New Noticeboard in Great Missenden

map detail great missenden information board

Great Missenden has a shiny new Information Board at the junction of the High Street and Link Road.

great missenden information board

It is the result of a collaboration between GMPRG and Great Missenden Village Association (GMVA), with funding from both, and project managed by Carole Eaden (GMPRG) and Mike Wintgens (GMVA).

An application was made to the Missendens Local Area Forum (LAF) in February 2019. As long ago as The Market Town Health Check Report of Spring 2009 and Great Missenden Parish Design Statement of March 2012, the need for improved information for visitors to Great Missenden, the AONB and Chilterns had been highlighted. And yet nothing had been done, so it was high time!

The LAF contributed a grant of £2,830, and the Roald Dahl Museum chipped in for signage pointing visitors to the museum along the street. A donation was received also from Bucks CC Community Leaders Fund.

The left-hand side of the board features information about the village and its history, the Chilterns, and a specially commissioned water colour-style illustrated map. On the right-hand side is the space for notices, able to accommodate up to 8 A4 advertisements of local cultural activities and events.

text and map great missenden information board

The map is beautifully illustrated with sketches of local features and landmarks, including the Roald Dahl Museum, Roald Dahl’s grave, the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Missenden Abbey and Park, and the old petrol pumps. Images depicting our nature and ecology include trees, a butterfly and – of course – red kites.

map detail great missenden information board

Visitors are now welcomed to Great Missenden in a way that befits the beauty, history and ecology of the village at The Heart of the Chilterns.

GMPRG would like to thank and acknowledge all who helped realise this project, including Chiltern District Council and Bucks CC (LAF and Community Leaders grants), GMVA and the Roald Dahl Museum, as well as our suppliers Lovell Johns and Fitzpatrick Woolmer.

Transport Group Meeting Notes 10 March

41 bus from High Wycombe to Great Missenden

With thanks to John Cadman, Transport Group Leader for GMPRG.

To review the membership and objectives of this project group, please visit our Current Projects – Community Transport Group page.

In the light of recent developments, the purpose of this meeting was to revise the scope of this group and to agree next steps.

Recent developments include:

  1. Recent Government announcements about HS2 approval, plus 6 billion pound investment in bus services, plus the increasing public awareness of green issues makes this a good time to proceed.
  2. Written support for our objectives from our local MP with regard to facilitation of funding and other matters.
  3. Steve Burns, very experienced local bus operator, will advise the group where he can.

Revised Scope/Objectives

  1. “Peak” and “Off-peak” solutions will be considered separately since they are different models.
  2. School Transport provision and Parking solutions are out of scope.
  3.  A survey will be conducted to obtain evidence of demand for the viable options available, along the lines of the original objectives above. This is expected to be conducted in May/June. It will be predominantly on-line via GMPRG.
  4. The group will attempt to recruit extra people with public transport expertise to take this forward.
  5.  Sources of funding from HS2 and the Government Bus initiative will be investigated.

Comment/next steps

The previous meeting in November concluded that progress on improving our very poor local bus service via Arriva alone will not happen and therefore the emphasis should be on alternative solutions.  However recent Government announcements make this a good time to re-visit improving the bus service as well.  The intention is to consult the public on what they would use via a survey.  This will be targeted at commuters using Great Missenden station and as many local residents as possible.  It will be heavily promoted via Great Missenden and Prestwood Village Associations, Great Missenden Revitalisation Group, The Source, GMPC and other local notice boards etc. It may also be beneficial for residents in outlying rural localities to promote the survey to ensure their needs are being covered, especially for off-peak needs.

This group has the support of GMPC and Bucks CC members, including Public Transport, and local village Associations. Now is the time to get wider public support for achieving the objectives. Without that support, nothing will happen. That will be the focus of the next steps.

  1. PVA, GMVA, GMPRG to campaign for extra experienced people to join the group as soon as possible.
  2. Circulate proposed survey questionnaire to interested parties for comment.
  3. Obtain approval from GMPC and Chiltern Railways for the survey to be conducted.
  4. Conduct the survey in May/June, assuming Corona Virus and HS2 works do not prevent this.
  5. Peter Martin to investigate funding opportunities via Government initiative and HS2.

