Saturday, 16 January 2021

Old Buckenham Parish Council

January Parish Council meeting

These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.

Old Buckenham Parish Council met, via Zoom, on Thursday 7 January. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls, Naomi Bailey and Ben Devlin. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), County and Breckland councillor Steve Askew, Harman Sand and Rob Shaw from PACE and two members of the public. Apologies had been received from Mike Farrington.

The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 3 December 2020 were approved (7 in favour). Matters arising from those minutes included thanks to councillor Steve Askew for his swift action on reports raised last month. Discussions with Highways regarding road safety outside the school have resulted in submission of an application for a grant to help with these issues. Also the Village Hall Management Committee have kindly agreed to empty the Recreation Area bin, for a small donation.

Financial Report. The Community account balance now stands at £34,660.96. Payments of £1,627.68 were approved (7 in favour). These included £450 for the rent of the allotment site and £115.40 to the various community car drivers.

Solar Farm presentation by Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE). There will soon be an application for a Solar Farm in the Parish, located between Puddledock and Bunn’s Bank. Harman Sand and Rob Shaw from PACE took part in the meeting via Zoom to give more details. The site will have the potential to provide the needs of 7,500 homes and could play a part in the Governments zero carbon emissions target. Many factors were considered during the planning stage.

* It will be set away from Bunn’s Bank, due to its historic status and also from the scheduled monument.

* It will be well screened to minimise visibility, including the small sub station.

* Liaised with Old Buckenham Airfield to ensure no glare would affect pilots.

* Areas at risk of flooding have been avoided.

* No loss of agricultural land as sheep will be able to graze below the panels, which also manages the growth of the grass.

* It will provide an increase in biodiversity to the area, with a 47% increase in hedgerows and therefore nearly 300% increase in habitats.

The application is likely to be submitted in January and will include a large number of specialist surveys. The average lifespan of a solar farm is 40 to 55 years. This one is proposed for 55 years. Once installed, maintenance should not cause too much disruption as one panel can be removed at a time with ease. An existing footpath will be kept and a new footpath will join up to it. This path will be given ample space and set safely within the field. PACE were asked about a Community Involvement Fund and were very open to working with the Parish Council on possible options for the village. Councillors also highlighted the need to ensure all construction traffic was directed through Attleborough, rather than through the village.

Precept. The councillors added £2000 to the Contingency Fund for village maintenance meaning that the Total Precept to apply for would be £22,310. This is slightly higher than in previous years due to larger total of grants approved and it was felt this was down to current Covid restrictions. There had been an over-spend on Green maintenance and the Play Area in the last year. The total of £22,310 was approved (6 in favour, 1 against).

Clerk’s report. The clerk had been contacted by several people regarding flooding in the village recently, particularly due to the heavy rainfall on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 December. Cake Street and Fen Street were the two main areas highlighted. Councillor Steve Askew will contact NCC Highways regarding possible solutions.

Chairman’s report. Terry Cook and Jonn Hicks had to clear up large amount of glass dumped in the village hall car park. The Parish Council will look into the possibility of upgrading the Village Hall security camera system with a new one as this could benefit the whole village, not just the Village Hall. The Clerk is to contact the Village Hall and Ben Devlin will investigate new camera options and costs.

Recreation Area. Fence has been inspected by councillors and appears to quite rotten in places. They will investigate replacing with a hedge rather than fencing. This will create increase in habitats, improve drainage and possibly be cheaper.

Councillors’ reports. County and Breckland councillor Steve Askew said that he had been asked about the flooding at Puddledock. The landowner has been contacted and will clear the blocked ditch. Potholes in Fen Street are particularly bad and he has chased their repair several times as they were dangerous to cyclists and cars. In the flooding just before Christmas, Cake Street was overwhelmed so he will contact Highways and look in to possible solutions. Building was still continuing in March Field Way so hopefully the site is still on track for a July finish. Adrian Joel wished to thanks the volunteers who came out to help install the Christmas tree on the Green. Will need to look at purchasing new bulbs for next Christmas. Thanks again to Dave Tranmer at the Ox and Plough for supplying the electricity. The track from the schools to the Clinic is in poor state with large potholes and a blocked drain on it caused flooding to a nearby property. The clerk to contact Highways regarding both issues. The playground bin is now unlocked but needs emptying. The clerk to chase up.

Planning. All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal – www.breckland.gov.uk/article/2933/Search-Planning-Applications. Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting

New planning applications. Land off Banham Road. Erection of a single agricultural building and new vehicular access (3PL/2020/1334/F). Many Councillors felt it was a dangerous road and an increase in traffic on there could cause problems. A proposal to support this application was lost (1 in favour, 4 against, 2 abstain).

Scales Farm, Road from Stacksford Lane to Hargham Road. Erection of new two-storey office building and demolition of external store (3PL/2020/1341/F). This would be built on existing footprint. Councillors felt it was important to support the development of local businesses. Proposal to support was approved (7 in favour).

Double Banks Farm, Old Buckenham Road, Carleton Rode, NR16 1NH. Change of use of existing waste processing/composting facility including in-vessel composting to an HCI (Household, Commercial and Industrial) waste processing and recycling facility to produce RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) and SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel) grade material (FUL/2019/0010). Have been contacted previously but there have been updates to traffic proposal. Previously supported but concern over traffic to/from plant. Jonn Hicks informed that the Operator’s License would not allow the lorries to travel through Old Buckenham but they would have to go via Spooner Row. Proposal to support was approved (7 in favour).

