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Archive for the ‘Noticeboard’ Category

Springs Farm

Updated 26th November 2018

Work is currently underway at Springs linked to a number of approved redevelopment and refurbishment projects. This does involve earth being moved around on site and, given the changing weather, will unfortunately inevitably lead to some mud on Westbury Lane. Throughout all the work carried out at Springs Farm in the last four years, we have always worked very hard to maintain a clear and pleasant environment for our neighbours.
The onsite team will endeavour to keep the road as clear as possible, although it will not be practical to clean the road on a daily basis. The works are scheduled to finish on 30th November, at which point the road will be thoroughly cleaned. An alternative route is available to walkers, along the permissive path which runs parallel to the railway and away from the works taking place. This route is regularly treated with wood chippings in order to keep it in good condition.

If you ever have any questions about the activity taking place on site, you can contact the project team via 0344 225 0003 or by emailing springsfarm@glhearn.com

Matthew Evans
Associate Director
GL Hearn Limited

Updated 5th June 2018

Following investigation, West Berkshire Council has decided NOT to make orders to record the routes shown as dashed red lines on the three attached plans as public footpaths, on the Definitive Map and Statement.

This was in response to the three Schedule 14 Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 applications received from a claimant in Purley last year.

The claimant has been notified of the decisions, as has the landowner.


The crux of the decision NOT to make orders for the Springs Farm and Saltney Mead routes, is the effect of the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak.

In November 2017, a High Court judge stated that Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) closures falling within any 20 year period can prevent public rights of way from being recorded across affected land. Such closures form ‘interruptions’ to public use, which is a key consideration under legislation (section 31(1) Highways Act 1980). A copy of the case is available in the following link (see paragraphs 70-78, in particular paragraph 73): http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2017/2651.html

We asked path users for their recollections of 2001 FMD closures on the land. Most people could not recall, but several positively remembered that access was closed.  We examined West Berkshire Council archive files, which also indicate that public access to the land was closed off during the outbreak by formal West Berkshire Council notices, from some point around March 2001 until July 2001. It was noted that the route from the sewage works to Westbury Lane, alongside the northern railway embankment, was kept open for much of the period, but this is not the route in question.

The High Court judge explicitly disagreed with Planning Inspectorate Advice Note 15, which for many years has given the view that Foot and Mouth disease closures would not prevent a route from being deemed to be a public right of way: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rights-of-way-advice-note-15-breaks-in-user-caused-by-foot-and-mouth-disease

It was decided that the view of the High Court judge takes precedent over the Planning Inspectorate Advice Note, and that 2001 FMD outbreak closures did interrupt public use under section 31(1) Highways Act 1980.

Common Law

Public rights of way can also be inferred to exist under common law. This requires evidence to show that a landowner intended to dedicate a public right of way. Public use itself is not enough. For common law dedication, Planning Inspectorate guidelines state that ‘the burden of proving the owner’s intentions remains with the claimant […,…] this is a heavy burden and, in practice, even quite a formidable body of evidence may not suffice’. The user evidence was examined alongside various documents dating as far back to the 18th Century, including maps, legal documents, estate maps and landowner evidence. Although the user evidence indicates public use, this use was not considered to have occurred due to dedication of the routes by the landowner.

Kind Regards

Stuart Higgins
Definitive Map Officer
Countryside  West Berkshire Council  Market Street  Newbury  RG14 5LD

Update 18th January 2018

New sculpture

My colleagues at GL Hearn have this week submitted a request for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) to West Berkshire Council. This relates to the sculpture which has recently been placed on site at Springs Farm, Arcs in Disorder: 4 Arcs x 5 by Bernar Venet.

An LDC simply seeks to confirm that planning permission is not required for something to take place, in this case the placement of a sculpture on site. Whilst obviously somewhat larger in size than a simple garden statue, we are seeking to confirm with the Council that this does not constitute development and therefore require permission. The arcs are not permanently placed or fixed to the ground by any means, and could easily be relocated with suitable equipment if required (i.e. not requiring construction or demolition).

