Plans to redevelop the Rec Club and build a new cricket and tennis pavilion on the King George V Playing Field have been given a huge thumbs up with more than 95 per cent of those surveyed saying the development would benefit the village.
And more than 80 per cent of people said they would use the new facilities more with 57 per cent welcoming a wider choice of indoor recreational facilities. Full results of the survey will be revealed next month.
If you haven’t already taken part, it’s not too late. The Project Construct team has added a comment box to the survey to gather more feedback or you can email email@example.com if you want to get involved.
The survey takes less than two minutes to complete. Click on this link to take part.
James Richardson, 33, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder after a man and a woman, both in their 60s, were found seriously injured near the Henley Lane area of Yatton at about 3pm on Saturday 10 April. Both remain in hospital.
Richardson, of no fixed address, will also face one count each of assaulting an emergency worker and breaching a restraining order.
He has been remanded ahead of appearing at North Somerset Courthouse.
Local officers have been conducting additional reassurance patrols in the Yatton area since the weekend.
A man is in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following an incident in Yatton.
Police and paramedics were called to the Henley Lane area of the village at about 3pm on Saturday after a man and a woman, both in their 60s, were found with serious injuries at an address. They both remain in hospital.
A 33-year-old man was arrested in the Kewstoke area overnight.
Chief Inspector Jess Aston said: “Our investigation is at an early stage, but at this time we believe this to be an isolated incident.
“Although there is not believed to be a heightened risk to public safety, people can expect to see an increased high-visibility presence in the area over the coming days with additional reassurance patrols planned.
Enquiries into what happened are continuing and any witnesses who could assist the police investigation are asked to contact them through the Avon & Somerset website or call 101 and give reference number 5221076615.
Plans to upgrade the facilities at Congresbury Recreation Club, first revealed in November, are gathering momentum.
The new plan, called Project Construct, envisages the demolition and rebuilding of the existing Rec Club on the same footprint and a new separate changing room pavilion for the cricket and tennis clubs. The existing tennis clubhouse will be demolished (see site plan below).
“We are updating the village on the progress we have made. Support from the villagers of Congresbury is important,” said Congresbury Cricket Club president Les Owen who is leading Project Construct.
‘’We are shortly to begin a ‘pre-application’ consultation on the plans with North Somerset planners following which we will communicate with villagers again with the proposed buildings details. Our aim is to make a formal submission for planning approvals within the next few months. Alongside this we will start the fund-raising phase,” said Les.
Michael Greaves, chairman of the King George V Playing Fields Trust, said: “Replacing a dilapidated Rec Club and building a new changing room pavilion will not just benefit the cricket and tennis clubs but the whole village.
“The cricket ground and recreational playing fields have been a central part of village life since the 1930s. We want to make sure this continues to be so for generations to come.”
There will be a new changing rooms building for cricket and tennis with a tennis viewing area, and four multi-use changing rooms with shower and toilet facilities that will meet the needs of all sports and recreation users of the Fields
The plans also include a new Recreation Club building with separate sports and lounge bars. The social space will be considerably bigger than in the existing building through the release of the existing changing rooms and showers space.
It retains much of the existing kitchen appliances and cupboards – renewed at the end of 2020 – and will have a larger bar serving area.
The two separate social areas can be turned into a single function room for larger recreational, social or private functions greatly increasing the potential use of the new building
Project Construct is working on an estimated cost in the region of £600,000 – a figure that will be firmed up once the detailed plans have been finalised.
The project has already secured significant funding pledges while additional sources of funding and grants are being explored and discussions have started with potential grant funders such as the England Cricket Board (ECB) “I think it’s fair to say that we are starting on a firm financial footing,” said Les. The developer is the King George V Trustees which is a registered charity and donations will be eligible for Gift Aid and higher rate tax relief.
PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO COMPLETE THE SHORT SURVEY ABOUT THE NEW DEVELOPMENTS BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK
If you want to get more involved including offering financial assistance please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details. Many thanks.
The fields were gifted to the village in 1935 by Donald Harvey who bought them from the Walter brothers. The brothers sold the land on the condition that it would substantially benefit the playing of cricket and that the whole area would be used as a playing fields and recreation ground in perpetuity for the inhabitants of Congresbury. In turn, Donald Harvey gifted the land to the National Playing Fields Association (now called Fields in Trust) through the King George V Playing Fields Trust which is managed by the King George V Playing Fields Trustees. Each of the parish council, the cricket, football and tennis clubs, the Royal British Legion and St Andrews school may nominate a trustee and the Trustees have power to appoint additional trustees to assist them. The Trustees can delegate the day to day running and administration of the Fields to a committee, which is now the Congresbury Recreation Club.
