Parish Council minutes for October
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 6 October. Those present were Adrian Joel (Chairman),Rona Boggia, Terry Cracknell, Ben Devlin, Sarah Hornbrook (part of meeting), Tom Johnson and Andy Nicholls as well as the parish clerk Hilary Clutten. There were also three members of the public.
Adrian Joel was appointed chairman for the remainder of 2016/17.
Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence had been received from Graham Hart, Sarah Hornbrook, Jonathan Kemp, Carol Marshall and Steve Milner.
Minutes of September Council meeting. These were approved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Rona Boggia reported that Chris Hey (NCC Children’s Services) had attended the recent Attleborough Development Partnership m eeting. He had said that the work on Chapel Green School would start in 15 days’ time. The meeting had also talked about the Partnership’s logo, website and the link road from Breckland Lodge to Bunn’s Bank. Gary Overland (NCC Highways) had stated in his recent Highway’s Report that the existing 30 mph road sign on the Attleborough Road would soon be moved nearer to Attleborough as part of a highway improvement for Chapel Green School.
Report on the Green. John Fernihough reported that the Green Right Proprietors (GRPs) had discussed the setting up a charity to manage the land but the cost of doing this had proved prohibitive. The GRPs would like the Parish Council to take on a two-year agricultural tenancy of the Green at a peppercorn rent and with an option to renew. This would enable the Parish Council to manage the Green on the lines of what the village wants but might cost around £200 to £400 to set up. The Parish Council would need to insure the Green, the GRPs currently pay around £500 for this. As part of the arrangement it would be necessary to consider the cost of maintaining the roads and paths over the Green as well as near the properties including the land in front of the Gamekeeper and the local shop.
A two-year tenancy would probably allow the Parish Council to apply for grants, including ones from DEFRA, but the Council thought it would be a need to check on this as some grant-making bodies require longer tenancies. Tom Johnston thanked John Fernihough and Sarah Dye (GRPs) for their work on this matter. The Council agreed to discuss this proposal from the GRPs at its next meeting. During a period of public participation it was said that whilst the Green needs attention, different people want different things but this could be a one-off opportunity to resolve the entire issue. Resident Rosemary West made some comments on the planning application for Sunnyside Farm, adjacent to her property, and said that design of the property would look ‘peculiar’ between the two existing listed buildings. A letter had been received from Jean Bornett about the planning application for the Clinic on the Green, asking that consideration should be paid to this possibly being a part-time surgery for the Attleborough doctors as many of the patients from Old Buckenham are over 65 years of age. This could also benefit New Buckenham patients. The Parish Council agreed that the Clerk should write a letter to the Practice Manager at the Station Road premises about this suggestion.
Planning applications received. Plot at Sunnyside Farm. This site is located between two listed buildings on a site with many trees. Sarah Hornbrook, in a written report, recommended that the Parish Council should not support this application due to the poor quality of design and the fact that there was no tree plan with the application. The Parish Council agreed not to support this application but to mention that it would look more favourably on an application for a more suitable/traditional design. There were five votes against supporting this application and one abstention.
Extension at the Homestead, Fen Road. Council agreed to support this application as it did not have any effect on any other property. Five votes in favour and one abstention.
(Sarah Hornbrook arrived at 8.25pm)
Change of use of workshop at The Joules, Crown Road, to a ‘Granny annexe’. Rona Boggia reported on this application made by her husband and then left the meeting temporarily. Council agreed to support this application with five in favour and one abstention.
Planning permission received from Breckland.
For alterations at the Anglian Water Treatment Works
For change of use of the Clinic on the Green to a residential dwelling.
Planning refusals by Breckland. Planning refusal had been issued for the barn conversion application at Stacksford.
Breckland Local Plan. In the latest version of the draft Local Plan, Breckland Council is allocating housing to service villages. It is proposing that Old Buckenham is allocated 50 new homes and that these will be social and open market housing. The Plan is under consultation until the end of October and the Chairman has forms to enable comments to be made.
Sarah Hornbrook said how important it was for the Parish Council to make comments on the Local Plan and on the allocation of 50 new homes to Old Buckenham. She said that the village does not have the quality of roads to support this amount of housing as they are mostly narrow. Forty percent of the proposed properties have to be affordable housing. Cotman Housing owns some land in the village that Breckland Council sold to it. It was agreed to hold an extraordinary Council meeting on Monday 17 October (when the Village Hall is already booked for a Neighbourhood Plan Working Party meeting). Andy Nicholls gave his apologies for this meeting. The Chairman would be hosting a meeting at the Village Hall on Saturday 8 October between 10am and 12 noon to enable residents to see the Local Plan details and maps.
Financial report from the Clerk. The Clerk had circulated a report. In addition she was able to advise that the second half of the precept and grant had been paid into the Council’s bank account. The Council agreed to various payments in October including the sum of £463.32 to buy 90 reams of paper (a year’s supply) for the village newsletter. The Clerk reported that she had received Precept Grant applications from the Pre-School, the Monday Mardle Group, the Village Hall Fete Committee and the Almhouses Charity. Further applications were expected from the Village Hall Management Committee and Age UK, Norfolk. Applications would be considered at the November meeting.
The Gamekeeper public house. The Chairman reported that CAMRA had applied to have the Gamekeeper public house declared a community asset which would mean the village would have the first right to buy should the property be put up for sale. The Council agreed that the Clerk should write a letter to Breckland Council to support the Gamekeeper being declared a Community Asset.
