Your Parish Council does not want and has never wanted a housing development on Glebe Field. It is a designated green space for use by the community and has been used so for many generations. We want this to be rekindled. Do you?
Yesterday 23rd June a very rushed and non-inclusive (web based) consultation was launched proposing 14 new homes on Glebe Field, the meadow opposite the Village Hall. Herewith the community is consulted prior to a planning application! A cynic could say this was a tick box exercise. The Parish Council, on reflection last night, believes that a large response would be beneficial. The kind people on the Village mag are squeezing this article in today, in the hope that we can reach people who don’t use Facebook amd they too can have their say before the 2nd July deadline.
Many of you remember the 2016 application. This application was withdrawn because the Scouts were able to designate Glebe Field as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) They went to the High Court. This has now expired and cannot be renewed as the field has not been used by the community in recent years -It is fenced off.
The battle was postponed, we didn’t win, the fight starts again now! Please don’t leave it to us or DDC. The only way to stop this development will be by huge mass village involvement. All of Us.
A quote from a previous Parish Mag article “ We have written formally to the Bay Trust asking if they would consider selling the Glebe Field to the village. This area is designated by Dover District Council as a green site and so would be difficult to get permission to build on. The Bay Trust is a charity with a mission to improve lives through outdoor learning and connections with nature. Historically this was a St Margaret’s charity. Wouldn’t it be great to have the field back for the community? Who else remembers the fayres, the dancing and the egg and spoon race in the field opposite the village hall? I would love to see this a win for the community and a win for the Trust in line with their mission statement.”
On 5th June we received an email from their Agent, informing us that a planning application would be made to ascertain its proper market value. There have been no discussions. We have no reason to believe that the building will not take place if permission were granted.
To add your opinions to the consultation, go to: https://www.glebefield.site/
If you click on “share your views” you can state how you feel about the proposal for new homes on this site. Be warned, when it comes to the comment box you only get about one line. It is very quick.
Summary: 14 homes – 50% over 4 bedrooms (no housing need), tall imposing 3 storey buildings. (effect on streeet scene) and just think of the implications for the Village Hall.
The real opportunity to have your say will be when it goes to planning. Those that want to be prepared can look at 16/01028 on the planning portal. There will be more details in the next magazine, on Facebook and we are setting up a new page on our website (this is it) Save-Glebe-Field and the link will be on our homepage.
A Brief History of Glebe Field
Glebe Field, opposite the village hall, was part of land in the village originally owned by the Church until it was bought by the St Margaret’s Bay Trust in 1972 with the expressed intention of protecting it from development. It has been used for community activities since at least 1900, was the site of the village fete from the 1960’s, regularly used by the village Scouts for decades, and from 2000-2015 provided overflow parking for the village hall. Since 2016 the field has been closed to the community by the current owners, The Bay Trust. The St Margaret’s Scouts registered it as an Asset of Community Value in 2015 but that has now expired. A planning application to build 14 dwellings on the site was made and then withdrawn in 2016.It received over 150 objections from residents.
What was the St Margaret’s Bay Trust?
The St Margaret’s Bay Trust (SMBT) 1970-2011
The ‘founding charity’ for The Bay Trust, the St Margaret’s Bay Trust, was set up in 1970 by FE Cleary (FEC) a wealthy London developer. The objectives of the SMBT were centered on this village.. The aims of the SMBT expressed in its charity registration were:
‘to improve and preserve the physical environment of the Parish of St Margaret’s at Cliffe by the purchase of land and property, the planting of trees, the provision of seats and such other activities which will maintain the character of the village’
1972: Purchase of Glebe Field
In 1972 SMBT bought the Glebe field to protect it from development.
In April 1972 FEC wrote the following in the Parish Magasine
‘The Trust has purchased the Glebe land adjoining the Parish Hall and the Vicarage. This land was likely to be built on and the Trustees felt that any development here must inevitably have a deleterious effect upon the hall and the Vicarage. This land is now preserved for ever and the Trustees have let the land to the Church Council at a nominal rental.’ 
This intention to protect the land is further supported by a quote from FEC’s autobiography,
‘The Trust’s next move was to buy the Glebe land adjoining the church. Town Planning consent had already been given for houses (to the Church) but we felt that we could protect it and provide a safe space for recreation close to the Vicarage.’
2009/11: Creation of The Bay Trust and deregistering of the St Margaret’s Bay Trust
In May 2009 the St Margaret’s Bay Trust (SMBT) and the newly formed Bay Trust merged and the SMBT was de- registered by the Charity Commission in 2011. All the property originally owned by the SMBT passed to the new Bay Trust, including Glebe Field, and much of this was now classified as investment property which could be used to further the objectives of the Bay Trust. Subsequently, properties like the Old School, the Sea Street Chapel and the Coastguard Cottages have been sold.
The current Bay Trust is an environmental and educational charity and not principally, as its predecessor was, a charity for the improvement and preservation of the village. The current objectives of the Bay Trust, seen below, registered with the Charity Commission. are different to those of the original SMBT.
‘To promote and provide for education and science in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, in particular but not by way of limitation in the fields of environmental protection, preservation and conservation; and to promote for the public benefit the preservation of the natural beauty, flora and fauna of St. Margaret’s-at-Cliffe and such other areas as the trustees shall from time to time determine.’
 St Margaret’s at Cliffe Parish Magazine April 1972
 I’ll Do It Yesterday’ an autobiography by F E Cleary. 1979
 Source: Charities Commission website