The current Rec Club was built by the cricket club in 1963 with an anticipated 25-year lifespan. It is remarkable that it has survived more than twice as long as that, but it is hardly surprising that it is becoming increasingly difficult and costly to repair and maintain. It is no longer fit for purpose.
Congresbury Recreation Club
In 1969, with the consent of the Trustees, the three main sporting bodies – cricket, football and tennis – formed Congresbury Sports Club and, shortly after, it became the Congresbury Recreation Club, benefitting from a bar licence secured by the cricket club as far back as 1953. Initially the bar was open only at weekends in the summer. In 1970 the bar was open every evening in the summer and manned by volunteers until 1974 when a decision was made to employ a bar steward on a part-time basis.
Today the Rec Club has 250 members, both sporting and social, up from 150 in 2017-18 and 160 in 2018-19. Chairman Andy Elvin said that this increase was almost certainly as a result of recent changes put in place to make the club more inclusive. Membership represents almost one in 10 of the adult population of Congresbury (based on the 2011 national census).
“Obviously Covid curtailed most of the activities last year but I am sure when we are back to normality we will see further growth in sports and social membership and additional usage by the community as a whole,” said Andy. “We are very excited by the plans for a new building”
The club has set itself an ambition of doubling membership over the next few years trying to reach between 15-20 per cent of the adult population in the village with increased use of the fields for sport and recreation by juniors
Congresbury Cricket Club
While cricket has been played in the village for more than 175 years, the club didn’t move to its present ground until the mid-1930s when the land was gifted. There is a clause in the Trust that, so long as there is a cricket club in Congresbury, the cricket area of the fields must always be kept as a cricket ground
The club has some 100 members including youngsters and, more recently, girl and women players. It has benefited from the national launch of All Stars cricket aimed at five to eight year olds, and Dynamos for the under-11s.
Women’s cricket is a priority for the ECB. A Congresbury CC women’s team started playing competitively in 2019. The focus on youth and diversity has helped boost membership at a time when many cricket clubs are suffering a decline in fortunes.
The club regularly hosts junior county matches but has had to turn down requests to host junior county girls’ matches because of the current inadequate changing facilities – a situation which gives an added imperative to Project Construct’s plans.
“New changing rooms are essential for us to meet the demands of the modern game, increase participation and attract the calibre of players we need,” said chairman Geoff Wilcock. ‘’Four flexible use changing rooms will enable us to grow our girls’ and women’s section and to increase the amount of girls’ and women’s cricket played through the ability to host away teams’’
The club has two senior sides: the 1st XI plays in the West of England Premier League and the 2nd XI in the Bristol & District league. It also has youth teams at most age levels and strong links with Somerset County Cricket Club with several Congresbury youngsters playing for the county.
During the summer months many children in the village participate in the various cricket activities with their parents spectating and using the Rec Club facilities. Sunny Friday evenings at the KGV fields have become a real focal point for recreation and social activity in Congresbury
Congresbury Tennis Club
Tennis club membership has grown from under 70 in 2018/19 to 114 in 2020 including 29 juniors. The Club has ambitious plans to build a fourth court within the next three years to meet the increasing demand.
The Club is this season increasing from two men’s league teams to four and from one to two ladies’ teams, as well as increasing the number of mixed teams and implementing an internal singles box league. It has also taken on two additional coaches over the last year.
“We want to increase junior coaching, offer cardio tennis and walking tennis for injured, less mobile and older players, and provide disabled access to the courts with the potential for wheelchair tennis,” said chairman JL Hagger who notes that a fourth court would allow a ‘pay-and-play’ scheme for those who don’t want to join the club but still play occasional tennis.
The club believes that the new more flexible changing rooms and a modern Rec Club with enlarged social facilities would allow it to recruit more players while raising additional funds through more social events.
Congresbury Football Club
The club has run three teams over the past five seasons and averages around 60 members each season. The 1st team plays in the Somerset County League and the reserves and 3rd team in the Weston & District League. Some 40 per cent of players live in the village with another 15-20 per cent having either grown up in Congresbury or having strong connections in the village, explained chairman Stu Smith.
A lack of volunteers means the club does not at present run junior teams. “If we were approached by interested parties, we would be keen to support re-establishing junior football,” says chairman Stu Smith. “The same would also stand with regard to Women’s or Veterans’ teams.”
The Football club is responsible for the upkeep of the Broadstones Park playing fields and associated buildings. The Rec Club is used as the clubhouse since alcohol cannot be sold at Broadstones. Visiting teams are invited back to the Rec for refreshment after matches.