Venet is an internationally acclaimed conceptual artist, whose works were recently displayed by the National Trust at Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire. We believe the piece will make a positive contribution to Springs Farm and the area.

Update 10th November 2017

From the 20th November part of footpath Purl 1/1 will be closed temporarily for up to 6 months while work is carried out to remove the leylandii ‘walls’ and security fencing.  The closure is to maintain public safety while the work is undertaken.  The path will be reopened once all the work is complete.

More details can be found on the document Q & A prepared by Springs Farm which can be accessed here.

Update 21st April 2017

Set of Question and answers GL Hearn

Update 11th  April 2017

Drop in session in Pangbourne on Monday 24th April from 4pm to 8pm where you can have a one to one discussion with representatives of Springs Farm.

Venue: Pangbourne Village Hall.

Update 16th Mar 2017

The contact email address for any questions about the activities at Springs Farm is springsfarm@glhearn.com.  Alternatively you may also call telephone number 0344 225 0003.

Update 23rd Feb 2017

As a result of a number of reports to WBC about the work being carried out at Springs Farm the Principal Planning Enforcement Officer visited the site and discussed the works with the owner.  Below is  a short report of his findings.

“I can now report that a comprehensive inspection of both the land and buildings has taken place at which time I met with the owner who was pleased to explain to me both the ongoing works as well as his intentions in the long term which relate to Springs Farm.

Currently the land and buildings are used exclusively as part of a private estate with associated agriculture and equine activities. These activities are ancillary to the authorised use. I am unaware of any ongoing commercial use of the land that would bring about a breach of planning control or require planning permission.

The recently observed ‘engineering operations’ have been inspected and explained. The owner states that upon the land in question an existing agricultural access track is in the process of being improved by the laying of suitable materials which will allow more efficient movements of agricultural plant and equipment. Such works are permitted as they are considered to be an agricultural improvement of the land not requiring planning permission. The importation of inert waste materials to facilitate the above has been observed, considered and again does not bring about a breach of planning control as the materials are considered to be suitable for the purpose.

It has been noted that extensive fencing works have recently been conducted and again these are considered to be ‘permitted development’ as the materials used are acceptable and the height of the ‘means of enclosures’ does not exceed 2 meters above ground level. The fencing has been erected upon land which is within the land owners ownership and control. I am unaware of any infringements or negative impact on any Public Rights of Way brought about by these works.

There as you may know several grade 2 listed buildings upon the land. These are of high priority to both the Council and it seems to the land owner as well. It has been noted that certain relatively minor breaches of Listed Building Legislation have occurred prior to the current owners taking control of the land. I am confident these matters will be resolved in the near future via accepted channels and with an input from my Conservation colleagues. If any new Planning or Listed Building applications are made in the future you will have the opportunity to comment in the usual way.

Richard Beech
WBC Principal Planning Enforcement Officer

Update 22nd Feb 2017

A productive meetings was held on Tuesday 14th February with representatives of Springs Farm, Pangbourne Parish Council and the Definitive Map Office from WBC.  A number of issues that local residents had flagged were raised with the Springs Farm representatives and they agreed to investigate further and institute any corrective actions that were found necessary.

Also the meeting agreed that two public meetings would be held at which Springs Farm would explain what works were currently being under taken and their plans for the future.  It would also provide an opportunity for local residents to express their views.  One meeting would be held in Purley on Thames and the other in Pangbourne.  Local residents would be able to attend either meeting.  One proviso was that the plan to hold these meetings was based on the situation that applied at the time of the meeting (14.02.17) with Springs Farm.  Should the (legal) situation change then this may need to be reviewed.

Update 16th Feb 2017

Recently there has been a great deal of interest  from some local people in the work which is being done on the land owned by Springs Equestrian Centre, formally known as Springs Farm.  Much of their land is being enclosed by fencing in preparation for the arrival of horses, we understand.  This work has resulted in the blocking of some paths used by walkers.

