Parish Council in February
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
There was a large attendance at the February parish council meeting with 41 members of the public, Stephen Askew (NCC councillor) and a representative from Roberts Molloy Associates. All the parish councillors were there too apart from Sarah Hornbrook who had sent her apologies.
Public recess. Seven Fen Street residents and one from Crown Road spoke on the planning application for eight dwellings with four garages and parking bay (3pl/2015.1498/F). An email from a resident supporting the application was read out but the other speakers objected to the application, raising issues regarding increased traffic levels, road safety, security issues of nearby residents, possible flood issues and pedestrian safety. A resident spoke on the Breckland Local Plan and spoke against the site option 8 which in the plan was designated as suitable for development. He also said that Old Buckenham should not be subject to large scale development. Another resident asked when development in Old Buckenham would take place under the local plan. Adrian Joel responded on the matter. A resident from Hargham Road raised objections to a planning application for the erection of five dwellings and parking and garages with turning on site (3pl/2015/1495). He cited speed issues in Hargham Road and the proposed new footpath. A resident spoke on Chapel Road School development which would greatly increase traffic levels on the B1077 with up to a possible 150 extra vehicles a day using the road during term times. Rona Boggia responded saying a new access road was being built but not for use of residents. The Parish Council will be raising a petition to challenge this decision and try and get the road to be also used by residents.
Minutes of January Parish Council meeting. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting (seven for and three abstentions).
Matters arising from the minutes. The matter of the hedge in Cake Street being cut was raised and the clerk is to contact Highways to see if they approve of the new cut.
Planning applications. Fen Street. Erection of eight dwellings, four garages, parking and turning within site. After studying some plans, councillors asked questions of the agent of Roberts Molloy Associates regarding S106 payments and other costs that they would be liable for under the application. Following discussions and expressed views of parish councillors, it was proposed that the application would be approved but there was no seconder so the motion was withdrawn. It was then proposed and seconded that the application be rejected. This was agreed with eight for and two abstentions.
Hargham Road. Erection of five dwellings with associated parking, garages and turning on site, new highway access and pavement works. Jonathan Kemp expressed his many concerns on the application including road safety, enough social housing in that area of Old Buckenham and the design of houses not in keeping with other nearby properties. Also, in the local plan, Breckland council have designated the site as not suitable for development. Terry Cracknell raised the point of the developer paying for a new footpath to which the agent said the developer would pay for it. Other councillors expressed views on the application. Then it was proposed and seconded and agreed with six for and four abstentions to reject the application.
Orchard House, Hargham Road. Change barn so that residential dwelling can be erected and the erection of two single-storey detached garages. Various councillors expressed views on the application especially one of the garages being right up against the front hedge of the development. It was proposed and seconded that the application be rejected, this was agreed with nine for and one abstention.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Cherry Tree Cottage, Los Wroo. Erect summer house. Permission granted.
Tudors, Cake Street. Proposed extension and alteration to existing three bedroom bungalow. Permission granted.
The Pines, Manor Corner. Single-storey rear extension. Permission granted.
Doe Lane. Erection of five holiday chalets. Permission refused.
Creation of working parties. Steve Milner said that the workload of the Parish Council has increased greatly and that working parties need to be set up and they will then come back to the Parish Council with updates at each meeting. Working parties would be: Chapel Road School - Rona Boggia, Steve Milner, Mike Bartlett (resident) and Terry Cracknell. Neighbourhood Plan - Jonathan Kemp, Adrian Joel, Sarah Hornbrook, A Jaggard (resident) and Michelle Willford (resident). The Green - Ben Devlin, Terry Cracknell, Graham Hart, and Mike Farrington. Play Area. Mr A Joel, Mr G Hart, Kerry Talbot (resident) and Mike Farrington. Adrian Joel then gave an update on the Neighbourhood Plan and said that the parish council had to inform Ian Williamson of Breckland Council that Old Buckenham was creating a neighbourhood plan. The Parish Clerk will write to him. It is hoped to outline steps and timelines to create the plan and to soon seek resident consultation on the plan. The Parish Council is to create a Facebook page. Terry Cracknell also suggesting contacting Tim Bornett to assist in delving into information regarding the creation of the plan.
Breckland Plan. Adrian Joel said the plan needs to be discussed, looking at the development sites included in the plan and also at other sites that have not been included in the plan and designated suitable for development. Barbers Yard was not feasible for development as there is no access. Site at top of Mill Road is on a single road that was too narrow which could cause access problems. The plot of land on Attleborough Road could be suitable for development subject to highways, access and parking in any future planning applications. A parish councillor said that ‘unreasonable alternatives’ on the plan should exclude plot 8 which should be designated ‘reasonable alternative’. Councillors discussed this and it was proposed and seconded that the plot remain ‘unreasonable alternative’. This was agreed with six for, two against and two abstentions. The Parish Council was happy with no allocation of housing in the plan for Old Buckenham (page 40). The Parish Clerk is to write to Breckland on this matter.