“Wider community participation in the Rec Club can only bring the football club to more people’s attention and would hopefully lead to more support in terms of volunteers, spectators or players and may even help in the formation of new teams,” said Stu.
Police want the public’s help to locate a man following an incident in Yatton on Saturday afternoon.
A man and a woman were assaulted at a residential address in the Henley Lane area shortly before 3pm. Both had sustained serious injuries and were taken to hospital by paramedics.
A man was seen leaving the area shortly after the incident. He’s described as white, approximately 40 years old, about 5ft 6ins and had sandy-coloured wavy shoulder length hair. He was said to be wearing a tan-coloured top and bottoms, which have been likened to a workman’s clothing.
Officers have been searching the surrounding area this afternoon, supported by the NPAS police helicopter, and remain in the area.
Anyone who sees a man matching the above description in the North Somerset area is asked not to approach him, but instead call 999 and give the call-handler log number 556 of Sat 10 Apr. Anyone with further information about the incident itself, should call 101.
We are looking for a fun, hard working person to work as a cafe assistant.. We are a busy, small family run cafe, and looking for someone to work 8 hours per week at present. Particularly looking for someone who is available to work Fridays and Saturdays, either working one full day or split over the two days. More hours are likely as COVID restrictions are lifted and so must be flexible with days and hours available to work. We are looking for someone to start immediately and previous experience in cafe or food premises is preferred. The right person to also have level 2/3 Food Safety and Hygiene. The job will include using a coffee machine, preparing and serving light meals, customer service and cleaning in general. If you are interested or would like further information, then please contact Sonya at Congars Cafe. email@example.com.
As the restrictions around Covid-19 are being eased and many people are looking at “Staycations” rather than holidays aboard, Caravans are becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately criminals have also noticed this, so please take steps to increase the security of your Vans.
Secured By Design is the official police security initiative which provides a recognised standard for all security products, and a recent addition to this listing is Caravan iD. This scheme provides an individual identification number for your caravan and motorhome that can be checked to see if it has been stolen. For more information, visit their website at https://caravanid.com/
We have received this information from our local Police advisors:
We are seeing an increase in burglaries from garages and sheds where the offenders are clearly seeking out motorcycles, specifically dirt bikes such as KTM & Yamaha. It appears that a number of these bikes have been listed for sale on social media platforms, where a potential buyer arranges to view the vehicle but then doesn’t turn up. Not surprisingly, a day or so later the Garage / Shed is broken into and an attempt is made to steal the bike or it is stolen.
If you are considering selling your vehicle – or any expensive item – follow the guidance provided on the website. Do not automatically assume it is safe to pass over your address details and or photos of your vehicle outside of your garage, especially if it shows your street name and garage number. If you do so and the purchaser doesn’t turn up, be aware and pay close attention to the item you are selling and the security of the location it is stored.
Sadly, this may not just affect you. If your garage is broken into, your neighbour is likely to be targeted and may also sustain damage to their garage in the process.
Remember, whenever you place an advert you are also advertising what you have to steal. Read the guidance provided by the website carefully, and ask yourself if you really need to provide your address or do you meet somewhere public nearby? Always meet any prospective buyers in a well-lit, public area.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting for 20’s Plenty for Us North Somerset supporters on Tuesday April 6th at 7.30 pm, hosted by the 20’s Plenty Campaign Manager Anna Semlyen. Please pass this email on to Councillors, and anyone else you think would be interested in attending the Zoom.
Anyone with an interest in road safety and lowering speeding on residential streets, and on streets used by walkers and cyclists, residents, and Parish and Town Councillors, are invited to attend the Zoom.
After a well attended supporters first Zoom meeting earlier this month, a Zoom meeting for District Councillors will take place on 31st March, when the topic of bringing in default 20 mph limits across North Somerset will be discussed.
Area wide 20 mph limits for streets where people live, shop, walk and cycle have been put in by many local authorities, and over 21 million people in the UK benefit from their local authority’s decision to adopt a 20mph default speed limit for most residential streets.
North Somerset Council policy on local speed limits is for Town and Parish Councils to apply individually for a traffic scheme, which are carried out by Highways at the rate of 1 or 2 a year, paid for by the Town or Parish Council. There is currently a waiting list. 20 mph limits are quicker and easier to implement, at around £3 per head of population, and are 7 times more cost-effective than isolated zones with physical calming.
Listed Building Consent for proposed alterations to strengthen the suspended timber floor within the Dining Room, repairs and leadwork to stone cornice on the North elevation, repairs and redecoration of double hung sash windows and repairs to lintel above Drawing room window
Police have visited taxi offices and taxi ranks in North Somerset to raise awareness and educate staff on the signs of child exploitation.
