Latest News - September 2011

September 2011

The draft VDS was finally officially adopted by Bulmer Parish Council in August 2011, and then formally adopted by Braintree District Council. 

Following these adoptions copies were printed for distribution to every household in the Parish of Bulmer, deliveries commenced in September 2011. If you have not received a copy please contact the Parish Clerk (Hannah Fraser).

To view a copy online click here.

March 2010

The questionnaires issued Feb. 2009 have now been analysed and potential 'Guidence guidelines' have been drawn up with the approval of Braintree District Council. Along with these guidelines, all the results and comments from the questionnaire are now to be displayed in an exibition in the village hall on the 20th March (10am to 4pm) for residents to comment further before the final VDS document is drafted.

As these guidelines will impact on all future planning applications within the parish. It is therefore vital that as many as possible residents see them & make their views/opinions before the VDS document is agreed.

July 2009

As the First & Second prizes had not been claimed by the 10th July a re-draw at the Parish Council meeting of the 10th July a re-draw was made, and the are as follows:-

The £50 voucher no. is 80

The £30 voucher no. is 88

To claim your prize please contact Mike Crome on 378155 and arrange to present your half of the raffle ticket and nominate the store of your choice.

Please note: The prize will not be given in cash, only a store voucher of your choice.

Progress continues on analysing the questionnaire ready for an exhibition in the village hall in the autumn, date will be published here and on the noticeboards.

May 2009

The draw took place on Friday the 8th May at the Parish Council AGM and the winners were chosen from those residents questionnaires returned and completed.

The £50 voucher no. is 53 (A resident from Bulmer Tye area)

The £30 voucher no. is 397 (A resident from the Street area)

The £20 voucher no. is 314 (A resident from Church Road)

To claim your prize please contact Mike Crome on 378155 and arrange to present your half of the raffle ticket and nominate the store of your choice.

Please note: The prize will not be given in cash, only a store voucher of your choice).

If a prize is not claimed by the next Parish Council meeting (10th July)it will be re-drawn.

April 2009

During February questionnaires were issued to all residents to indicate how they would like to see Bulmer developed in the future. If you did not receive a copy or have mis-placed it and would like one, please call  378155.

The questionnaires are now being collected and collated to provide input to the final Village Design Statement (VDS), which when adopted by Braintree District Council will form part of their consultation process on any future planning applications submitted to them from Bulmer. A copy of the final document will be issued to every household so that residents & their architects can also consult the guidelines contained within the VDS before submitting their plans. Your views and opinions are therefore extremely important to this document. If you have completed your questionnaire and it has not been collected, then please call 378155 to arrange collection. So far, just fewer than 50% have been returned, yours could make it 50% or more. Don't forget there is the opportunity for you to win £50, £30 or £20 worth of vouchers of your choice, but only if your questionnaire is completed and returned in time for the draw on 8th May at the Parish Council AGM. The result will be published in the June ‘Whats On', on Notice boards and on this website, so watch out for the winning numbers, your name will not be known to the VDS Group, and you must claim your prize by producing the green raffle ticket that was attached to your questionnaire.

Before the document is finally drafted, an exhibition will be held in the Village Hall later this year (date to be published) for further views/opinions to be obtained on photographs taken at last years photographic workshop and matters raised in the questionnaires. You can find more about a VDS on the above website and

February 2009

The questionnaires are now in the process of being delivered and you should receive one for each adult aged 18 or over within your household. Children should complete the separate single sheet questionnaire. If you do not receive the correct number, then please contact one of the people listed on the front of the questionnaire. Completed questionnaires will be collected by hand in 2/3 weeks time.

January 2009


Since the photographic day, much effort has been given to consolidating the information and photographs into documents recording each groups views on the areas they visited in preperation for the exibition later this year.

The other main task has been to design and put together a questionnaire which will shortly be delivered to each member of every household in the Parish of Bulmer to obtain your views on the future design & character of Bulmer. The questionnaires will be delivered by hand & on completion, collected by the same person after approximately 3 weeks.

