Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Old Buckenham Parish Council in September

Long meeting for councillors
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.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 1 September. Eight members of the public attended and all parish council members were present (although Jonathan Kemp was delayed and arrived part way through the meeting). Others in attendance were Hilary Clutten (parish clerk), Stephen Askew (Norfolk County Councillor), and Richard Pollard (Norfolk Property Services).
Minutes of the July Parish Council meeting. The draft minutes had been circulated before the meeting and were approved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. A member of the public requested that the role of the Clerk should be minuted as per a previous request.
Matters arising from the July minutes. Ben Devlin has volunteered to look after the grass around the war memorial at no cost. Terry Cracknell said that it was good to see that the VAT position regarding the Village Hall had now been resolved. He also reported that one of his employees had tried to clear out the pond but had been unsuccessful. It was now intended to obtain a product from the USA. Terry Cracknell also apologised that he had not delivered the information packs to all newcomers to the village as he had not managed to keep abreast of the new arrivals.
Report on Chapel Green School. Richard Potter of Norfolk Property Services (NPS) reported that the County Council had hoped that the new school build would have started by now but there had been a delay in discharging some of the pre-planning conditions which included the traffic management plan, the surface water drainage details and the landscaping scheme. To avoid mud on the road from the contractor’s lorries, a track will be laid to the building site consisting of gravel and tarmac and there will also be a wheel washing facility for the lorries to use before emerging onto Attleborough Road. Following an enquiry about the incorrect use of Hargham Road by the contractor’s lorries, it was agreed that NPS will look into some signage directing lorries to the correct route to the site. NPS also agreed to look into some of the top soil from the site being made available for village use.
Terry Cracknell wondered why money could not be saved on the landscaping and spent on road safety provision but received no definitive answer on this point. Rona Boggia said that the village should have financial help with the cost of resolving road safety issues because of what is being imposed on it by siting another school in it. Andy Nicholls said that the prevention of more road safety issues was much better than trying to cure them at a later date.
Some residents were interested in reports that the cost of the project had increased and how the cost was being funded. Some £4 million is coming from the Government and £7 million is being provided by Children’s Services, NCC. It was stated that the building costs had actually decreased following re-tendering but no firm details were given about the overall cost of the project. A question was asked as to what would happen to Chapel Road School once the new school is completed. Two issues arise from this - empty schools must first be offered as a free school site and the playing field of the school is owned by Breckland District Council which intends to eventually build on it. There was no concrete information as to how much money has been allocated to easing access in and out of the new school except that the link road is marked on the planning drawings. There is a willingness to improve the footpath to the schools which is on Parish Council’s land.
There was a feeling from some residents present that there had not been sufficient consultation with the village about the siting of the new school in the village. Terry Cracknell thanked Richard Pollard for coming to the meeting and for talking openly about the new school. Our County Councillor, Stephen Askew, then reported that there had now been a discussion with the Alston Estate about the link road to the new school and it appeared that there would be no going back on the sale condition that the road should only be used for the new school and no other. Therefore there is no hope of using the link road to access the existing Primary School or for creating a car park in its proximity. Sarah Hornbrook said that there is a need to look at alternatives to the original suggestions. Stephen Askew is willing to take a credible alternative to the County Council. Andy Nicholls said he would try and get some ideas from a highways colleague. A resident suggested that the County Council buy a piece of land on the other side of the road so that the width of the road is increased. It was pointed out that discussions had taken place with the Heads of the High School and Primary School who are as concerned about road safety issues as the residents of the village and the Parish Council.
Stephen Askew suggested that all parties got together to talk about the issues with a view to the finding new resolutions and Rona Boggia suggested that the local MP should be invited to such a meeting. The Chair thanked County Councillor Askew for his input and also the members of the public who had come.
Planning. Sarah Hornbrook went through the various planning issues.
Planning permissions by Breckland:
Extension to Saxon House, Crown Road.
Extensions to Acer House, the Green.
Change of disused agricultural barns to nine residential dwellings at Shrublands, Puddledock.
Extension to Brome Close, Crown Road.
Extension and alterations to 5 Barbers Yard.
Removal of flat roofs to dormers and garage and replacement with tiled roofs, 27 Oaklands.
Erection of new dwelling and garage (outline permission), Asparagus Field, Cake Street.
Planning refusals by Breckland:
Erection of detached house and external works, Southview, Fen Street.
Proposed static caravan, 29 Peacehaven, Fen Street.
Planning applications:
Erection of new dwelling and garage with highways improvements, land at Harlingwood Lane – this was a resubmission of a previous application. A number of highways improvements have now been added to the application as requested by NCC Highways’ Department, all at the applicant’s expense. Andy Nicholls, the applicant, left the meeting whilst the Council discussed its response to the application. The Parish Council had supported the original application and, with the new highway improvements, there is a benefit for everyone not just the applicant.
(Jonathan Kemp arrived at 8.40pm.)
The Parish Council agreed to support the revised application with seven councillors in favour, one against and two abstentions.
Erection of a carport at Meadowsweet Barn, Church Lane. The Parish Council agreed to support this application with ten votes in favour and one abstention.
Erection of one and half storey dwelling and detached garage at Beckwood, Stacksford. This is permitted development within current planning legislation. There have been letters of objection on highway grounds which is one of the issues that the District Council will look at. The Parish Council agreed to support this application with six votes in favour and five abstentions.
Demolition of existing grain store and erection of two barn style dwellings with detached double garages at Shrublands, Puddledock. Sarah Hornbrook did not feel that the applicant had satisfied the rules for permitted development and also said that the site is not in a sustainable location as it is not near the local service centre. The Parish Council voted against this application with nine votes against, one for, and one abstention. Sarah Hornbrook agreed to provide the appropriate wording for the Clerk to use in the Council’s response to this application.