Representative to the Village Hall Management Committee. Terry Cracknell was appointed as its representative for a period of twelve months.
Chairman’s report. The Chairman said that it has been reported to him that Old Buckenham would no longer be getting copies of the Mercury as part of a distribution review by Archant. The Council agreed that this was disappointing news and that the Clerk should write to Archant to ask why the Mercury would no longer be available to Old Buckenham residents and how it was letting down its readers. It was also agreed that the Clerk should write to Matt Heuschneider, who has been delivering the Mercury in the village, to thank him for all his work.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel reported that Breckland Council has secured £2.3 million from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to provide power to Snetterton Heath. This will enable Employment Land to be developed which could support high tech business relating to the motor racing industry. He also hoped that both residents and the Parish Council will continue to comment on the Local Plan Preferred Site Options and settlement boundaries. The current consultation period ends on Monday 31 October.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Andy Nicholls reported that he would soon be meeting with his highways’ contact to discuss a road crossing for the village. Sarah Hornbrook reported that that she had received questions from parents who use the Village Hall car park and are currently being charged £2 per week which they understood as being to help pay for the resurfacing of the car park which has now taken place. They had queried whether should this payment now be reconsidered? Tom Johnson reported that the Village Hall Committee had had to draw on its reserves to pay for the work on the car park. It was reported that there had been bad flooding in the Village Hall car park in a recent downpour as now that there is an impermeable surface, the rain can no longer be so quickly absorbed. Tom Johnston wanted the Parish Council to draw the attention of Norfolk County Council to keeping the public rights of way maintained and also that gates have appeared on certain paths. Tom Johnston also asked what the purpose of the cycle races had been as it had inconvenienced some Old Buckenham residents. Ben Devlin replied that that this was a day out for people to enjoy and to raise money. Also it contributed to engendering a community spirit in the village despite the fact that the weather had been inclement.
Road Safety Working Party. Rona Boggia reported that there had not been a Road Safety meeting since the last council meeting as the group was waiting to find out when the local MP could come to a meeting. However, the group can continue to gather information and meet to talk about what they want to achieve at the meeting. Rona Boggia reported that at the recent meeting of the Attleborough Development Partnership she had made a point of saying that whilst £11 million is being spent on a new junior school in Attleborough, all that Old Buckenham wants is a safe road crossing costing comparatively little in relation to the cost of a new school. Rona Boggia also proposed that there be a meeting with the Head of Chapel Road School to discuss the highway issues and get the school’s input. Sarah Hornbrook said that it was worth spending some money to get some professional advice on a crossing. However at the moment it was though prudent to wait and see what was reported in the Attleborough Development Plan minutes and then write to Chris Hey (NCC Children’s Services) or his superiors about the crossing issue. Andy Nicholls reported that NCC Highways are supporting his planning application and will be asking Mr Darby to cut his hedge back. The Play Area fencing still needs progressing. Graham Hart has got two quotes but is having difficulty getting a third. The Clerk said that two quotes would be acceptable as along as it is recorded that it is not possible to obtain a third. There was nothing further to report about the Green Rights Proprietors. However it was said that it was good that they are being supportive of John Fernihough’s suggestion that he had reported earlier at this meeting. Rona Boggia reported that the milestone between Banham and Old Buckenham is in a bad state of repair and a stonemason has been asked to take a look and provide a quotation.
Neighbourhood Plan Working Party. Sarah Hornbrook reported the Village Survey results are now available in the Ox & Plough public house and the local shop, she will email the document to the Old Buckenham councillors.
Allotments. The Chairman reported that the allotments at the top of Ragmere Road cannot be used as they are too wet. There are now eight tenants for the allotment plots and this means that the Parish Council has to heavily subsidise the allotments. The landowner has replied to an enquiry from the Clerk about reducing the rent because of the wet condition of some of the allotments but he is unwilling to do so because of the cost of hedge cutting, etc. It was agreed that the Clerk should contact the owner again to negotiate a lower price and give 12 months’ notice if this was not forthcoming. Meanwhile the Council agreed that the Chairman should investigate if the village charity land, comprising the old Highway’s Surveyor’s land, might be available for allotments. The Council resolved that the allotments rents should remain at £40 per plot for the coming year. The Chairman said that he would confirm the names of tenants to the Clerk so that she can prepare the invoices.
Removal of the BMX track. The Council resolved to remove the BMX track at the Recreation Area. Jonathan Kemp will be advised.
Highways matters. It was reported that there has been a complaint of vehicles driving at 50mph in St Andrew’s Close.
Community Car scheme. The Council agreed to join Norfolk Community Transport Association which will enable disclosure checks on drivers to be carried out free of charge. The scheme will also be promoted to potential drivers and users. The Chairman reported that there are now three drivers available and they are willing to have their telephone numbers published in the Old Buckenham village newsletter. He also reported that the Clerk is willing to complete the paperwork and mileage claims for the scheme but that this work is not part of her OBPC contract. The Council agreed that the Clerk should receive payment for one additional hour per month to do this work. The Clerk’s role will purely administrative and does not include co-ordinating the car scheme journeys.
Role of the Parish Clerk. The Council agreed a short document produced by the Clerk and agreed to annex the document to the minutes.
Agenda for next month’s meeting. Subjects to be included will be the Green, revision of Standing Orders, precept grants and priorities for the village.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 3 November at 7.30pm in the Church Rooms, Old Buckenham.