Winford Community Orchard Action Group are calling a special village meeting at Winford Village Hall on Wednesday, 5th July at 19.30pm regarding the purchasing of an organic field in the village.

An informal group of Winford Resident’s have organised this meeting to see if there is enough enthusiasm to purchase an important organic field that forms one of the boundaries to the village and turn it into a community asset.

The field opposite the junction of Regil Lane and Chew Rd on the road in from Chew Magna was used as an orchard according to the 1885 ordanance survey and probably for many hundreds of years before that. For the last forty+ years it has been used for grazing and a hay/silage crop until late 2022. In that time there have been three attempts by the various owners to seek planning permission for building which have been refused, not completed after planning advice, or latterly withdrawn.

The last application NSC 22/P/2102/OUT was for eighteen self-build houses (some three storey) a communal office building and a mini roundabout to give site access. This was highly controversial and had almost ninety objections on the NSC planning website. At a WPC special Parish meeting, forty residents voted against the application with one in favour. In light of this opposition and NSC Planning’s nine reasons for refusal, we have seen under a Freedom of Information Request the application was withdrawn on April 20th.

As a result, the field has just been put up for sale by Killen’s by informal tender on August 4th midday at a guide price of £75,000.

To protect this field, we hope to organise its purchase by crowd funding, subscription or by obtaining grants and turn it into a community asset such as an orchard to increase biodiversity and increase wellbeing, perhaps with some seating and perhaps a small children’s area.

We realise this is a huge task that needs to be undertaken very quickly, with the planned meeting being an important start. If you wish to help or become involved, please attend the meeting or contact Simon Martin: [email protected]

Simon Martin