(Ben Devlin lost internet connection at this point)

Land at Chalk Lane, Snetterton. The construction of an agricultural feed mill (Use Class B2) with ancillary offices and welfare facilities, creation of a new vehicular access and associated infrastructure including silos; engineering; landscaping; and ground works - this is an Environmental Impact Assessment. Additional plans, site selection documentation, job details, view point photographs and flood risk and drainage assessment (3PL/2020/0780/F). Jonn Hicks abstained from discussion and vote due to professional conflict. The councillors could not see this causing any problems for Old Buckenham. As site is near the A11, all traffic should enter straight from there. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour, 1 abstain).

Land adjacent to Beckwood, Stacksford. Erection of Dwelling and Garage (3PL/2020/1464/F). Breckland have previously rejected this and also later on appeal. There was concern from some councillors that the utilities would struggle to cope. The building would take place on an old filled-in quarry. Propose to support was approved on the condition that all environmental protection suggestions are followed (4 in favour, 2 abstain).

Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved.

Development Site, Harlingwood Lane. Construction of a new dwelling house and detached garage (3PL/2020/1016/F).

Land to rear of development plot between Willow Cottage and Fen Street. Change of use of agricultural land to garden (3PL/2020/1075/F)

Land between Willow Cottage and Priest Hill Cottage Fen Street. Technical Details Consent for erection of one dwelling and garage (Permission in Principle reference 3PL/2019/1258/PIP (3PL/2020/1076/TDC).

Acer House, The Green. Single Storey Side Extension (3PL/2020/1248/HOU).

Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Forty additional camping pitches and forty additional touring caravan pitches (3PL/2020/1007/F).

The following application has now been considered and the application has been refused. Rear of 41 Hargham Road. Detached Single Storey New Residential Dwelling and construction and two-bay cart lodge (3PL/2020/1217/O).

Items for next agenda. Subjects will include a possible hedge at Recreation area, Village Hall security cameras and suggestions for using any Community Involvement Fund benefits as a result of the potential solar farm.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held, via Zoom, on Thursday 4 February at 7.30pm. 

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Services in Old Buckenham

 Meeting at All Saints Church

Although All Saints Church has not been organising formal 9.30am services at the church, those who wanted to meet have been joining an informal gathering on Sunday mornings and the monthly 8am Communion Service has still happened.  However, a letter has been received from the Bishop of Norwich. Bishop Graham has explained that whilst worship with a congregation present is still permitted, he feels it is necessary to change this.  He says " I would now strongly encourage all incumbents, churchwardens and PCCs not to have physically present worship (except funerals and urgent marriages) in the next few weeks. The risks are now too great, even with all of the precautions that we have so painstakingly put in place."
The Churchwardens and the PCC agree and will follow his lead and move back to online gatherings only.
The good news is that the church door is left open so that All Saints is available to all who may need it as a place for private prayer and reflection.



Monday, 4 January 2021

Miles for Old Buckenham Mill

 A Virtual Fitness Challenge

The Friends of Old Buckenham Windmill are looking for people to sign up to walking or running 500, 1000 or 2000 miles (or indeed any distance that represents a personal challenge for you) in 2021, with a sponsorship target of at least £100 per participant, towards the restoration of our mill. It's not about speed or being an elite athlete - anybody can take part at their own pace and commit to exercise throughout 2021.

The Friends are now able to accept formal registrations - you can do this by joining the new Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/obmillmiles2021 or for anybody not on Facebook, you can email contact@oldbuckenhamwindmill.org.uk

 In the group, you will find trackers to download and you can share progress and encouragement with other participants. This is a private group for participants only. The organisers are working on the best way to accept sponsorship and donations, to make use of gift aid wherever possible and will advise once this is ready. Please get walking or running in the mean time!





Saturday, 2 January 2021

Church services in Old Buckenham

You can still pop in

For information of villagers, the Church of England has advised that services can continue under Tier 4 at the discretion of the local incumbent. The Parochial Church Council at Old Buckenham have decided that they cannot take the risks of meeting all the rules and so have decided that for the time being no services will take place at All Saints. The Church will however remain open during the week. If anyone would like to meet up at 9.30am on a Sunday for a very informal prayer meeting or readings they are most welcome. There is no guarantee who will turn up and if anyone does it will be up to them to decided who will lead the session.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Yet another Old Buckenham newsletter

Ready for the New Year

It's been sighted around the village already with still a day or two of 2020 left. You can learn more about the previous owners of Old Buckenham Hall, a pen picture of our parish clerk, how the village hall has been coping and the Met Office replies to some queries on a proposed weather radar. Enjoy reading the words and making yourself aware of all those local advertisers who could be most useful throughout 2021.



Sunday, 27 December 2020

What didn't happen in Old Buckenham

How things suddenly changed

This diary of events was in the  April 2020 Old Buckenham Village Newsletter. How near will we to being back to a 'near normal' by this April? Your comments welcomed...



Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Christmas Eve in Old Buckenham

 Come along to All Saints 
"He is still coming" and the interior of the church is now decorated with crib scenes, candles and holly. The door will be open all day tomorrow, Christmas Eve, for private prayer and quiet reflection. Then between 5pm and 7pm some of us will be spending some time in the candlelit church. We would love individuals and family groups to come along during that time to visit the Christmas crib and share a moment of quiet with them. There will be Christmas music playing, occasional readings and opportunities to pray for loved ones who may not be able to join in this year. Revd Lorraine Summers from Kenninghall will be their for a short time and will give a brief Christmas message on the theme “God is with us, one with us” at about 7pm.
Please remember to bring and wear a mask as well as being mindful of others when social distancing.




