Meeting with Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Notes from meeting on 15th March 2019

Cheshire Wildlife Trust – Black firs Reserve    

2 Field View Road, Somerford CW12 4UG @ 9.00 am  

Present – Cllr R Crookes, Cllr P Crompton (Vice Chairman) , Mrs J Mason- Clerk and Mr Joe Plimblett – Cheshire Wildlife Trust. 

Apologies – Cllr G Bell  

The meeting had been arranged to discuss the probability of the Parish Council adopting the site on Blackfirs Lane. The site had all the tree works carried out since the last onsite visit in January, the boardwalk had been rewired by the pond and some improvement works on the pathways. There was still a concern about the fencing around the curtilage especially around the back where the new houses were being built. David Wilson Homes had put a large man hole cover on to the site with no permission and he requested the contact details of the North West planning officer from the Clerk so he could make some enquires. He also felt that DWH should support the erecting of fencing to the rear of the site (JP added he would like to add hedgehog holes in the fences).

JP explained that the CWT were reviewing their ‘Disposal and Acquisition Policy’ . They had many sites and they were proving very costly to manage and if the PC were interested it would benefit them greatly if this site was adopted.  He knew the PC would honour the wishes of Mrs Rheade and the site would not be developed. PC asked which route the CWT would follow to enable the PC to adopt the site as his personal view would be to take full ownership. JP thought the way the CWT Board proposed was to lease the site on a’ peppercorn ‘rent for 15 years.

They felt the site was 4 acres. Natural England had approached CWT to find sites for ponds and he proposed the site opposite (RSPB land) would be ideal and there would be a financial benefit of £750 per pond (the Health and Safety risk was noted).

The CWT would be able to still maintain the trees if the PC wished and this could be written into the lease. The Health and Safety issue in relation to the pond were discussed. He apologised about the poor communication about the safety of the site from his work colleagues previously as some information was inaccurate.

It was concluded the following actions would be taken;

  • PC and RC would report back to the Parish Council and gain their views.
  • It would be taken to a public consultation via the newsletter and a presentation at the Annual Parish meeting
  • The boundary needed securing all the way around the site.
  • JP needed to contact DWH to discuss the boundary and the man hole cover.
  • JP would ask the CWT board of the method of transfer of ownership

Meeting closed at 10.15 am

Next meeting 03.05.18 @ 9am