Christ Church and the Glebe Field
The Glebe Field is owned by the Diocese of Lichfield, not Christ Church. Any decision to sell the land will rest with the Diocese, although Christ Church is working with the diocese to explore potential ways of using some of the proceeds from the sale of the land in ways that will be beneficial to the community.
Tim Lomax, the vicar, and the Parochial Church Council, are keen to work in partnership with all parties concerned to ensure that any development of the old Oaklands School site and the Glebe Field maximises the good planning of the site as well as bringing benefits to the community of Bayston Hill. Such benefits could include:
- Providing modern library and IT facilities in a new building in the Oaklands/Glebe Field area.
- Creating a garden or other public open space in the vicinity of the new library building.
- Surfacing and draining the church car park to allow its use by visitors to the library and other community facilities, as well as church members. This would also solve the surface water problems that affect properties in Christ Church Drive.
- Providing new community space and a café in the church building.
- Considering the needs of the Scouts and Guides whose current building next to the Glebe Field is in a poor state of repair.
- Ensuring that some of the new development is available as affordable housing.Achieving all of these benefits will not be easy, but the church is determined to do whatever it can to provide better facilities in a new, additional “hub” for the village.
The church believes that there is a lot of support for these proposals, but understandably there are concerns and objections too. In particular there are worries about the loss of open space in the middle of a built up area, and some of those who regularly walk their dogs on the Glebe Field have objected.
It is important that these views are listened to and taken into account. With this in mind the church has discussed with the Diocese, which also owns an area of land off Yew Tree Drive, the possibility of making this land more accessible and usable. By creating areas for wildlife, by solving the drainage problems that have plagued some of the householders in Yew Tree Drive, and by making the site more attractive this land could be used a replacement for the Glebe Field. An example of what may be possible is the project carried out by the diocese and Shawbury Parish Council - see this youtube clip.
None of this will be straightforward. Development proposals such as this are complex and can be time consuming, and the church is dependent on the Diocese of Lichfield’s decision whether or not to pursue the scheme. However the church leadership wants to ensure that, if it goes ahead, there will be real benefits to local people from the development.
Christ Church has a vision to reach out into the community of Bayston Hill, and to be more accessible to local people by helping to provide the facilities and support that are needed in the village. Working with others, in particular Shropshire Council, the Parish Council and the Diocese of Lichfield, offers a real opportunity to realise this vision.
Christ Church Bayston Hill, Glebe Road, Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury, SY3 0PZ