Thursday, 13 August 2020

Report on August meeting
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is altered at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met via Zoom at 7.30pm on Thursday 6 August. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington, Terry Cook and Andy Nicholls. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and four members of the public. Andy Nicholls had sent his apologies in advance for late arrival.
The minutes of the meeting held in July were approved (5 in favour) and there were no matters arising.
Financial matters. The Community account balance is £30,411.65.
Payments of £932.58 were approved (5 in favour). These payments included £90 for grass cutting, £335 for the village handyman and £67.30 for the community car service.
Public participation relating to agenda items. A member of the public wished to thank the Parish Council for the installation of the new football goals at the Recreation Ground and the on-going work to flatten the ground. It has been greatly appreciated.
New planning applications. Old Buckenham High School, Abbey Road. The construction of an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) with fencing and ancillary features at Old Buckenham High School (3PL/2020/0770/F). The Parish Council were all happy for the school to improve the sports facilities for its pupils. However there were some questions asked about whether the community could ever get any use of it in the future and the council will raise with the Trust in the future. The application was supported (5 in favour).
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 Development (3PL/2020/0780/F). The Council could not see any reasons for objection to the application. It should not create any extra traffic in Old Buckenham or neighbouring villages as it is very near a junction of the A11. The application was supported (5 in favour).
Orchard House, The Green. Demolition of existing garage and erection of single storey games room (3PL/2020/0814/HOU). No problems or reasons for objection. The application was supported (5 in favour).
Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. New shower block and a cabin to replace an existing static caravan (3PL/2020/0675/F). The Clerk apologised for missing this application off the published agenda. The Council felt this was a logical application that enhanced a local business. The application was supported (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following four applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved.
Windmill, Mill Road. Brick repairs to walls, oak lintel repairs over openings and repairs to the Mill cap. Ground floor replacement and removal of cement render. Minor timber repairs to intermediate floor structures (3PL/2020/0550/LB).
The New Stables, Grove Road. The New Stables, Grove Road. Further holiday cabin/caretaker accommodation (3PL/2020/0436/F).
17 Hargham Road. 1st floor extension and ground floor infill creating a 1½ storey dwelling with annex accommodation, revised scheme (3PL/2020/0636/HOU).
Scales Farm, road from Stacksford Lane to Hargham Road. Erection of straw barn (3PL/2020/0580/F).
The following two applications have now been considered and the applications have been refused.
Redbourne House, Abbey Road. New detached double garage to front of property. Single storey extension to rear of existing garage (3PL/2020/0493/HOU).
Canem Cave Cottage, 62A Fen Street. Rear extension, permitted development (3PN/2020/0026/PNE).
Communications. Steve Milner has been unable to complete the research and so the subject will be discussed next month.
Planting of new trees around Green. (Andy Nicholls joined the meeting) Mike Farrinton and Adrian Joel were able to meet with the Breckland Tree Officer, along with some members of the Green Working Party. The Tree Officer felt that overall it was a good plan with suitable species in appropriate locations. He added that they should be planted in small groups and that there would be little maintenance for 50 years (although crowns could be raised or trees pollarded if desired). Jonn Hicks highlighted that he had spoken to several tree surgeons who claimed that the oaks would need maintenance after 10 years. Steve Milner commented that the Parish Council should think about the environmental impact for future generations, not just financial costs. Several councillors and members of the public explained that there have been high costs in recent years due to a lack of ongoing maintenance in the past. Overall, the Parish Council were supportive of planting new trees about the Green, especially to replace those that had died/been removed in the past. With concerns about high maintenance costs, it was proposed to approve the Green Working Party request to plant the trees. However the Parish Council will set aside £500 each year in to an emergency tree fund (eg large damage following a bad storm) and that the Green Working Party should set aside part of their budget for the regular ongoing maintenance of the trees too. This was approved (5 in favour, 1 abstain).
Chairman’s report. A meeting with Chapel Green School is booked in for September. Adrian Joel and Rachel Noyes will attend. He is also waiting for electrician to be free for the installing of two defibrillators.
Village Green Working Party. The VGWP were pleased to get very positive feedback from their village survey which overall showed good support for the recent Green management. All feedback and comments are being read and noted for future maintenance.
Road Safety. The SAM speed sign has been operating in Cake Street. Steve Milner expects to download and collect the data in the next week or two.
Play Area. Playdale are due to visit at the start of September to replace some toddler swings and fix bearings on the roundabout.
Recreation Area. New set of goal posts installed and getting lots of use over the summer holidays. Grass will be rolled following any wet weather during summer. It would be great to get some adults together for a little football team. Andy Nicholls and Jonn Hicks are looking in to getting the pitch marked out.
Councillors’ reports. Adrian Joel pointed out that the road leading to the Primary School and Village Hall has lots of pot holes. Need to email Norfolk County Council to confirm who is responsible for that road. The two allotment plots that were put aside for a community project will not be needed as it has been decided not to go ahead with the project.
Terry Cook will be attending a Village Hall meeting to address the Covid rules and regulations with the aim of opening the Hall from Tuesday 1 September.
Mike Farrington reported yet another accident at Puddledock corner. He is looking to arrange meeting with District and County councillor Stephen Askew and local residents to try and find a solution.
Terry Cook and Steve Milner have had several enquires over last few months regarding footpaths in the area. They will need to consult with the County Footpaths Officer over some of them. Please raise any further issues so they can be logged and addressed.
Andy Nicholls said that a resident on Harlingwood Lane is writing to Norfolk County Council to request extending the 30mph zone further up the lane to the last bungalow. They also requested that the Parish Council also write to support this which they agreed to do (6 in favour). Large numbers of dog walkers use Harlingwood Lane and so would be a good idea to install an extra dog poo bin, possibly at the corner by the Stud’s rear gate. Will need to consult with Breckland to arrange collection. Suggestion approved (6 in favour).
There appears to be speeding by some bikes on a Tuesday, following their meeting on the Green by the Ox and Plough. The pub is doing a good job at reminding attendees to drive safely and respectfully as they leave but cannot control them once they leave.
Items for next agenda. These will include Communications.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 3 September at 7.30pm via Zoom (subject to Government Guidelines at the time).