There are only three public footpaths (marked on West Berkshire’s Definitive Map) in this immediate area:

  • The Thames Path – alongside the River Thames.
  • Purl 7 – which runs from the River Thames along the east side of Sul Brook to the sewerage works at the end of Bourne Road.
  • Purl 1 – which runs from the sewerage works, along the railway line until it reaches the unused tunnel.  It then diverts at a 45-degree angle away from the railway line towards the path that runs in front of Springs Farm until it reaches the adopted road at Westbury Lane.

There is also a stretch of permissive path (not a public path but where access is allowed by the landowner).  This forks off from Purl1 at the unused tunnel and continues along beside the railway line to where it joins Westbury Lane.  This section is marked by notices installed by the landowner.

Map showing the public footpaths in the area around Springs Equestrian Centre in purple.  We have added the permissive path in red.
(NOTE:  The final stretch of Purl 1 to were it joins Purl2 at Westbury Lane Bridge is not a public footpath but a public highway and hence is not shown on the map.  As a public highway it can be walked and used by all vehicles and is maintained by WBC.)

The paths which are now blocked are tracks which local people have trodden for many years but are neither public nor permissive footpaths.  We are aware that many of you may have walked paths in this area over the years but they are not currently shown on the definitive map.  It is possible for footpaths to be added to the definitive map if it can be demonstrated that people have had unrestricted access over a number of years to walk them.  If you believe this is the case then you need to contact Stuart Higgins at West Berkshire who is responsible for managing the definitive map, email: stuart.higgins@westberks.gov.uk, tele: 01635 503251.

Parishioners from both Purley and Pangbourne who feel strongly about loss of the footpaths have asked Purley and Pangbourne Parish Councils to act on their behalf and make an application for a Definitive Map Modification Order from West Berkshire.

However , at the Parish Council meeting on the 19th January, after a full and open discussion, the Parish Council voted by a majority to invite Pangbourne Parish Council, Springs Equestrian and West Berkshire’s Footpaths Officer to a meeting to negotiate a way forward with regards to footpaths.  We will keep you informed of progress on this.

Sue Briscoe
Chair of Purley on Thames Parish Council


Do something like you’ve never done before!

Wanted!    People to take part in a research project about how communities respond to extreme events.

Earn a £10 Amazon Gift Voucher AND do something interesting that is fun!

Come and play ‘Shutdown’, a cross between theatre and a game.  This is part of a research project run by Kings College London facilitated by Fanshen, a company which makes interactive experiences.

You will be part of a team of 12 local people reviewing some fictional events.  You’ll watch video testimonies from characters, read some material, possibly out loud, and discuss.  There will be nothing weird or embarrassing and the whole thing takes place sitting round a table so is not physically strenuous.

The event takes up to 2 and a half hours.  The game runs for about 90 minutes and then there’s a discussion with neuroscientist Dr Kris De Meyer.

Drinks and biscuits will be provided.

There are 2 sessions on Thursday 6th December, 10.30am and 7pm, both at Purley Memorial Hall
To sign up for your preferred session email Rachel (Rachel@fanshen.org.uk).

If you have any questions or want to discuss access needs you can email or call on 07734 947682


New Governor for Purley C of E Primary School Required



Purley C of E Primary School is seeking to appoint a new governor who can help us mobilise resources to support the school.

Do you have strong business links and connections to the local economy?  Perhaps you have experience being a board member for a company.  If so, we would love to hear from you.

School governors play a vital part in developing communities and Purley Primary School is a growing school with an exciting future.  We are a professional and committed governing board and our key aim is to meet the needs of all children as individuals.  You will need time to offer to attend meetings (about two per half term) and to occasionally visit the school during the school day.   A wide range of training is available through West Berkshire Council as well as support from existing governors.

Learn to love, Love to learn

Please contact the Clerk to Governors, Fran Jones,
via e-mail:  fjones@purley.w-berks.sch.uk  or
phone the school office on 0118 984 2384.

WBC Press Release – Annual Charge for Garden Waste Collections




Date: 30 July 2018

Annual Charge for Garden Waste Collections

West Berkshire Council will introduce an annual charge for its Garden Waste Collection service from Monday 3 September, 2018.