Sunday, 20 December 2020

Using Old Buckenham footpaths

 Walking the Parish footpaths

Why not take advantage of the beautiful walks we have within our Parish? This outline map has the Parish boundary marked in yellow. The public roads are indicated in grey and in cerise each of the footpaths are indicated (and each one has Village number). Also marked in a thinner cerise colour are the footpaths as they extend into our neighbouring parishes. 


















Set yourself a New Year resolution to walk each of the Parish Paths at least once in 2021. Enjoy the exercise and wonderful countryside. It would be wonderful to have a log of the walks and their changing characteristics during the seasons and any advice and tips to other walkers that could be published on the blog or in the village newsletter. 


Monday, 14 December 2020

Old Buckenham newsletter for January

 One week to copy date

The editor of both the village newsletter and this blog will be working over the Christmas period to try to ensure the first newsletter of 2021 is available on time. If you have anything to contribute, please send it on as soon as possible, by next Sunday at the latest.

Thank you

Saturday, 12 December 2020

Old Buckenham Parish Council minutes

Plenty to discuss in December
The following notes were written by the editor of the village blog from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 3 December via Zoom. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls, Naomi Bailey and Ben Devlin. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), Norfolk and Breckland councillor Steve Askew along with Jim Trice and Richard Bennet from the Met Office as well as three members of the public. Steve Milner and Mike Farrington had sent their apologies and Ben Devlin expected to be a few minutes late arriving.
The the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 5 November were approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain). Matters arising from these minutes included problems with rubbish being left in the Village Hall car park and around the village as a whole. The village hall bin had been kindly emptied by Terry Cook but this is an issue will arise again as no one will agree to empty it regularly. Naomi Bailey will ask if school caretakers are able to help. It may necessary to remove bin if no one can be found to empty it. Terry Cook suggested signs put up in thevillage hall car park but it was felt that most of the rubbish appears at night from people coming in to the village and parking up and so would likely not care. Many councillors noted that rubbish was a general problem on local roads although around the Green it was much better. They will look at this issue in more depth at future meetings to see how to make the village cleaner. 
(Ben Devlin arrived)
Declarations of interests. Terry Cook has a conflict of interest with Friends of Chapel Green Precept Grant application and Ben Delvin has conflict of interest with two planning applications. Both councillors will abstain from the appropriate votes.
Financial matters. Community account balance is now £35,064.66 and allotment rents received were £80.
Payments were approved totalling £1,159.75 (5 in favour).
Correspondence. The Clerk had been contacted about flooding on Fen Street. This was after particularly heavy rainfall and lots of the village had surface water. Councillors will monitor to see how regularly it occurs. There were also comments about a ditch at Puddledock being blocked causing flooding on to the road. Steve Askew will get Highways to investigate.
Action Plan update. Notebook computer for the SAM sign ordered and received. The Handyman had been contacted and will fix notice board by the shop, make notice boards for the phone box and install a new notice board by the playground. This will hopefully be completed in December. In January, he will fix the fence around the Recreation Area.
Village Green Working Party. New trees have been planted around the village Green at the agreed locations. Unfortunately unable to get residents involved in this activity due to lockdown.
Road Safety. SAM sign moved to other location. Will also need to download data on to new notebook computer.
Play Area. Playdale were unable to come out during lockdown. They have been in contact and they have a huge backlog of work but the village is now apparently high on their list. The bin in toddler area currently locked and so not emptied. Jonn Hicks will unlock it for future collections.
Recreation Area. Unfortunately lines for football pitch have not been painted. Ben Devlin has a line marker and will mark it out in the spring as it is too wet now. Cutting the grass in this area has cost a lot of money this year so Jonn Hicks is investigating whether it might be better to buy a ride-on lawn mower. Ben Devlin said he has a ride-on lawnmower that could be used.
Councillors’ reports. Naomi Bailey said that there was lots of concern by residents and parents of school children about speeding in the village. While initial concern was around school time, this is happening any time of day. Other issues include cars blocking the flow of traffic on Abbey Road, families having to cross in front of High School and the fact a child was hit by a car earlier this year (no serious injuries she believes). The staggered drop offs at the Primary have helped a little but not significantly. Crossing in front of the High School was seen by a major problem by all councillors and wondered if the new crossing on the B1077 had encouraged more walkers and therefore made more families cross at this location. The blind bend, no set crossing point, a school driveway and a track used for parking and ‘cut through’ meant it was extremely dangerous to cross especially with small children. Possible solutions of reducing the speed limit, a small crossing, traffic calming measures or a lollipop person were all raised. Steve Askew will start investigating any possibilities with Highways. Parish Council to discuss in greater depth at the February meeting.
Adrian Joel reported that the Christmas tree on the Green was to be set up on the following Saturday morning. Unfortunately no big switch on this year because of current restrictions. Ben Devlin said that a resident had been in contact offering to donate some posts for helping to mark out footpaths. He will liaise with Terry Cook on this.
Steve Askew promised to look into various issues raised at the evening’s meeting. He had been asked about Phase 4 of March Field Way houses. Initially planned to complete in Janury 2021 but this has now been pushed back to July 2021. Will comprise of nine houses: six affordable rent and three shared ownership and will be made up of one, two and three bedroom properties. Will hopefully be for local people in same way that previous phases were. He had just received notice that solar farm application between Old Buckenham and Bunns Bank is likely to be submitted in the next week or two. He also said that he had been putting news updates on the village Facebook page which is hopefully helpful to people.
Possible weather radar tower. Jim Trice and Richard Bennett (Met Office) attended the Zoom meeting. Their original application was approximately a year ago but was withdrawn in March following feedback, especially that from Old Buckenham Airfield. The original height of the Tower would have breached an important safety layer of airspace that is linked to the airfield by three metres. New application will be for the same site but will reduce height of Tower by four metres. This lower height is possible because originally the radar had to reach above a crane that is frequently used by Anglian Water at this site, as well as trees and the local topography. Anglian Water have agreed to lower the height of the crane, which in turn means the tower can also be reduced in height. The Airfield kindly suggested a corner of airfield as an alternative location. This was investigated but as the airfield sits at a lower level, the tower would have had to be taller, not shorter. A cherry picker was used to demonstrate the possible heights at the two locations. Matt Wilkins (Airfield Manager) and the Met Office agreed that this site was unsuitable and discounted. The residents who live next to the site are concerned about the visual impact and the Met Office are open to discussing screening solutions that they would be happy with. The new planning application will hopefully be submitted in January.
Councillors and the public were then invited to ask any questions they might have.
1) There are already 15 operational radar towers, are any of them close to housing?
The majority are normally on hill tops, however some are fairly near residents.
2) Why wasn’t a site with higher elevation chosen?
Sixteen sites were considered. Old Buckenham had the lowest impact on the population, yet provided the greatest benefit in the information gained.
3) Is the radiation emitted from the radar safe?
