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On Friday 6th May 2016, St Margaret's C of E (VA) Primary School presented a cheque for £900.08 to Rose Griffin of Bowers Gifford Residents' Association toward the purchase of Page Wood. The children raised this amazing amount by doing a sponsored walk to Page Wood organised by Miss Southgate. We were delighted to receive such wonderful support from the children and the school in this exciting venture.

Here Rose Griffin-Twidell receives the cheque on behalf of the Residents' Association for £900.08 from the children of St.Margaret's.

StMArgarets presentation

 

Well done!

 

And a big Hooray from all those wonderful children.

 

If you want to keep our village as a village surrounded by green fields, then we hope you sent your objections to the plans to Basildon Council & also added your name to our petition.

650 Houses planned development for Bowers Gifford - The land between Bowers Gifford/London road & Pitsea area has been included again in the proposed Basildon Local Plan. Homes, Traveller Pitches, a nursing home, primary school plus various sports facilities.  We thought we had won the battle on stopping the building on this site back in June 2014, but unfortunately we have to continue to fight this again.  You may have seen the stories in the local papers over the last few weeks. 

This time the plan shows a long strip of green fields splitting the new housing development in Pitsea from the new housing development in Bowers Gifford, but this space will not remain as fields/farmland.  They plan to move the Eversley centre back into this green strip as well as relocate the Gardiners Lane South rugby & football pitches there. Bowers Gifford is earmarked for 600 houses to be built on Green Belt in the village, together with 50 properties in the plotland areas which are subject to infill policy and a number of additional Gypsy and Traveller pitches. This planned development will remove our status as a village, as we will be incorporated into the Town.

 

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a £20,000 grant, towards the purchase of Page Woods, from Essex County Council’s Community Initiative Fund.

Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and the Environment Cllr Roger Hirst, said: “The Community Initiatives Fund is an excellent example of how Essex County Council is supporting communities to help themselves. By increasing the opportunities for local residents, community groups and volunteers individually to shape their local facilities and undertake new ventures, we will see them make Essex an even better place to live and work than it is today.”

The £20,000, is the maximum that can be awarded from the Community Initiative Fund added to the £12k already pledged and raised puts us on the home straight for completing the deal.
In October we were granted charity status which enables us to claim gift aid on the greater part of the £6,800 pledged by local residents. In November our application for Asset of Community Value (ACV) status for Page Woods was granted by Basildon Council. Now we at last we have a substantial grant. There are only three bodies locally which give capital grants to buy property so we are very pleased to get anything.

We have been complimented on our innovative Business Plan (which is on our website). We hope to put our plans into action in the early spring.  The Woodland Trust, which has been giving us help and advice, will be visiting us in 2016. We hope to get further help from the Trust with regard to a Management Plan.


Our grant application was accompanied by letters and messages of support from our MP, all our Basildon Ward Councillors; the Leader of Basildon Council; the Benbow Club; Bowers Gifford & District U3A, the Women’s Institute; the Gun Public House; the Woodland Trust and the Wilderness Foundation.



To date we have collected £1650 from the Funwalk which we took part in during the summer.  St. Margaret’s School children did their own sponsored walk and raised a further £900. Other fundraising this year has raised around another £900. The Residents Association only needs a few hundred pounds each year to operate and so we are able to donate a further £650 from our existing funds.

 

 

 

© 2012 Bowers Gifford & North Benfleet Residents' Association. All rights reserved. Charity Ref. EW38482