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Football in Old Buckenham

Making use of new goals

The Parish Council has, at a cost of over £1000, installed some new goal posts at the Recreation Area behind the Village Hall. They are also ensuring the grass is cut (and rolled when it is wet enough for it to have some effect).
Despite temperatures in the low thirties there were half a dozen youngsters there today when the blog editor arrived to leave his old newspapers and glass in the recycling bins.
Remember the recreation area is there for all to use, what ever your age, and there has even been talk of Walking Football matches for the less athletic.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Clearing out in Old Buckenham

Take part in yard sale
There will be a Yard Sale in Old Buckenham from 9am to 1pm on Sunday 20 September. Properties on Doe Lane, St Andrew's Close/March Field Way, The Green, Attleborough Road, Fen Street, Crown Road and in Stacksford have booked in to take part.
There are over twenty places booked so far but the more the merrier so get in touch with Steph Gipp if you would like to be added to the map that she will be producing. Steph can be contacted by email on or by phone 01953 860550
There is no charge for taking part in the sale but a small charge of £1 for maps, any money raised will be donated to a chosen charity.
Please make sure that you contact Steph by Monday 7 September to make sure that you are included on the map.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Fish and chips in Old Buckenham

Something for Saturday lunch? 

You can now get your fish and chips in Old Buckenham on Saturday lunch times. Paul's Plaice will be frying outside the Ox and Plough from 12.30pm to 2.30pm each Saturday as well as continuing their long established sessions from 4.30pm to about 7.15pm on Thursday evenings.
Take them home or eat them outside on the Green.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Seniors' cricket in Old Buckenham

Last over thriller
You could have been on Old Buckenham Green admiring the noisy motorbikes or you could have been enjoying a pleasant evening at the village cricket ground watching an exciting cricket match between Norfolk and Suffolk.

Play started early afternoon, Suffolk batted first and scored 199 runs in their 45 overs.

The teams were the over sixties first teams for both counties. 
Play went on into the early evening with long shadows reaching across the ground.
Wickets tumbled as Norfolk tried to push along the scoring rate.
Into the last over and there were still runs to get.
Just a couple of balls left when Norfolk finally clinched victory.
There are plenty of matches to watch during August. A list of them was given in the last village newsletter.Why not visit the ground, you will be most welcome.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Further seat on Old Buckenham Green

Remembering Rosemary
All three places around Ottomer pond have now got a bench for you to sit on and enjoy the views. The latest one has now been installed and is inscribed 'In memory of the Bush family of West View Farm'.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Old Buckenham village newsletter

Latest version on its way around
Speeding, Ironman, cycling, cricket and what activities are starting up again, all in this issue along with notes on the latest parish council meeting. Expect a copy through your letterbox any day soon.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Flower attraction in Old Buckenham

Methodist Church Flower Festival 
The annual Flower Festival  will be taking place at Old Buckenham Methodist Church in Hargham Road over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August. Entry is free. There will be flower displays, refreshments and activities. The church will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 29 August and Monday 31 August. On Sunday 30 August the opening hours are 12 noon to 4pm. 
Appropriate safety precautions and signage  will be in place and ample parking is available. For more information visit the website  or email

Monday, 20 July 2020

Cricketing progress in Old Buckenham

Cricket, lovely cricket

For Old Buckenham Cricket Club, it is full ahead to get back into cricket.
They have already managed four weeks of youth coaching on Saturday mornings at the Horry Panks Cricket Ground, with average attendance around 33 youngsters and eight  coaches in attendance. At Step 4 of the ECB Guidelines for 'Return to Cricket', they are now allowed larger groups with each coach, opportunities for game situations within the club and plans for friendly matches against five other local clubs (Garboldisham, Hethersett and Tas, Great Ellingham, Great Melton and Rocklands). These Youth Friendly matches are being  arranged and the home matches are planned for Monday and  Tuesday evenings.
On the adult side of the club, they had an inter-club game on Saturday 11 July. Now they await the provision of matches, for bubbles of six clubs, being put together by the Norfolk Cricket Board and starting on Saturday 25 July. The club plan to enter two adult teams.
The Ladies team, like the rest of the club, has seen all league cricket cancelled but hope that their games planned for mainly Sundays in August will still go ahead as friendly fixtures. 

Saturday, 18 July 2020

More opening in Old Buckenham

Soon time to get in
Old Buckenham Swim, the Old Buckenham swimming pool down Harlingwood Lane will be opening again from Saturday 25 July. There will be appropriate social distancing measures in place. For any more information please call 01953 860733.
They are looking forward to finally seeing you all again.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Old Buckenham Village Hall

Opening up
It is the intention of Old Buckenham Village Hall Management Committee to reopen the main hall to some of the regular user groups from Tuesday 1 September 2020. This is subject to all required risk assessments and making the hall Covid-19 secure in accordance with government guidelines.
At this stage private parties/gatherings will not be able to take place in the hall but if people wish to plan an event, dates can be pencilled in by contacting the bookings clerk.
The contact details are by email or phone 07880660444

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

The Old Buckenham Ironman

Job done

Details were posted on this blog on Thursday 18 June of the challenge Phin Robinson had set himself. Having trained for months for a national Ironman Triathlon, he was determined to complete the event on the scheduled date of Sunday 12 July even if that meant doing it by himself.
He was successful in his challenge spending 13 hours 9 minutes swimming, cycling and running, covering 226 km and using up some 5928 calories. One hour 27 minutes was open water swimming, 6 hours 25 minutes cycling and he finished by running a full marathon which took 4 hours 55 minutes.
Phin has also set up a Just Giving page which is raising money for the Parkinson's UK charity. The total collected so far is over £1,400.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Latest Old Buckenham Parish Council meeting

