3. Having a Green Environment 3: HAVING A GREEN ENVIRONMENTThis section is about keeping the village attractive and green in every sense. How can we reduce our carbon footprint? How do we maintain the natural beauty of our surroundings?These are the concerns that the community indicated as most needing action: (These are the views indicated by the majority of numerical responses received to the questionnaire) IMPROVING THE LOOK OF THE VILLAGE CENTREMAKING BUBBLESTONE PARADE SAFER AND MORE ATTRACTIVEDEVELOPING PALACE FIELD AS A HISTORICAL SITESIGNPOSTING THE CONSERVATION AREAREDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINTEXAMINING OPTIONS FOR GREEN POWER GENERATIONREVIEWING WHAT CAN BE DONE FOR OUR LARGER BUILDINGSThese were all the verbatim comments added to the questionnaire: (We would point out that these are individual comments and do not necessarily represent the views of the majority of respondents) #3 HAVING A GREEN ENVIRONMENT Village Centre · The village centre would certainly benefit from some tidying-up and all the un-necessary road signs removed. · The village Green should be put to more use by local clubs and societies for Fetes and may be a Farmer’s Market. Surely this is what it was originally used for? · Keep us as a village – don’t let us lose its identity. · Demand financial support from KCC/SDC: It would be unfair if Otford taxpayers have to support improvements and an increase tourism. · A great shame that the village centre looks so un-cared for. Other villages like ours seem to make more of an effort. Cycling: · It is very hazardous cycling on Pilgrims Way West. Cannot we get permission to use the footpath here and on the Sevenoaks Road for everyone’s benefit? · A Cycleway from Eynsford-Sevenoaks please, and Sheffield (bike parking) ‘hoops’ in the villages. · Important but unrealistic. Bubblestone Parade: · More plant containers would help and the shops encouraged to improve their frontages. · It has become more and more difficult to walk here and I am very concerned for my children as they have to be very aware of the traffic in the Parade to be safe. · I am concerned for the increase in vehicles entering and exiting. I have witnessed several incidents which have been near misses and now it is a matter of time before a crash. · Parade looks very depressing, down market. Shop signs garish – make them more in keeping with village character. Add plants, trees, hanging baskets. · One Stop Shop area getting v seedy · Must control parking at Bubbelstone parade. · A better design is needed for Bubblestone Parade. · The pedestrian safety in the shopping parade is compromised by people who park beside the shops. · Enforcement of inconsiderate parking is requires not extra spaces. Otherwise it will be allowed to get worse and worse. The Parade can be improved. Green Belt: · If we allow pockets to be developed we are in danger of losing the open spaces that make Otford such a lovely place. · Alterations in the Green Belt boundaries are important. There are too many small pockets of Green Belt that should be reduced. · Certainly should be retained but not its present boundaries Palace Field: · The state of the Palace and Palace Field is a disgrace · Palace Field is important but don’t meddle other than clear litter/mow grass – it’s the only truly natural village space left. · Why is Beckets Well in Castle Farm garden being allowed to moulder away? Important historical feature – we’re letting this treasure disappear on our watch – we should be ashamed. · The Archbishop’s Palace tower is long overdue for being sympathetically restored. Can we raise the funding and do something? · Restoration of the palace would be a good idea if it was not going to be ruined by SDC like the pond. · Restoration of the Palace – restore it and put it to good use – don’t let it crumble until it is beyond economic repair Hedges & Verges · People may keep their hedge tidy but it spreads well beyond their boundary line and is a big inconvenience to pedestrians. Cannot there be some way of enforcing that it is moved back? · Everyone should keep their hedges cut back to boundaries · Too many verges are regularly ruined by developers and van/lorry drivers. The Parish Council must charge developers for repairs and getting other such damage fixed (NB NOT just paving over verges as on Shoreham Rd). Footpaths: · Footpaths need to be maintained and overgrowth and undergrowth cut more regularly. · Need footway/path to Kemsing. on PWE · Must maintain footpaths better esp Parade-Pickmoss, Well Rd-station/church/pond. · Need footpath between exit from St Michael’s Dr and Tudor Dr – very dangerous road for pedestrians. New Housing: · Can our village services expect to cope with yet more buildings being constructed? · Why does SDC allow so much 2-for-1 development in Otford when our own Village Design Statement says we do not want that here? Bonfires · Can more be done to prevent the lighting of bonfires as they pollute the atmosphere? · Our air quality is already poor. All bonfires should be banned. Vestry Estate · Not enough care and thought has gone into ‘greening this estate and making its buildings less raw in the countryside environment. What can be done to plant more trees here? Other · River Access: Have access to the river somewhere. · Village toilets: Excessive money and pressure is put on the Parish Council to deal with our two toilets. Cannot they make a (paying) arrangement with the local pubs to allow visitors to use them. Such a scheme operates successfully in other villages. · Deliveries ion the A25: Why is One Stop and the VW Distributor on Sevenoaks Road allowed to block the A225 with day-time deliveries with their giant vehicles. Is there no law to make them do it outside business hours? · Drains: Please put more drains in the High Street to stop the continual flooding every time it rains – particularly across Park Lane.