The field at Furness Vale is very dear to the hearts of local people. The original field was donated by the Knowles Bolton family in the 1920s for the recreational use by the community. The land was sold to Whaley Bridge UDC in 1939, and later transferred to HPBC, subject to various covenants relating to its use as a recreational or sporting facility and restricting the erection of any buildings. The field was far superior to the one we now have which was provided as an alternative when the original field was used for housing.
The history of the transactions which have left us with the current field, which is unusable most of the year raises many questions:
- We feel that the restrictive covenants which were in force should also have been transferred across to the alternative field we now use.
- The houses were built on the original site in 1974. There was Deed of Release which released the Council from the restrictions. However, this was dated 1991, many years later than 1974.
For many years the football team has struggled to play on the site; the schoolchildren and pre-school are unable to use it for most of the year. It is urgently in need of levelling and drainage, to be fit for purpose. A group of villagers decided in 2007 that it was time to try to improve it and began to hold field events annually to raise funds
Field Day 2010 to now
At our 2010 Field Day we held an extensive consultation to which 143 residents contributed. The results were published in a report delivered at an Open Meeting in July 2010. At that meeting our group was named Furness COGS.
When we knew what the local community wanted for the field, the remainder of the year was spent in working out how that could beachieved, making partnerships with others, and looking at ways in which the field could be protected.
We had plans drawn up, a budget worked out and a 3D model made showing how the vision of local people could look in reality.
This began as a time of great optimism for COGS. We took our model and the plans to 2011 Field Day and were delighted by the enthusiasm of local people. Following this positive feedback we made a pre-planning application. However, that’s when things began to get complicated…
We found there was a ‘notification’ on the field. This meant it has been earmarked by DCC as a possible school playing field. Further investigation revealed that they also wished to retain a ‘footprint’ of a school on the field in case a future need arose. We found that this notification has been in force since the ‘70s but up until our pre-planning application none of the HPBC officers nor our councillors had recollected this.
The rest of the last year has been spent in lengthy negotiations and correspondence with several interested parties. We have received a great deal of financial support from Councillors, for which we are very grateful; we also have support from many local organisations and groups. We’ve been working hard to find a way to achieve all the different aspirations as we know that everyone really wants the same thing – a useful, healthy outdoor space for our community.
Where are we now?
It’s been quite a struggle to ensure that everyone’s interests and obligations can be met, but we now feel that we have reached an agreement with Derbyshire County Council which will allow us to have a firm basis from which we can begin to move forward. DCC need to retain a notified area to accommodate a new school, should the need ever arise. This frees up the remainder of the field to be developed for the community.
We are very grateful for the pragmatic approach which has been adopted by DCC in removing barriers which were inhibiting our efforts. We hope this new understanding will herald the start of a good and productive working relationship. We realise that there’s a long road ahead and we need all the friends and support we can muster.
What we are doing now?
- Seeking QE2 status for the field. This initiative to mark the Diamond Jubilee provides open spaces with protection from development and promotes their use as sporting and recreational facilities for local communities.
- Developing partnerships with others including HPBC, WBTC, DCC, Furness Vale Primary School, the Pre-Schools, and local organisations such as Furness Vale Football Club and Furness Vale Community Association.
- Keeping two-way communications open with our local community. Thanks to a grant from WBTC, we do now have a Noticeboard erected at the entrance to the field which will help with this.
- Identifying funding and resources to make the vision of local people for the field into a reality. We don’t underestimate the size of our task. In the present financial climate there is a great deal of competition for a dwindling pot of money.
Our local community, and especially the pupils of Furness Vale Primary School and the pre-schools, together with future generations, urgently need improved recreational and sporting facilities that can be used all year round. Despite the difficulties which may lie ahead, COGS are still determined to do their utmost to help this happen.
If you wish to help, comment or learn more about what we are doing, please don’t hesitate to speak to a member of our committee, or you can email us at here
Furness Vale Field Day 2013 – from 12noon 18th May 2013
A free event showcasing live music as centre stage with stalls, face painting, children’s activities, info tent, beer tent, BBQ and what has become a famous afternoon tea and cakes stall – for regular updates watch this space!!!!
UPDATE 19 May 2013
Our group was formed to improve the condition of the field at Yeardsley Lane and provide a much needed recreational and sporting facility that can be used all year round.
