Saturday, 21 September 2019

Old Buckenham parish council minutes

What was discussed in September
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 5 September in the Village Hall.
Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Andy Nicholls, Terry Cook and Gemma Frost. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and four members of the public. Apologies for absence had been received from Donna Oakley and Mike Farrington with Ben Devlin expected to arrive late. The minutes of the parish council meeting held on Thursday 1 August were approved (5 in favour, 1 abstain). Matters arising from those minutes were that no new information had been received from County Broadband regarding numbers signed up. A lot of villages locally have been approached yet the company can only work on three at a time.
Public participation. A member of the public requested to know what the Green Committee had spent £5,300 on during the last financial year. It was explained that any spending is stated in the Green Committee monthly minutes but that the chairman would request a list at next the Green Committee meeting for the parishioner.
Thanks were given to Dave Keable for a day’s work tidying the village playground.
Financial matters. The present Community account balance is £40,156.18. Payments approved totalled £825.54 (six in favour) and included £97.45 to the community car drivers and £90 for cutting the grass in the recreation area. The cost of the concrete bases for seats around Ottomer pond (£546) was paid from the Charity account.
Planning applications and Breckland District Council’s decisions.
(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. 4 Hargham Close, First floor side flat roof extension and later amendment for pitched roof (3PL/2019/0739/HOU). This application was supported by the parish council (6 in favour).
Roughlands Farm, Grove Road. Change of use of agricultural building to dwelling (permitted development) (3PN/2019/0042/UC). Andy Nicholls explained that the parish council had previously voted against the application and should have tried to show some consistency. It has been re-submitted using another example as evidence for their application. As the application fell within development, it was felt that the parish council views would not be influential. This application was supported by the parish council (4 in favour, 1 against, 2 abstain).
(Ben Devlin arrived)
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. Slade Lane Farm, Slade Lane. Proposed 6m extension to general purpose agricultural building (3PL/2019/0778/F). The above application has now been considered and the application has been approved
Site at Harlingwood Lane. Construction of two new dwelling houses and garages (3PL/2019/0333/F). This had been referred to the Planning Committee but the parish council were informed by Adrian Joel and Andy Nichols that this application had just been approved. While it was initially down for refusal, they had previously approved a site on Harlingwood Lane despite Highways objecting and so therefore approved this application too. It went through by eight votes to two. Councillor Stephen Askew spoke for the application (and was therefore not allowed to vote) and no one spoke against the application. This is now two more houses off the village quota of 17.
Allotments. The parishioner who has informed the parish council of planned charity work at the allotments was unable to attend at last minute. They will attend next month to clarify. Gemma Frost said that the beehive that was previously applied for has been placed on the field behind the allotments and that the allotment appears to be used as a bit of a dumping ground. The Clerk to write a letter requesting improved care of plot.
Adrian Joel raised the issue of allotment fees for the next year. Currently £40 a year for residents, £50 for non residents (with half plot fees of £20/£25). A proposal to keep fees the same was approved (7 in favour) as raising prices will deter people instead of encourage and already quite expensive. Need to highlight and advertise allotments to get more people in.
Precept Grants. The Precept meeting will be on Thursday 5 December and completed application forms need to be with the Parish Clerk by Thursday 21 November.
Gamekeeper update. Steve Milner said the forms had been accepted by Breckland Council. Had a meeting with J Glen and currently trying to arrange meeting with all parishioners interested in helping. Also had meetings with Redgrave and Garboldisham pubs and been using Pubs in the Hub charity for advice. Financially, currently investigating possible option of ½ charity, ½ Limited company and looking at tax efficiency. Will be in contact soon with Ei to arrange a visit.