There will be a low level of microwave radiation emitted which is safe and has no effects. The application will include a statement from Public Health England stating this.
4) Nine of the sites currently used are Anglian Water sites. Why is this?
While the majority are Anglian Water sites, the others are Ministry of Defence, Environment Agency and also private land. The life expectancy of a Weather Radar Tower is 25years and it can be difficult to find somewhere that is willing to commit to that length of time. Also, they have a similar interest in understanding rainfall amounts and therefore water management.
5) Is this Radar needed? Do we not have enough coverage already?
Lots of the UK is covered but there is a lack of data for East Anglia (and some other locations) and this tower would help provide that.
6) The option of screening the Tower was mentioned. If the tower is 25m tall, what could be used to screen something that tall? The main impact on the residents nearby will be the effect of light on to their property.
A shadowing analysis showed that the tower would not limit the light into the residence itself and would only create a partial shadow on the driveway. Will include the analysis in the new application. No decisions have been made on screening as would need to consult with the owners of the property as it would be on their land. There used to be a hedge there historically, so replacing that is one option.
(The following three questions came from the owners of Waterworks House as they were unable to join the meeting)
8) Why was a visual impact study not completed of our property? No pictures were taken from our property to illustrate the impact.
A visual impact study was completed. Someone came to visit the property.
9) Pictures were provided by us of the cherry picker yet we received no confirmation of receipt. Why have we not been contacted for such a long time?
Representatives contacted them today and will keep them informed. The pictures could not be used unfortunately due to issues with the location that the pictures being taken from.
10) Will the public be informed of the application process?
As with any planning application, Breckland Council will contact neighbouring properties. The Parish Council will be kept up-to-date and there is a website dedicated to this project which will contain all information gathered. The Village Newsletter will also be contacted and kept informed.
11) Has anyone ever successfully appealed against a Radar Tower?
Not aware of any such circumstance.
12) Does the Radar create any noise?
Radars are not noisy as they move so slowly. The Anglian Water site also has strict decibel limits that they will have to be within.
13) Are the Met Office aware of rare bats nearby? Would the Radar Tower affect them?
An ecological survey was completed but they were not informed of any rare bats in the area. Will investigate.
14) Why was the original application withdrawn?
The Planning Officer advised that the application was withdrawn due to Airfield objections and safety issues. Matt Wilkins (Airfield Manager) informed that the Airfield is a licensed consultee. The new proposed height will miss this safety surface height and therefore the airfield doesn’t have any official objections.
15) Carleton Rode residents are probably more affected visually than Old Buckenham residents. Have they been informed?
Old contact details resulted in information being missed during the initial application. Correct contact details have now been used and they are talking to the Parish Council there. There was a leaflet drop of the Carleton Rode area previously as well.
16) Would the Met Office pay for the screening?
Once agreed with the property owners and discussed with the Planning Officer then yes, they would pay for the screening.
The Village Newsletter editor requested that as there will be a lot of interest in the application from residents, he asked that people read all the information provided in the new application rather than relying on rumours.
Precept grants. 1st Old Buckenham Brownies, £500 (towards a project costing £750). Councillors were happy to see traditional activities such as Brownies were still going strong and were happy to support activities which support and develop core values in children. Propose to give the full £750 for project (approved, 6 in favour).
Robert Cocks Almshouses Trust, £500 to £1000 (towards new heating systems costing £6000 per unit). These are old properties which require expensive updating. One unit is in urgent need of a new heating system, while others will last a little longer. Propose to donate £500 and then in January look to see what is available from the Charity Account for a possible further donation (approved, 6 in favour).
Old Buckenham Cricket Club, £1404 (towards new mobile cricket cage net). One of village’s main sporting facilities for young people. It is very popular and provided excellent support to the village during summer. Propose to donate £700, half the cost, towards the new net (approved, 4 in favour, 1 abstain) (Ben Devlin briefly lost internet connection and so did not vote).
Village Hall, £325 towards new chairs. Propose to donate the full £325 (approved, 6 in favour).
Friends of Chapel Green School, £300 towards new gardening equipment. Propose to donate the full £300 (approved, 5 in favour, 1 abstain).
Precept. This will be discussed at the next meeting with Donna Oakley (the Responsible Finance Officer) attending.
Planning. To consider planning applications and to receive Breckland District Council’s decisions made on any planning applications received before the meeting. (All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal www.breckland.gov.uk/article/2933/Search-Planning-Applications. Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting.
New planning applications. Rear of 41 Hargham Road. Detached Single Storey New Residential Dwelling and construction of two bay cart lodge (3PL/2020/1217/O). Councillors felt it was unnecessary over-development of a narrow site. Not all information had been in application and was still due to be submitted. Proposed to object (5 in favour, 1 abstain).
Land at Roughlands Farm, Grove Road. Erection of a new single storey dwelling (3PL/2020/1250/F). This is the third application for this location. In order to show consistency, councillors felt they could not support it. Proposed to object (5 in favour, 1 abstain)
Acer House, The Green. Single Storey Side Extension (3PL/2020/1248/HOU). The Parish Council could see no objections to the application. Proposed to support (5 in favour, 1 abstain).
Development Plot at Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Demolition of existing building (with extant permission to convert to a dwelling) and the erection of New Single Dwelling and Cartlodge, and Change of Use of Agricultural Land to Domestic Curtilage (Revised Scheme 3PL/2020/1009/F). The Parish Council could see no objections to the application. Proposed to support (6 in favour).
Rosedale, Fen Street. Change of use from existing Storage/Industrial unit to Residential Dwelling (3PL/2020/1332/F). Councillors were concerned that this was another proposed development on Fen Street which had seen a lot of new homes built recently. The village has also already surpassed its quota. However the existing building will contribute some traffic to the roads already and so converting into residential should not change the volume of traffic much in the long term. Propose to support (3 in favour, 3 abstain).
29 Fen Street. Erection of one dwelling (Technical Details Consent following the grant of Permission in Principle 3PL/2019/1405/PIP (3PL/2020/1339/F). The Parish Council could see no reasons for objection. Proposed to support (5 in favour, 1 abstain).
'The Barn', High London Farm, New Buckenham Road. Outline planning application for the conversion of an agricultural barn to a single dwelling (3PL/2020/1356/O). This is an old barn that will soon fall in to disrepair. Development is required in order to preserve the property. Proposed to support (6 in favour).
Land to rear of development plot between Willow Cottage and Fen Street. Change of use of agricultural land to garden (3PL/2020/1075/F). Revised plans - smaller garden extension. Was discussed last month and objected to because of the size of proposed garden and it would surround a neighbouring property and suggested they decrease its size. The garden extension has now been revised to a smaller size. Proposed to support (4 in favour, 2 abstain).
Planning Decisions by Breckland Council. The following two applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved.
59 Fen Street. Single Storey Side and Rear Extensions, Conversion of Garage to Provide Additional Accommodation, Front Porch and Render to Existing External Walls (3PL/2020/1092/HOU).
Land adjacent to Keele Cottage, The Green. Variation of Condition No 2 on 3PL/2015/0513/F (approved plans and details) to allow substitution of these for as-built drawings to regularise the development (3PL/2020/1010/VAR).
Items for next agenda. Precept

