Old Arley Residents Society

Old Arley Residents Society Home


OARS is still operational and if you have any issues you would like them to investigate then please contaact either John Birch or Cllr. Gill Guy, their contact details are below.


OARS update April 2013

Neighbourhood Plan

The new Localism Bill gives residents the chance to draw up plans which describe their vision of how their area might develop over future years. These plans, once approved, have to be considered when there are planning issues that affect the neighbourhood. Importantly they also take into account how new developments might be spread among a series of neighbourhoods, raising the possibility that anywhere that does not have a plan is more likely to have to accommodate development from adjacent areas.

The members of OARS are concerned that the Parish Council has discussed the need for a plan on a number of occasions, but has not yet made a start. The most natural area for our Village Plan is the area covered by Arley Parish Council rather than anything smaller, such as a separate plan for Old Arley. The parish of Arley is not considered a village by the Borough Council, it is a 'local service centre' and as such is not protected from substantial development that would change it's character. We accept that writing a plan will involve a considerable amount of work and will require the establishment of a working group to write the plan and submit it to the Parish Council, but an opportunity for residents to influence future changes to the two villages has to be acted upon.

OARS is strongly in favour of Arley having a village plan, members feel that to be the only local neighbourhood to be without one would be to invite development that the residents could not control. We are prepared to help develop the plan in whatever way the Parish Council thinks is best.

Herbert Fowler School

It is hoped that building work will start on the new Gun Hill school very soon. Once the new school is open the Herbert Fowler buildings will be redundant and a new use will need to be found for the site. OARS would much prefer that the buildings are retained for educational use. It is hard to envisage the buildings being suitable for other purposes and it would be a waste of a building with historical character, and plenty of life left in it, to demolish it.

Dog mess!

Old Arley has quite suddenly become plagued with dog mess. Owners are obviously not clearing up after their dogs; the mess is appearing after dark but the quantity and the number of places where it is being found is surprising. OARS is cooperating with the council dog warden, we are planning a poster campaign appealing to dog owners to clear up after their dogs and warning them of the penalties of not doing so in the hope of at least reducing the problem.



OARS update Nov 2012

Old Arley Residents Society have bought a bench, using money raised in the village, and placed it on the new Village Green. The bench was made from recycled plastic by Jericho Recycling and, it is hoped, will last indefinitely.


OARS update Nov 2011

Click here for the latest News about the closure of Herbert Fowler School.


OARS update Dec. 2010

OARS has been hit very hard by the death of our Vice Chairman, Phil Collins. He was a founder member and his personality shaped OARS. Phil always felt that we could do more and, with a smile, would persuade us that we could make ourselves heard for the benefit of the residents of Old Arley.  As an ex-councillor and mayor he knew everyone and was always prepared to use his connections to make sure we knew what was going on in North Warwickshire, and who would listen to us. We will miss Phil, but he will still be an inspiration to us.

We are also sorry to lose Helen Duff, our Chair, who has resigned because of work commitments.

At the moment the Rectory Road development is going ahead. The bungalows are being built, and, as far as we know, the Medical Centre, including a pharmacy, will follow. We do not know when the estate of houses will be built. One third of the site has been designated as a Village Green and can never be developed; OARS is currently fundraising to place a bench on the green.

We applied for initial funding to draw up plans and costing for the proposed pavilion on the Recreation Ground, but unfortunately were turned down by the Heart of England Community Fund. The possibilities for getting grant aid have changed dramatically in the last few months, a number of schemes have closed and, in the current economic climate, have not been replaced. At the moment the OARS committee does not feel it has the numbers, or the expertise, to pursue this project but we will return to it later.


Old Arley Residents Society was formed with the aim of representing and promoting the interests of the residents of the village, and improving conditions in the area as a whole. It came into being in 2007 after North Warwickshire Borough Council proposed to develop the open space on Rectory Road without consulting local residents. With the support of the villagers and the Parish Council we were able to persuade the Borough Council to negotiate a more appropriate settlement, which includes leaving one third of the site protected in perpetuity as a Village Green, for the use of the people of the village.

 *Click here for a detailed review of the Rectory Road campaign.

We are currently organising support for the local medical centre to ensure that they do not lose their right to dispense medicines; an important service in a rural area where many residents would find difficulty in travelling to a pharmacy in another village.

Old Arley Residents Society is also leading a campaign to get the pavilion which used to stand on the Recreation Ground, and which was demolished a few years ago, replaced. We envisage a building containing changing rooms, and a community room with a balcony and a kitchen which can be used by cricket teams.

OARS, as the society is known, tries to represent the views of villagers. To this end we always consult the residents of Old Arley by giving out questionnaires and going door to door to find out what people think. We know that it is very important not to make assumptions about villagers’ opinions but rather to ask directly, to ensure that we are clearly articulating the views of the people of Old Arley.


John Birch                                    birchjohn@yahoo.co.uk
Gillian Guy (Secretary)                gillyg17560@btinternet.com  Tel: 01676 542105

 Nov. 2009