Parish Council July minutes
The following notes have been produced by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met via Zoom on Thursday 2 July at 7.30pm. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington and Terry Cook. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), County and District councillor Steve Askew as well as 10 members of the public. Andy Nicholls had sent his apologies for not being able to attend. Ben Devlin was not present and apologies had not been received. 
The minutes of the council meeting held on Thursday 4 June were approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain) and there were no matters arising from these minutes
Financial report. Community account balance now stands at £34,864.46. Payments of £2,242.01 were approved (5 in favour) which included £1144 for goalposts to go on the Recreation Area and £122 to cover the costs of the Green survey (payments for the Green survey to be taken from the Green budget).
Public participation relating to agenda items. Steve Askew said he had been posting reports from Breckland Council on the Old Buckenham Facebook page. He wished to thank all the village helpers during these recent months.
Planning applications. (All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal – - Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting.)
New planning applications. Land to west of 22 Fen Street. Technical details consent for erection of 4 dwellings (permission in principle reference 3PL/2019/1257/PIP) 3PL/2020/0495/TDC. Having taken the time to review the application and the technical details, which included replacing any hedgerow that was removed and supporting wildlife post-build, the Parish Council could see no problems with the application. Councillors highlighted that the PIP had been granted and therefore this application was for technical details only. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Redbourne House, Abbey Road. New detached double garage to front of property. Single storey extension to rear of existing garage (3PL/2020/0493/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Windmill, Mill Road. Brick repairs to walls, oak lintel repairs over openings and repairs to the Mill cap. Ground floor replacement and removal of cement render. Minor timber repairs to intermediate floor structures (3PL/2020/0550/LB). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Scales Farm, Road from Stacksford Lane to Hargham Road. Erection of straw barn (3PL/2020/0580/F). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Land west of Attleborough Road, north of the property East View. Outline application for 5 residential dwellings (3PL/2020/0578/O). Firstly, it was highlighted that the application was outside the settlement boundary of the village. Old Buckenham has a housing target of 17 additional properties and has already met this target. The site was initially put forward to be included in the Local Plan but was dismissed due to its impact on the historic environment. There was great concern from councillors and residents about road safety at the site. The original traffic survey was completed during the lockdown and produced unrealistic data of the volume and speed of traffic. Breckland Council has now stated that any survey completed in this period would not be useable. Road safety concerns included a lot of accidents in that area, being near a bend and vehicles frequently travelling above the speed limit as they enter the village. Additionally, there is no space to build a footpath and so there would be an increase in people crossing the road to access village facilities. Jonn Hicks wished to highlight that there had been a lot of opinions online about this specific application but very little interest in other applications in the village. He also reminded residents that the Parish Council is only one consultee and he encouraged all residents to submit their opinions for all applications on the Breckland Planning website. A proposal to object was approved (5 in favour).
5 Hargham Road. Erection of an outdoor Oak wooden gazebo structure with pantile roof (3PL/2020/0585/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
17 Hargham Road. 1st floor extension and ground floor infill creating a 1½ storey dwelling with annex accommodation, revised scheme (3PL/2020/0636/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following two applications have now been considered and prior approval has been given:
Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Prior approval for change of use from agricultural to C3 residential use under Class Q(a) only (3PN/2020/0014/UC).
Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Prior approval for conversion of existing agricultural building to single dwelling The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) -Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q (3PN/2020/0017/UC).
The following two applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved:
Buckenham Priory, Abbey Road. Infill Extension (3PL/2020/0461/LB and 3PL/2020/0460/HOU).
Land to the west of 49 Hargham Road. Permission in principle for the erection of 4 dwellings (Town and Country Planning) Permission in Principle (amendment) Order 2017 (3PL/2020/0117/PIP).
Development of Old Buckenham. Whenever a controversial planning application comes through, there is a lot of debate centred around how Old Buckenham will develop. As chairman, Jonn Hicks asked all members of the public present what their personal views were. The following points were raised:
* Like village as it is, don’t want any more houses built. 
* Can’t stop future development.
* Concern about Attleborough boundary edging closer.
* Need for housing, particularly smaller family homes.
* Parish Council can sometimes be inconsistent – Jonn Hicks reminded councillors of the “tick list” used to assess applications and this will be re-issued.
* Neighbourhood Plan will not stop all development but could give stronger arguments for/against some applications.
* Need to develop facilities, particularly for young people.
* If you want facilities, you need development.
* Developers just keep coming – Parish Council should be tougher.
* Government are very “pro” development and therefore Breckland is under a lot of pressure to approve applications.
* Planning system is complicated and unfair.
* Environmental impact of the houses needs to be considered for sustainable houses and development.
The Parish Council have previously approved the writing of a Neighbourhood Plan. When there is more freedom of movement and people are able to meet in person, the Parish Council will again look and decide the best course of action regarding a Neighbourhood Plan.
Communications. Steve Milner has started reviewing all the aspects that have been highlighted previously. Will complete and send to councillors so that they can add their own feedback and decisions can be made about best steps forward.
Action Plan update. Two defibrillator locations have been confirmed, just been waiting out this period until a tradesman can be arranged. There is also a need to continue reviewing policies.
Village Green Working Party. Some villagers feel uniformed about contents of the Green reports. The Clerk is to make this clearer in the agendas.
Residents of Almshouses are unhappy with the Pound being left uncut. The Parish Council and Green Working Party looked at initial reasons behind decision (wildflowers left to seed, rotating areas every year, feedback from residents) and decide to leave grass uncut until Autumn, as initially planned. The Clerk and Gemma Frost to write letter to residents of the Almshouses explaining the decision.
UK Power Networks have written to Green Working Party to request permission to access a small area of cables under edge of Green. This is routine request which Gemma Frost will authorise.
Road Safety. Now have new location for installing the SAM sign on Cake Street. Need to purchase new battery for the mobile SAM sign. Reminder to people to drive safely and within limits as there has been a large increase in speed during lockdown but roads are getting busier again.
Play Area. Rubber pellets are due to be delivered next week and work should hopefully be finished soon after (opened on Saturday 11 July). Safety Inspection can be arranged quickly after completion. Breckland Council had advised not to open playgrounds unless someone is present at all times to ensure social distancing. The Clerk to contact Breckland about emptying Playground waste bins.
Recreation Area. New goal posts and nets have been delivered and due to be installed next week. Will then look at planting fruit trees around boundary to help contain footballs and also provide a small orchard for the village. Grass will continue to be cut/rolled whenever weather makes this possible.
Councillors’ reports. Terry Cook explained that rules for safely opening the Village Hall are very strict. The committee will meet this month to discuss how to implement the rules. Jonn Hicks has cut grass at the front of the Village Hall. A volunteer from the village has offered to do so in the future, with possible contributions towards fuel.
Items for next agenda. Communications and Neighbourhood Plan.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held using Zoom on Thursday 6 August at 7.30pm.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Old Buckenham church reopening

Doors are opening again

All Saints Church has been closed since the re-thatching work was begun last October but the PCC are delighted to once again be able to welcome visitors for private prayer and reflection from this Friday 10 July. 
To ensure that the building can be safe for all, please maintain ‘social distancing’ if you find others in the church when you come in. Also please use the hand sanitiser available in the porch before entering the church and again as you leave. You may find the church looks a little ‘bare’, without the usual altar cloths, books or other moveable items. The hand rails in the porch and other key points will be regularly cleaned but please minimise contact with the furniture. 
It is hoped to have the first service of worship in the church on Sunday 19 July. This won’t be the postponed ‘big celebration’ of the re-opening of the church following the completion of the roof work, that will be held as soon as it is possible to have a full church and ‘social distancing’ is just a memory. Until then you can quietly give thanks within the new ‘rules’ for services – there will be no singing, alternate pews will be left empty, and communion will be held without the ‘common cup’. There will be a ‘one way’ system and plenty of fresh air. 
Some further building work will need to be done which may involve another short closure, more information will be given when details are known.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Old variety shows in Old Buckenham

