Fieldfayre Project – an Update
[+ go back...]
It now seems a long time ago that I first sat down to write the article for the Autumn 2012 Parish Newsletter inviting all Parishioners to attend an open weekend at the Parish Hall, to share their views on how best to renovate the Fieldfayre site – the land and buildings that houses the Parish shop and post office as well as some rather tired looking offices and a
couple of flats.
It may also seem that not much has been accomplished in that time, but I am writing this
update to hopefully explain that actually, in the background, a significant amount of work has been done and a great deal of thought has been put into this important project by the Parish Council.
The consultation with Parishioners ended in January 2013 and since then there have been many meetings and discussions and much research done to move the project forward in a way that both takes into account the feedback from the consultation and ensures the most financially sound use of Parish funds and assets.
The Council debated long and hard during the course of 2013, looking at the options for our shop and post office, the possibilities for the Fieldfayre building and the potential for the rest of the site. We have taken advice from many professionals and local experts along the way, and at the end of 2013 began to draw up a tender document to give to firms of Architects that we could potentially work with on the project, to give them a view of what the project involved.
We met with five firms at the beginning of the year, four of them very local, and from those meetings, and the completed tenders, decided which firm we thought best suited to this very challenging but also very exciting project. For the Council it is not just a case of the cost. We are sensitive to the environmental challenge of flooding and keeping the village character intact. We understand the issues relating to traffic and parking. We also strongly believe in the
need to keep the shop and post office as a central part of the community and a going concern for many years to come. In addition we want to provide options to improve the shop so that villagers can have an even better facility in the Parish. Add to that our awareness of the lack of suitable properties for the older members of the Parish to downsize locally and the younger members of the Parish to remain in the Parish when they leave home and you will begin to see why it has taken so many meetings and so much discussion to get to the point we are at today!
The Council agreed that in order to avoid even more complications with the project, it would be beneficial to own the whole site, so in June of this year we purchased flat 1 in the Fieldfayre building as the owner had decided to move on.
Having agreed on the firm of Architects, the Council then had a series of meetings with one of the Partners to discuss in detail the vision for the site and to allow various sketches to be drawn up to provide a real picture finally of what has been forming in our minds for so long.
Following meetings with Mr Kumar to discuss the options for the shop, the Council were able to get some more detailed sketches drawn up and meet with the close neighbours of the site to share these tangible pictures with them and explain the long journey we have been on to get to this stage of the project.
The next steps will not be any easier than those already taken, but we have a very good basis on which to move forward. The Council will continue to think very carefully about every decision that is reached and will keep you updated at each step of the project.