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 7 January 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Old Buckenham still helping the homeless

Supporting St Martins

You may not have been able to do your usual activities to support the St Martins charity but you can still contribute. As in previous years the Church Rooms will be open on Christmas Eve for donations of non-perishable foods. These will later be transported to St Martins in Norwich to help in their support of the homeless. 

You can also help from the comfort of your armchair. The 2021 Norfolk Wildlife calendars that they have produced are now on sale for £5 each, plus postage and packing. All the pictures were taken by David Cullingford. David was homeless and received support from St Martins at their learning and development centre ‘Under 1 Roof’. The pictures showcase Norfolk wildlife at its best. There is also a range of Christmas cards to purchase online. Just go to https://shop.stmartinshousing.org


Sunday, 6 December 2020

Christmas eve in Old Buckenham

 Christmas Eve at All Saints Church

In this exceptional year of 2020, which has seen so many changes to our way of life, All Saints have had to make changes to the way they worship, and their plans for Christmas Eve are no exception. The PCC are very conscious that Covid-19 is still with us and they are required to follow Government and Diocesan Guidelines to limit the spread of the virus. They know too that members of our community share our concern to maintain social distancing and follow the guidelines.

Bearing all this in mind, on Thursday 24 December, as well as the church being open all day for private prayer, between 5pm and 7.30pm members of the congregation will be spending some time in the candlelit church. They would love individuals and family groups to come along during that time to visit the Christmas crib and share a moment of quiet with them. There will be Christmas music playing, occasional readings and opportunities to pray for loved ones who may not be able to join in this year.  Revd Lorraine Summers from Kenninghall will be their for a short time and will give a brief Christmas message on the theme “God is with us, one with us” at about 7pm.