Fund raising in the past
With many people stuck indoors, much clearing out has been going on. Here is the text (very slightly edited) of a notice produced nearly forty years ago to go with a collection of photographs taken at the time of village shows.
The village variety shows of the 1980s were held in the old village hall (a wooden hut on the Attleborough Road). They were produced by Shirley Knight and Julian Goodey helped by a merry band of local performers. These shows were in aid of funds for a new village hall. When the new hall was opened they continued with lavish productions.
Sadly, some of the performers are no longer with us but happy memories remain. Such was the enthusiasm that the shows had to be performed on three nights a week. It is estimated that over the period £3,000 was raised for the hall and the church. On a Wednesday evening prior to the show tickets were sold at hall resulting in queues outside.
Each show was in two distinct halves. The first was of individual acts and groups of performers and dancers. The second half followed a theme such as the wild west, the circus and Old Buckenham itself - the Normans, the Romans and the Airfield.
Rehearsals started at least two months ahead, on Saturdays and Sundays, sometimes all day. Jackie Rout, a professional dancer, was in charge of the dancers ranging from teenagers to OAPs. The music was in the capable hands of Michael Dann and David Buckle. Thanks to the hard work of Pat Read and her team some excellent costumes were produced.
Videos and now DVDs of the shows have been made and it is hoped to show parts, or all of these, to the public in the future.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Starting nursery in Old Buckenham

Education begins for some village youngsters
The poster below gives all the details.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Old Buckenham July newsletter

Soon be coming through your letter box
The July issue is printed, the insert of a survey to find out your feelings on the management of the Green has been completed and Terri's team of volunteers are poised to deliver a copy to all all households in Old Buckenham.

This is a special cricket and cycling edition also containing information about the Friends of Chapel Green School, the Green Working Group and the last Parish Council meeting.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Road safety in Old Buckenham

Another active site for SAM

Today saw the SAM speed measuring equipment installed for its first session in Cake Street. The post was put in yesterday and those installing it were very aware of the vehicles speeding by them as they carried out this work. 
Previous speed measurements have indicated that many vehicles are well over the 30mph as they approach the blind bind by the junction with Harlingwood Lane. The present equipment records and stores the speeds of all passing vehicles - these can then be downloaded by a member of the parish council who can pass the information on to the local police to see if further measurements should be done in the area.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Extreme effort in Old Buckenham

Phin the Ironman
Phin Robinson of Fen Street was expecting to do his second ‘Ironman’ on Sunday 12 July. As expected it has been cancelled due to Covid-19. However he is now planning to do his own Ironman UK around the village (and other parts of Norfolk) on the same day.
If anyone wants to join him for the swim 2.4 miles (a bit or all of it) or one or all of the bike loops (total of 112 miles) or bit or all of the run loops (marathon distance of 26.22 miles) then he will be pleased to have the socially-distanced company.
He will be donating his prepaid entry fee to Parkinsone.’s UK and will set up a Just Giving page if anyone wants to donate anything. It will be a hard challenge as normally on these events there is lots of support/aid stations, etc. The run won’t be quick at all and more like a run/walk at the end of 13 hours of constant exercise.
It would be great to get local people involved to help Phin around the course. More details will appear on the Old Buckenham Facebook page nearer the date.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Picturing cricket in Old Buckenham

Cricketer artist Jack Russell and our village heritage
While no matches have been played at the Horry Panks Cricket Ground so far this year, encouraging signs of life emerged in June, notably with a second visit to the ground by celebrated cricketer-turned-artist Jack Russell.
The former England wicket-keeper, who played in 94 international matches including many doughty battles against the Australians, is fascinated by the story of the 1921 game. The so-called “Private Test Match” between a strong England team and the formidable Aussie touring side of the day was arranged by Lionel Robinson and his cricket manager, ex-England captain Archie MacLaren. The latter lived in Old Buckenham for about 10 years under Robinson’s patronage. 
Jack Russell at OBCC in June 2020
Hobbs and Knight open an innings for Robinson's XI
Self-taught, Jack Russell is now one of the UK’s best-known contemporary artists, specially renowned for his cricket pictures. He first came to Old Buckenham last year to do a painting of the present-day players in the picturesque cricketing arena. At the time, he was unaware of the ground’s history and the most prestigious cricket match ever to take place in Norfolk. 
A photograph that came to light a few years ago in a museum in Sydney of Jack Hobbs batting in the 1921 match caught his imagination. So now he has started work on recreating a panoramic scene that captures the elegance of Hobbs the batsmen, the spellbound spectators lining the boundary and the timeless beauty of the wooded backdrop.
Jack was back at the ground to sketch, photograph and work out perspectives and was struck by how little the overall setting has changed in 100 years.
His painting will be finished later in the year, well in time for the centenary celebrations of the match next May.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Council minutes from Old Buckenham

