The Birth of the CVPS
The Purchase of Neale's Field
For many years the CRA successfully opposed the development for housing on Neale's Field, situated between Coulsdon Lane and How Lane. Developers had purchased the land in 1947 and subsequently submitted many planning applications, including one to build 46 houses, all of which were turned down. The birth of the CVPS came about in an unexpected way. Richard Kelsall then living at Court Mead which, backs onto Neale's Field, had the use of his company's helicopter. He wrote to the developer to ask if it could land in Neale's Field. The reply was 'No', because of horses grazing and "they were considering selling it"! The field had to be protected if at all possible. The price was £26,100.
A working party was swiftly formed under the Chairmanship of Bill Parkinson, Chairman of the Resident's Association, together with the Rector Christopher Blair-Fish, Alan Croft, Miss Vivien Rhys-Davids, Councillor Dorothy Day, Len Jarrad, Richard Kelsall, Arthur Sievers and several other residents whose properties bounded the field. The money needed was raised by loans and donations from generous residents. At a public meeting in the Peter Aubertin Hall on September 6th 1977 the CVPS was born.
It was registered as a charity with the objectives:
"To protect, preserve and enhance for the benefit of the public generally, and especially for the inhabitants of Chipstead, land and buildings of beauty or historic interest and amenities (including the Peter Aubertin Hall) in, or in the vicinity of, Chipstead and to promote such protection, preservation and enhancement."
The successfully purchased field was prepared for arable farming by local farmer 'Mac' Maiklem who cleared the WW2 bomb crater and ploughed and restored the land. A footpath was created and stiles were installed along part of Coulsdon Lane to provide a safe pedestrian route. Initially rent helped to repay the interest free loans and has subsequently boosted the CVPS funds. Today Neale's Field is farmed by Richard Kent of Crossways Farm but is still owned by the CVPS. This was the beginning of the CVPS and it has been a thriving force in the village ever since.
Longshaw - Hazelwood Lane
Since 1920 Longshaw was home to the Stoddart family. Upon the death of Colonel K B Stoddart the estate was sold to Surrey County Council and became an old people's home. In 1978 the CVPS negotiated with the council to buy Longshaw at a cost of £100,000. This was well in excess of the Society's resources. However, the coach house and stable block were sold to the Chipstead Players and the land behind the house and a farm worker's cottage were also sold to private buyers. It was essential that all the sales were completed simultaneously so that the monies from the transactions could be used to pay for Longshaw. This was achieved thanks to the expertise of surveyors within the committee.
At that time the Lodge at the entrance to the property was not sold as a life tenancy had been granted to the occupant, Mr Beadle, the former chauffeur to the Stoddart family. After his death the property was sold and the proceeds invested.
The main house was converted into 8 flats that were sold on 99 years leases to local residents. In order to fund the conversions the buyers had to agree to pay their proportion of the costs in instalments while the work was taking place.
CVPS members who request to be placed on a waiting list for Longshaw flats receive prior notice of forthcoming sales. Therefore through the initial generosity of village residents, some astute business deals and well-placed investments, the CVPS reached a position where it had funds to assist with village projects.