GMPRG response to GMPC’s proposed new parking on Buryfield

GMPRG parking proposals for Buryfield

Great Missenden and Prestwood Revitalisation Group supports, in principle, Great Missenden Parish Council’s plan to replace parking that will be lost on Link Road, due to HS2 enabling works changes. It agrees also that it makes sense to replace parking close to the village centre and the Memorial Hall, so that it serves the same purpose.

GMPRG proposed for consideration two further areas for new or increased parking. It proposed also the commissioning of a Landscape Impact Analysis, to gain a professional opinion of the new parking area on the impact to the AONB.

GMPRG’s comments were informed in part by local concerns, and also a desire yo improve the acceptability of this parking plan, and its chances of success.

GMPRG’s detailed response is set out on the PDFs below – click on the link to open in your browser, or click the buttons to download.

Protecting Chiltern from unfettered nighttime noise from Luton Airport

low flying airplane

One of the overwhelming themes among the responses to GMPRG’s was the appreciation of our surroundings, the natural beauty and peace of the Chilterns, and the desire to preserve them as much as possible.

In this spirit, GMPRG made a submission against an application by London Luton Airport Operations Limited to relax the day and night noise contour restriction imposed on their 2015 planning consent.

Great Missenden & Prestwood Revitalisation Group recorded its concern at the potential extension of the daytime and night time noise contours potentially impacting on this part of the Chilterns in between 2020 to 2024.

We pointed out that the Chiltern Hills are mainly an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, set between two extremely busy airports, London Heathrow and London Luton. As such any increase in the level of noise over the area would be damaging to the quiet enjoyment of this scenic environment.

A copy of our submission can be read below:

Objection by GMPRG to application to vary condition on nighttime noise countours

Working with Others

Word Cloud showing responses to 10-20 years vision in GMPRG survey

Great Missenden & Prestwood Revitalisation Group (GMPRG) works to initiate and implement schemes for the social, economic and environmental benefit of the local community.

Within our area, covering the Parish of Great Missenden including Prestwood and the villages of Ballinger, South Heath and Heath End, we are fortunate that several other organisations share complementary objectives. In 2019, therefore, we have been pleased to work more closely with other groups, businesses and residents. In certain circumstances, we believe that this can yield greater results and better support across the community.

Examples of such cooperations during 2019 include:

  • A Great Missenden Village Noticeboard, which will be installed early in 2020. GMPRG applied successfully for funding from Missendens Local Area Forum. Various local groups and businesses have since agreed to make contributions of funds or in-kind. These include Great Missenden Village Association (GMVA), the Roald Dahl Museum, Missenden Abbey and the Chilterns Conservation Board. Further funds have been made available through a CDC Community Grant and the Bucks CC Community Leaders Fund (with thanks to Barbara Rowett and Cllr Peter Martin, respectively). A truly community effort!
  • Notwithstanding its negative impacts, there are funds available from HS2 for mitigating the effects on local community and businesses. GMPRG is looking at opportunities with Great Missenden Parish Council (GMPC) and GMVA, and leading a project to consider improvements to the centre of Great Missenden.
  • In the recent past, GMPRG has organised secure bike stands and security rings in various locations, with funding from Bucks CC LAF and from the Mid-Counties Co-operative. Responding to the 2018 Community Vision feedback, GMPRG member Mike Johnstone presented plans to upgrade the bridleway between Prestwood and Great Missenden at GMPRG’s 2019 AGM, and a working committee was proposed. A grant application to CDC Large Projects Fund was subsequently taken forward by Mike as a member of Great Missenden Parish Council (GMPC).
  • Prestwood Common was identified within the 2018 Community Vision as an unattractive and even unsafe location, but one essential to the wellbeing of the community. A successful application to CDC’s Large Project Fund grew from a community project initiated by Prestwood Village Association and GMPRG; documentation prepared by GMPRG was then passed on to GMPC. The £20,000 award adds to an earlier grant to GMPC from Bucks CC Local Area Forum. More consultation and funding is still needed, and GMPRG hopes to contribute as part of a broad cross-community effort in 2020.
  • Another area identified for improvement within the Community Vision is local public transport. A Project Team led by John Cadman has started to consider options. Members include representatives of numerous local groups and businesses.
  • The results of our Community Vision Update consultation have been published, and are available to others to study.
  • GMPRG has helped fund a Midsomer Murders location trail. This was requested by Chiltern & South Bucks Joint Community & Leisure Team, with fellow Old Amersham ‘Revite Group’ acting as ‘bankers’.