Chairman’s report. Steve Milner informed the meeting that he would not be seeking re-election as chairman at the May AGM but that he will remain as a councillor as he felt he could still serve Old Buckenham. He then raised the question of circulating all emails to all councillors. He said this would result in too much time having to read and digest information. He said he would continue to address the issue and send some only to the relevant people but if they are relevant to all councillors then they would be copied in. The Shrublands development, despite the Parish Council’s objections, was approved. The Village Hall will be holding a charity event on Sunday 14 February between 2pm and 4pm in aid of the Air Ambulance. Recent data obtained from the SAM 2 traffic sign in Cake Street showed that 60% of drivers passing the sign were speeding and that 10% of drivers were exceeding 40mph and this data will be passed to police. The police had been doing their own speed check in village on Thursday 4 February. Steve Milner felt the SAM 2 sign did make a difference and drivers do slow down when they see their speed indicated.
District Councillor’s report. Consultation of Breckland’s Local Plan Preferred Directions and Site Specific documents finishes on Monday 22 February. The next step is to look at the Site Specifics including any additional sites and this will be put out in the spring for further consultation. Residents across Breckland are being reminded to leave recycled waste loose in their bins and not to put it into plastic bags or carrier bags as these could ruin materials that could otherwise be recycled.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Ben Devlin said the new bench is to be sited on the Green in February and would have a plaque for Old Buckenham Ladies Hockey Club who donated the funds for the bench. Carol Marshall suggested Andy Nichols for the Recreation Area Working Party and will try to get more young people involved. Ben Devlin suggested a new agenda item of ‘Follow up on jobs allocated’. Carol Marshall said another village garage sale would be held in May. Jonathan Kemp said the Neighbourhood Plan working party was getting a village questionnaire out to all residents in May. Adrian Joel raised the matter of the weir off Banham Road near Old Buckenham Hall which is blocked and causing problems in the village. The Parish Clerk to contact East Harling Drainage Board on the matter. The Play Area Working Party met recently. Repair work carried out by Playdale after contact by the clerk had resulted in reduction of charges by £250. Play equipment needs to be washed down in the spring. A handyman will cut the grass and maintain the area in the summer. Now there is a need to look at what type of fence is required to replace the existing fence. Grants of up to 50% are available from Breckland Council for this purpose. A letter from a resident on allotments issues included flooding and some allotment holders not keeping their allotments tidy. It was proposed and seconded and agreed that Adrian Joel contact the resident to try to resolve the matter. Mike Farrington said the Women’s Cycling Tour of Britain was likely to come through Old Buckenham and he hoped the village could organise a similar event to this year’s Tour of Britain. Terry Cracknell said he was prepared to hold breakfast meetings at his house to discuss the Neighbourhood Plan, the Green and Chapel Road School. Rona Boggia has received minutes from Attleborough Development Partnership. The Parish Council need to elect a representative who could vote at meetings without first consulting the Parish Council and also requested a substitute member. It was proposed and seconded that Rona Boggia be the Parish Council representative and Terry Cracknell be the substitute member, this was agreed unanimously. Tom Johnson said the village hall wished to return the grant of £3,500 given to them for insulating of the hall. The costs now had spiralled and even with this money, they would not be able to afford the new costs. It was reported that the contractor who currently cuts the grass is no longer able to do so and the person who cuts the grass at the Recreation Area was unable to do it either. There will be a Bingo evening on Saturday 19 March in the evening at the village hall.
County Councillor’s report. Stephen Askew reported on the closing of three existing recycling sites which will close 2019/20 and be replaced with a super site along the A11. Steve Milner said he would send an email to Stephen Askew on the subject. Stephen Askew then read an email which stated that the lease for Chapel Road School had been signed.
Highways. It had been reported that Cake Street keeps flooding and Highways need to clean the drains out again. Also the potholes on the road off Abbey Road to the Primary school are not up to standard. The Parish Clerk to contact Highways on the matter.
Public recess. A resident raised the matter of the Village Hall returning grant money to the Parish Council. He said that other grants are available for insulation of village halls and asked if the cost of the insulation was known. Tom Johnson responded stating the views of the village hall and a resident suggested that the Parish Council keep the returned funds in a special reserve for possible future insulating project at village hall. He suggested residents should be made aware they can make individual comments to Breckland Council on the Local Plan. They then raised the matter of housing development in Old Buckenham and said that no money had been spent on infrastructure. He said Norfolk County Council should be notified of the increase in road accidents within the village.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 3 March at the Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm.