A wing and a prayer?

Yes, isn’t this a lovely name for a website! And it describes a stunning glass art installation by Arabella Marshall.

Go to this website www.awingandaprayer.org.uk and it will tell you all about how this beautiful piece of artwork came to be installed on the marshes at Minsmere. There is also a short film about it.

You need only walk for a short while from Eastbridge to reach the ruined chapel, formerly part of Leiston Abbey before it was moved by the monks. Or treat yourself to a longer walk beyond the chapel to the beach or further along to Dunwich. You can also walk from Dunwich Cliff NT, Sizewell Beach or RSPB Visitor Centre. For the whole story, go to the website.

Well worth a visit. Quite uplifting. Quite surprising. A lovely thing to brighten our days now that the sun is shining upon us more often.

Metfield Parish Council Meeting held 12 April 2021

For Metfield Parish residents

Dates and Minutes of all meetings held by Metfield PC are available to view or download HERE.

For ALL interested parties, the Minutes of the Planning Meeting held on 12 April regarding Wakelyns Farm have just been uploaded. This includes Metfield PC’s uploaded response to the Planning Application. Follow the link above.

If you would like more information, you can visit the Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils website to see the full application details (with supporting documents), plus comments posted online by Objectors and Supporters HERE.

David Wolfe at Wakelyns is also happy to talk to anyone who would like to know more about their plans for the future of Wakelyns Farm.

In case of any misunderstanding, the village website is not attempting to persuade individuals to support or object to this planning application. The aim is to ensure that everyone is fully informed and, therefore, has the opportunity to make up their own mind and upload or send in any comments if they so wish.

If you do wish to comment, it is important to include your name and address and to make it clear whether you are supporting or objecting to the Planning Application. You should also include the Ref DC/21/01735.

Online comments need to be uploaded by 21 April at the latest (probably means by 20 April to be on the safe side).

Letters can be sent to arrive by 20 April, addressed to:
Alex Scott
Planning Yellow
Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils
Endeavour House
8 Russell Road
Ipswich IP1 2BX

Tel: 03001234000
Ref DC/21/01735

Or email Alex Scott at:

Last chance to comment on Planning Application at Wakelyns Farm

As many will have heard, there is a Planning Application in for significant development at Wakelyns Farm, where Martin and Anne Wolfe used to live.

It is apparent from local conversations that a number of people have not heard about this or understood the full implications and several of the neighbouring properties have not been notified of it by the Planning Department or consulted by the Wolfe family.

It seems only fair that everyone who might be affected by the plans, if permitted, should have a chance to comment but the DEADLLINE for doing so is Wednesday 14 April – in 4 days time!

The application (together with 48 additional documents) can be found by following this link:

To summarise, the application is for:

Change of use of part of land for siting up to 12 glamping pods and up to 6 mobile homes. Retention of conversion of part of the farm building to create educational baking facility.

But it is well worth spending a little time reading the additional documents to fully understand what has already happened there since Martin Wolfe died and what it is that the Planning Application relates to. You will find by looking at the Public Comments on the website that almost nobody from the vicinity has commented either in favour or against. It is very important that both Wakelyns and the Planning Department have feedback from local people who could be affected. There are many supportive comments from people who knew Martin and Anne and admired the work that they did there, but none of these are people who may be impacted by the proposed development because they don’t live nearby.

Some of the application appears to be retrospective since the bakery has been up and running for some time. You can buy bread on subscription and they advertise baking and cooking courses. Work has also been carried out on the farmhouse adding five en-suite bathrooms etc in order to accommodate 12 people and the plan is for holiday lets, starting 17 May. Do take a look also at the Wakelyns website to find out lots more. They also want to have 12 glamping pods (sleeping 2–4) and 6 mobile homes on site. With onsite workers and course participants, this could sometimes reach a total of 80+ people on the site and travelling to and from it.

Anyway, please look at the application online and if you have comments you’d like to make, please do it by Wednesday 14 April online at the link above.

Letters can be sent to Alex Scott, Planning Officer, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX and must be received by 15 April.

You can also contact your Parish Council or Councillors:

Mendham & Withersale PC meets on Monday 12 April Mendhamparishcouncil@gmail.com

Metfield PC meets on Monday 12 April MetfieldParishCouncil@outlook.com

Fressingfield PC has already supported the application with some reservations. gdeeks.fresspc

And David Wolfe is happy to talk to anyone and answer questions.

FINAL DATE FOR ONLINE COMMENTS IS WEDNESDAY 14 APRIL

Parish Council upate January 2021

The Parish Council has not been able to hold as any many meetings in the past year, but it has still been business as usual, communicating via email and phone and holding some virtual meetings via Zoom. Below is a “flavour” of what the Parish Council has been doing on your behalf.

Over the past year 5 local planning applications have been commented on and comments submitted on Babergh and Mid Suffolk’s Joint Local Plan, and the Government’s White Paper on planning reform. Concern was raised regarding both the Local Plan and White Paper, so it was heartening to hear that the Secretary of State had listened and had declared that the planning system must remain locally led, also recognising that new homes should not come at the expense of harming our precious green spaces, instead concentrating on building more homes in cities and urban areas to make the best use of existing infrastructure, such as schools, shops and medical facilities, as well as making the best use of brownfield land.

Suffolk County Council has continually been chased over speeding, overgrown hedges, potholes and flooding. As a result, data boxes have been installed to collect traffic speed information, and the drains in Skinners Lane outside the village hall have finally been cleaned out. The Parish Council is now waiting for the Suffolk Highways Drainage team to visit to establish a more permanent solution. The situation is being closely monitored and, during the flooding over the Christmas period, Peter Mortimer and his son Richard stepped in to clear 20,000 gallons of water from the end of Skinners Lane and prevent more serious flooding of properties. The Parish Council wishes to extend thanks to both the Mortimers, and to the many residents who took matters into their own hands by cleaning drains and ditches and clearing fallen trees as a result of Storm Bella.

Requests were made during the summer to cut back overgrown footpaths and there is still an outstanding order to replace/repair the many broken and missing footpath signs.

External funding has been secured to upgrade the village street lighting to LED lanterns, providing better and more environmentally friendly streetlights. The current lights are reaching end of life and must be replaced, so the Parish Council has sought several quotes and worked hard to achieve best value for money, as well as a good long-term environmental outcome. Work is expected to commence within the next month.

One of the playground gates is currently closed off due to damage – quotes for repair have been sought but a contractor has yet to be agreed. The Parish Council would be grateful if residents could avoid driving on the grass in St John’s Meadow.

As a result of all the past and present restrictions progress has been slower than in previous years, but the Parish Council will continue to do its best, regularly engaging with both Mid Suffolk District and Suffolk County Council on behalf of Metfield.

We are all in this together and the community spirit in Metfield has been fantastic – thanks to all those who have volunteered and/or are helping neighbours. Special thanks go to Sue Mead and her team at the Metfield Stores, who have continued to serve the village throughout.

Metfield Parish Council continues to operate via email and telephone during the current lockdown. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

If you have a query or concern, however trivial, please don’t hesitate to contact:

Peter Mortimer (Chair) on 01986 785396

Lindsey Duckett (Clerk) on 01379 586218, or by email MetfieldParishCouncil@outlook.com

Or any of the Parish Councillors: Jill Dowsett, Debbie Fowler, Terry Godbold, Chris Osborne, Cecilia Pryce, Peter Schwier, Paul Smith, Peter Twiss.

Metfield United Charities – Vacancies for a Clerk and a Trustee

Position of Clerk
Applications are invited for the position of Clerk to Metfield United Charities. The post is part-time and an honorarium of £600.00 per year is offered.

The Trustees meet at two-monthly intervals. The Clerk attends and produces the Agendas and Minutes and deals with the administration of the Charities, including correspondence and maintaining records.

Initial training will be given.

If you are interested in this appointment please contact the Chairman of the Trustees, Mr Nicholas Rudge – (email nicholas.rudge368@btinternet.com) with a short paragraph describing your clerical and administrative experience and any IT skills you may have.

The closing date for applications is Friday 26 February 2021.

The successful applicant will be notified by the Chairman of the Trustees within one week of the closing date.

You do not have to be a resident of Metfield to apply for the role of CLERK but do have to be a resident to be considered for the joint role of CLERK and TRUSTEE.  If you wish to be considered for both roles, please also make this clear in your application for the vacancy of TRUSTEE (see Trustee Vacancy Notice below).

For more information about Metfield United Charities, please email metfieldunitedcharities@gmail.com.


METFIELD PARISH COUNCIL

Chairman: Mr P. Mortimer, Fir Tree Farm, Metfield, Harleston, IP20 0LP Tel. 01986 785396
Clerk: Mrs. L Duckett, Hunters Lane Cottage, Hunters Lane, Metfield, Harleston, IP20 0LU Tel 01379 586218
Email: MetfieldParishCouncil@outlook.com

Vacancy for a Parish Council Representative on the Metfield United Charities Board of Trustees

Are you interested in helping the people of Metfield?

There is now a vacancy for a Parish Council representative on the Metfield United Charities Board of Trustees. Metfield residents benefit from two Registered Charitable Funds administered by six volunteer Trustees under a Charity Commission Order of 1917.  They originate from gifts by local benefactors in the 16th century to support people of the parish.

One fund owns the Christmas Lane allotments and some agricultural lands which are managed and leased by the Trustees. They also contribute financially when help is needed by parishioners in cases of sickness, long-term illness or hospitalisation, as well as with travelling costs to hospitals and the supply of fuel, clothing and other necessities.

The other fund is an Educational Foundation providing grants to university students, apprentices and people in further education. Contributions are also made for school outings and residential courses for Metfield children at local schools.

The role of a Trustee is to assist with the administration and distribution of these funds to villagers and is totally voluntary. You do not have to be a member of the Parish Council to apply.

You must be a resident of Metfield to apply. The successful candidate will be co-opted onto the Trustees at the next meeting. If you would like to join the Trustees, please contact the Parish Clerk (details above) with a short paragraph describing what you could bring to the role.

The closing date for applications is Friday 26 February 2021.

For more information about Metfield United Charities, please email metfieldunitedcharities@gmail.com.