Parish Council minutes for June
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met virtually by Zoom on Thursday 2nd June 2020 at 7.30pm. Those present were Councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington, Terry Cook and Andy Nicholls. (AN). Also taking part were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and five members of the public.
Ben Devlin was not present and no apology for absence had been received.
The minutes of the meeting held in May were approved (6 in favour) subject to amending the amount to be paid to support the Village Newsletter to £300, not £200. There were no matters arising.
Financial matters. The Community account balance now stood at £34,524.56.
Payments totalling £769.30 were approved (6 in favour) which covered accounting fees, the clerk’s salary, work by the village handyman, grass cutting and community car payments.
A thank you was given to Donna Oakley for completing the accounts. They will be reviewed next month.
Public participation. The print run for the village newsletter has been increased to cover the whole village. Distribution has been helped by the volunteers in the village.
There was an enquiry about access to the Chapel Green School MUGA (multi use games area): The chairman explained that his initial plan for access was not approved by headteacher. She had an alternative idea but initial estimates of costs are very high so he is struggling to find a compromise that is reasonable in cost. As it stated in the original planning application for the school that these facilities would be available to the village, the parish council are keen to find a solution. There is a Governors’ meeting at the school on Thursday 9 July and the clerk will write to the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher asking for the subject to be discussed at that meeting.
Update on Covid-19 help. IT issues meant that Terri Hammond was unable to join the meeting for an update on the Covid-19 help. A member of the public who is one of the volunteers explained that the system is working well and trips are routinely made for food/prescriptions/care home trips/etc. The Councillors wished to express their thanks again to everyone involved with looking after the vulnerable residents of the village.
Parish Council communications. Councillors and residents have not had opportunity to meet again before the meeting. They will meet soon and update next month with a plan of action.
Attracting new councillors. (Mike Farrington left the meeting due to technical issues) The Parish Council want to look at how to attract new councillors to the Parish Council. It was highlighted that it would be good to have some younger residents on the Parish Council to help represent the views of families, with a possible focus sport/health/fitness. At present, the Parish Council is all male so female councillors would be good too. An advertisement will be used in the village newsletter and noticeboard. Several members of the Parish Council felt that they should be making more effort as councillors to meet up with groups and individuals to build up a relationship, improve communication and to explain how to become a councillor. While everyone appreciates that this is not possible at the moment, the clerk will compile a list of groups within the village so that councillors can attend to meet residents once restrictions are fully lifted.
SAM sign Notebook. A small notebook computer is needed to download and store the traffic data from the new SAM sign. Cost would be approximately £300 and this was approved (6 in favour).
Trees on the Green. The Green Working Party (GWP) have had 80 trees donated by Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) and they have been advised on suitable locations. The GWP have proposed putting 20 oak trees in existing woodland opposite the Hovis House to replace damaged, dead and removed trees and a total of 30 field maple and 30 hornbeam trees on the Pound (near the Almshouses) and behind the bus shelter. Jonn Hicks highlighted the need to consider the cost of maintaining these trees in the future as the oak trees will require coppicing every 10 years, which will be paid for by the Parish Council. Last year over £3000 was spent on the Green because of a lot of tree work. A lot of councillors were keen to highlight the environmental benefits the trees would bring. Trees absorb a large amount of CO2 from the atmosphere and therefore there was a strong feeling that we should be encouraging tree planting. Terry Cook suggested that the large spend on the trees last year was due to the lack of maintenance over the previous years and therefore if the Parish Council planned a strategy for maintenance and saved some money each year, then it would not be such a large amount in one go. It is proposed that the Breckland Tree Officer is invited to provide an independent view on how many trees should be planted and possible locations. This was approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain) and the Clerk will contact him.
Planning applications.  All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal – - Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting.
New planning applications. The New Stables, Grove Road. Further holiday cabin/caretaker accommodation (3PL/2020/0436/F). Applicant requires cabin to be part-time accommodation for on-site caretaker of their business as they are often away (approximately 6 to 9 months). This will also provide extra security and then the remainder of the time it will be a further holiday cabin for the business. Proposal to support was approved (2 in favour, 3 abstain).
Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Conversion of existing agricultural building to single dwelling (3PN/2020/0017/UC). Previously rejected due to Highways’ concerns. They are now supporting this new application. Land is no longer classed as agricultural. Proposal to support was approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain).
Haresfield, The Old Yard, Hargham Road. Change of use of parcel of land to rear of existing residential unit to residential curtilage and erection of a rear extension, comprising of garage bays to the ground floor and 2no bedrooms to the first floor and terrace at the rear (3PL/2020/0437/F). Land is only allowed one dwelling on it, therefore extending that one property. Not overlooked by anyone. Proposal to support was approved (2 in favour, 1 against, 2 abstain).
Buckenham Priory, Abbey Road. Infill Extension (3PL/2020/0461/LB and 3PL/2020/0460/HOU). This is a listed building that is controlled by English Heritage. Same footprint as a building that existed previously. Historic Officer has no objections. English Heritage are likely to monitor materials, design, etc. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Land to west of 22 Fen Street. Technical details consent for erection of 4 dwellings, permission in principle reference 3PL/2019/1257/PIP (3PL/2020/0495/TDC). The PIP has been approved with a long list of recommendations, including replanting of hedge and no removal of trees on site. As the application came through quite late the councillors did not have much time to go through the detailed list and evaluate the plans. The opinions of other consultees have not been uploaded yet. Several local residents have contacted the Parish Council with objections. A proposal to request an extension to the deadline in order to fully understand plans, conditions of PIP approval and gather more information was approved (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following application has now been considered and the application has been approved. 5 Oaklands. Removal of garage; new side and rear extension (3PL/2020/0379/HOU).
Chairman’s report. Many enquiries about a traffic survey being completed on Attleborough Road near the beginning of lockdown period. Was being completed for a potential planning application in the area. When asked about the Parish Council’s opinion on a development that which would be outside the village boundary, councillors explained that they cannot judge an application location before it has been submitted.
Road Safety. Concerns were raised by a resident about cars using the track between the Clinic and the Primary School as a road and driving very fast. As the track is maintained by Highways, the Parish Council are unable to do much. However they recommended contacting Highways themselves to complain and encouraged other residents nearby to do the same. Also the post for the SAM sign on Cake Street is being installed by village handyman.
Play Area. The company providing rubber pellets has been unable to fulfil the order and will provide a refund. Contractor has been unable to complete the work. Therefore the contractor will be providing a refund to the Parish Council and copies of all expenditure to the RFO. New order of rubber pellets has been made and should hopefully be delivered in 10 working days. Many people in village have offered to complete the job and Jonn Hicks has organised a new contractor.
Recreation Area.
Grass has been cut and rolled. However it was too dry to make much impact so will be rolled again when softer. Grass will be cut regularly. Andy Nicholls will order new goal posts as companies are now starting to open up again. Bin is full and requires emptying.
Items for next agenda. These would include communications and an Action Plan update.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday 2 July starting at 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Cricketing news from Old Buckenham

About our cricket
Tom Walshe has written this piece for the blog and the village newsletter about the current cricketing situation:
It was a barren month of May at the Horry Panks Cricket Ground in the peaceful wooded setting of Old Buckenham Hall. After Coronavirus stopped play, not much stirred other than furtive muntjac grazing and barking among the trees. 

Horry’s 62nd year tending the celebrated wicket has still found him at the ground most days, keeping things shipshape despite there being no cricket in prospect. 
The lack of action has been a great pity and a source of concern for the usually thriving Cricket Club. In a normal season over 90% of its income is generated between April and August from match play. And the sterling effort that has seen youth cricket in particular flourish in recent seasons has been on frustrating hold.
To rub salt in, the sun beamed down like seldom before in May and the pitch shimmered and shone like a mirage in a cricketing desert.
The month of May has often been significant for cricket at Old Buckenham. Something similar to this year’s malaise occurred over a century ago. If history is an indicator, however, cricket should come back with new vigour when the pandemic relents.
In May 1915, the war in Europe posed a greater mortal threat than Covid-19 does today. Many cricketers who played at Old Buckenham in the previous summer found themselves on a very different field by the end of 1914. And for some the battles that followed exacted a terrible toll – as indeed they did for so many young men whose home ground was the village of Old Buckenham.
Groundsman Porter, who skillfully tended the cricket square in similar fashion to Horry Panks today, was among those who answered Kitchener’s call and found himself entrenched in France with the shells flying. He came back to Old Buckenham minus part of a leg, but at least he survived.
Porter was back in charge of the pitch when, in May 1919, cricket returned to Old Buckenham with something of a fanfare. The first international first-class match played in England after the Great War took place at the Hall ground.
Lionel Robinson, the Australian bigwig who brought cricket to the village on a grand scale, got together a group of English and South African players to play Australian Imperial Forces, a team made up of Aussie servicemen who had fought with the Allies in Europe. It was a fitting fixture, as Robinson provided accommodation at Old Buckenham Hall to many colonial soldiers in need of convalescence from wartime injury and trauma.
Then in May 1921, of course, the Australians were back at Old Buckenham in even more impressive guise. The full international team played the second match of their tour at Robinson’s handsome ground against a strong English XI which included one of the game’s all-time greats, Jack Hobbs.
More about that to follow in a future article. 
In the meantime, the present-day cricketers face an impatient wait for the 2020 season to get under way. Let’s hope the war against Coronavirus, unlike the conflict of 1914, is truly over before Christmas!
*While no matches are yet in prospect, youth coaching will resume this Saturday 13 June from 9am to 11am in groups of six per coach and subject to Government and ECB guidelines. See the Club’s Facebook page @OldBucks.Cricket for more details.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Recycling again in Old Buckenham

Ready and waiting for newspapers
The Paper Bank in the Village Hall car park has recently been emptied and is waiting for all that waste paper you have been collecting up over the last couple of months. The blog editor has put all his newspaper in tonight and there is still room for yours.