As in previous years, All Saints Church will be supporting St Martins Housing Trust in their work with the homeless in Norfolk and there will be an opportunity to contribute to this vital work available.  Please try to find a few moments to come along – bearing in mind the 'hands, face, space' advice from the NHS adults are asked to wear face coverings and to move through the church in one direction – from the porch door to exit via the north door. If you can’t make it during Christmas Eve please remember the church will remain open for private prayer and their Christmas Crib will be there throughout the Christmas period.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Old Buckenham Mill undercover

All wrapped up

 Behind these screens, work is going on repairing the mill and making the structure safe.







Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Old Buckenham picture query

 Do you know where this was taken?

The blog editor has received this photograph that is believed may have been taken in the early 1900s. The slim gentleman in the very middle of the photograph, wearing a bowler hat, is the great grandfather of the lady enquiring about George Jackson who lived in Old Buckenham at that time. 

She is trying to find out where exactly, and possibly when, this photograph was taken. Could it possibly have been Old Buckenham Hall or may there have been somewhere else that it could have been taken?

Any help you can offer would be gratefully received. Please email the blog editor at obnewspostbox@aol.com and he will pass the information on. Thank you.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Another Old Buckenham newsletter

 Village newsletter for December

Latest news on the village hall, the local footpaths, pot-boilers, bats, tree planting on the Green, history of Old Buckenham Hall and the deliberations of the parish council. All inside a cover showing all the cover designs of 2020. If you haven't had a copy through your letter box yet, it should be delivered soon.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

What's flying in Old Buckenham

Bats of Old Buckenham
In July 2018 a bat survey was conducted in Old Buckenham. Three survey sites were chosen: Rod Alley pond, Ottomer pond and the Pound opposite the Almshouses. This was part of a wider British Trust of Ornithology study monitoring Norfolk’s bat populations since 2013. The Norfolk Bat Survey aims to improve our understanding of these elusive creatures and promote the conservation of the only freely flying mammals in existence. 

Passive acoustic monitoring equipment was used to detect the high frequency clicks emitted by bats (often beyond the frequency audible to the human ear), and the surveys provided interesting results. One night of recording was completed per site, with 1,514 sonograms (graphs representing the patterns of sound, unique to each bat species) recorded in total. These confirmed at least nine distinct species, representing half of the UK’s bat species. This included one western barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus), classified as Near Threatened globally and Vulnerable to extinction within Europe with numbers decreasing according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
The Ottomer pond survey showed 1,323 individual sonograms and conclusive evidence of eight bat species, just days before several diseased ash trees were removed. Many of these bat species depend on trees for roosting and feeding, so plans to plant additional trees on the village green will help these local populations. Fresh water in the village ponds and surrounding gardens and ditches, long grasses on the Green supporting insect populations (essential food sources for bats between spring to autumn), and plenty of tree cover all provide suitable habitat for these creatures to thrive in Old Buckenham. It will be interesting to repeat the surveys next year and see which species can be found. If you would be interested in taking part in a possible future survey then please contact Steve via his email address steve@walker124.plus.com
Bat species detected in Old Buckenham on the nights of Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 July 2018 were:
Western barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus)
Brown long-eared (Plecotus auritus)
Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)
Daubenton’s (Myotis daubentonii)
Nathusius’ pipistrelle (Pipistrellus nathusii)
Natterer’s (Myotis nattereri)
Noctule (Nyctalus noctula)
Serotine (Eptesicus serotinus)
Soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus)

Monday, 23 November 2020

More trees on Old Buckenham Green

Now all planted
All of the trees provided by Norfolk Wildlife Trust have now been planted on the Green, courtesy of two socially-distanced couples who quietly got on with it.
There was no cost to the village as the 80 trees and protectors were supplied free of charge by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the holes were dug by Charles Hastings (CH Mini Digger hire) for a knock down price of £50 and this sum was kindly sponsored by Paul Devlin and Ami Garnham.



The trees had been heeled in at a villager’s garden for nine months having been received in March 2020. The intention was to plant them almost immediately but with the lockdown it was decided to leave the planting until the autumn. It was probably good that things were delayed considering the dry spring weather. 
The planting had originally been planned to be a village event involving schoolchildren and giving publicity to the generosity of the Norfolk Woodland Trust but nothing similar could done in the current circumstances. Now we just need to watch them grow.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Old Buckenham Parish Council

