19/09/06 – St Paul’s Vicarage Bungalow about to be sold!
After raising the vandalism of the Vicarage Bungalow and it’s broken fencing with Council Officers, I have been informed that the Bristol Diocesan Board of Finance is discussing the imminent sale of the land to South Oxfordshire Housing Association [SOHA].
This issue has been rumbling on for several years but this is a dramatic step forward. Housing and Property Council Officers met with a representative of SOHA on Monday to ascertain their plans for the site. It appears that SOHA would like Swindon Borough Council to discuss releasing the Covenant covering the site so that they can apply for planning permission. This has not yet happened and there will be a lot of internal discussions over the next couple of months.
This site is extremley sensitive for local residents and I fully expect that there will be uproar if plans to submit a block of 20 to 24 flats are submitted. Local residents would fight those plans tooth and nail. The land being sold is the bungalow and it’s garden, not the surrounding area so residents will undoubtably feel that a scheme involving any flats is going to be very overbearing. The church and Covingham library should not be affected by any sale.
After looking into the specifics of the vandalism and with a sale potentially around the corner, the Diocese would prefer to remove the fences and clean up the garden. It turns out that the fence shouldn’t have been erected in the first place! Residents may see this work happening in a few weeks but I would like to reassure you that no Planning application has been submitted yet…
The covenant says:
1. Not to erect any buildings on the land other than a church
2. Not to erect on any part of the property any shed or other structure including fences, walls, gates and other means of enclosure
3. Not to use the property other than for religious or parochial purposes.
4. Not to cause suffer or permit any interment to take place upen the property – scattering or burial of ashes is not deemed to breach this clause
5. Not to erect any memorial stone or plaque except where is it laid flush with the ground
As further information comes to light Glenn, Phil and I will make sure that local residents are kept informed. In the mean time, please can you contact us at Glenn@Covinghamandnytheintouch.com, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org with your views on what should happen to the boarded up bungalow.
Cllr Dale Heenan