There is also room in the bottle banks for your donations.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Work recommencing in Old Buckenham

A message from All Saints Church

Since the contractors had to leave the site in March we have all been frustrated that although the Nave re-thatching had essentially been completed the church remained shrouded in scaffolding and metal sheeting.
With the lifting of restrictions put in place by the Church of England we have welcomed the return of the contractors and we should soon have the work completed and the scaffolding removed.
Please be aware that contractors on site will be working within government guidelines – observing ‘social distancing’ where possible. The contractors need to have access to the Church Rooms' facilities but these cannot be used by any members of the public or people visiting the churchyard.
Anyone using the public footpath should keep at least 2 metres away from anyone working on site and avoid contact with any materials or tools.
The church building itself still remains closed until further notice.
If you have any concerns about the work being done please get in touch with the church wardens (Francis Darrah or Sarah Dye), the Priest in charge (Revd Canon Steve Wright) or Alison Hannah.
We hope that very soon we will be able to clean up the area around the church and uncover gravestones and memorials that have been protected from damage during the work. We will then be able to stand back and enjoy the newly thatched church in all its glory – awaiting our chance to give thanks to God as well as remember all those who have died during this difficult time, with the recommencement of services of worship once again.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Special school in Old Buckenham

Become a friend?

Friends of Chapel Green School was registered as a charity in 1974 and supported the old Chapel Road School until it moved to its present site in Old Buckenham just over two years ago. As you are probably aware the school is for children with very complex needs aged from 3 to 19 years old and since opening the number of pupils has increased from 60 to over 100.
The Friends is comprised of parents, local people and teaching staff and its object has remained unchanged over the years: "To advance the education and well being of the pupils at the school by raising funds to purchase and assist with facilities not normally provided by the local education authority."
They have been supported by, and are grateful to, local organisations and businesses. Individuals have run marathons, climbed mountains, shaved heads and cycled miles. They have also been fortunate to have received bequests. As they are a charity they are able to obtain Gift Aid on donations.
What do they do? Two major purchases were the minibuses obtained with the help of the Variety Club and Lords Taverners. Contrary to some thoughts these are not free and in 2012 the Friends made a significant contribution to get these vehicles as well as buying their own minibus. Since moving to the new school they have purchased a variety of outdoor play and sports equipment, which are very expensive, with help from Wymondham Rotary and other donors.
The Friends also provided the start-up costs for the school’s Charity Shop in Attleborough, an important learning environment. There are also many smaller projects like Christmas and Leavers presents, servicing the minibuses and things to make a difference for a single child to a whole class.
The latest fund raising is to provide the deposit (about 25%) for an additional Variety Club minibus which is needed now there are more pupils. The school also needs to establish its gardening project and hope a recent application for a grant will be successful.
They have two major fund raising activities every year, these being their Christmas Fayre and Summer Fete, the latter unfortunately will not happen this year due to Covid-19. It will mean a loss of important revenue, probably upwards of £1500, but The Friends can only hope that things will get better.
They always welcome new members who may have fresh ideas and added enthusiasm. For more information please contact John Goode at 

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Another Old Buckenham newsletter

June issue being delivered around
To ensure that all our villagers can keep up with what is going on, we have printed an extra 100 copies this month. Terri and her volunteer distributors are aiming to get a copy through every letterbox in Old Buckenham.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Old Buckenham Green

Latest news
Here is an update from John Fernihough on the work that has been going on to maintain and improve our village Green.
We are very lucky to live in a village with allegedly the largest village green in the country. It extends to forty-five acres, and incorporates about seven acres of mixed woodland.
Certain householders in the village traditionally had grazing rights and also rights regarding timber etc. This was set down by Act of Parliament in the 1790s and the act is very specific regarding individual rights, etc. It was also registered as Common Land in the 1960s, incorrectly, but it would take another Act of Parliament to correct this error.
It is currently leased by Old Buckenham Parish Council who are responsible for its maintenance, grass, trees, paths and ponds.
The Parish Council have a sub-committee, the Green Management Group, that manages the Green. This committee comprises two Parish Councillors, the Lord of the Manor or his representative, two Green Rights Proprietors and two lay members of the village community. Others are sometimes asked to join to help and offer their specialist skills. This committee makes recommendations to the Parish Council, who are the final arbiters as to what is done.
The actual management of the Green can be controversial. We need to cut the grass to keep it tidy and accessible but the timing of this is critical. If it is cut too early many villagers approve as it looks 'better' but others feel it should be left until later to allow wild flowers to seed. We try to come to a happy medium but probably don't satisfy anyone. This year we are hoping to cut the main Green in late June but to leave The Pound, that piece in front of the Almshouses, until the autumn. This may be a reasonable compromise? The grass around the ponds and under the trees is only tidied up in the autumn where it is accessible to a tractor, the rest is left for wildlife, etc.
The various trees are managed, many old and damaged trees have been removed recently and we have 80 replacement trees to plant in the autumn (probably looking for volunteeers then to help with the planting). We have 20 oaks to go into the woodland opposite "The Hovis House" and a mixture of Field Maple and Hornbeam (total 60) to be planted on The Pound and on the Green opposite The Gamekeeper, behind the Bus Shelter and other sites.
We have renovated Green Pond and Ottomer Ponds recently and access is being maintained. Originally we thought to replant trees around the Ottomer but it is now as it was in the 1930s, when tree growth was limited by grazing cattle. It is probably to be left as it is, depends upon public opinion.

The Green is funded by the Parish Council, paid out of your precept, and we are always aware of the need to keep costs down. We received a grant of £2000 from Greggs for the Ottomer Pond, and Mervyn Lambert supplied a machine at cost price to do the earth moving and this was operated, by a villager, for free. There are obviously ongoing costs. Steven Suggitt cuts the main Green twice a year, and trims other areas in the Autumn, again at cost price. A great service, and we are most grateful to all who give their time, etc, for the Village.
Finally, the committee do try to manage the Green for the benefit of our villagers, the wildlife, bats, birds, the environment. Some people may be happy, others dissatisfied but it is a compromise. Should you have any concerns about the Green, please contact one of the Parish Councillors, or myself.