Council meeting in November
These notes have been written from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met via Zoom on Thursday 5 November. Those present were councillors Steve Milner (Vice-Chair), Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls and Naomi Bailey. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and three members of the public. Jonn Hicks had sent his apologies while Mike Farrington and Ben Devlin were absent at the start of the meeting (Ben Devlin did join the meeting near the end).
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 1 October were approved (5 in favour). There were no matters arising from the minutes.
Financial matters. The Community Account balance now stood at £38,215.68.
Payments of £960.26 were approved (5 in favour) including accounting fees, newsletter paper, clerk’s salary and expenses, village handyman and community car payments. £600 was also paid for emergency tree work on the Green. The Charity Account Annual Return has been submitted.
Correspondence. A Parish Council Facebook page has been set up. It has been well received and has already been used to notify the council of a maintenance issue in the village. It has been suggested to put a profile in the village newsletter every month of individual councillors. A request for a bench in memory of Bill Wardman has been received from his daughter. Currently looking at suitable locations and bench designs.
Several questions have been received about proposed weather radar. No planning application has yet been received.
Steve Askew has informed the Clerk that the Highways Ranger scheme is still operational and that the parish council can email requests for any work that needs doing. George Freeman, our MP, has written asking for opinions on Covid-19 response and planning reforms. All councillors are to email their opinions to the clerk and these will be collated into a single response.
Action Plan update. The village handyman due to complete several maintenance tasks.
Village Green Working Party. The Green has been cut.
Road Safety. Several councillors raised concerns about the number of lorries using the minor roads and exceeding weight limits following temporary closure of B1077. Farm vehicles have also been stopping on roads for loading without any warning signs. Clerk to contact councillor Stephen Askew.
Play Area. Still open during lockdown. Playdale were booked to attend but will now not come out during lockdown. Toddler area bin is not being emptied as company don’t have key. The clerk to chase up.
Recreation Area. Lines on football pitch not painted yet. Andy Nicholls to chase up.
Councillors’ reports. Terry Cook said that the Village Hall has closed again during lockdown. Adrian Joel reported that the bin in the village hall car park needs emptying again and Andy Nicholls said it would be good to know the pub’s plans so that the village can support them.
County Broadband cabinet location. County Broadband is looking to place a cabinet on the corner of the Green with Mill Road and have asked for parish council feedback. Councillors could not see any problems with the location. Rachel Noyes to inform the Green Working Group.
Covid-19 update and preparedness for winter. Terri Hammond joined the Zoom meeting and provided an update on the village group of volunteers.
Previous volunteers have been contacted and most are happy to reprise the roles in helping those in the community that are isolating or shielding. A message has been put in village newsletter aiming to get the message out that help is available if you need it. Main job is prescription runs and they are in communication with the doctors’ surgeries for this. Breckland Council are in contact. Adrian Joel also highlighted that the community car is available.
There was concern about people feeling lonely and if there was anything that could be done to help support them. Terri explained that they have been told by Breckland to look out for those struggling and they will referred to the correct support. Thanks to Old Buckenham 2000 Trust who are, once again, helping the volunteers with the finances before reclaiming from the residents.
Parish Paths. Articles in the Village Newsletter have been well received and have led to some useful feedback already from both walkers and landowners. One common issue is unclear/missing signs. New signs are needed from the roads and also along the footpaths. This would incur a small partial cost to the Parish Council. It was proposed that the Parish Council should commit (in principle) to improving signage and footpaths in the Parish and this was approved (5 in favour).
Chapel Green MUGA. Chapel Green School are unable to provide money for the access to the MUGA as it is pupil money and so has to be spent on the children. The main issue is providing access to the MUGA while ensuring security of the school. Initial quotes for an access gate from the village hall car park were very high. There is no lighting of the MUGA which would severely limit its use in the evenings, particularly in the winter months. Can the high costs be justified if it can only be used on the weekend? The Parish Council has previously looked at getting its own MUGA (possibly on the Recreation ground). A feasibility study would give clearer understanding of the situation. Andy Nicholls to investigate a quote for a MUGA.
Planning. All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal (www.breckland.gov.uk/article/2933/Search-Planning-Applications). Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting. 
New planning applications. 59 Fen Street. Single Storey Side and Rear Extensions, conversion of Garage to provide additional Accommodation, Front Porch and Render to existing External Walls (3PL/2020/1092/HOU). No objections. This application was supported (5 in favour).
Land between Willow Cottage and Priest Hill Cottage, Fen Street. Technical Details Consent for erection of one dwelling and garage. Permission in Principle reference 3PL/2019/1258/PIP (3PL/2020/1076/TDC). No objections. This application was supported (5 in favour).
Land to rear of development plot between Willow Cottage and Fen Street. Change of use of agricultural land to garden (3PL/2020/1075/F). A large garden extension proposed. A resident questioned the depth of the ecological study. Old pipeline runs underneath proposed extension but is no longer in use. Proposed extension would surround neighbouring property. The council voted to oppose the application (4 in favour, 1 against).but would comment to Planning that they could probably support if a smaller extension was proposed or there was a restriction on development on the area labelled on the plans as Paddock/Orchard.
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following application has now been considered and the application been approved.
Tall Trees, New Buckenham Road. Removal of the existing single-storey extension, new two-storey extension, replacement windows and new external cladding (3PL/2020/0979/HOU).
The following application been withdrawn. West View Farm, The Green. Convert the existing barn into one dwelling and to build two new dwellings with a new access to service the three dwellings. (3PL/2020/0326/F and 3PL/2020/0327/LB).
(Ben Devlin joined the meeting)
Items for next agenda. Precept applications.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday 3 December at 7.30pm. It was then agreed (6 in favour) to close the meeting to the Public and Press in order to discuss a personnel matter.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Old Buckenham Village hall

Don’t forget the village hall

The Village Hall Management Committee is going to attempt to have their 2020 AGM on Wednesday 9 December at 7pm in the main hall. If you would like to attend you will need contact the secretary (Linder Foulger  via foulger.oaklodge@gmail) as they cannot exceed the numbers of people in the hall because of Covid-19 regulations that may be in force at the time. You never know, there might be a larger number of people at the AGM than usual.

