South Tawton Village Square Meeting
Sunday February 6th 2011
Janet Wright, John Christian, Meg Wolton, Lucinda Legge, Shane Vallance, Ali Smith, Jeremy Hatch, David Youle, Hugh Norman, Nick Norman, Kate Norman, David Sampson, William Cann, Alan Dunne, Susan Freeman, Mark Freeman, Joyce Wood, Barry Wood, L Jones, Dave Methuen, Sue Methuen, L Fowler, Diana Clatworthy, Michael Clatworthy, Peter Craske
Jill Watson, Pat Thompson, Irene Madders, Tim Watson, Ken Crawford, Ann Crawford, Deborah Clarke, Andy White
Peter Craske chaired the meeting and Mark Freeman kept a record of the points raised by those present..
Historical perspective: Meg Wolton provided photographs showing different views of the village square (or Cross Trees square) over the years
Planting: the majority agreed that the square would be enhanced with some appropriate restrained planting. Two present demurred, raising concerns about litter, maintenance and lack of historic precedent.
Surfacing: all present agreed that the current state of the surfacing of the square was unacceptable, making the centre of the village unsightly and potentially unsafe. David Youle explained that, when the road was resurfaced in 2004, the village square was not done because of the presence of scaffolding in front of Church House during the restoration. The majority present felt that the most suitable and least costly surface would be tarmacadam, perhaps with some tinting to demarcate the square from the road. William Cann offered to seek out the plans for the village square which were drawn up for the Parochial Church Council some ten years ago. All recognised that, given the current austerity measures, this was not an ideal time to be seeking financial support for such work.
Parish Plan: while the summary of the Parish Plan in 2008 made no specific mention of the village square, a number of respondents had made reference to it. The relevant pages were to be forwarded to Peter Craske by Andy White.
Cars: the majority considered that the use of the square for parking was inevitable, given the need to maintain access to the lych gate for funerals and weddings, the bridle path, 1 and 2 Town Barton and The Cottage. Several present raised concern about the setts on the north side of the oak tree which were frequently hit by cars on exiting the square. All agreed that the setts would be improved with weeding – as would the area in front of the lych gate
Trough: Peter Craske had contacted Dartmoor National Park who had offered to drill holes in the trough so that it could be used as a planter, the remainder of the cost to be met by the Parish Council. Best positioning of the trough discussed plus the desirability of purchasing other granite troughs for the square.
Grassed area: problems with fouling and litter discussed, the opportunity afforded by the notice board to promote the village and possible enhancement of this area discussed.
Litter: Peter Craske, Mark Freeman and Susan Freeman offered to ensure that any planted areas were kept litter free. Desirability of moving current litter bin discussed.
Lighting: Jeremy Hatch raised the issue of lighting – on the side and front of the Seven Stars. This issue is currently being debated by the Parish Council and an article requesting parishioners for their views placed in January Beacon. Concern raised by some about the amount of light pollution.
Additional points made in correspondence prior to the meeting:
Joyce Wood: produced plan which recommended the creation of a grassy slope to the south of the oak tree with designated parking bays in front of this and a disabled bay to the east of the tree. Plan submitted not-to-scale and bays likely to encroach too far on to road.
Pat Thompson: registered approval of any plans to enhance the square with planting.
Irene Madders: registered the need for access for hearses and the desirability of retaining the village square for car parking.
Additional points made in correspondence by Ken Crawford and Ann Crawford following the meeting:
- Desirability of dedicated bus turning space
- Terracing of square as two level areas
- Reduction of cobbled paved area below church steps to create additional car parking (at right angles to pavement rather than parallel)
- Reduce crown of oak tree
- Introduce planters/hanging baskets
- Replace/reduce grassed area by notice board
- Install electric power point in tree dias (to provide illumination and decoration of the tree at Christmas)
It was agreed that a working party should be set up to undertake the following tasks:
- weed cobbles around tree and in front of the lych gate
- organise the removal of the trough from the west side of the oak tree to a position to the right of Church House steps. Plant trough
- earthing up and planting of bulbs/shrubs around the base of the oak tree
- consider ways of enhancing grassed area by notice board
- fund raising
- working party to consider medium/longer term issues raised at initial meeting. Any progress/recommended actions to be reported to those attending the initial meeting, through reports in the Beacon and updates on the Church House website.
Working Party Initial Meeting
Would those who would be willing to serve on the working party please contact Mark Freeman at 2 Town Barton (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel 01837-840085)