Thank you.
John Fernihough, chair of Green Management Committee
Snetterton Farm, NR17 1PH, telephone 01953 860471

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Old Buckenham says farewell

Local losses
At the present time and without the usual funerals being held at All Saints the editor felt it appropriate to include details of the lives of two villagers who have recently died.
Gwen Rix. Gwen was born on 22 April 1932 the eldest of seven children of George and Gladys Buckingham living in Sibton Green near Yoxford, Suffolk. They lived in a small farm workers cottage sharing bedrooms and beds as often happened in those days. However they were a happy family even though money and food was scarce. When Gwen was 14 years old she left school and went to work as a housekeeper, a job she enjoyed all her life. Being very aware that there was little money in the family and lots of mouths to feed Gwen did her best to support her parents as much as she could.
After her daughter Susan was born it wasn't easy to find a job where Gwen could take Susan with her and, after a particularly unpleasant experience, Gwen decided to leave her family behind and move to Old Buckenham. The job was to be a housekeeper for Stan at the house he had built called Tall Trees at the top of Doe Lane. Stan's wife had died young leaving him with a family, including a young daughter, to look after. Gwen and Stan fell in love, married and later moved to St Andrews Close They enjoyed 35 happy years together adding two more sons to the family.
With her brothers and sisters all living in Suffolk, Gwen was only able to see them once or twice a year. She did though become part of the village life in Old Buckenham for over 60 years, joining the WI, The Women’s Fellowship, the Women's branch of the British Legion and the Luncheon Club to name but a few. She loved singing and joined the village Singing Group run by Rosemary West which she enjoyed immensely. Her favourite song was Mario Lanza's "Be My Love" which she would sing word perfect and without any music even after moving to Windmill House in Jan 2018 when the dementia had sadly taken hold. Gwen loved taking part in all the concerts the singing group gave throughout the county. Gwen was very happy and contented living in Windmill House for the two years she was there. The care she received was exemplary and many of the other residents became part of her new 'family'. She joined in many of the activities taking place and there were lots of laughs with visitors and carers.
Gwen died on Monday 4 May. The funeral took place Friday 22 May at the Breckland Crematorium with only close family present.
(Details provided by Gwen’s daughter Susan Simpson.)

Ida Jolley. Ida passed away on Easter Saturday 11 April 2020. She was born at High House Farm, Cranworth, on 11 February 1937. Her father was a smallholder farmer and she was the eldest daughter of six children. Ida left school at 15 years old. Her parents moved to Park Farm, Abbey Road, in March 1955 where her father and brothers worked for Robert Gilmore.
Ida used to attend church in Old Buckenham on Sundays and during the week meet up with friends on the village Green which is where she met her husband Keith. Ida was also in the Girl Guides and St John ambulance, both of which she enjoyed with great interest. Keith was working at Larkmans in Attleborough as an apprentice agricultural engineer and Ida worked at Briton Brush. She cycled to work there with her two friends Maureen and Cynthia Soanes.
At 21 Ida got engaged to Keith. He had now finished his apprenticeship and had to do two years national service. They rented the cottage at Post Office terrace in Old Buckenham six months before Keith finished his national service so it was ready for them to move into when they married on 22 February 1960 in Old Buckenham church. Ida remained in this cottage for all the rest of her life, she was married for almost 49 years and was devastated when her husband died suddenly in October 2008.
Ida was kept going after her husband’s death by her strong faith and knowledge that she would be reunited with her beloved husband.
(Details provided by Ida’s niece Amanda Welham)

Villagers stand outside All Saints Church to pay their respects at Ida's funeral 
Ivy Beales, Ida’s sister, and her family wish to thank Amanda and her family for all they have done to help, particularly in making the funeral arrangements.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Old Buckenham Parish Council minutes

A virtual meeting
These notes by the blog editor have been written from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met virtually via Zoom on Thursday 7 May. Those ‘present’ were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington, Terry Cook, Ben Devlin and Andy Nicholls. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and six members of the public. Prior to the meeting, councillors had emailed their votes for Chair and Vice-chair. Jonn Hicks was re-elected as Chair (4 in favour, 3 abstain) and Steve Milner was re-elected as Vice-chair (6 in favour).
The minutes of the meeting held in March were approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain). There were no matters arising or any reports of matters arising from those minutes.
Declarations of interests. Ben Devlin had a planning application being discussed later in the meeting.
Financial matters. Balance at bank is £38,836.91. Income received was a VAT refund £2,802.95 and Precept payment of £10,192.50. Payments approved (7 in favour) totalled £1196.31.
Playground. Several members of the public have explained their frustration at the playground maintenance (and subsequent closure) taking too long. Because of lockdown, the company providing the rubber pellets is unable to produce them and consequently some of the work could not be completed by the contractor. A member of the public explained that they understand the limitations of lockdown, but could we look at alternative suppliers who are open or tap in to the many volunteers in the village. Jonn Hicks explained that the company providing the pellets is going to re-open on Monday 11 May and so the contractor has been told the work should therefore be completed immediately, hopefully by the end of the following week. While the chairman was very grateful to the offers of help by villagers, he was reluctant to involve groups of people during lockdown and explained that there may be problems with insurance if there was an accident. Once work is completed, RoSPA will inspect it and it can be ready for use (once the government allow).
*The PC paused the meeting to allow the 8pm Clap for Carers* 

