Thursday, 11 June 2020

Council minutes from Old Buckenham

Parish Council minutes for June
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met virtually by Zoom on Thursday 2nd June 2020 at 7.30pm. Those present were Councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington, Terry Cook and Andy Nicholls. (AN). Also taking part were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and five members of the public.
Ben Devlin was not present and no apology for absence had been received.
The minutes of the meeting held in May were approved (6 in favour) subject to amending the amount to be paid to support the Village Newsletter to £300, not £200. There were no matters arising.
Financial matters. The Community account balance now stood at £34,524.56.
Payments totalling £769.30 were approved (6 in favour) which covered accounting fees, the clerk’s salary, work by the village handyman, grass cutting and community car payments.
A thank you was given to Donna Oakley for completing the accounts. They will be reviewed next month.
Public participation. The print run for the village newsletter has been increased to cover the whole village. Distribution has been helped by the volunteers in the village.
There was an enquiry about access to the Chapel Green School MUGA (multi use games area): The chairman explained that his initial plan for access was not approved by headteacher. She had an alternative idea but initial estimates of costs are very high so he is struggling to find a compromise that is reasonable in cost. As it stated in the original planning application for the school that these facilities would be available to the village, the parish council are keen to find a solution. There is a Governors’ meeting at the school on Thursday 9 July and the clerk will write to the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher asking for the subject to be discussed at that meeting.
Update on Covid-19 help. IT issues meant that Terri Hammond was unable to join the meeting for an update on the Covid-19 help. A member of the public who is one of the volunteers explained that the system is working well and trips are routinely made for food/prescriptions/care home trips/etc. The Councillors wished to express their thanks again to everyone involved with looking after the vulnerable residents of the village.
Parish Council communications. Councillors and residents have not had opportunity to meet again before the meeting. They will meet soon and update next month with a plan of action.
Attracting new councillors. (Mike Farrington left the meeting due to technical issues) The Parish Council want to look at how to attract new councillors to the Parish Council. It was highlighted that it would be good to have some younger residents on the Parish Council to help represent the views of families, with a possible focus sport/health/fitness. At present, the Parish Council is all male so female councillors would be good too. An advertisement will be used in the village newsletter and noticeboard. Several members of the Parish Council felt that they should be making more effort as councillors to meet up with groups and individuals to build up a relationship, improve communication and to explain how to become a councillor. While everyone appreciates that this is not possible at the moment, the clerk will compile a list of groups within the village so that councillors can attend to meet residents once restrictions are fully lifted.
SAM sign Notebook. A small notebook computer is needed to download and store the traffic data from the new SAM sign. Cost would be approximately £300 and this was approved (6 in favour).
Trees on the Green. The Green Working Party (GWP) have had 80 trees donated by Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) and they have been advised on suitable locations. The GWP have proposed putting 20 oak trees in existing woodland opposite the Hovis House to replace damaged, dead and removed trees and a total of 30 field maple and 30 hornbeam trees on the Pound (near the Almshouses) and behind the bus shelter. Jonn Hicks highlighted the need to consider the cost of maintaining these trees in the future as the oak trees will require coppicing every 10 years, which will be paid for by the Parish Council. Last year over £3000 was spent on the Green because of a lot of tree work. A lot of councillors were keen to highlight the environmental benefits the trees would bring. Trees absorb a large amount of CO2 from the atmosphere and therefore there was a strong feeling that we should be encouraging tree planting. Terry Cook suggested that the large spend on the trees last year was due to the lack of maintenance over the previous years and therefore if the Parish Council planned a strategy for maintenance and saved some money each year, then it would not be such a large amount in one go. It is proposed that the Breckland Tree Officer is invited to provide an independent view on how many trees should be planted and possible locations. This was approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain) and the Clerk will contact him.
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.
New planning applications. The New Stables, Grove Road. Further holiday cabin/caretaker accommodation (3PL/2020/0436/F). Applicant requires cabin to be part-time accommodation for on-site caretaker of their business as they are often away (approximately 6 to 9 months). This will also provide extra security and then the remainder of the time it will be a further holiday cabin for the business. Proposal to support was approved (2 in favour, 3 abstain).
Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Conversion of existing agricultural building to single dwelling (3PN/2020/0017/UC). Previously rejected due to Highways’ concerns. They are now supporting this new application. Land is no longer classed as agricultural. Proposal to support was approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain).
Haresfield, The Old Yard, Hargham Road. Change of use of parcel of land to rear of existing residential unit to residential curtilage and erection of a rear extension, comprising of garage bays to the ground floor and 2no bedrooms to the first floor and terrace at the rear (3PL/2020/0437/F). Land is only allowed one dwelling on it, therefore extending that one property. Not overlooked by anyone. Proposal to support was approved (2 in favour, 1 against, 2 abstain).
Buckenham Priory, Abbey Road. Infill Extension (3PL/2020/0461/LB and 3PL/2020/0460/HOU). This is a listed building that is controlled by English Heritage. Same footprint as a building that existed previously. Historic Officer has no objections. English Heritage are likely to monitor materials, design, etc. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Land to west of 22 Fen Street. Technical details consent for erection of 4 dwellings, permission in principle reference 3PL/2019/1257/PIP (3PL/2020/0495/TDC). The PIP has been approved with a long list of recommendations, including replanting of hedge and no removal of trees on site. As the application came through quite late the councillors did not have much time to go through the detailed list and evaluate the plans. The opinions of other consultees have not been uploaded yet. Several local residents have contacted the Parish Council with objections. A proposal to request an extension to the deadline in order to fully understand plans, conditions of PIP approval and gather more information was approved (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following application has now been considered and the application has been approved. 5 Oaklands. Removal of garage; new side and rear extension (3PL/2020/0379/HOU).
Chairman’s report. Many enquiries about a traffic survey being completed on Attleborough Road near the beginning of lockdown period. Was being completed for a potential planning application in the area. When asked about the Parish Council’s opinion on a development that which would be outside the village boundary, councillors explained that they cannot judge an application location before it has been submitted.
Road Safety. Concerns were raised by a resident about cars using the track between the Clinic and the Primary School as a road and driving very fast. As the track is maintained by Highways, the Parish Council are unable to do much. However they recommended contacting Highways themselves to complain and encouraged other residents nearby to do the same. Also the post for the SAM sign on Cake Street is being installed by village handyman.
Play Area. The company providing rubber pellets has been unable to fulfil the order and will provide a refund. Contractor has been unable to complete the work. Therefore the contractor will be providing a refund to the Parish Council and copies of all expenditure to the RFO. New order of rubber pellets has been made and should hopefully be delivered in 10 working days. Many people in village have offered to complete the job and Jonn Hicks has organised a new contractor.
Recreation Area.
Grass has been cut and rolled. However it was too dry to make much impact so will be rolled again when softer. Grass will be cut regularly. Andy Nicholls will order new goal posts as companies are now starting to open up again. Bin is full and requires emptying.
Items for next agenda. These would include communications and an Action Plan update.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday 2 July starting at 7.30pm.

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