What’s going to affect Bishop’s Tachbrook Parish in 2024?
Happy New Year, here’s hoping that 2024 is a fantastic year for our Parish and those of us who live and work here. We wanted to set out a brief update on some of the key things affecting Bishop’s Tachbrook Parish as we start this year; please come along to Parish Council meetings if you have any questions or concerns you wish to raise with us.
It’s noticeable how much progress has been made on building the new school; as far as we are aware the plan is for the school to open in September 2024, at which point pupils who have been temporarily housed at Myton school will move across (and a new Year 7 will be welcomed). Parish Councillors are hoping to arrange a site visit soon, and it will be really interesting to see how much progress has been made.
As noted below, delays to the progress in delivering the country park do mean that some of the planned access routes to the school (particularly from Bishop’s Tachbrook village) will not open in time. This is a concern for two key reasons: first it will encourage parents to drive to the school which will almost certainly exacerbate the wider traffic issues in the South Leamington area; secondly it means that children who do walk/cycle to school (especially those who have to) may be faced with a journey up the pavement on Oakley Wood road, along an unlit, 50mph stretch of road, with the pavement narrow in parts and regular deposits of sewage near the bridge – this area was almost impassable during the recent weather.
To this end the Parish Council is making strong representations to the County Council for them to mitigate the various risks associated with the delay.
As noted above, there have been some delays to the delivery of the Country Park; it’s clear from the briefings we receive at Parish Council meetings that WDC remain committed to the delivery of the Country Park in principle; however, it appears that many “pieces of the jigsaw” still need to be put together before they can commence work on its delivery. The Memorandum of Understanding agreed between WDC and the Parish Council should ensure that the freehold of all country park land ultimately sits in the ownership of Bishop’s Tachbrook Parish.
Hopes of extending the park in a southerly direction are still held by many councillors; however, with the change in the leadership of the District Council last year, it appears that the landowners are revisiting their plans with the hope of increasing the level of enabling development they would be permitted in exchange for any transfer of parkland.
New Car Park for the Meadow
Many village residents will have noticed the works taking place near to the play equipment at the Meadow. This project is the construction of a car park for users of the Meadow and the play equipment. As Parish assets we’re keen that all of our residents can benefit from these amenities and the includes residents from the other settlements (north and east).
The car park will include the enabling infrastructure for EV charging points (albeit the actual points will not be installed at this stage). As part of the works, the Parish Council is arranging for a significant upgrade to the driveway, with a full reconstruction of the road and necessary repairs to the underlying drainage system.
It is hoped that this investment (funded primarily through funds received as a result of the Community Infrastructure levy) will provide long term benefits to the parish and its residents. There will be some disruption as a result of these works throughout the first quarter of this year; however, it is hoped that all works will be completed by early spring.
Securing our green spaces
If 2023 taught us one thing it’s that securing our green spaces all the time is important for our community and the amenities within it. Residents will be aware of the height restrictor that was installed at the entrance to the Meadow last summer and the installation of the new car park should provide a further line of defence to this area. Hopefully this should ensure that our Meadow remains available for all residents all year round.
Developing a path to Oakley Wood
Many residents have long been in favour of the construction of a path to Oakley Wood. The Parish Council have agreed on a preferred route and are in communication with officers at WDC with a view to facilitating the acquisition of the necessary land to deliver the path. Separately we are in communication with officers at WCC to discuss how a road crossing could be implemented to allow for safe passage across Banbury Road. It is hoped that, by Easter, the Parish Council should be able to make a decision as to whether they wish to progress this plan.
Residents continue to be blighted by sewage on the streets and sometimes in their gardens and houses. The Parish Council continues to raise these concerns with the Water Company in the hope that long term solutions can be delivered. Our understanding is that major works to provision within the community are intended to be undertaken in 2025; we will continue to pressure Severn Trent to prioritise and accelerate these works.
We know, from social media, local petitions and our own experience that traffic and road safety concerns continue to blight our community. From anti-social parking near Heathcote school, to confusing junctions on Garretts Way all the way to the terrifying right turns onto Banbury Road, our Parish has a number of issues and we continue to raise these with our county councillor and the Highways team at WCC.
Unfortunately, a lot of recent suggestions that we have made to improve road safety have been rejected by the County Council’s Highways team; however, we must continue to strongly make the case to see better and safer conditions for all those travelling, to, from, within or through our parish.
Local Plan review exercise
Residents may be aware that Warwick District Council is committed to delivering a combined Joint Local Plan with Stratford District Council by 2027. This process will include determining future development within the combined districts. In a call for sites, 27 potential sites have been put forward by landowners (or their agents) within Bishop’s Tachbrook Parish, 14 of these are purely residential/housing with the remaining 13 being for mixed use.
The Parish Council is determining a strategy for how we approach the overall Local Plan process and how we engage with any developers wishing to discuss matters with councillors. Part of this will be attempting to ensure that, where development must go ahead, it fully takes into account the needs of the existing and expanding Parish (infrastructure, amenities and green space).
Prior to the pandemic, residents of Bishop’s Tachbrook would receive ten copies of the Parish (in the ecclesiastical sense) magazine each year; for various reasons (some obvious some financial) this has ceased; however, we are working with the Parochial Church Council to secure a long term solution that will hopefully see a return to regular (two to three per year) physical magazines delivered to every house within our Parish. We know this will be welcomed by many residents (particularly those not online).
Action on Climate Change
Tachbrook Residents Action on Climate Change (TRACC) has carried out a number of projects designed to absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide including rewilding the boundary areas of the Meadow and a tree-planting programme around the Parish. Rewilding other areas and tree planting will continue throughout the year.
In addition to the clothes drop off and recycling, the recent installation of solar power in the Bullen Shed will enable a repair shop to be set up to mend all types of household items.
It is hoped that the Warwickshire Climate Alliance Big Save Roadshow will come to Bishops Tachbrook later in the year. Experts will be on hand to provide advice and support on a wide range of energy saving and sustainability topics.
We hope the above update is helpful; should you have any comments please email the Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our Clerk (email@example.com); alternatively, please come along to one of our monthly meetings.