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 December and all councillors were present along with the parish clerk and eight members of the public. Apologies had been received from Jonathan Kemp who would be arriving late because of public transport issues.
Minutes of the Council meetings held in October and November 2016. These were agreed as true and accurate records of the meetings.
Public participation relating to agenda items. Two members of the public were present because they had submitted a planning application to Breckland Council to build a two-storey extension at 5 Hargham Road. One member of the public had come to object to the planning application for 5 Hargham Road because he lived in the neighbouring property and believed that the extension would lead to a loss of light to his property.
A resident expressed concern about the entrance to the new school site. Sarah Hornbrook said that the current entrance is likely to be temporary and erected for health and safety reasons on the site. There appear to be no viewing points so that residents can see how work is progressing on the site. Steve Milner noted that the public footpath adjacent to the new school site appeared to be inaccessible. It was thought perhaps that this might be temporary until the new roadway was constructed and Steve Milner will take a further look and let the Clerk know if she needs to contact the Footpath Officer about this.
The Clerk was given the name and address of the person who had attended to the milestone so that she could write a letter of thanks on behalf of the Parish Council.
A member of the public expressed the thanks of the residents for the time spent on village matters by the members of the Parish Council who are all volunteers.
Planning applications. 9 Old Yard, Hargham Road. For reserved matters following outline permission in relation to issues of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale. The Council supported this application with 9 votes in favour and 1 abstention.
5 Hargham Road. Erection of two storey extension. Sarah Hornbrook said that the building had been designed in such a way as to lead to no loss of light to the neighbouring property. The Council supported this application with 9 votes in favour and 1 abstention.
Doe Lane. Change of use of an agricultural building to a dwelling, permitted development under current planning legislation. Ben Devlin gave information on his application then left the meeting during the Council’s deliberations. The Council supported this application with 8 votes in favour and 1 abstention. (Ben Devlin returned to the meeting.)
Planning permission received from Breckland. Breckland Council has given planning permission for the demolition of a grain store and the erection of two barn-style dwellings with detached double garages for the site at Shrublands, Attleborough Road.
Financial matters. A financial report was given by the Clerk which explained the VAT aspects of the Parish Partnership’s Grant from NCC. The Council resolved to give retrospective permission to pay the invoice from MW Surfacing Ltd for the Village Hall Car Park using the Parish Partnership’s Grant received by the Parish Council from NCC for this purpose. The Council also resolved unanimously to close the Santander Bank account and add the proceeds to the Barclays Bank account and to continue to ring fence the money as part of the reserve for recreation.
Chairman’s report. The Chairman thanked the councillors for all their hard work for the village in the last year.
District Councillor’s report. The next Parish and Town Forum was being held at Dereham on Thursday 8 December 2016 at 6pm. No councillor was able to attend on this date. He thanked Sarah Hornbrook for her excellent contribution to the Parish Council’s response to the Breckland Local Plan consultation. He is part of the working party for the Breckland Local Plan and will continue to support what the Parish Council wants from the Local Plan consultation. The next phase of the consultation will be in the Spring of 2017 when the next version of the Local Plan will contain details of the recommended development sites. Breckland is looking at how it provides housing advice so as to provide a better service than just adding residents to the Housing List.
Working parties. Old Buckenham Neighbourhood Plan Working Party – nothing to report.
Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan – nothing to report
Attleborough Development Plan – Terry Cracknell will be attending a meeting on Tuesday 13 December.
Road Safety Working Party – Rona Boggia reported that the Working Party had met earlier in preparation for a meeting with George Freeman MP the following morning. The Working Party has sent the MP an outline of what the problems are and what it would like to achieve from the meeting. The Headmaster of the High School is also attending the meeting and will speak first. The Working Party has obtained a quotation for a zebra crossing which is likely to cost a total of £25,000 but it would also eventually like to see a crossing on Hargham Road to the local shop.
(Jonathan Kemp arrived at 8.25pm.)
