The buildings, Hall, Church Green, the two woods and the Walk is now unfortunately, going to be a conservation area. This was decided at a MSDC meeting on 29 October '98. I use the word 'unfortunate' as despite the fact that I care intensely about what happens to the area I do not consider this step is the right one as what is to be 'conserved' is rather vague. Is it to be conserved 'as is' or to be gradually returned to its original form or some hotch potch in the middle. Whatever happens it will be the owners, present or future, who will have to foot the bill.
What is upsetting about all this is that the owners were NOT considered in this at all, you could almost say that everything is done so that the owners are not consulted, told, asked or in any considered in this matter whatsoever and as such literally do not exist, we just have to accept it. I assume that somebody will eventually tell us what it means, but in view of our treatment to date it is more than likely that we will find that out after we have done something that is not allowed.
Most of the farm building are listed so have their own protection. The two woods are 'ancient woods' (consisting mainly of Ash with some Hazel), so should also have their own protection, in the context of conservation the woods desperately need to be cut down to coppice before they do in fact die. The process of doing that would create a lot of complaints but must be done else it will die or get blown over by the high winds that we get from time to time. If that happens it will then need to be replanted. Coppicing is the best option but there is the possibility that if this is done the stools may themselves then die, but assuming that they survive then the regeneration could be such that in five to 10 years it could be 15-20ft high or better.
The part of the Walk nearest the road, just over four acres, has been allowed to become overgrown over the last 50yrs or so and is now part of the conservation area so what they need to 'conserve ' there is a complete mystery.
The so called Ancient Monument, in the form of a Chantry, which was possibly on the site now occupied by the large barn (listed) but there is little evidence to prove this but it has resulted in the adjoining meadow having restrictions placed on it by English Heritage which are not really justified and is making the whole site sound important. The Chantry evidence is only justified by the fact that Edmund Alcock left some money in his will for a Chantry to be built, but there is little evidence that it was ever actually built.
I am led to believe that when the Hall and the adjoining grassland (26 acres), which makes up the bulk of the conservation area, was sold that there is a clause in the sale contract to preserve the grassed area between the church and the driveway for parking and access to the church.
I did attend the committee meeting, as a member of the public (and not allowed to speak), where the platform explained all their reasons etc. for making it a conservation area and making it clear that the objections were unfounded, and the prospective purchaser (we assume this to be a person who had made an offer, but which was still being considered but did not in fact materialise) was in favour and that no further discussion was needed and they all dutifully passed the proposal. This means that the objectors, mostly the owners, went mainly unheard as some of their comments were not available to the committee members until they arrived at the meeting and did not seem to have time to read them. From the way that this has come about it is clear that this Conservation Area was to be setup as quickly as is possible and with as little consultation as possible, even the Badley Parish Council were not informed!
A preservation order on the hedges that form the Avenue was all that is needed to protect the area.
Original Dated 30th October '98
updated July 2006
e-mail address - - - maurice at badley.org.uk
at with the @ sign
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