The subscription for one bin will cost £50 and residents can subscribe online now at www.westberks.gov.uk/gardenwaste to continue having their garden waste collected from their home every fortnight.

For residents who subscribe, collections will continue to be made on the usual recycling days. Subscribers will receive a sticker which must be placed on the green bins to ensure collection.

Until now, West Berkshire Council has collected garden waste without residents being asked to pay extra for it.

However, with mounting financial pressures, the council cannot afford to keep doing so without asking residents to pay a separate charge. Therefore, West Berkshire must now follow in the footsteps of many other authorities and introduce a charge for the service.

Speaking about the new charge, Councillor Hilary Cole, Executive Member for Waste Services said: “Like all local authorities, West Berkshire has been affected by reductions in central government funding which means that increasingly, we need to charge for some non-statutory services such as garden waste collections. We consulted with our residents and it was clear that garden waste collection is valued. Therefore, we are giving resident the choice of paying a £50 fee in order to retain the service.”

Over the next few days letters outlining the changes will be sent to properties eligible for the garden waste collection service. Further information is also available at www.westberks.gov.uk/gardenwaste.

The last garden waste collection for residents who choose not to subscribe to the service will be either w/c 20 August or w/c 27 August according to the usual collection schedule.

Residents who do not subscribe are encouraged to continue to make use of their green bin to recycle their food waste. More information on how can be found online at www.westberks.gov.uk/foodwaste

Residents who subscribe should allow up to 14 days for stickers to arrive.

Residents can sign-up to the service online and are able to subscribe on behalf of family, friends and neighbours as well as themselves.

Garden waste can continue to be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres in Padworth and Newbury free of charge.


Purley Volunteer Car Service launched

Purley Volunteer Car Service

It will operate on Wednesdays only for a while as the team gain experience and get a few more volunteer drivers who are ready to give up a morning or afternoon occasionally to help their fellow parishioners.

The service starts from 9.30am and runs to 5.00pm. There are two destinations only, the Tesco store on Knowsley Road where you can catch the no 16 bus into Reading or Pangbourne Village Hall.

The telephone number is 07568 365381.

To use this service: phone this number and talk to the duty controller. Tell them who you are, which destination you want, your mobile number, your address and who will be going with you. They can take anyone over 18 and children so long as they are old enough not to need a car seat and must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Also tell them if you need to use a walker.

When you are ready to return from Pangbourne Village Hall phone the number again. If you are coming back on a No 16 bus, phone the number soon after you board the bus and tell the controller roughly where you are so they can work out when the bus is likely to arrive back at Tescos. This means that you should leave Reading town centre no later than around 4.20pm.

The service will not pick up people to travel on the bus if you live less than 200 metres from a no 16 bus stop. The service is entirely free as we have been generously funded by the Greenham Trust but we will be making an appeal each January when you can make a donation if you are so inclined.

The volunteer drivers have already been booked to cover July and August. Depending on how the service turns out they hope to expand to another day and would appreciate any feedback as to which other days would preferred. They would also like to hear from anyone who has a car who would be prepared to volunteer to cover one of the duty periods.

The service hopes you will use the service to get into Reading even if you have a car as one of the principal aims is to boost patronage for the No 16 bus service and reduce congestion on the Oxford Road.

Please spread the word to anyone you think would benefit from this service.

Thank you.

Volunteering opportunities with 1st Purley & Pangbourne Scout Group

Have you got a passion for adventure?  Want to inspire young people in your community?  Then this is for you!

1st Purley & Pangbourne Scout Group is highly successful and ever-growing.  We provide challenge and adventure to young people age 6-18 in the local area. We are looking for volunteers to help us provide these fantastic opportunities to local young people.

Along with a team of existing volunteers, you would help run our exciting programme of activities.  Our leaders are normal people just like you, but by working together they make extraordinary things happen!  We can offer you a free DBS check, free training, masses of career skills, and a great chance to improve your CV.  There’s also plenty of support. The most important part is that it’s fun and incredibly rewarding.

