 10 minutes' walk of their homes.
  • Mill field and Mill field Road give the area a unique character and an identity because of their visual beauty and because of their historic,cultural association with the Deepings Show.
  • Mill field significantly improves community health and wellbeing through physical exercise, social relationships and a relaxing tranquil environment.
  • Mill field has been regularly used by hundreds of local residents for well over 20 years
  • Mill field is a place of special significance to local residents.
  • Mill field is the last piece of open countryside on that side of Market Deeping where housing estates have erased the historic rural character of Market Deeping as far as Mill field. If Mill field was developed this distinctive element of Market Deeping would be lost forever.
  • Flood risk
  • Highway constraints. Mill field road would have to be widened for access. This would ruin another amenity for local residents who use this secluded lane for jogging and walking..
  • Development would be detrimental to the residents of established houses (especially in Mill field Road and backing on to Millfield Road) whose house values reflect the open rural area in which they were built.
  • Mill field is at the Gateway to Market Deeping and as such has special significance as a green open space.
  • Visual amenity of the site…view of Langtoft Church from the site would be lost by development.
  • Development on this site would not improve conditions in which people live, it would be positively harmful to hundreds of established local residents.
  • We want special protection for this local green space which has a particular significance for residents because of its historic and recreational value and also for the protection of its wildlife.

2)Some help if you choose to complete a written form which you print off from SKDC's website:

  • Question 1…personal details
  • Question 2 No…..The National Panning Policy states that:
  • planning should empower local people to shape their surroundings .
    Planning should enhance and improve peoples' lives.
    Planning should recognise beauty of countryside
    Planning should support and take account of local strategies to improve health, social and cultural well being
    The National Planning Policy says that existing open space should not be built on and that
    local communities should be able to identify local green space of special importance to them
  • Question 3a) Habitats regulation assessment (HRA)relates to wildlife / nature conservation areas such as Rutland Water, Baston fen etc(European designated sites)….The Local Plan aims not to disturb these sites
  • Question 3b) Sustainability Appraisal (SA)This includes a statement of community involvement…did the community participate? were their opinions taken into account?did the community influence the plan making process and affect changes in the plan ? Answer to all above is “NO “cos SKDC ignored petition of 2016 AND local views expressed angrily at consultation event 2016 AND results of the Deepings Neighbourhood Plan survey where vast majority of respondents said NO to development at Mill field.
  • SA also includes policies protecting open space. Local plan is not protecting Mill field which has been used as an open green space by a significant number of residents for many, many years.
    SKDC ‘s Open Space study was done in 2009. Not up to date
    SKDC has a Green Infrastructure Strategy for Grantham but not for Market Deeping
  • Question 4) The Vision …SKDC want district to grow ….here is the place to put any concerns about infrastructure, types of housing needs (lack of starter homes for young people to buy, old folk warden controlled/ sheltered housing etc) and how big you want Deepings to become.
  • Question 5) here you can object to Mill field Road Site , Market Deeping.(SKLP30) see notes from number 1) if you choose to write a letter.

3) Online questionnaire
found here https://www.southkesteven.gov.uk/?service=COQU

  • Question 1) open space study…..was done in 2009 and there is a green infrastructure study for Grantham only
  • Question 2,3,4 see notes above to Written form notes number 2) questions 2,3 and 4
  • Question 5 can be left as no comment unless you wish otherwise
  • Next Question 5.. you can voice your objections to Millfield Road site, Market Deeping (DEP-H2)

SKDC Consultation

13th July 2017

Well done to all those who were able to attend the Consultation events in Deeping yesterday. The SKDC representatives certainly got the message loud and clear that a lot of residents objected to Mill field being used as a development site and they (SKDC) didn't seem too happy about that.

The dictionary definition of Consult is to obtain information and advice ... It seemed to a lot of residents that SKDC were the ones giving the advice and information, NOT eagerly gathering opinions and views from residents!

We have until 11th August to send our written comments and online questionnaires to SKDC. We must send in a MOUNTAIN of objection letters and all fill in the online questionnaire too.

There will be more information about this next week on this website.

Our membership numbers are rising every day, especially as more and more residents are learning about what is proposed. Many didn't know anything about the draft Local Plan.

