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The Parish Council is aware that there is misinformation in the media about it’s intentions for Chestnut Green. The Council accepts that some of the misinformation may have occurred over the wording in the Newsletter of Chestnut Green which encompasses a wider area than just the open green space residents have come to call Chestnut Green. The following is the actual situation.

Ownership

The Parish Council is the owner of Chestnut Green. It was gifted to it by the developers when the school and the Chestnut Green estate was developed. It is an asset that the Parish Council holds for the enjoyment and benefit of residents. It is, and will always remain, a valued asset and the Council’s priority for it is to ensure that everyone should be able to enjoy meeting and playing there for years to come in the same way as they have in the past. In order to ensure this, it recently employed a tree care consultant to recommend how to manage the Green in its best long term interest. The initial part of those recommendations have recently been carried out to both enhance the long term health of the landscaping and to improve safety.

Antisocial behaviour

The Council was made aware by both the police and residents of antisocial behaviour occurring after the first lockdown had been eased. Reports were that it had been going on for about two months on and around the picnic area and in and amongst the bushes. Reports were that it was occurring on most, but not all nights. Residents living adjacent to the Green were subjected to a lot of noise and disturbance but it generally finished around 10.30pm. However there were occasions when it was later, and louder with drinking and there is a report of it going on until 3am on at least one occasion. Littering also occurred and the picnic table was vandalised. The Parish Council was told by the police that there was some evidence to suggest that possible drug activity had been taking place and also underage drinking.A number of residents who were known to be involved were visited by the police along with their parents. Unfortunately this did not lead to a cessation of the behaviour and it was thought that maybe people from outside the village were also involved

The Parish Council was subsequently asked by the police to consider cutting back certain areas of the shrubs and trees to a more manageable size to deter the youths from going inside the bushes from where some of the anti social behaviour was being witnessed. This recommendation has recently been actioned following the guidelines in the report prepared by the tree care consultant.

Parking

For some time the Parish Council has been looking to find a solution to the on street parking problems that have been causing problems for residents and businesses in the village, particularly around the square fronting the Hall entrance and to varying degrees on Fryston Common Lane, Water Lane and Old Vicarage Lane. The village has no specific off street parking for visitors other than the two spaces in front of the Thatched Cottage. The Community Centre, the Foundation Field and the grassed verge in front of the school have all been considered as possible sources for a solution. Discussions have been held with the bodies concerned but for varying reasons none of these have been found to present a realistic proposition for the provision of designated public parking. With the Parish Council having ownership of Chestnut Green it was a natural reaction to look into the possibility of providing some parking there. The outcome was that it might be possible to use the grassed area opposite the school drop off layby to provide a handful of spaces at right angles to the road. It is thought that such a provision would not be obtrusive and might also benefit the residents of Chestnut Green by way of providing some off street visitor parking and additionally help to alleviate some of the issues created by the presence of the school.

Current Situation

Subsequent enquiries have revealed that there is a covenant on the land registry entry for the Green that stipulates that it‘s use is restricted to being that of an open space amenity. Consequently enquiries are now centred on whether or not parking is at all possible in that location. Another line of enquiry is to establish if any of the planning conditions for the original development would have any bearing on this possibility. The next step will be determined by the outcome of those enquiries.

Consultation

By mentioning in the Newsletter that it was looking into the possibility of providing parking at Chestnut Green, the PC was endeavouring to be entirely transparent with residents from the very outset. The current situation is that the PC is simply looking into a possibility. Should that process develop into a specific proposal, residents will of course be consulted. Should the outcome of that process get as far as an application for planning permission everyone will again be given the opportunity to express their opinions to inform any outcome.

Timeline

The matters of antisocial behaviour and parking are totally unrelated. The work associated with addressing aspects of the anti social behaviour that occurred last Summer was combined with another initiative that the Parish Council was following to address the long term future of the Green and to address its obligations with regard to any health and safety issues it might pose. This entailed obtaining quotations for a specialist to prepare a report, appointing the specialist, procuring the report, obtaining tenders for implementing the recommendations and appointing a contractor to carry them out within the limitations imposed to protect bird nesting.

The provision of parking is a work in progress initiative that is ongoing with no specific timetable.


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MONK FRYSTON PARISH COUNCIL STATEMENT REGARDING CHESTNUT GREEN

March 2021