Our four age sections consist of Beavers (6-8), Cubs (8-10½), Scouts (10½-14) and Explorers (14-18). Each section meets on a specific evening of the week at one of our locations in Purley and Pangbourne. So there’s bound to be one that suits your availability and location!

Want to get involved?

Contact gsl@1stpandp.org.uk or to find out more visit our website www.1stpurleyandpangbourne.co.uk

Volunteer Assistant Lock Keepers Wanted

The Environment Agency, which is navigation authority for the Thames, is now recruiting for the 2015 season and are looking for volunteers who can commit to assisting at least one day a week between May and the end of September. Volunteers can agree their days with lock keepers but need to be available from 10 to 5. Volunteering is a great way to meet people and to find out more about the Thames, its history, wildlife and management. At the same time volunteers know that they are doing something worthwhile that is really appreciated.

Roy Poysor who volunteers at Iffley Lock said:

“Since becoming a volunteer lock keeper I am absorbed in a completely different environment where my assistance is greeted by the enthusiastic boating fraternity who give me immense pleasure with their friendship and banter.”

Our Volunteer Assistant Lock Keepers work alongside paid lock keepers. They help boats pass through the lock safely: taking ropes, directing traffic, and operating sluices and lock gates. They help maintain the site: painting, tidying and gardening. They provide information to visitors, be they on foot or afloat, so that they can make the best of their time on the river. Visitors really appreciate the local knowledge that volunteers can provide.

All applicants are invited to an assessment at a local lock. Here they will have the role explained to them and be shown what it involves in practical terms. They will also be assessed to decide which site may be most appropriate for them and to ensure that they have the physical capabilities required. After successful completion of the assessment, they attend an induction course which focuses on safety and preparing them for the lock side.

On the lock side the volunteers follow a documented training programme before being signed off to take charge of the lock on their own. This will only be for short periods, while the paid keeper is at lunch for example.

William Partridge who volunteers at Benson Lock had the following to say:

“2015 will be my fifth year as a volunteer lock keeper. I have enjoyed every moment of it, come rain or shine. I look forward to it in the knowledge that I am helping boaters and lock staff alike. It gives me great pleasure to make a contribution.”

Volunteers are provided with uniform and can claim mileage for travel to and from a lock local to them. They also receive a monthly newsletter which keeps them in touch with what is going on along the river and other activities of the Environment Agency.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering on the Thames and to receive an information pack and application form, please contact the Volunteer team on 01491 828360 or email thames.volunteers@environment-agency.gov.uk


Thames Valley Police Alert Website

With over 86,000 subscribers and over 900 locally targeted messages sent every month, Thames Valley Alert is quickly becoming a valuable information source to Thames Valley residents. Are you signed up yet?

Thames Valley Police is committed to involving the community in policing. We believe that by improving the flow of information between the community and the police, we can all make a greater impact on the prevention and detection of crime and anti-social behaviour.

As a member of the public you are invited to sign up to Thames Valley Alert and become a registered recipient of police related information such as crime alerts or witness appeals local to your area; by email, text or telephone, it’s up to you!

Once registered you will not only benefit from two way messaging but also learn about local crime, help identify suspected or wanted criminals or learn about community groups, events or meetings in your area.
To receive crime alerts and witness appeals local to you by email, voice or text just register via Thames Valley Alert, on www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk


Please note:  Purley on Thames Parish Council are not responsible for the content of third party websites.

Flood Chat Page

This page has been created to allow residents of Purley on Thames to exchange any comments or views about the the current flood situation in Purley on Thames.  Please be polite.  Posts are moderated and any deemed offensive will be removed.  Your first post will need to be approved, after that posts will be published without the need for approval.

Please note that the content of messages on this page represent only the views of the author.  They should not be construed as reflecting the views, policy or opinion of Purley of Thames Parish Council.


 The Flood Chat Page is currently closed for comments.  It will become available again should a flood situation look imminent.

Volunteers need for Pikeshaw Woods