Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Old Buckenham Parish Council January meeting

Draft minutes
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 9 January at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington, Terry Cook and Andy Nicholls. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Parish Clerk), Donna Oakley (RFO) and Breckland and Norfolk councillor Stephen Askew as well as seven members of the public. Apologies had been received from Gemma Frost and Ben Delvin. Andy Nicholls had indicated that he would be late arriving.
Minutes of the December meeting. These were approved (2 in favour, 3 abstain). There were no matters arising from these minutes.
Financial matters. The community account balance now stands at £33,706.89. Income received (allotment rents) was £80 with allotments rents of £265 still due.
Payments approved (5 in favour) totalled £489.59 and were made up of the accounting fees and expenses, the parish clerk’s salary and expenses and payments to community car drivers.
The Precept requests were approved (details will appear here later) (5 in favour).
The RFO, Donna Oakley, was thanked for all her hard work at a particularly busy time of year for her.
Public participation. Clarification was sought over the planning application for land to the north of Fen Street that was mentioned in previous minutes. The questioner was informed that it was supported by the Parish Council at PIP stage.
Breckland and Norfolk councillor Stephen Askew reported that the Hargham Road ditch appeared to be working well and that the issue of light reflection on the Rod Alley pond is being looked at with the hope of finding a solution. A scheme is being planned to cure the flooding in Church Lane but this is not guaranteed to be completed this year.
Some potholes in St Andrews Close have been addressed. Large potholes in Grove Road were reported just after Christmas. The road was closed the next day because of their size and danger, especially to cyclists, but drivers keep driving round barriers or simply moving them out the way. If barriers/signs are removed, then there is danger to other drivers and cyclists who may not know/see potholes are there. He asked that people please leave barriers in place, it is a major fix and will hopefully be completed soon. Further potholes have been reported on Fen Street and these will be chased up. He will also chase up the provision of gravel for Post Office Terrace.
Adrian Joel enquired about the provision of hard copies of the Local Plan. The clerk will request copies.
Planning applications. (All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal www.breckland.gov.uk/article/2933/Search-Planning-Applications. Parish councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting).
New planning applications. Part of Anglian Water Drilling Unit site Abbey Road. Erection of a 28.5m high radar tower and associated communications cabin (3PL/2019/1555/F).
(Andy Nicholls arrived)
The Met Office had sent a letter explaining that the application had been submitted. Carleton Rode parish council had emailed to explain their concerns including lack of consultation and unknown visual impact as they had not been included. A representative from Old Buckenham Airfield was present at the meeting and raised several points. A Visual Impact Assessment has not been completed locally, only further away and not from Waterwork’s House which is next to proposed site. In reports, the Met Office claim aircraft will be 900ft away but this only applies to fast jets. In reality, smaller aircraft could be much closer as they approach the runway.
Other points the Airfield representative raised were that they would breach two Air Navigation Orders, the height of the tower appears to have increased from 22m to 28.5m, Daylight and Access Assessment did not have any ground elevation levels and that there are other sites which are better suited and would give equal coverage. Also both New Buckenham and Carleton Rode councils had not been consulted, despite the site being very close to their parish boundaries. The Airfield plans to object as they feel the whole application is flawed.
Councillors were surprised to discover that such a big application has not been given to an experienced senior planning officer. The application had been submitted just before Christmas, which some councillors felt was to try and “hide” it when people were busy over festive period. Mike Farrington highlighted that while the application does appear to be poor, that it will hopefully provide data to help the Met Office forecasts and local residents will benefit. However, he felt that they should try to find an alternative location. Stephen Askew explained that he had requested it be called to committee.
A proposal to request a month’s extension to the application’s consultation period due to the flawed nature of the application, the safety issues raised and lack of consultation with the parishes of New Buckenham and Carleton Rode was approved (6 in favour). It was also agreed to request a meeting with the Head of Planning or Senior Planning Officer at Breckland Council.
SkyFall, Cake Street. Proposed alterations, extension and garage conversion (3PL/2019/1567/HOU). No objections from the parish council (6 in favour).
