Parish Council Facilities
West Parley Parish Council is extremely proud to be the legal owner of a large area of land in West Parley. The land is held by the Parish Council for the sole purpose of recreational activity in accordance with conditions in the Local Government Act. In 1959 this land was bought through public subscription from the then residents in the Parish, with the legal ownership passing from the land owners to West Parley Parish Council.
West Parley Recreation Ground
A large area of grassland for general activities bordered by mature oak trees, the majority of which are protected. Within the Recreation Ground there is an area called the Millennium Garden, which was added in celebration of the new Millennium in 2000 and provides residents a nice shady floral area to sit. The wooden Children’s Play Area was updated and enlarged in 2011, and has been enhanced with additional features over more recent years. The gazebo was provided to add shade or shelter or just a seat to enjoy the surroundings. There are an array of picnic benches available and in the area adjacent to the gazebo there used to be a Scout hut, however due to disrepair it was removed in 2012. This area was subsequently renamed as the Jubilee Garden, in honour of the queens Diamond Jubilee in the same year, and has had trees planted to give a restful area. In 2018 the outside gym was installed, funding for which was raised predominately through grants and donations. The aim of the gym is to help combat isolation, by encouraging residents to get outside and increase their fitness.
West Parley Playing Fields
Just under 8 acres, this area is used for sporting activity related to the Club operation which is limited to Football, Hockey, Cricket and the Parish Council more recently granted Petanque. However, apart from when matches are taking place, this land is available for public use.
West Parley Car Park
The car park which can accommodate approximately 100 cars, is maintained by the Parish Council. In the summer of 2014 it was resurfaced, additional lighting added and white lines marked in order to increase capacity. Since then, signage has been added to protect both the Parish Council as owner and all users. Once again, this area is for the benefit of all residents.
A wonderful natural woodland covering approximately 16 acres, which is subject to a Protection Order and partial Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), adjoining Parley Common which is also a SSSI. Parley Common is managed by ARC and is home to several rare species of reptiles. It is vitally important that any Planning Applications on neighbouring land be carefully scrutinised for their likely impact on this ecologically fragile site which is of international significance. When undertaking any works in Parley Wood, the Parish Council works closely with East Dorset District Council Tree Officers, to ensure the area remains as a natural woodland whilst making it more accessible for residents to enjoy. In recent years a boardwalk has been added to increase accessibility for all, and annual works are undertaken to control the invasive holly so that natural specimens can flourish. In Autumn 2016, bluebells were planted and it is hoped that these will become well established and increase in numbers over the years to come.
Whilst the land is owned by the Parish Council for residents, the land is subject to 2 leases:
- West Parley Memorial Hall Committee, have a 99 year lease (dated 14th October 1963) for the land the Memorial Hall sits on and surrounding area.
- Parley Sports Club have a 21 year lease (dated 31st July 1998) for the land the clubhouse sits on and a Licence for the same period for the Playing Fields.
As stated earlier, the Parish Council owns the land on behalf of all residents of the Parish of West Parley for Recreational Activity. This will remain unchanged as the land is within greenbelt and adjoining Dorset Heathland and a SSSI, so will not be subject to any future residential development.
The Parish Council’s main purpose is to act as a ‘conduit’ for local views to be given on matters such as Planning. Whilst it cannot make decisions it is a Statutory Consultee and recently for example has given a ‘ Considered View’ on the proposed housing/commercial development planned for the former greenfield site at Parley Crossroads ; the planned SANG in Church Lane and commented on the County proposed revisions to the Minerals Extraction Policies’ as well trying to raise ‘challenging questions’ about the dire state of the local road network and pollution levels.
We have representatives on various outside bodies such as the Hurn Airport Consultative Committee.
The Council meets at a minimum monthly and each year raises a small Precept to cover the costs of employing the Parish Clerk and meeting the costs of managing its community assets referred to above-the Recreation Ground and Parley Woods. It can give grants to local groups such as the Memorial Hall and supports the considerable work undertaken by the West Parley Volunteers from the local Residents’ Association, who work many hours to help keep the Village tidy.