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Currently West Bergholt benefits from a range of assets and an
environment which suits many in the community, but the forward
nature of our plan means we need to examine whether the "place"
aspects and the "people" aspects are indeed well matched in the
future. We have decided to do this by looking at the people
aspects first, and to assist with this we have made some
generalisations. No one family group or indeed single person
household, has the same needs or characteristics but by looking
at typical needs we can tease out at a strategic level the
issues that need to be addressed.
To promote community wellbeing and village sustainability as a
whole the needs of separate but often interlinked family types
need to be identified.
The various family types are defined as;
We have further looked at the eight categories of our plan and
made an assessment of the likely differing needs of each
household type. This in turn gives an appreciation of the
various facilities that will be needed in future years.
Presently West Bergholt has the assets needed to provide the
facilities to support the current needs of the community. To a
large degree this has come about as a direct result of the
generosity and good planning by village benefactors. For
example, Mr O.G. Orpen, (director of Daniell's brewery) whose
estate paid for the village hall known as the Orpen Memorial
Hall in 1938 and Mr T.D. Daniell who, in 1939, donated 4 acres
adjacent to it for recreational use and now has an adult
football pitch, tennis courts and children's play area.
Similarly, the Poor's Land (c. 5 acres) and the village
allotments (c. 6 acres) were donated by other benefactors.
Future benefactors with a willingness and financial ability to
provide additional community assets such as those provided under
the estates of Mr Orpen or Mr Daniell are most unlikely. In
addition, other facilities such as the various housing stock,
the transport services, our roads, footpaths and pavements, the
shops and business facilities have largely been either
market-led, developed over hundreds of years or planned
centrally by upper tier bodies.
Given the above and the seemingly endless directions in which
our plan could lead us across our eight categories, the
strategic building blocks of our plan can emerge in a way that
makes sense not only in their own right but which will best suit
the needs of the community. This will help enable a sustainable
outcome for all.
Whilst the needs of this family group are currently adequately
provided for through existing facilities in the village, some
facilities are operating at maximum capacity. In particular,
affordable housing for young families is scarce and as a result
some may be forced to move away from the village even though
other facilities such as the school would normally attract them.
Children's play areas are located at; The Lorkin Daniell
Playing Field; Earle Havard Playpark by Pirie Road; Pocket Park
by Maltings Park. All three play areas are constrained by
limited space for future expansion in their current form.
Pre-school facilities are provided by Bluebells which almost
fully occupies the Orpen and John Lampon Halls during the term
time week days. A lack of storage space means that equipment
used by this award-winning group needs to be moved on a daily
basis and stored outside the Halls.
Heathlands Primary School was extended to provide 50
additional spaces in 2014 for the children of West Bergholt and
neighbouring villages. It is assumed this expansion will meet
the schooling needs for the next 15 years. However, no provision
was made to ease the congestion caused by parents bringing their
children to school by car.
Footways and cycle paths to and around the school are in need
of improvement. A new footway on the south side of Colchester
Road adjacent to the school would be highly beneficial to help
promote walking to school and ease parking during school time.
Dedicated cycle paths would help parents feel more confident in
allowing their children to cycle to school.
State-funded Secondary Schools, Grammar and Further Education
Colleges, are available outside of the village with some public
transport available to and from Colchester schools. There are
independent schools in the local area but also a small number of
parents organise transport to schools in areas such as Ipswich.
A few teenagers do cycle to school during term time when light
and weather permits although there are no dedicated cycle paths
between West Bergholt and Colchester or Lexden. Various clubs
and sporting activities are available for teenagers including
football, cricket, tennis, scouts, girl guides, etc. Bergholt
Youth Group (BYG) operates from within the village halls and
weather permitting uses the Multi Use Games Area and Lorkin
Daniell Playing Field. This group has nearly 100 members and
meets fortnightly. Holding additional club nights depends on
attracting a sufficient pool of volunteer helpers. A youth
shelter was constructed on the Lorkin Daniell playing field by
the Parish Council and Essex County Council in 2012 but there is
a growing need and demand to provide a venue, such as a café,
for young people to meet socially. Unfulfilled demand has
existed over a number of years for a zip wire to be provided
however lack of suitable space and funding has meant this has
not come to fruition. Facilities for adults within this group
are met through clubs and recreational pursuits in the village.
Neither an indoor nor outdoor gymnasium exists in the village
nor is there a swimming pool. Adequate number of pubs, and
restaurants exist to meet the needs of the future.
As West Bergholt is deemed a desirable place to live many
younger adults continue to live in the village, sometimes with
their parents, as they grow up and parents tend to stay in their
family homes when children leave. For those wishing to downsize
it is often not easy to find alternative suitable accommodation.
Shops, a Post Office and pharmacy provide an invaluable service
and residents consider themselves fortunate to have a well
appreciated doctor's surgery. A pleasant environment is
important to this group and so open spaces, including the
allotments, walks and woods need to be well maintained.
Facilities for adults within this group are met through clubs
and recreational pursuits in the village but these need to be
expanded and well publicised.
Some living accommodation exists to meet single adult
requirements and is provided through flats and apartments in
various locations including the Truman Building in Maltings
Park. Many of the facilities needed for this group match those
defined above, but, in particular, there is a need to encourage
involvement in clubs, societies and sports activities. At
present the village has adequate pubs and restaurants but an
alternative venue for meeting socially, especially for single
adults, would be desirable.
Whilst some property downsizing does occur, many in this
category choose to remain in the original family home. Sometimes
there is a reluctance to leave the home where the family grew up
and in other cases there is a lack of suitable or affordable
senior years housing. Bungalows are sought after and desirable
throughout the village and often change hands very quickly.
Other features in the village currently that are relevant to
this group include:
As a caring society it is essential that vulnerable residents
in this group, especially those without local family and
friends, are supported. This will be achieved in an appropriate
way through the various volunteer and professional groups which
exist, and which would naturally come into contact with
vulnerable people through their work programmes and initiatives.
Make the village "senior friendly" both by providing a safe
environment and sufficient well publicised recreational
Matching Strategic Needs to Family Type Requirements
Younger Families Pre school
Single adult living
Senior Years (largely retired residents)
Village society & community
Housing & planning
Business & commerce
Sports & recreation
Transport, highways & infrastructure
✔✔✔ Highly relevant
✔✔ Moderately relevant
✔ Minor relevance