Extension to Old Buckenham Water Treatment Works, land off Abbey Road. The Parish Council voted in favour of this application with ten votes in favour and one abstention.
Erection of three dwellings and garages, land at Fen Road. This application is for land outside of the village development boundary and the location is not sustainable or suitable, being away from the village service centre. The Parish Council resolved not to support this application with ten votes against and one abstention.
Change of use from osteopath clinic with one bedroom flat to one residential dwelling, Clinic on the Green, The Green. There was concern about losing business premises from the village and it had not been substantiated in the application that the property, as a business, had been advertised for sale for at least a year as required by the planning regulations. Council voted not to support this application for change of use with nine votes against and two abstentions.
Financial matters. The Clerk had circulated a financial report which covered most of the financial items to be discussed including the additional hours spent collating the village survey data. The 2015/16 Audit has now been completed with no issues identified and the relative documents have now been put on the noticeboard outside the village shop. The Clerk clarified the broadband and other monthly expenses that had been agreed at the July Council meeting and also confirmed that she had received payment for a mobile telephone from New Buckenham Parish Council whereas she was using her personal home number for Old Buckenham.
Chairman’s report. Jonathan Kemp said that he would be unable to take on the role of Chairman as his job was now permanent and involves unreliable commuting to and from the village. He is willing to remain as Vice Chair. The appointment of a Chair for the rest of the year will now need to be finalised at the next Council meeting.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland Council held a Local Plan Working Party meeting at Attleborough Town Hall in July for town councillors from Attleborough and councillors from the villages in the surrounding area. Sarah Hornbrook and Terry Cracknell attended this meeting as well as the Chair. The meeting discussed the preferred options for the Site Specifics and Settlement Boundaries in the towns and villages which had been consulted on during February/March 2016. The next meeting of the Breckland Local Plan Working Party was held in August to agree the document to go out for final consultation for a six-week period in September. Old Buckenham is a Local Service Centre in the Local Plan. It has been allocated 50 new properties over the next 20 years. Although Breckland Council has identified a preferred site in Old Buckenham, it will be looking for additional sites as part of the consultation exercise.
SNAP meeting. Tom Johnson is unable to attend the next meeting but Rona Boggia has agreed to take his place.
Village Hall Manage
ment Committee. Tom Johnson has resigned as the Parish Council’s representative on this Village Hall committee so a new representative will need to be appointed next month.
Road Safety Working Party. Rona Boggia had produced a report which had been circulated to all councillors. The Working Party would like the Council to arrange a public meeting including the attendance of the local MP and the headteachers of the Old Buckenham schools. It was agreed that the Clerk should contact George Freeman MP, to invite him to the meeting and ask him to provide some available dates.
The Green. Terry Cracknell reported that the Green is as bad as ever and that it was also one of the most talked about issues in the village. Graham Hart said that there was no news about the track.
Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan Working Party. Sarah Hornbrook had drafted a response to the Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan which, after consultation with the members of the Working Party, had been submitted on behalf of Old Buckenham Parish Council.
Old Buckenham Neighbourhood Plan Working Party. Sarah Hornbrook reported that the Working Party would be meeting next week. She then reported on the first results from the Village Survey, more than half of the respondents don’t want more houses in the village.
Cycling Working Party. Steve Milner reported that during the Cycling Festival the roads around the Green will be closed on the Saturday. He was asked to check on access for the waste collection as it was a day later than usual due to the bank holiday.
Road safety. Steve Milner also reported that three Speedwatch sessions had been carried out recently and twelve drivers had been clocked speeding. The SAM speed sign was also back for three weeks.
Recreation Area Working Party. Carol Marshall reported that the fencing needs repairing and she is waiting for Graham Hart to have a look at it. Also the grass is due to be cut and the future of the BMX track will be discussed at the next Council meeting.
The Green. The Chair reported that John Fernihough has put forward some ideas but the Green Right holders do not want them to be made public until an announcement is made in the Village newsletter.
Play Area Working Party. Quotes are awaited for the metal railings. Upon receipt of the quotes, grants can be applied for. A small repair is needed on the tractor and Graham Hart agreed to do this.
Allotments. The Parish Council is losing allotment holders because of excessive water on the site leading to the loss of crops. It was agreed that the Clerk should write to the landowner to ask for a reduction in rent. It was noted that the height of the weir is to be reduced and the farmer who had intended to dig out some of the nearby ditches had reported that they were not too bad. Steve Milner reported that the drainage culvert at the entrance to the allotments is full of soil - it was agreed that the Clerk should write to Highways about this issue. There was insufficient time to discuss the allotment rents and the disbandment of the Allotment Association.

Highways. The Council resolved to withdraw its application for partnership funding for 2016/17 in relation to the road crossing and to request the return of £4,000. There were nine votes in favour of the motion and two abstentions. The Council had received a letter from Mr Darby. It was agreed that the Clerk should respond to Mr Darby saying that the hedge has not been cut back far enough; it should be cut back to at least the fence line which is where the land defined as highways extends to. The Clerk had distributed a report from Gary Overland, NCC Highways, on other Highways matters.
Appointment of new Community Car co-ordinator. The Chair reported that nobody had come forward to take over the role of Community Car co-ordinator. The Council was asked by a resident to look into offering some sort of payment to attract a new co-ordinator.

Under current standing orders it was necessary to draw the meeting to a close at 10pm leaving a number of items that had not been discussed. The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 6 October starting at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

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