The local community was engaged in a consultation process in 2010, the results of which were published in a Report and delivered at an Open Meeting. The vision for the field was then incorporated into plans and a 3-D model was made to show how it might look in reality. These have been exhibited at subsequent Open Meetings and Field Days and have met with the approval of local people.
This last year has seen some real progress towards our goals, including:-
- Removal of Planning Restrictions – We were successful in negotiating the removal of planning restrictions which were hampering our efforts. Whilst these restrictions were in force we were unable to seek any substantial funding. It was a complicated process but we were delighted that we eventually managed to reach agreement with the parties involved to move our project forward.
- Negotiating a Lease – Many funders will only consider a grant to organisations which own or lease their own land. We therefore entered into discussions with High Peak Borough Council to take on a 99 year lease on the field. We have agreed the heads of terms of the lease and have a letter of intent from the Council. We are currently awaiting the draft lease for our approval.
- QE2 Dedication – This is something which we have campaigned for on behalf of our field since the initiative was first announced to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We are therefore thrilled that we have now been assured by the Leader of HPBC and the Senior Horticultural Officer that this process is now firmly underway. When the Deed of Dedication is complete our field will be protected forever for the use of recreational and sporting activities.
The aspirations for the field are very ambitious and require a great deal of fundraising. The first phase of development, levelling and drainage, will also be the most costly. However to date we have raised or been promised funding amounting to approximately £20,000. This includes £5,000 from DCC’s Community Leadership Fund, £2850 HPBC’s Councillors Initiative Fund and £1250 from Fields in Trust. We have also submitted a major funding application to Sport England and are currently awaiting the result.
It’s your field!
We have a very hardworking and dedicated committee but we would welcome any offers of help or involvement in the project. We especially need people with fundraising ideas and the time to put them into practice; and those with professional skills, such as legal expertise. If you can help in any way with this worthwhile cause, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE 14 June 2013
COGS celebrate being awarded £50,000 by Sport England (Protecting Playing Fields) – June 2013 – Thank you to our supporters.
Furness Vale Community Organising Green Space (COGS) is celebrating being awarded £50,000 in the current round of playing field funding granted by Sport England.
The plan is to use this grant to level and drain the playing field and create a specification football pitch suitable for competition football.
The current state of the sloping field is so bad that the site cannot be used for most of the year and members of Furness Football Club are forced to pay to use neighbouring facilities.
As well as benefiting the Football Club, the improvements will support the provision of much needed sport and recreational opportunities for the whole community and represent the first phase of development of the field for a space for all to use and enjoy.
COGS Committee would like to thank sincerely all our loyal supporters, HPBC and Whaley Bridge Councillors and Friends in Furness Vale, New Mills, Whaley Bridge and beyond who have actively supported us over the years, in numerous ways, helping us to achieve this success.
Please watch the COGS notice board on Charlesworth Road and COGS website page on Whaley Website for updates and dates of meetings. We welcome new members to our committee – please come along if you are interested in joining us.
Next Meeting 24th June 2013 , Furness Vale Community Centre at 7.30pm
AGM 9th September 2013, 7pm at Furness Vale Community Centre. All welcome!
Furness COGS celebrate QE2 Status
We are delighted that our efforts to achieve QE2 status have finally been successful as this means that our field will now be protected forever for recreational and sporting activities. We have received
a commemorative plaque which will be on display at the AGM Meeting on 9th September at 7.30 at Furness Vale Community Centre. Our recent success in achieving a substantial grant of £50,000 from Sport England means that we have even more to celebrate as work can shortly begin on landscaping and draining the field”.
This marks the beginning of an exciting challenge and the creation of a community facility we can all share and be proud of and is the first step in our endeavours to development the ‘Field’ as a beautiful, multipurpose space for all, as identified in the original consultation with the community.
“To have come so far in such a relatively short time we owe thanks to the County, Borough and Town Councillors and our MP, together with many others who have provided both financial support and encouragement to COGS; and especially to the local community which has supported our fundraising events.
Contact Details for Susanne Lomas, Secretary, Furness COGS (Community Organising Green Space) are as follows:
New committee, ready to meet the future challenges, will be voted in at the AGM. We hope new members will come forward. Everyone is welcome (all ages). COGS is an organisation for all.
Tel. 01663 744764 email: email@example.com
Thursday 22nd October 2015 at 7.30pm
- Chair report: Status of Community field
- Treasurer report
- Committee re-election
- Other Business
FV Community Centre, Yeardsley Lane
Enq 01663 744764