On Saturday July 15th we shall be standing outside Tesco to promote our cause. Many residents of Deeping St James use Mill field and we haven't delivered any leaflets in Deeping St James yet nor in some streets of Market Deeping so we hope to reach more folk in this way. If you can spare an hour please text me and let me know. I will be there from 9am -1pm. Mobile 07850825689

SKDC draft Local Plan Consultation

12th July 2017

We encourage as many members as possible to drop in at one of the two SKDC Consultation events taking place today and voice their objections to developing Mill field.

You may find the following useful:

The National Planning Policy Framework ( A Government guide for Planning Authorities ) says :

(Paragraph 17) Planning should empower local people to shape their surroundings

..Find ways to enhance and improve the places in which people live their lives

Recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside

Take account of and support local strategies to improve health, social and cultural wellbeing for all

(Paragraph 69)Local planning Authorities should create a shared vision with communities of the residential environment and facilities they wish to see

(Paragraph 73) Access to high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and recreation can make an important contribution to the health and wellbeing of communities

(Paragraph 74) Existing open space, sports and recreational buildings including playing fields should not be built on unless they are surplus to requirements (following assessment) and the loss would be replaced by equivalent elsewhere

(Paragraph 76)Local Communities should be able to identify for special protection green areas of particular importance to them…

(Paragraph 77) where the green space is demonstrably special to local community and holds a local significance because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value etc

We already made it clear last July about the special significance of Mill field and SKDC ignored us.

The Deepings Neighbourhood plan group's survey of 2016 shows that the vast majority of residents who responded said no to building on Mill field

There is a Village Green application on the site which proves it has been special for over 20 years.

In 2009 SKDC said that Mill field was not suitable for development because development could have a detrimental effect on the amenities of nearby residents and because of highway constraints.

Mill field isn't just a field, it has a long tradition of community events and recreational activities and as such is part of our town's heritage.

It's a beautiful and relaxing place and plays an important role in the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of a large number of residents.

The site represents an important gateway to Market Deeping which is a rural market town. Market Deeping historically had a lot of rural lanes and fields until they were gradually built on over the latter part of the last century. This gateway area is one of the last rural areas in Market Deeping and should be preserved as such.

Moving the Leisure Centre down to Mill field road in order to expand the Deepings Comprehensive School is also contrary to the amenities of local residents and would alter the character of the area forever. During the week days local schools use the Leisure Centre and coaches go backwards and forwards to transport the children. The necessary widening of Mill Field road, the last rural lane on that side of town which at present gives so many walkers and joggers alike peace ,tranquillity and calm, would be contrary to all that Planning Authorities are supposed to be working towards. Moving the Leisure Centre may be a good idea but putting it near/on the northern industrial areas of town where there is already a gym, tennis and football clubs would be more suitable.

Everyone has a reason for valuing Mill field and it's important that we all say what is important for us, not that we all say the same thing. Cllr Ashley Baxter made some comments on Facebook yesterday about the Consultation which you may find helpful.

Consultation event

10th July 2017

On Wednesday July 12th SKDC will be visiting Market Deeping for public consultation on their draft Local Plan.

10am-3pm SKDC will be at a market stall

5pm -7.30pm SKDC will be at the Deepings Community Centre

Please drop in to object to development on Mill field

It's very important that lots of people attend and voice their objection to development on Mill field.

Last year there was an online questionnaire too ...we will give some guidance on that after Wed event.

Leaflets

On Monday and Tuesday we are delivering leaflets to as much of Market Deeping as possible to tell them about the Friends and to encourage them to drop in at the SKDC Consultation on Wednesday. If you can help with your road please let us know.

Emails

As we are sending out bulk emails lots of people are not receiving them as they are going straight into their junk email box so please check yours.

First meeting of the Friends of Mill field on Tuesday 4th July 2017

6th July 2017

Led by:
  Ashley Baxter-SKDC councillor for Market and West Deeping
  Adam Brookes-Market Deeping town councillor
  Gordon Smith-resident
  Pamela Steel-resident

Ashley chaired the meeting and began by explaining that this event was the culmination of a year of preparation by a small group of residents. A sequence of events had occurred…The village green application and then the publication by SKDC of the draft local plan that showed housing on the site.

Then Pamela Steel addressed the meeting:

1) “Why Mill field?”

  • Fields have played a part in the life of the Deepings since 1960s, part of its culture, with the Deepings Show
  • Many residents have used fields for recreation since they were children
  • Beautiful countryside on our doorstep, lovely views across fields to Langtoft church
  • Home to wildlife,deer etc
  • Popular and widely used by Deepings' residents and also from surrounding villages
  • Large enough for a good walk/run
  • Promotes physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of residents

2) How many people use it?