Highways. New crossing of B1077 has officially opened. Generally positively received by parishioners, particularly those with young children. There was concern by some about people having to cross Hargham Road to reach the crossing but initial observations don’t show it to be a problem. While it is not perfect, it’s a big improvement. Thanks to Terry Cracknell, Rona Boggia, Trevor Crook, Lucy Womack, Mike Bartlett, Tom Mcabe, Stephen Askew and George Freeman MP for all their time and effort. Thanks in particular to Stephen Askew for all his time and energy in getting a safe crossing to the village. The Clerk is to write a letter of thanks. Issues highlighted included one street light reflecting off the pond into a nearby house. Highways aware and due to alter the angle. Some of the footpath leading towards the War Memorial has not been completed very well. Again, Highways aware and are due to come out and improve. A member of the public explained that during his conversations with villagers, the feedback was very positive and that the parish council had done what they can to try and prevent any possible accidents for children crossing that road. Another parishioner was disappointed to see such rudeness and negativity on a Facebook post about the crossing and felt that people had forgotten that it was needed to help get children to/from school safely. Also highlighted that the visual impact of a traffic light crossing seemed to be causing cars to drive slower generally through the village.
The SAM2 sign (mobile electronic speed display) is due in 4 to 6 weeks. Still waiting to hear back from D Jacklin of Highways to agree locations. Suggested locations are Abbey Road, Attleborough Road as you enter village, Hargham Road and Cake Street. Jonn Hicks offered to have it placed at the end of his garden as well. Locations will be changed weekly and two batteries will allow continuous monitoring. It will log data of all cars, which can be used to notify police if needs be.
A resident has been asked politely if they could cut back their garden hedge which is overgrown and reducing visibility on an already dangerous corner. The resident was uncooperative and therefore the Parish Clerk will write a letter. If that is ignored, then Highways will have to be notified.
Chairman’s report. Two extra defibrillators have previously been approved by the Parish Council. They will be ordered this month. One to be placed on the Church Rooms, opposite the playground. Second will hopefully be placed by the Methodist Church on Hargham Road but need to liaise about exact location. Andy Nicholls highlighted that there is also now a defibrillator at the cricket ground.
Poppy collectors are required for parts of the village and volunteers should contact the chairman Jonn Hicks.
Playdale have suggested replacing the rope bridge in the Play Area with a wooden one as it is safer for smaller children. Waiting to hear back about the estimated cost. The path is all broken up and the first quote requested was dismissed as too small a job for the company. The Village Handyman to liaise with Jonn Hicks about re-paving the path and replacing bins. Highways are aware of missing drain cover, yet still not replaced it. This will be chased up. The bark chippings are proving difficult to maintain and the surrounding wood is rotting away. Investigating alternatives such as sand or mesh and longer grass.
Grass in the Recreation Area has just been cut again. Cars parking in Village Hall car park are hitting the fences and therefore causing them to become unstable. The Village Handyman to repair and improve stability and also cut back vegetation growing on to the path leading to Primary School.
Councillors’ reports. Ben Devlin said that cars are parking and rubbish being dumped by Prince Harry Wood, just before St Andrews Close. Cars are starting to cause a lot of damage to grass, which will get worse as winter weather approaches. The clerk to write letter to Breckland Council (as they are owners of the land) highlighting the problem and requesting preventative measures. She will also write a letter to Cotman Housing requesting their residents do not leave litter in the wooded area. Ben Devlin also mentioned a Macmillan Coffee Morning at the Country Park on Friday 27 September.
Steve Milner reported that the stream that travels through Stacksford is being blocked up. This is likely to lead to flooding over the winter months. The clerk is to contact East Harling Internal Drainage Board about clearing it up.
Gemma Frost said there would be a village litter pick on Sunday 22 September.
Adrian Joel mentioned that the Remembrance Day Sunday Service will take place at the War Memorial this year as All Saints Church will be closed for work on its roof. He suggested that work to repair and paint the railings surrounding the War Memorial be delayed till after this Service in order to prevent the area looking a mess.
Items for next agenda. These would include a new parish council laptop, policies/standing orders and the Neighbourhood Plan.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held in Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 3 October starting at 7.30pm.

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