Police officers, who work on Operation Topaz – Avon & Somerset’s child criminal and sexual exploitation disruption team – attempted to book taxis to Birmingham or London in cash while accompanied by volunteer cadets.
Out of 25 taxi offices visited, one noticed something wasn’t right with the situation but didn’t know how to safeguard the child. Another driver was able to recognise a child was being trafficked and put appropriate safeguarding measures in place.
The remainder failed to spot the signs of child exploitation and allowed the officers to book the taxis. The plain clothed officers immediately explained the purpose of the exercise after trying to book the taxi.
Taxi services had been offered training under Operation Makesafe – an awareness exercise developed by West Yorkshire Police– but few took part.
All services visited have now been offered training to provide their staff with the tools to be able to recognise child exploitation.
Child exploitation happens when a child under 18 is given things like money, phones, clothing, accommodation, and/or affection in exchange for performing a sexual act or dealing drugs. They are tricked by a person who has power over them because of their age or status in to believing there is a relationship.
Prevention Officer and Coordinator Androulla Nicolaou from Operation Topaz says: “Thousands of children and young people, some as young as 12, are exploited sexually and criminally every day in our communities. This operation, which is the first we have run with taxi services, is just one of the initiatives we’re using.
“Taxis are sometimes used by perpetrators to transport young people for the purpose of abuse and exploitation. As a driver or someone who works on a booking desk, you may overhear concerning conversations a young person is having on the phone.
“Drivers are in a unique position to be able to spot child exploitation from occurring, and managers of these services have a responsibility to ensure suitable measures are in place to keep children safe.
“Children travelling alone or with an adult that doesn’t appear to be family will be more obvious and easier to spot,” she said.
A garden shed in Bristol Road, Congresbury, was broken into between March 21 and 23.
The offender/s ripped off the lower section of the shed door and stole three chainsaws and a hedge cutter before making off.
Police urge people to take care of your gardening equipment and keep it secure in a locked shed.
Consider running a chain between more expensive items and securing the shed with a padlock. Mark your property so it can be identified and consider additional options such as security lights (even solar lights) and rounding screw heads on hinges.
Any information please contact the Police on 101 quoting Ref number: 5221061972 stating NHW Release or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Demolition of existing conservatory and proposed erection of a single storey side extension; creation of a new doorway on the North elevation to replace existing window and associated internal alterations.
Variation of condition 7 (length of planning permission) attached to planning permission 13/P/2382/F (Solar PV array Park)
Application to vary condition 7 (length of planning permission) attached to planning permission 13/P/2382/F (Large scale major development for a Solar PV array Park to produce up to 8 megawatts of electricity from ground mounted panels (max 3m high), 1no control building, 8no inverter buildings and to include a maintenance track with access off Stock Lane and Iwood Lane, security fencing and landscaping to preserve disused railway line and footpath crossing the site) to allow a 15 year extension to planning permission from 14/05/39 (25 years from date of planning consent) to 14/05/54 (40 years from date of planning consent)
Congresbury Youth Partnership leaders are extremely angry and disappointed that someone has recently caused a considerable amount of damage to the Youth Club.
In trying to gain entry to the building the intruder or intruders damaged the door lock and broke two of the windows. The bill for these repairs is going to be considerable.
The Parish council has also had to deal with incidents of vandalism around the ball court and on the Millennium Green including clearing up glass bottles that have been deliberately smashed on the children’s slide.
CYP leaders say that they appreciate that everyone is feeling fed up with the present lock down rules — but this sort of behaviour helps no one. The CYP has limited funds and money spent on repairs to the Youth Club impacts on the activities and experiences the CYP can provide in the community.
If you have seen or know of any criminal activity around the Youth Club area please let the CYP know or report it to the police. The local PCSO has been informed of the various incidents and is keen to stop such anti-social behaviour.
Avon & Somerset police says that the damage could be either anti-social activity or a failed attempt at gaining entry.
Any information please contact the police on 101 quoting Ref number: 5221058869 stating NHW Release or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Following the Zoom meeting yesterday evening, the presentation slides are available on Dropbox at https://www.dropbox.com/s/6lo3eg6y5h9un15/20mph%20presentation%20N%20Somerset%20supporters.pptx?dl=0 I also attach a ‘ How to Set Up a 20mph campaign’ leaflet The advantages of setting up a local campaign for your town or village are that firstly other supporters have a local point of contact where they live, and there is access to the very helpful campaigners-only discussion group run by the national ‘ 20’s Plenty for Us’ organisation. Anyone wanting to find out more about organisations backing 20 mph in North Somerset, ( or elsewhere) then has an easy way to find your contact details via the ‘ 20’s Plenty ‘ website, www.20splenty.org, then going to ‘ Who we are, Local Campaigns and Places’. Please do consider setting up a local campaign. ’20’s Plenty for Us’ provides campaign materials, advice, research and resources, and deserves our support.
