The Glebe Field: an update from BPC

Bury Parish Council has been asked by some parishioners to elucidate on current BPC thinking with regard to the Glebe Field and we are happy to do so.

The Glebe Field is of strategic and significant importance within our parish and Bury Parish Council recently approached the Diocese of Chichester to see if there is any potential for the Church-owned half of this field to come into Parish Council ownership.

In recent times, various parcels of land have come up for sale within Bury and West Burton and there are now a number of potential new development sites within the parish. There is no doubt that increasingly local planning authorities are coming under pressure from developers seeking to deliver the Government’s drive for many thousands of new homes.

It is BPC view that the Glebe Field needs to be protected from any such threat and placing it within community ownership would have the effect of preserving it as a cherished green space at the heart of our village for perpetuity.

The Diocese has indicated that it might be prepared to consider selling its half of the Glebe Field. To further explore this possibility, BPC has agreed to pay a fee for a surveyor’s report by the Diocese, without which there can be no forward movement.

The position at this stage remains exploratory and we do not yet know if it would be possible to buy nor at what price. Once a clearer picture emerges and if a purchase remains an option, BPC will report back fully to the community and undertake a full consultation exercise to seek parishioners’ views. In all matters, BPC adheres to a simple principle: seeking results that are in the best interests of the community as a whole.

In addition, BPC has begun exploratory discussions with the Burrows family to ascertain whether there are any circumstances in which it might be possible for the Parish Council to acquire the other half of the Glebe Field which is currently in their ownership. These discussions are only in initial stages and there are no proposals on the table. Once again, if and when any firm proposals emerge, it will be BPC’s priority to report those in detail to the community and to seek parishioners’ views via a full and transparent consultation process.

Finally, in the currently remote possibility that BPC were to acquire both halves of the Glebe Field to preserve it as a green space at the centre of our community, parish councillors intend to explore the possibility of utilising that space as a recreation ground which can be easily and safely accessed and is located within the heart of the village and close to the village hall.

In the absence, because of Covid-19 restrictions, of an annual village meeting once again this year, BPC will be issuing a magazine in May updating parishioners on a range of BPC matters and the latest position on the Glebe Field will be included in that document. As already stated, any firm proposals that may emerge with regard to the Glebe Field will be the subject of comprehensive and transparent consultation processes in order to ascertain the views of the community.