To encourage the completion a raffle ticket will be attached to each questionnaire and from those returned & completed, a draw will take place for prizes of £50, £30 and £20 of vouchers to the winners choice. The winners will be published on this site,  'What's On' and Noticeboards.

We need as many completed questionnaires as possible, so please take the time and who knows you could be one of the lucky winners.


17 June 2008  - On the morning of Saturday 14thJune, 24 people came to the Village hall to take part in a workshop, which included a session of photographing all areas of the village. The workshop was led by Jan Cole from the Rural Community Council of Essex (field officer for Braintree District). Our first task was to identify what we thought were the positive & negative features of Bulmer, not surprisingly there were many more positives than negative items. These have been recorded and will be used, when drafting the statement.

After this exercise all attendees were split into five groups, each led by a steering group member on a photographic tour of a specific area of Bulmer to take photos of the various streets/lanes, buildings to capture the different styles, materials used in their construction and the many landscape views & open spaces, highlighting both those positive and negative points raised earlier. These will be analysed and used in the character assessments of each area within the statement. On returning to the hall, there were many comments regarding how surprised people were to find properties, gardens and features they had never seen before, despite having lived in the area for some time. A further exercise was completed, each group being asked to give a short presentation that would be suitable for a ‘blind man' to enable him to imagine the area visited (useful for people outside the village, such as the planning office) illustrating how the statement should be written. There is still much to do, including putting together a questionnaire to enable the views and opinions of all residents of the parish to be reflected in the Village Design Statement.  The final document will include guidelines that will be used by Braintree District Council as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. There will now be many tasks to complete over the coming months that can be achieved with or without attending meetings. So if you have a flare for designing questionnaires, organising exhibitions, drafting text (from prompts and your local knowledge, computer skills would be an advantage but not essential), or if you just have some spare time to deliver and collect survey forms, then please contact either Irene Dickinson (370016), Jeff Wright (376083) or Mike Crome (378155 or email for further details on how you can become involved in this village project.

June 2008 -The Photo activity workshop is to take place on the 14th June, it is hoped many residents will come & join the Steering Group for an enjoyable morning of discovery & interesting facts and views of Bulmer. If you have a digital camera then bring it with you. The Agenda is now available, and if you wanted to know more of what a VDS is then read here.

May 2008 -In preperation for the 14th June, several members of the Steering Group carried out a photographic survey of Upper & Lower Houses and Hedingham Rd (10th May), to test the procedures & completion of various forms. This proved to be a very worthwhile exercise.

Leaflets advertising the 14th are now ready for distribution to every household in the Parish by the end of this month. Please come & join us and discover the hidden secrets & vistas in & around Bulmer.

April 2008 - The first meeting of the Steering Group was held on the 10th April, the main purpose was to start planning for the photographic Survey of the village scheduled for the 14th June 2008. The notes of the meeting can be read here.

February 2008 - Since the leaflet was distributed to every household in the village, a number presentations have been made at village hall functions during the winter months of 2007/08. To view the presentation display click here.

Also during February, grant funding has been obtained for various activities in producing the Design Statement.

The next step is to hold a village open meeting for residents to start to gather all the necessary information for the design statement by taking many photographs around the village and ensuring we have all the skills to then produce a questionnaire. This will hopefully involve all the family including children, after all its their future & heritage we are hoping to preserve. This meeting is likely to be held on a Saturday in April/May.

One of the issues that arose from these presentations during the winter months was that some residents felt a VDS would not be worthwhile as nothing ever came from the Village Appraisal carried out 5 years ago. This is very far from reality and by reading the following list of achievement's the time and effort by many volunteers was not wasted.

What did the Appraisal Achieve?

The VDS differs fundamentally from an Appraisal in that it is not about changing things in the village, it is about preserving what we have and influencing how it is developed in the future.