A GROUP set up with the aim of protecting an East Staffordshire village from overdevelopment and to celebrate the character of its buildings has celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Barton under Needwood Civic Society came into life in 1974 as part of an effort to thwart plans for a new housing estate in the area, and has been going strong ever since.
The group has been described as a ‘major part of village life’ and, now in its fourth decade, is on the lookout for new members.
A spokesman for the group said: “In 1974, villagers were concerned about plans for a large estate that was set to be built on land off Brookside Road.
“At the time the village was only just adjusting to the 1960s ‘Beverley Hills’ estate.
“At a public meeting at John Taylor High School it was agreed to form a steering committee, and they decided to form the civic society.
“Despite the society’s efforts the development went ahead and, in later years, our fears of flooding came true as Barton Brook just could not cope with the volume of hard surface water pouring into a small water course.
“Sadly Douglas Ball, one of the founders of the society, passed away in 1976.
“To commemorate him, the group introduced ‘The Douglas Ball Award’ which is given to a person or persons who over the previous year has done something to enhance village life.
“The society meets at 7.45pm on the second Wednesday of every month at Barton Village Hall.
“The meetings starts with updates on parish council and village news and a guest speaker is then introduced.
“Our aim is to try to preserve the character of the village.
“We review planning applications and make objections known to the East Staffordshire Borough Council planning committee to try to limit the impact of the development, especially if it is in the conservation area.
“New members are welcome, particularly if people are new to the village.
“We urge anyone interested to come along and be part of a society which is major part of village life.”
More information on the group is available by calling Arthur Kennedy on 01283 712895 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org