Just to let you know the campaign to SAVE #moretonmorrellplayingfield has been launched and poster boards are starting to go up in the village and we now have a supply of car stickers/window stickers available.
Please can you email/message Anne Parry at avparry1@btinternet with your name/address if you would like to receive a car/window sticker to display - available on a first come first served basis – we just have 100 - and we'll pop one through your door. If you wish to display a poster that would be great too, particularly if you live on the village central routes. Thanks for all your support.
PRESS RELEASE 1/8/17
Villagers pictures after the public meeting on Monday 31st July outside the gates of Moreton Morrell College
COLLEGE SERVES NOTICE ON VILLAGE PLAYING FIELD!
Warwickshire College Group (WCG) has effectively attempted to serve notice to Moreton Morrell Parish Council on the village playing field which has been in existence for over 50 years.
#moretonmorrellplayingfield which is extensively used by children and adults, is now at the centre of a bitter row and legal action is now necessary by the Parish Council. WCG which runs Moreton Morrell College, has refused to renew the current 25 years lease, which contractually expires on 30th September 2017.
Whilst the Parish Council has been offered a 12 months’ extension to its existing lease by WCG, accepting a year’s extension could compromise its existing statutory rights.
The playing field which extends to 3.5 acres and features traditional playing equipment for young children, football goal posts and a skate park has benefited from over £75,000 of local investment and is also used for recreation by college students. A public footpath dissects the area and is extensively frequented by villagers and dog walkers.
The Parish Council fears that this key community asset is now being positioned as a ransom strip by the college in a bid to secure Parish Council and community support for the development of housing on adjacent land, which was previously dismissed at Appeal in 2016 by the Planning Inspectorate. Reasons for the dismissal in 2016 reflected the housing development’s design, scale and lack of guaranteed open green space, as the college had refused to renew the playing field lease. The Parish Council is not in principle opposed to appropriate development in the village.
Community support for any large-scale development is now required to overturn planning policies in Stratford District Council’s Core Strategy, which was adopted in July 2016.
The estimated £3m from the sale of this land is apparently required by WCG to inject significant financial investment into the upgrading of its Moreton Morrell campus. Regrettably there is little evidence that the £multi-million insurance payout following the fire at Moreton Hall in 2008 was used to bring Moreton Hall back to its previous state nor to develop the campus.
Commenting, Cllr Anne Parry, chairman of Moreton Morrell Parish Council said: “The village of Moreton Morrell has enjoyed a good relationship with the college in the past, but this has seriously deteriorated over the last two years following the appointment of Angela Joyce as Group Chief Executive.
“Since November 2015 the college has denied villagers access to historic rights of way used over the last 50 years through the 700+ acres of college land, which the villagers continue to contest; this was purportedly in response to the college’s extreme implementation of the Prevent Agenda, the government’s counter terrorism strategy on grounds of student safeguarding issues.
“Villagers have also been subjected to alleged assaults within the college grounds and the village has been blamed for vandalism of college property, without any evidence being provided. In the meantime, the college continues to play host to numerous equestrian and sporting events, which are open to the general public at large who are not subject to security checks.
“Despite our continuous efforts to resolve the issues through business-like negotiations, unfortunately we have been unable to agree the Terms of Reference for a working group meeting between the Parish Council and Warwickshire College Group.
“The Parish Council has now been forced to take legal action and use funds earmarked for the renewal of children’s play equipment in a bid to keep and save the playing field, which was registered as a community asset on 21st October 2013.
“Whilst the Parish Council has been offered a 12 months’ extension to the existing lease by the College, such a move would compromise our existing statutory rights.
“The playing field in its present form has been leased to the village for over 50 years and the message from villagers is loud and clear in terms of its importance to all generations and paves the way for retaining the vitality of the area as a community asset.
“There are no other suitable alternative pieces of land in the village providing a safe place for our resident children to play”, she added.
Villagers turned out in their scores at a public meeting to express the importance and need to retain the whole of the existing playing field in Moreton Morrell to parish councillors this week on Monday 31st July 2017.
Not to villagers: please use the hash tag #moretonmorrellplayingfield in sharing this information on social media.
Media contact: Anne Parry 07917 117737 email@example.com
History of the Parish
Moreton Morrell is an ancient settlement that appears in the Domesday Book as "Mortone". From at least the early Norman times it has consisted of the 'town' of Moreton, and the hamlet of Morrell.
The Parish consists of Litttle Morrell in the North, the village of Moreton Morrell, Moreton Paddox in the South and a small number of houses to the West of the Fosse Way. The boundaries are formed: to the east by the Fosse Way, to the north by Thelsford Brook running from the Fosse westwards; and to the south, by a valley running from Hell Hole on the Fosse to the bottom of Staple Hill.
Until the end of the 19th century, the village was largely self sufficient with 45 occupations recorded in the second half of the 19th century.
The population in 1801 was very similar to that cited in the Doomesday Book in 1086. Throughout the 1800s, the population varied between 183 and 301, according to the prosperity of farming at the time. It rose to 388 by 1911, declining sharply following the First World War.
In the first part of the 1900s, the population rose at a steady rate, with a sharp increase in the late 1960s. This was primarily due to the development of Oak tree Close and Moreton Paddox.
By 2001, there was a further increase following the developments of Wilcox Leys, John Taylor Way and Chestnut Grove in the 1990s, as well as a further increase in students at the college.
The next Parish Council Meeting is on 18th September in the Village Hall at 7.30pm - All welcome
Latest copy of the villager - August
New updated welcome pack
Definitive Footpath map.
Notice of audit
copyright Moreton Morrell Parish Council 2013