A 20’s Plenty for North Somerset Facebook page has been set up, which you are all warmly invited to join and contribute to. It will provide a useful point of contact for sharing ideas. If anyone would like to set up a Twitter or other social media group, please do get in touch. All contributions and comments are welcome.
It was very useful, and much appreciated, to see Cllr James Tonkin and Rob Thomson of NSC Highways at our meeting yesterday, and to hear their views. We now know that there are numerous, probably in excess of 8, Town and Parish Councils who have applied for consideration of 20 mph speed limits, which a Highways Team is working through, at the rate of 1 or 2 a year. Austerity and the pandemic continue to take a serious toll on local authorities country-wide, but fortunately there is Housing Infrastructure and Active Travel funding available to bring in North Somerset traffic schemes, including a speed reduction scheme.
We also know now that the draft policy document on 20 mph speed limits, following the report to the Executive on 7th January 2020, is still in draft. This allows the possibility of a new policy for North Somerset, one which will benefit more towns and villages more quickly, by bringing in an authority-wide policy of 20 mph for residential streets, as many Traffic Authorities in the UK already have. That will be a decision for North Somerset Councillors to make, who will be invited to a separate ’20’s Plenty for North Somerset’ meeting later on this month. This gives us the chance, as supporters of a lower 20 mph limit, to get in touch with our communities and our councillors to spread the word.
Working from the Report to the Executive on 20 mph speed limits which was considered in January 2020, a comparison between that and current government policy,as set out in the Department for Transport Circular 1/2013, has been prepared by a member of 20’s Plenty for Sandford, also attached. Click here for report. This may be useful to you as background, as it talks about the issue of North Somerset Highways’ rejection of wide- area 20 mph limits for our County. We have yet to see the draft policy document from 2020, so that can’t as yet be commented on, but it is expected to follow the Report fairly closely, as that is what was voted on by Councillors.
Many villagers will know of the years of frustration suffered by residents of Wrington Lane with seemingly endless schemes by land agents Gladman and construction firm Bovis Homes to build on a field off the lane.
Plans to build 50 houses have been thwarted by the foresight of North Somerset councillors – and Tom Leimdorfer in particular – when outline planning permission was granted subject to a continuous footway being provided along the lane before construction could begin.
Over the years, Gladman have tried several wheezes to get round this perfectly reasonable condition but have failed because the lane in several places is just too narrow to allow a proper pavement alongside the carriageway.
Now there is a new effort following a merger between builder Bovis and Linden Homes. Enter the Vistry Group with new pretty drawings of houses and trees and hedgerows, and details of wild flowers and play areas.
Their tactic is to ignore the question of access. It is as if the site exists in splendid isolation where real-life problems do not happen. In their fantasy world, practicalities like access to and from the site for construction, service and emergency vehicles, along with the safety of pedestrians and cyclists are banished.
But the firm is not stupid – it must be assuming that the rest of us are so busy worrying about Covid that we would not notice that it has included the application under Reserved Matters in a previous application made two years ago.
Says CRAG’s Mary Short: “This is clearly an attempt to get approval before residents have time to object by the deadline of 15th March – please don’t let them get away with it.”
To register objections to this cunning plan, go to North Somerset Council’s website and under Planning Applications, go to 19/P/1657/RM. When you’ve found the application, scroll down to find “make a comment.”
If you do want to comment we would suggest that you look at a document called the Design and Access Statement – DAS Rev A published on the web site on 17th February.
We suggest that any comments are focussed on issues or concerns about the latest drawings and the site layout.
There is no need to comment about access from Wrington Lane because as you will recall this is a separate issue. In 2017 when Gladman secured outline planning consent North Somerset Council stipulated that no residential development would be allowed until the works detailed in an agreed roadways scheme to improve the footway and carriageway along Wrington Lane had been completed.
Reserved Matters application for appearance, landscaping, layout and scale for the erection of 50no. dwellings and associated work pursuant to outline permission 16/P/1521/O (outline planning application for the erection of up to 50 residential dwellings (including up to 30% affordable housing), structural planting and landscaping, informal public open space, surface water attenuation, vehicular access point from Wrington Lane and associated ancillary works. All matters reserved with the exception of the main site access point)