Friday, 22 May 2020

Old Buckenham Parish Council minutes

A virtual meeting
These notes by the blog editor have been written from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met virtually via Zoom on Thursday 7 May. Those ‘present’ were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington, Terry Cook, Ben Devlin and Andy Nicholls. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and six members of the public. Prior to the meeting, councillors had emailed their votes for Chair and Vice-chair. Jonn Hicks was re-elected as Chair (4 in favour, 3 abstain) and Steve Milner was re-elected as Vice-chair (6 in favour).
The minutes of the meeting held in March were approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain). There were no matters arising or any reports of matters arising from those minutes.
Declarations of interests. Ben Devlin had a planning application being discussed later in the meeting.
Financial matters. Balance at bank is £38,836.91. Income received was a VAT refund £2,802.95 and Precept payment of £10,192.50. Payments approved (7 in favour) totalled £1196.31.
Playground. Several members of the public have explained their frustration at the playground maintenance (and subsequent closure) taking too long. Because of lockdown, the company providing the rubber pellets is unable to produce them and consequently some of the work could not be completed by the contractor. A member of the public explained that they understand the limitations of lockdown, but could we look at alternative suppliers who are open or tap in to the many volunteers in the village. Jonn Hicks explained that the company providing the pellets is going to re-open on Monday 11 May and so the contractor has been told the work should therefore be completed immediately, hopefully by the end of the following week. While the chairman was very grateful to the offers of help by villagers, he was reluctant to involve groups of people during lockdown and explained that there may be problems with insurance if there was an accident. Once work is completed, RoSPA will inspect it and it can be ready for use (once the government allow).
*The PC paused the meeting to allow the 8pm Clap for Carers* 

Communication in current situation. Jonn Hicks said he would like to thank everyone in the village who have helped residents during this difficult time. His full message can be found in the May copy of the village newsletter.
Mike Farrington raised the point that the village newsletter has become an important source of information at this time, especially for those not online or using social media. The current advertising costs don’t cover printing a copy for every household in the village and Puddledock is felt too dangerous for people to deliver to. The village newsletter editor has paid personally to ensure everyone has a printed copy during this time at a cost of just over £40. Could the Parish Council subsidise/contribute in some way? There was an initial difficulty in distribution too but the team of volunteers have aimed to deliver copies to the whole village. Jonn Hicks proposed giving the village newsletter (the only community magazine still in print during lockdown) a one off cheque for £300 as a short term solution to help cover the extra printing during the coronavirus situation (approximately five months including the May issue). The issue will be discussed further at a future meeting to look at long term ideas. This payment was agreed (7 in favour).
Terri Hammond has been the key coordinator of the volunteers in the village and wished to update the Parish Council on the current situation. There are currently 15 volunteers covering the whole of the village. They have made over 85 prescription runs, collected lots of food packages and are working with Breckland Council to help with any emergency help in the village. If there is anyone who requires help, please contact Terri Hammond/the Parish Council/a neighbour. Also please check on neighbours and ensure no-one is struggling alone. The volunteers have been working with OB2000 Trust to co-ordinate money for food/prescriptions. Electronic payments are made to the Trust by the resident, who is then passing the money on to the volunteers. If a resident is unable to pay electronically, the Trust is temporarily covering the debt until the resident can arrange payment safely. Thanks are due to the OB2000 Trust for their help at this time. The Chairman added that the Parish Council can’t give financial support at this time, so if there is anyone who is in financial difficulty, please contact Breckland Council for information.
Jonn Hicks took a moment to explain that during this difficult time, we need to be grateful and thankful to everyone for their help and remember those that have recently passed. The village also recently lost three great residents (not to Covid-19) and they will be greatly missed. The Parish Council held a 1 minute silence.
Rachel Noyes asked the Parish Council whether they have considered a Parish Council Facebook page due to its popularity in the village? Currently, Rachel Noyes uses her personal account to make Parish Council announcements online and would prefer not to. It could also be a source of keeping the village updated on Parish Council events/work/improvements to the village etc. Steve Milner explained that there had recently been a meeting of himself, the village newsletter editor and a member of the public with experience in IT/Communications to discuss the Parish Council Communications Strategy. This was broken down to four key points:
- What is being communicated?
- When is it communicated?
- Who is sending out the information and to whom?
- How is it communicated?
The group also highlighted the need for someone to own the communication (Clerk/Chair) and look at the various aspects of communication: website (which will need to meet new NALC guidelines), social media, those not on social media, newsletter, etc. It was felt by many that the Parish Council needs to get more of the good news out to the public as it is very easy to focus on negative comments. The need to make the communication two-way was also highlighted and a member of the public asked whether it was worth only having one central source of information to reduce confusion. The Parish Council decided to meet up (once allowed) and come up with a clear Communications Policy which will encompass all these aspects before proceeding with anything new.
Public participation. Members of the public contributed to the discussions as appropriate.
New planning applications. (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).
West View Farm, The Green. Convert the existing barn into one dwelling and to build two new dwellings with a new access to service the three dwellings (3PL/2020/0327/LB). This application is linked with application 3PL/2020/0326/F. There was great concern by many councillors that this development would lead to an increase in traffic on a small road, past a playground and pub, which is used as one of the main walking routes to the schools. No comment yet received from Highways. The ecological survey needs further investigation too. The access road to the properties would run past a listed building, which could potentially cause damage. However it was highlighted that building on these areas to “fill in the gaps” in the village is preferable to expanding outwards. A proposal to object was approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain).
5 Oaklands. Removal of garage; new side and rear extension (3PL/2020/0379/HOU). No obvious problems with the application. Proposal to support was approved (7 in favour).
Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Prior approval for change of use from agricultural to C3 residential use under Class Q(a) only (3PN/2020/0014/UC).
*Ben Devlin was temporarily removed from the meeting for this application* 

