Hankerton Amenity Area

I have been asked by the Parish Council to set up a website page where villagers can register their preference on the issue of creating a play area on the land near Old Farm Close. To allow the question to reach as many people as possible this page has also been printed and included in The Grapevine. This website is separate to the Parish Council website (https://hankertonpc.wordpress.com/) but has been used because of it’s greater “reach”.

There is a small piece of land that was sold for £1 to the village for use as a children’s playground when properties were built at Old Farm Close. It is required to remain a public open space (which a playground is).

Over the years the playground was never built and instead the site has been maintained by the Parish Council and village volunteers as an amenity area but it has been rarely used and often became overgrown.

In January 2015 a survey was carried out to obtain ideas for how the site could be used. The results of the survey were that there were 3 clear favourites, a wildlife area (13 votes), allotments (11 votes) and a playground (10 votes), but no further progress was made at the time.

In 2017 the Parish Council were approached by villagers who suggested that there was an increase in young families in the village and asked for a play area for children. The Parish Council organised a public meeting in March 2018 which found support for the idea (and opposition from some Old Farm Close residents) and a committee was set up to progress the idea.

Grant funding was obtained from Malmesbury Area Board in 2018 but had to be returned a year later because the work had not progressed. A grant application will now need to be resubmitted if people in the village wish to continue with the project. On the evidence of the success of the first application we would expect a re-application to succeed also.

Several objections to the project have been raised by some of the residents of Old Farm Close. A full list of these objections and the investigations related to them can be found here : 190712 Playground Issues Register v3

If you cannot access this and would like a printed copy please contact Jill Kearsley on 01666 577781.

At a recent meeting of the Parish Council it was agreed that villagers would be given the chance to vote on the issue before any further work was done.

One last important point for residents when deciding whether to support this play area for children – what might it cost you as a council-tax-paying resident? On current rough estimates annual running costs may amount to an additional charge on a Band D householder of £6.46 each year (and more or less for other bands in proportion) in the event that no fundraising was carried out.

You can read other people’s comments on this issue <Here>.

To ensure that only village residents vote on the issue we will need people to give their name and address but individuals’ voting preferences will remain confidential.

It is understood that some people have been thinking that there’s a limit of one vote per household. That couldn’t be right, since that would require husbands and wives to agree on their vote!

For clarification therefore: the voting in this public consultation is open to all householders – ie those who pay Council Tax – meaning both people in a 2-adult household (spouses, partners, whatever) or one person in a one-adult household. But not children/dependents, of whatever age. Nor lodgers. And from the entire parish not just the village – because they all pay the precept.

You can vote below or print out the voting form and submit on paper and return to Jill Kearsley at 14 Follyfield : Play Area v2

Voting Closes 31 August 2019