Community councils are voluntary groups of people who give time to, and have an interest in, the well-being of their community.
Catbrook & District is one ward of Trellech United Community Council (TUCC), the other wards are Llandogo, The Narth, Trellech, Llanishen, Penallt and Whitebrook.
TUCC meets on the third Monday of each month at 7pm in one of the village halls within the boundaries. Their chief role is representative: to consult the local community and to make known to the local authority and other public bodies the views of local people on all matters affecting them.
Monmouthshire County Council, in turn, has a duty to consult TUCC on how local services are delivered and other issues affecting the neighbourhood. Community councils have the right to be consulted on any planning applications in their areas and are also kept informed about licensing applications.
Further information can be found at: www.trellechunited.org.uk
The current Community Councillors for Catbrook & District are:
Cllr. Andy Pullan: Tel: (01291) 689474 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr. Guy Bowden: Tel: (01600) 861835 Email: email@example.com
12 November 2019
Catbrook Community Orchard Proposal and update
At last night’s Catbrook Hall AGM one of the issues that was raised and discussed was the use of the Catbrook Recreation ground / Football pitch. This has not been used as a football pitch for approx 30 years and is now generally overgrown with structures (dug outs) falling down and is generally untidy and seldom used except for the odd dog walker. We doubt the area will ever be used as a football pitch again as there are no facilities on site, the field is not mown and the pitch is on a slope. The land is owned by MCC but currently leased by TUCC until 2029.
There was universal support from those attending on wanting to transform the disused football pitch into a community orchard / wildlife reserve / community space that the whole community can use throughout the year. It became apparent at the meeting that there was considerable commitment from a number of residents to get involved from wanting to plant fruit trees and other native trees beneficial for wildlife, maintain areas for wild flower meadows whilst also providing areas for people to sit and relax, build wildlife “hotels” and birdboxes, repair fallen walls, replant native hedging and all in all come up with a plan / business case to apply for funding to transform the area into something that would benefit our local village and hamlets. These ideas certainly fit in with the environmental and bio diversity themes that have risen in prominence locally, nationally and globally.
One of the criteria for the use of the land by MCC is that it is used for “recreational purposes” and it is felt that the proposal will still meet this criteria reflecting the changes that have occurred over the years. The proposal will see the land developed for future generations as a community space to be freely enjoyed by all, increasing community togetherness and co-operation whilst in future years providing a harvest available to all residents.
The planting of an orchard and any tree is obviously a long-term ambition and it was felt clarification should be sought from MCC as to whether MCC will give the local community permission to progress this proposal. Clarification is sort on firstly whether MCC will allow this change of use and secondly what will happen after 2029 when the TUCC lease for the land expires. Ideally it is hoped MCC will allow the proposed development and further extend the lease of the land to TUCC after 2029 to secure the future of the land for the proposed plans and ambitions.
To get the ball rolling we have written to Nigel Leaworthy, Head of Parks Services at MCC (NigelLeaworthy@monmouthshire.com) seeking answers to the 2 points above and we have also submitted to him a high level proposal detailing what the community would like to achieve. Hopefully we will get a positive response and will then be in a position to move forward. In the meantime if anyone would like to email Nigel with your support I am sure that would be helpful in promoting our proposal.
Once we get a response from MCC, I would suggest we look to arrange an initial meeting at Catbrook Hall at the start of 2020 so we can get everyones views as to what features would be welcome, planting plans, field layout, management arrangements, work programs etc etc.so that throughout 2020 we can start to see this idea turn into reality.
Andy Pullan & Guy Bowden
Catbrook Memorial Hall & TUCC