60 Fen Street. Demolish existing garage/store room and erection of a similar size sitting room extension (3PL/2019/1593/HOU). No objections from the parish council (6 in favour).
Planning Decisions by Breckland Council.  The following four applications have now been considered and have been approved:
Land to the north-west of 29 Fen Street. Permission in Principle for the erection of one dwelling (Town and Country Planning) Permission in Principle (Amendment) Order 2019 (3PL/2019/1405/PIP).
Downmore Farm, Banham Road. Prior Approval for Change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q Permission in principle for erection of four detached dwellings
Land to the north of Fen Street. Change of use of land from agriculture to domestic gardens (3PL/2019/1375/F).
Land to north of Fen Street. Erection of four detached dwellings following outline permission (3PL/2019/1359/D).
The following application has been referred to the Planning Committee: Land to the west of 49 Hargham Road. Permission in principle for erection of four detached dwellings (3PL/2019/1164/PIP).
Health and Safety Policy. Jonn Hicks explained that there were several issues with the current policy and it would need more time to review.
Paperless Parish Council. Jonn Hicks proposed that the Parish Council make an effort to work towards being paperless because of the the environmental impact of the excessive printing of documents. Some councillors already use tablets for meetings and therefore print less/nothing and did not want another tablet provided from the Council. It would be necessary to examine the financial impact of printing versus having tablets. It was suggested that the money might be better spent on a projector for the Memorial Room which would allow everyone to view documents. Councillors were asked to spend time researching the financial impact and full options.
It was also suggested getting a tablet/computer purely for the SAM sign as data currently has to be downloaded via cable. Steve Milner wants to upgrade to a Bluetooth device which will make downloading data easier and safer as one could sit in a car instead of standing on side of busy road). Cost of Bluetooth upgrade is approximately £250. Data is currently stored on Steve Milner’s personal laptop but needs to be accessible to other councillors. Steve Milner and Jonn Hicks are to investigate costs.
Village Green Working Party (VGWP). Report stated the Parish Council had approved a company to cut the Green next year. This was not discussed at previous meeting. Also there was confusion over the title on the Working Party report. The Parish Council is the Green Management Committee. The clerk will research and clarify titles.
Road Safety. The SAM sign is up, working well and already providing interesting data. On Hargham Road there is an average of over 4000 cars a day, with approximately 40% driving over the speed limit. Better data obtained from Abbey Road with far fewer speeding cars. Data can be given to police at SNAP meetings who can then use it to monitor roads at specific times.
Play Area. Good progress on the improvements that are being carried out. Many thanks for public’s patience while work is in progress.
Recreation Area. There has been a request to install new football goals/pitch. Grass will be rolled in the Spring. New goals to be installed and old ones removed. Suitable goals to be investigated.
Councillors’ reports. Adrian Joel said that the Christmas tree on the Green had been very popular with lots of photos posted on the local Facebook group. Steve Milner pointed out that a footpath near Stacksford and Quidenham is not technically classified as a footpath. Ten people need to sign a form stating they have been walking it for 20 years in order to get it re-classified as a footpath. Contact Steve Milner or the Clerk for more information. Steve Milner and Terry Cook volunteered to attend a public footpaths seminar.
A Village Hall report was given by Terry Cook. Fly tipping has recently been an issue in the red bin located on the Village Hall car park. Notices have been placed on the bin and an item is being included in the village newsletter. Please could villagers be vigilant and report any sightings of people fly tipping. Work on the disabled toilet is finished, other toilets refurbished and plans are in hand for updated baby changing facilities. A report was given on state of the car park including pot-holes, repairs and useage. Planting trees on the recreational area is responsibility of Parish Council. A request was made for new members of the Numbers Club as there are currently vacant numbers available. A question was asked on whether the Parish Council made a decision concerning the provision of new security doors? There will be a joint meeting between the Village Hall Management Committee and the Parish Council on Monday 27 January at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.
Items for next agenda. These would include the Health and Safety Policy and the Oliver Lee Report

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 6 February starting at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.

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