At the present time there is very little income each month for the village hall. One way you can help is by bringing your newspapers and glass bottles to the banks in the car park. The containers have not been filling up as quickly as usual so please make a special effort to bring your paper and glass along to recycle it there whenever you can drop by while out on another journey in the village. Thank you, all the money raised is much appreciated by the hall committee.

You can also help the Village Hall by taking part in their Numbers Club. The cost is £1 per month (usually paid as £12 per year) and is collected by committee members. January 2021 is the start of their collection (COVID permitting of course). The prizes are £25 in June and two £25 prizes in December, as well as £20, £15 and £10 each month. All funds go to the village hall which is a charity. If anyone needs any more information they should contact the secretary by emailing her on foulger.oaklodge@gmail.

  

Saturday, 14 November 2020

 Thank you to all token collectors

The blog editor would like to thank all those in the village and the surrounding area who went to the effort of cutting out those Plant to Plate tokens from the EDP. We made sure that they ended up at Chapel Green School, all 8,658 of them. As a result they will be £1000 better off, a most welcome prize in these days when most other fund-raising activities cannot take place.
Sorry for all the nagging over the summer but it has paid off.


Thursday, 12 November 2020

Covering up Old Buckenham Mill

 Reaching the top

As part of the first stage of the windmill renovation, the scaffolding has just about reached its maximum height. Just asking to be photographed.





Wednesday, 11 November 2020

More remembering in Old Buckenham

 At 11am on 11 November 2020

Tyrone Power and just a few villagers held their two minute silence at the Memorial on the Green today.



Sunday, 8 November 2020

At Old Buckenham war memorial

 A village still remembers

The weather was calm and sunny regardless of what the weather forecasters had said. The message given on last Friday's post and on the Old Buckenham Facebook page had been read and several people did their daily walk to be by the war memorial by 11am. A short service was held, led by a lay team of members the All Saints congregation. The names of all those listed on the memorial were read out and wreaths laid. The scout leader who was going to lay their wreath woke on Saturday with a high temperature and is now in isolation along with the wreath and awaiting test results. The Scout wreath will be laid individually before Wednesday 11 November. (Latest news is that the scout leader's test result has come back negative so things are returning to normal in his household)

(just click on the images to enlarge them)










If you are visiting All Saints to see the lily displays you will also find a special arrangement inside the church using poppies and barbed wire and placed by the war memorial on the north wall.



Friday, 6 November 2020

Remembrance in Old Buckenham

Wreath laying

(After the 2019 service)

All Saints Church will be holding a short Service of Remembrance, with laying of wreaths, on Sunday morning at the War Memorial, starting at 10.50.  To stay within the current rules we are asked not to encourage people to attend. However should you find yourselves in the vicinity at that time and would like to stand and participate in the act of remembrance please do maintain social distancing. It is not possible to have the road closed during this service and in order to hear what is being said it will be necessary to stand on the same side of the The Green as the memorial.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Old Buckenham Lily Fund

History of the Lily Fund 


As it was not possible to have lilies at the service at Easter this year, people sponsored remembrance lilies to decorate the church on All Saints Sunday. 
The Lily Fund was started up in 2001. A few members of the congregation suggested it would be good if, at Easter, departed family members and friends were remembered by lilies in the church. This started up with 20 lilies, each costing £3 plus a donation if one wished. Money collected was specifically for adding to the church facilities, items that would not be possible under normal fund raising and all dedicated to the memory of the departed. This event has grown in quantity and monetary value except for this year because of Covid-19. However donations have, as usual, been from £5 to £100 and this year £1,600 was collected for 150 lilies, remembering mostly local people who lived in the village or some relatives who live some distance away. 
Over £27,000 has been raised over the last twenty years and the money spent on the following items: Memorial Book and bookcase, green altar frontal, silver chalice with fish motif, £1,000 towards path to burial ground, silver ciborium with fish motif, main notice board at gate, credence table and decanters, £3,333 for Church Restoration, white and red altar frontals, £300 towards Church path extension, £120 towards a replacement bible, £1095.60 to restoration window fund, red and green and white chasubles, nativity figures, thurible, boat, spoon and stand, book of Gospels, purple altar covering and chasuble, All Saint's Nativity Christmas cards, up-rated PA system, liglium (folding lectern) and help with Raise the Roof re-thatching fund.






The church is open from around 9am to 4pm each day and you are welcome to pop in and view the displays over the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Special day for All Saints, Old Buckenham

 Bishop Graham makes his visit

A Service of Rededication following the rethatching of the Church roof took place today. Having been postponed earlier in the year, the service was rearranged for Sunday 1 November which is All Saints Day. The preacher and celebrant was the Bishop of Norwich the Rt Rev Graham Usher who based his sermon on the word 'roof' and its many occurrences in the Bible.

The church was decorated with 150 lilies, each one having been sponsored in memory of departed family members and friends (see previous post on Saturday 31 October). This Lily Fund started in 2001 and so far has raised over £27,000 which has been used to add to facilities that would not be possible under normal fund raising. This has included items such as improving pathways in the churchyard, new altar frontals and up-rating the PA system.

The Bishop arrives at 10am...

...and enters All Saints

The congregation awaits his sermon... 

... delivered from the pulpit

Sarah Dye sings one of her two solos during the service

Then it was outside to talk with various members of the congregation

A chance to talk to the Bishop...

... for several local families.

Although All Saints will not now be able to hold normal services during November you will still be able to enter the church for 'private prayer' and see the arrangements of the lilies over the next couple of weeks.