Andy Nicholls is also attending the meeting with George Freeman MP and wants to point out that if the new school is to use all the village’s facilities as it had indicated, such as the Green, then the pupils would need a safe way of crossing the road particularly as some of the children will be in wheelchairs.The preference is for all the cost of a new crossing to be paid by Norfolk County Council because of the additional burdens it is placing on the village by building yet another school. The Council could also apply for a grant under the NCC’s Parish Partnership’s Scheme to help with the cost of a crossing but the application has to be in by Thursday 15 December for the next awards. The Council resolved to make an application to the Parish Partnership’s Scheme, the Clerk will obtain the necessary documents and information and then liaise with Steve Milner who has offered to complete the application.
Play Area. Three quotations have finally been obtained to replace the fencing. After discussion, the Council decided unanimously to appoint G & G Fencing to carry out the work at a total maximum cost of £11,500 plus VAT. Graham Hart agreed to try and negotiate a discount with the contractor.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Terry Cracknell reported that the Chairman of the Village Hall Committee was attempting to resolve the flooding issue in the Village Hall car park. The Village Hall Committee is also hoping that Morgan Sindall (the new school contractor) will remove the BMX track as part of some work it has agreed to do in the village. There is the possibility of having more work carried out on the Village Hall car park as there are still some funds available under the Parish Partnership Scheme for 2016/17.
Steve Milner reported on the dangerous junction of Grove Road and Mill Road. A number of years ago the Parish Council had requested the installation of mirrors to improve visibility but the County Council had declined as this was not their policy. However he has noticed that mirrors are being used for visibility purposes at the new school site entrance and must have been approved by NCC. The Council agreed that the Clerk should contact Highways to renew the original request.
Tom Johnson reported that the minutes from the last SNAP meeting had been received and circulated. He has advised the SNAP group about the traffic difficulties the village is facing due to the building work for the new school. The road is getting dirty despite the wheel washing facilities and he wondered if these are being used or adequate. The first new broadband box in the village will be called New Buckenham 4 and will be sited opposite the telephone box. An offer by J C Frost & Co to reduce the rent on the allotment site to £450 per annum from December 2017 had been received. The Clerk reported that she had queried the rent reduction date, it appears that the letter should have said from December 2016 ie for 2016/17 onwards but only at such time as most of the allotments are let again.
Terry Cracknell wanted the Council to keep its allotment provision options open in respect of the charity-owned field.
Highways. The Highways Engineer for the village had sent a report to the Clerk. He has been working hard on trying to resolve the water problem in Cake Street. A tanker will be used to remove the water and a camera put down the pipe to see if there is a break somewhere. Some other gullies are to be looked at on Attleborough Road from opposite the Gamekeeper up to the new school development as they do not appear to be draining properly. Some routine maintenance work is to be carried out to fill in holes on the track between the old clinic and the primary school and a section in front of the old butcher’s shop, near the Green. There is to be some patching work along Hargham Road and Abbey Road. There was an enquiry from the public about the salting of the roads in the village but Highways have their own schedule to work to but have been known to do some additional work when pressed. Terry Cracknell commented on the long running issue with the hedge at the Harlingwood Lane junction. The Council has tried to resolve the matter with the owner of the property. He had now erected a willow fence which Andy Nicholls thought could eventually end up in the road during inclement weather. Also the hedge could just continue to grow around the fence and still cause a visibility hazard. The Clerk was asked to contact Highways about this matter and to request that firmer action be taken. Terry Cracknell also reported on the large amount of rubbish that has to be picked up near the junction of the Old Buckenham and New Buckenham Roads, this appears to be mostly fast food containers from Attleborough eateries. Adrian Joel asked to be informed when this was a problem so that he could contact Breckland Council to come and remove the rubbish.
Correspondence. The response from Attleborough Surgeries to the request from the Parish Council for a possible part-time surgery in the village had not been met with success.
Items for the January meeting. Several subjects were suggested. These included revision of Standing Orders, the Chairman’s priorities list, defibrillator/telephone box, The Green, the bus shelter, road safety, loan to football club, broadband, Chapel Green School and highways.
Appointment of Clerk. The Clerk gave a short report on how things had gone over the last six months and then left the meeting. In the Clerk’s absence the Council resolved unanimously to appoint Mrs Hilary Clutten as the permanent Clerk to Old Buckenham Parish Council following the satisfactory completion of a six month probationary period.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 5 January in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.