Can you help?

Revitalisation Groups draw their members from a broad spectrum of residents and local organisations. GMPRG is therefore in a strong position to research, and to harness skills to fund, initiate and deliver projects for the benefit of our community.

Would you like to bring your skills and enthusiasm to the Committee, or join one of our working groups? If so, please contact secretary@gmprg.org.uk

Transport Project Group Update

41 bus from High Wycombe to Great Missenden

To review the membership and objectives of this project group, please visit our Current Projects – Community Transport Group page.

An initial meeting has been held with Arriva to explore ways of improving local bus services. This was then followed by a meeting of the Project Group to review the situation and decide next steps.

  1. The initial Arriva meeting was very disappointing. Arriva is not prepared to invest in the current Route 41 to High Wycombe. It does not consider that there is the demand, even though Great Missenden is a significant transport hub into London.
  2. The subsequent meeting agreed to explore the following.
    a. Community Bus – Age Concern mini-bus possibly available for a 3-month pilot scheme using GMPRG volunteer drivers.
    b. Dial-a-ride – could their vehicles be utilized because Dial-a-ride vehicles used for daytime appointments only.
    c. Car share schemes
    d. Local existing transport providers eg. taxi firms, Red Eagle buses, PACT etc.
  3. Several members of the Group have looked at Community Bus schemes in the past. Nearly all are daytime schemes whereas our focus is Commuters/Schools at peak times.
  4. A meeting was arranged with the local Dial-a-Ride, who were very willing to help if possible but concluded that they are unable to do so.
  5. A further meeting was held with Community Impact Bucks. They are able to provide advice on Community Bus Schemes based on the experience of existing schemes in Bucks, but again mainly daytime.
  6. Steve Burns, formerly of Carousel Coaches and still close to local public transport kindly advised on the scenarios to consider.  The costs, legislation, insurance, the need for paid drivers and a coordinator were highlighted as being very challenging.  Also, the Age Concern Minibus is not compliant.

WHAT NEXT?

A meeting of the Group is planned for November to consider next steps.  It is evident that the financial and human resources needed to implement significant change will require very significant investment of money and people.  Therefore, the meeting will focus on how this can be achieved.

John Cadman
Group Leader

Submission to latest Local Plan public consultation

cover of Chiltern & South Bucks draft Local Plan

The consultation on the Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan 2036 and its accompanying Sustainability Appraisal report closed on 23 August 2019.  For further information see https://www.chiltern.gov.uk/planning/localplan

GMPRG updated its response to the previous 2016 public consultation taking into account the results of the Community Vision Update consultation it conducted in 2018, and the submission was made in time for the deadline.   To see GMPRG’s input please click here.

Ben Hamilton-Baillie

Ben Hamilton-Baillie presenting his plan for Prestwood

It is with great sadness that GMPRG reports the recent death of Ben Hamilton-Baillie, the architect who designed proposals to revitalise Prestwood, by place-making improvements at the junction of Prestwood High Street and Wycombe Road on the A4128.

Ben Hamilton Baillie presenting his plan for Prestwood
Ben Hamilton-Baillie presenting his plan at Prestwood

As can be seen in his obituary in the Guardian, 20 March,  Prestwood was very fortunate to have had help on this scheme by such an award-winning expert on the subject.

Prestwood members of the GMPRG team have all said what an absolute pleasure and privilege it was to work with such a talented and lovely man and they hope that funding for the project can be found to leave a lasting legacy from Ben to the village.

Over a hundred local residents attended a presentation of the scheme by Ben at Prestwood Village Hall back in 2016.  A film of this event is available under Current Projects.