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This is a dedicated news page to report any developments in the proposals to redevelop Oulton Abbey.
These are not intended to be minutes of the meeting, but a general overview.
1 / Following a leaflet drop to every house in the village, over thirty people attended a meeting at Oulton Village Hall on Friday 16th September 2011, to hear about the proposals to develop Oulton Abbey. This was a general meeting to inform residents of the broad outline of the plans, and to appoint a Joint Working Group to work with the developers. The meeting was chaired by Chris Westward and many people put forward ideas. The appointment of the Joint Working Group was postponed until Tuesday 20th September when a meeting attended by Ian Walker, a representative for the developers, would be held at The Wheatsheaf, Oulton.
2/ Tuesday 20th September 2011 - The Wheatsheaf, Oulton.
Mr Ian Walker, representing PG Group, opened the meeting of around fifteen residents who were all concerned about the way the development of the Abbey would affect the village. A Joint Working Group, mostly from those who would be immediately affected by the proposals, was appointed. Chris Westwood accepted the Chairmanship. The JWG will liaise with Ian Walker to put forward views of the local community and to keep residents informed during the planning process.
Mr Walker explained that PG Group are developers who specialise in conversion ecclesiastical buildings to bring them into wider use, and that the Trustees of the Abbey had employed them to put together a plan which would make best use of the existing buildings whilst retaining and renovating the main Abbey. The proposals include a new-build 40-60 bed nursing home on what is now the Abbey kitchen garden, renovation of existing barns and cottages to form seven three bedroom dwellings, two new-build 3-4 bedroom dwellings on the 'rick-yard' with access from Convent Lane and conversion of the Abbey buildings into 10-18 retirement apartments, along with attendant parking spaces. The Abbey |Church, Presbytery, Chapter House and ancillary rooms and corridors are to be retained, and a sinking fund set up to pay for their maintenance.
All of those attending the meeting were in favour of some development at the Abbey to rescue those structures in danger of deterioration, but were concerned about the density, and the resulting effect on the village in terms of traffic movement etc, and the possible urbanistion of the environment especially around Convent Lane. The Abbey wall in Convent Lane would also have to be breached to provide access the two new-build houses. It was pointed out that the wall was Grade Two listed as are the buildings within the Abbey curtilage. Residents of Convent Lane were also concerned that the rural nature and character of the lane would be compromised if this part of the development were to go ahead.
An area plan and programme of events was presented to the meeting. The plan is intended as an overview and a discussion document ,and does not constitute a detailed planning application. The programme indicated that the discussion, consultation and planning application process would take from early September 2011 to end of May 2012, with the intention that building would start soon after with the new-build nursing home. It is envisaged, by the developers that the whole project will take until end of June 2015 to complete.
The next meeting of the JWG will take place on Tuesday 18th October 2011 at 6.00 om at Oulton House,Turners Lane, Oulton, Stone, by kind invitation of Mr and Mrs Fairbairn.
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3/At the meeting on the 18th October the Joint Working Group was presented with the Heritage and Archealogical Report.
The file of the minutes for this meeting, and the Heritage Report are too large to upload to this website.If anyone would like a copy please click here to contact us and we will forward a copy to you.
4/ Members of the Joint Working Group hand delivered a questionaire to all village houses asking for comments about the proposals. of approximately 200 questionaires delivered around 25% were returned.