Communication in current situation. Jonn Hicks said he would like to thank everyone in the village who have helped residents during this difficult time. His full message can be found in the May copy of the village newsletter.
Mike Farrington raised the point that the village newsletter has become an important source of information at this time, especially for those not online or using social media. The current advertising costs don’t cover printing a copy for every household in the village and Puddledock is felt too dangerous for people to deliver to. The village newsletter editor has paid personally to ensure everyone has a printed copy during this time at a cost of just over £40. Could the Parish Council subsidise/contribute in some way? There was an initial difficulty in distribution too but the team of volunteers have aimed to deliver copies to the whole village. Jonn Hicks proposed giving the village newsletter (the only community magazine still in print during lockdown) a one off cheque for £300 as a short term solution to help cover the extra printing during the coronavirus situation (approximately five months including the May issue). The issue will be discussed further at a future meeting to look at long term ideas. This payment was agreed (7 in favour).
Terri Hammond has been the key coordinator of the volunteers in the village and wished to update the Parish Council on the current situation. There are currently 15 volunteers covering the whole of the village. They have made over 85 prescription runs, collected lots of food packages and are working with Breckland Council to help with any emergency help in the village. If there is anyone who requires help, please contact Terri Hammond/the Parish Council/a neighbour. Also please check on neighbours and ensure no-one is struggling alone. The volunteers have been working with OB2000 Trust to co-ordinate money for food/prescriptions. Electronic payments are made to the Trust by the resident, who is then passing the money on to the volunteers. If a resident is unable to pay electronically, the Trust is temporarily covering the debt until the resident can arrange payment safely. Thanks are due to the OB2000 Trust for their help at this time. The Chairman added that the Parish Council can’t give financial support at this time, so if there is anyone who is in financial difficulty, please contact Breckland Council for information.
Jonn Hicks took a moment to explain that during this difficult time, we need to be grateful and thankful to everyone for their help and remember those that have recently passed. The village also recently lost three great residents (not to Covid-19) and they will be greatly missed. The Parish Council held a 1 minute silence.
Rachel Noyes asked the Parish Council whether they have considered a Parish Council Facebook page due to its popularity in the village? Currently, Rachel Noyes uses her personal account to make Parish Council announcements online and would prefer not to. It could also be a source of keeping the village updated on Parish Council events/work/improvements to the village etc. Steve Milner explained that there had recently been a meeting of himself, the village newsletter editor and a member of the public with experience in IT/Communications to discuss the Parish Council Communications Strategy. This was broken down to four key points:
- What is being communicated?
- When is it communicated?
- Who is sending out the information and to whom?
- How is it communicated?
The group also highlighted the need for someone to own the communication (Clerk/Chair) and look at the various aspects of communication: website (which will need to meet new NALC guidelines), social media, those not on social media, newsletter, etc. It was felt by many that the Parish Council needs to get more of the good news out to the public as it is very easy to focus on negative comments. The need to make the communication two-way was also highlighted and a member of the public asked whether it was worth only having one central source of information to reduce confusion. The Parish Council decided to meet up (once allowed) and come up with a clear Communications Policy which will encompass all these aspects before proceeding with anything new.
Public participation. Members of the public contributed to the discussions as appropriate.
New planning applications. (All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal – - Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting).
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/2020/0327/LB). This application is linked with application 3PL/2020/0326/F. There was great concern by many councillors that this development would lead to an increase in traffic on a small road, past a playground and pub, which is used as one of the main walking routes to the schools. No comment yet received from Highways. The ecological survey needs further investigation too. The access road to the properties would run past a listed building, which could potentially cause damage. However it was highlighted that building on these areas to “fill in the gaps” in the village is preferable to expanding outwards. A proposal to object was approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain).
5 Oaklands. Removal of garage; new side and rear extension (3PL/2020/0379/HOU). No obvious problems with the application. Proposal to support was approved (7 in favour).
Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Prior approval for change of use from agricultural to C3 residential use under Class Q(a) only (3PN/2020/0014/UC).
*Ben Devlin was temporarily removed from the meeting for this application* 

Previous application was rejected as tried to apply for Class Q(a) and (b) last time and mistakes were made in application. Only for Class Q(a) this time. Proposal to support was approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain).
Planning Decisions by Breckland Council. The following five applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved.
Nivelles, Fen Street. Proposed front entrance hall extension and alterations (3PL/2020/0113/HOU).
Apple Tree House, Church Lane. Demolition of west side lean-to. Demolition of front wall to the front porch to create open fronted canopy. Construction of a single-storey flat roof extension to the rear and small canopy porch to the east. Installation of ground source heating (3PL/2020/0150/HOU).
17 Hargham Road. 1st floor extension and ground floor infill creating a 1½ storey dwelling with annex accommodation (3PL/2020/0189/HOU).
Attleborough SUE Land south of Attleborough, Attleborough. Outline planning consent for all matters reserved apart from the principle means of vehicular access (3 accesses onto the B1077 Buckenham Road; 1 access across Burgh Common; 1 access across Hargham Road, 1 access across Leys Lane and 1 access onto London Road) for residential development for up to 4,000 dwellings on land to the south of Attleborough; construction of new link road between Buckenham Road and London Road, pedestrian footbridge across the railway line to connect with Leys Lane, provision of two, 2-form entry primary schools; Local centre including up to 2,600m2 gross floorspace for uses within Class A1 (shops), up to 1,400m2 (gross) for uses within Classes A2/A3/A4 and/or A5 and petrol filling station, along with up to 2,100m2 (gross) for Community Uses (Class D1). Two further neighbourhood centres together including up to 400m2 (gross) for uses within Classes A1/A2/A3 and/or A5, sports pitches, public open space and amenity greenspace with sustainable drainage systems and associated infrastructure (including off-site town centre highway improvements) and demolition of existing unused sewage works and agricultural buildings (3PL/2017/0996/O).
The Farm, Doe Lane. Erection of new poultry shed adjacent to poultry shed no. 7 and erection of associated 3 feed silos and removal of existing outbuilding. Provision of new steel shed adjacent to poultry shed no. 1 (3PL/2020/0071/F).
The following application has now been considered and the application has been refused.
Land adjacent Caldcleugh dwelling under construction at The Old Asparagus Field, Cake Street. Revised access location to dwelling approved under ref 3PL/2018/1014/VAR (3PL/2020/0171/F).
Road Safety. The SAM sign is back after having Bluetooth installed (to allow safer download of data when roadside). Can currently download on to a phone only and so may need to purchase a small notebook computer purely for use with the SAM sign and to store all the data. This will be looked at in a future meeting.
Recreation Area. This has been rolled. Currently unable to purchase football goals but will do as soon as possible.
Councillors’ reports. Adrian Joel said that two new allotments had been rented. Need access to the water meter for a reading but it is currently overgrown, will be cleared and tided as soon as possible. Terry Cook reported that no Village Hall meetings are currently being held but please be aware that the recycling bins are presently full as priority of collections has been given to care homes, etc. The Village Hall has also applied for a grant to help with current finances but are still waiting for a verdict. Jonn Hicks made a recommendation that the Village Hall Committee be offered a deferment on their loan repayment (a repayment holiday) until after the Covid19 virus epidemic and added to the end of the loan repayment period. Councillors present agreed to the proposal and this suggestion would be put to the Village Hall committee to see if they wished to take up the offer. Mike Farrington said that less traffic on the roads recently means that Puddledock has been a lot quieter with only one small accident in the last couple of months. Ben Devlin told the meeting that he has a new lawnmower so is happy to help with cutting play area, etc, when work there is completed.
Next agenda. Items to be covered would include a Covid-19 update, the Action Plan, encouraging more people to join the Parish Council and village communications

Next Parish Council meeting is to be held virtually via Zoom on Thursday 4 June starting at 7.30pm.