Birch Village SignHome Page

The village of Birch lies about four and a half miles south west of Colchester in the county of Essex. The civil parish of Birch comes within the administrative area of the Borough of Colchester.

On this site you will find information about Birch Parish Council, its Councillors, meetings, the Parish boundary (with maps) and Policies & Procedures.

As a service to the local community, you will find here also information about local organisations, activities and amenities for which the Parish Council is not responsible and for which it cannot, therefore, accept any liability.

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Birch Road Closures - January 18th to 21st

The Parish Council has received notification of the intended closure of Orpens Hill, School Hill, Church Road, Birch Street, due to commence on 18th January 2021 for 4 days. The closure is required for the safety of the public and workforce while Essex County Council undertakes 2021/22 surface dressing programme preparatory works.
Click on the following link to find details.

Next Parish Council Meeting

The holding of the Birch Parish Council meeting planned for Tuesday, 2nd February, is subject to review because of the current coronavirus situation.

Birch Church Planning Applications Approved

The planning applications for conversion of Birch church to a large five-bedroom family home were considered by Colchester Borough Council's Planning Committee at its meeting on Thursday 22nd October.

Despite strong objections from Birch Parish Council, Church bodies, local residents and other individuals with relatives buried in the churchyard, the Planning Committee voted to approve the applications: 7 in favour, 1 against, and 1 abstention.

The ball now appears to be firmly in the Church Commissioners’ court. The Commissioners can be expected to need some time to fully assess the current position and decide how best to proceed from here.

For the time being ownership of Birch church remains vested in the Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance (i.e. the diocese). The Church Commissioners manage the process of dealing with the closed church. No work can commence on conversion of the church until the Commissioners have drawn up a new Draft Pastoral Scheme for residential use of the building, put the draft scheme out for public consultation, considered responses to that consultation, and negotiated a sale or lease to Mr Cottee.

It looks as if we are still a long way from resolution of the future of Birch church.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates


The play area is open.

Before visiting, we are asking residents to read the guidance below so they can protect themselves, their children and others when using the equipment and help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) should not attempt to use the equipment.

We are asking residents to continue to follow all current government advice in addition to the above:

Thank you as always for your co-operation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Parish Council by emailing:

Clear Recycling Sacks - Additional Supplies

On the first Tuesday of each month one of our Zone Wardens will be outside Birch Memorial Hall, from 9-00am for about an hour, to issue clear recycling sacks to those who need them. These sacks are supplied by Colchester Borough Council, free of charge, for the purposes of its regular kerbside recycling collections. The Council is keen to encourage the highest possible level of recycling both for the protection of the environment and to reduce the costs of landfill refuse disposal.

Defibrillators in Birch and Layer Breton

DefibrillatorThe Three Villages Community Association (TVCA) has installed two public access defibrillators, one in Birch and one in Layer Breton.

Defibrillators improve chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. More and more are being placed in community locations to be used before arrival of a paramedic or ambulance. Less than 5% of people survive cardiac arrest with CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) alone but the odds are greatly improved, up to 50%, with the prompt use of a defibrillator and effective CPR.

The latest Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are now built specifically for any person to use, not necessarily someone who has had training. Our local defibrillators, which are portable, are located at:
 • Birch Memorial Hall, Birch Street. Birch, CO2 0LZ
    (located by the main entrance to the hall)
 • The Hare and Hounds Public House, Layer Breton, CO2 0PN
    (located in the garden; access through door to the left of the building)

The TVCA has already run some training sessions in the Memorial Hall so that village clubs and individuals can practice CPR and familiarise themselves with the AEDs. However you can use a defibrillator without having received training. The equipment provides step by step verbal instructions on what you need to do and will "talk you through" the procedure.

The TVCA is happy to provide further training sessions should any clubs or individuals wish to see the training video and learn how to do CPR.

Call 105Power Cuts - Reporting, and Getting Information About Them

Many Birch residents rely on overhead power lines for their electricity supply. From time to time extreme weather conditions and other incidents lead to power cuts in our locality.

There is now a new three-digit telephone number, 105, which can be used to report or get information about power cuts. You can also call 105 to report damage to electricity power lines and substations. The 105 number is free of charge and will put you through to UK Power Networks, the electricity network operator for London, the East and South East of England. 105 can be called from most landlines and mobile phones.

Alternatively you can report or get information about power cuts by calling UK Power Networks on their freephone number 0800-316-3105.

It is important to be aware that cordless 'phones do not work when there is no mains power. During a power cut you will need to use a corded landline or mobile 'phone to call 105 or 0800-316-3105.

Birch Parish Council Information

On this site you will find information about:
 – The Responsibilities and Work of Birch Parish Council
 – Parish Councillors and the Parish Clerk
 – Dates of Birch Parish Council Meetings
 – Reports of Meetings issued by the Council after each meeting
 – Minutes and Agendas of Council meetings
 – Year End Report for the year ending 31st March 2019.
 – Boundary and Maps of Birch Civil Parish
 – The Council's Policies and Procedures

Annual Return for the Year 2018-19

The Parish Council's Annual Governance and Accountability Return for 2018-19 is available for viewing or download in PDF format by using this link Annual Return 2018/19. The document includes:
 – Annual Internal Audit Report 2018-19
 – Annual Governance Statement 2018-19
 – Accounting Statements 2018-19

Other Local Information

The site also carries information about:
 – The Village Hall
 – Borough Councillors for the Marks Tey and Layer Ward
 – Colchester Borough Council Zone Wardens for Birch
 – Policing and Crime Prevention
 – The Three Villages Community Association (TVCA)
 – Websites with local content.

Monthly Newsletter: 'Parish News'

This monthly magazine goes to every home and is produced independently of Birch Parish Council. It provides useful information on the many local community social events and carries Council notices, press releases and other information. In addition to a range of articles including our countryside, food and local history, Parish News carries a range of over 40 local commercial advertisements.

Disclaimer of Legal Liability

Information on this website is given in good faith, but Birch Parish Council does not accept any liability for the accuracy or reliability of such information. References on this website to other organisations, individuals or businesses do not imply any endorsement, approval or recommendation of them by the Parish Council.

This site has links to external websites. Birch Parish Council has no control over third party websites or services and is not responsible for their content. The existence of a link here to an external website does not imply endorsement or approval by the Council which accepts no liability for loss or damage arising from reliance on the content of external websites.