Previous application was rejected as tried to apply for Class Q(a) and (b) last time and mistakes were made in application. Only for Class Q(a) this time. Proposal to support was approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain).
Planning Decisions by Breckland Council. The following five applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved.
Nivelles, Fen Street. Proposed front entrance hall extension and alterations (3PL/2020/0113/HOU).
Apple Tree House, Church Lane. Demolition of west side lean-to. Demolition of front wall to the front porch to create open fronted canopy. Construction of a single-storey flat roof extension to the rear and small canopy porch to the east. Installation of ground source heating (3PL/2020/0150/HOU).
17 Hargham Road. 1st floor extension and ground floor infill creating a 1½ storey dwelling with annex accommodation (3PL/2020/0189/HOU).
Attleborough SUE Land south of Attleborough, Attleborough. Outline planning consent for all matters reserved apart from the principle means of vehicular access (3 accesses onto the B1077 Buckenham Road; 1 access across Burgh Common; 1 access across Hargham Road, 1 access across Leys Lane and 1 access onto London Road) for residential development for up to 4,000 dwellings on land to the south of Attleborough; construction of new link road between Buckenham Road and London Road, pedestrian footbridge across the railway line to connect with Leys Lane, provision of two, 2-form entry primary schools; Local centre including up to 2,600m2 gross floorspace for uses within Class A1 (shops), up to 1,400m2 (gross) for uses within Classes A2/A3/A4 and/or A5 and petrol filling station, along with up to 2,100m2 (gross) for Community Uses (Class D1). Two further neighbourhood centres together including up to 400m2 (gross) for uses within Classes A1/A2/A3 and/or A5, sports pitches, public open space and amenity greenspace with sustainable drainage systems and associated infrastructure (including off-site town centre highway improvements) and demolition of existing unused sewage works and agricultural buildings (3PL/2017/0996/O).
The Farm, Doe Lane. Erection of new poultry shed adjacent to poultry shed no. 7 and erection of associated 3 feed silos and removal of existing outbuilding. Provision of new steel shed adjacent to poultry shed no. 1 (3PL/2020/0071/F).
The following application has now been considered and the application has been refused.
Land adjacent Caldcleugh dwelling under construction at The Old Asparagus Field, Cake Street. Revised access location to dwelling approved under ref 3PL/2018/1014/VAR (3PL/2020/0171/F).
Road Safety. The SAM sign is back after having Bluetooth installed (to allow safer download of data when roadside). Can currently download on to a phone only and so may need to purchase a small notebook computer purely for use with the SAM sign and to store all the data. This will be looked at in a future meeting.
Recreation Area. This has been rolled. Currently unable to purchase football goals but will do as soon as possible.
Councillors’ reports. Adrian Joel said that two new allotments had been rented. Need access to the water meter for a reading but it is currently overgrown, will be cleared and tided as soon as possible. Terry Cook reported that no Village Hall meetings are currently being held but please be aware that the recycling bins are presently full as priority of collections has been given to care homes, etc. The Village Hall has also applied for a grant to help with current finances but are still waiting for a verdict. Jonn Hicks made a recommendation that the Village Hall Committee be offered a deferment on their loan repayment (a repayment holiday) until after the Covid19 virus epidemic and added to the end of the loan repayment period. Councillors present agreed to the proposal and this suggestion would be put to the Village Hall committee to see if they wished to take up the offer. Mike Farrington said that less traffic on the roads recently means that Puddledock has been a lot quieter with only one small accident in the last couple of months. Ben Devlin told the meeting that he has a new lawnmower so is happy to help with cutting play area, etc, when work there is completed.
Next agenda. Items to be covered would include a Covid-19 update, the Action Plan, encouraging more people to join the Parish Council and village communications

Next Parish Council meeting is to be held virtually via Zoom on Thursday 4 June starting at 7.30pm.

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