Hard to give exact number but didn't take long to get up to 100 signatures for petition by just walking on Mill field at different times of the day

3) What would I like to say to SKDC?

  • You are not listening! Mill field is an area of special significance for many local people. We told you last July…you listen but you don't hear!!
  • A community needs more than just houses. We need large open spaces too. With all the 800plus new houses you propose to build in the Deepings ,all these new folk, plus the established residents who had always used Mill fields, would have to crowd on to the John Eve field, which would be their nearest green space if Mill field was used for development

We will do everything in our power to save Mill field.

Gordon Smith then spoke about the Village Green application and answered questions :

  • We must credit Solicitors Buckles of Peterborough(Brendan Lee) with their kind support for advice in managing the application
  • After months of clandestine meetings and hard work we handed in our Village Green application to LCC in Lincoln on June 21st 2017
  • Secret meetings were necessary in case landowners try to prevent proceedings
  • As LCC are the landowners the application will be passed to another Authority to process to avoid conflicts of interest
  • Criteria for a village green are:
    recreational use of land for over 20 years
    use was without permission
    use was without force
    use was without secrecy
    use was by a significant number of people from a recognised locality
  • Village Green applications can take ages. If it goes to Public Inquiry it may be in a year's time
  • If the Village Green application is successful the land would remain in the ownership of LCC but be protected from development
  • We will need to do some fund raising events in the future to pay for a solicitor to represent us

Councillor Adam Brookes then spoke about the SKDC Draft Local Plan and the Deepings Neighbourhood Plan:

  • The Local Plan is set to allocate additional areas in the Deepings for housing, including Mill Field.
  • It may be possible to raise concerns with the assessment of the Mill Field site such that it is not allocated for housing.
  • Local communities can have their say on some aspects of planning policy through Neighbourhood Plans
  • The Neighbourhood Plan for the Deepings is currently being drawn up Communities can have a say within the Neighbourhood Plan about open green spaces
  • Adam would like to see areas of open green space protected in the Development Plan so that existing residents do not find that their access to the countryside gets further away each time more houses are built
  • Residents should raise their concerns about the Mill Field housing allocation at the upcoming consultation events. The Friends of Mill Field should carefully prepare a written response to the consultation to be submitted before the consultation closes.

SKDC Councillor Nick Neilson said that it was important that people go to the SKDC Consultation events on Wednesday July 12th in Market Deeping to register their feelings about the proposed sites, in this case Mill field. He said that we must have a valid reason for objection.

Ashley said that we would prepare some ideas regarding potentially valid reasons and share these with interested residents via the Friends of Mill field website .Pamela said that we also need sheer numbers of people to go to the Consultation and voice their objections to Mill field being used for development. Obviously 70 residents who went last year weren't enough!

Ashley then appealed for people to come forward who would like to become more involved or even part of the Steering group for the Friends of Mill field.

At the close of the meeting a reporter from the Stamford Mercury took a photo of the group.

First meeting of the Friends of Mill field

6th July 2017

A huge thank you to all who attended our first meeting of the Friends of Mill field on Tuesday July 4th 2017. The Learning Room in the Deepings Community Centre was full with standing room only at the back which was brilliant. It was also good to know that many others had wanted to be there but had sent their apologies due to work/holidays etc. A report of that meeting will be posted on this page this evening.

In the News!

6th July 2017

There is an article about the Friends of Mill field in Spalding Today. Please click on this link: http://www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/village-green-effort-is-started-by-new-deepings-group-1-8040063

Important Meeting

4th July 2017

Important meeting of the Friends of Mill Field TODAY at 7-8pm at the Deepings Community Centre. Come and have your say.

Press release

30th June 2017

We are hoping that a reporter from the Stamford Mercury will come to the meeting on Tuesday.

First meeting of the Friends of Mill Field

26th June 2017

Meet at the Deeping's Community Centre on Tuesday, 4th July 7pm for further information about the group and to have your say.

Development

26th June 2017

SKDC's new draft site allocation and development plan allocates 200 new houses to be built on Mill field despite local residents' opposition when they were consulted in July 2016.

Application made for Village Green status

21st June 2017

Many thanks to all who submitted questionnaires, statements and photos and/or signed the petition.