Monday, 13 July 2020

Latest Old Buckenham Parish Council meeting

Parish Council July minutes
The following notes have been produced 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 via Zoom on Thursday 2 July at 7.30pm. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington and Terry Cook. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), County and District councillor Steve Askew as well as 10 members of the public. Andy Nicholls had sent his apologies for not being able to attend. Ben Devlin was not present and apologies had not been received. 
The minutes of the council meeting held on Thursday 4 June were approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain) and there were no matters arising from these minutes
Financial report. Community account balance now stands at £34,864.46. Payments of £2,242.01 were approved (5 in favour) which included £1144 for goalposts to go on the Recreation Area and £122 to cover the costs of the Green survey (payments for the Green survey to be taken from the Green budget).
Public participation relating to agenda items. Steve Askew said he had been posting reports from Breckland Council on the Old Buckenham Facebook page. He wished to thank all the village helpers during these recent months.
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. 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. Having taken the time to review the application and the technical details, which included replacing any hedgerow that was removed and supporting wildlife post-build, the Parish Council could see no problems with the application. Councillors highlighted that the PIP had been granted and therefore this application was for technical details only. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Redbourne House, Abbey Road. New detached double garage to front of property. Single storey extension to rear of existing garage (3PL/2020/0493/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Windmill, Mill Road. Brick repairs to walls, oak lintel repairs over openings and repairs to the Mill cap. Ground floor replacement and removal of cement render. Minor timber repairs to intermediate floor structures (3PL/2020/0550/LB). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Scales Farm, Road from Stacksford Lane to Hargham Road. Erection of straw barn (3PL/2020/0580/F). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Land west of Attleborough Road, north of the property East View. Outline application for 5 residential dwellings (3PL/2020/0578/O). Firstly, it was highlighted that the application was outside the settlement boundary of the village. Old Buckenham has a housing target of 17 additional properties and has already met this target. The site was initially put forward to be included in the Local Plan but was dismissed due to its impact on the historic environment. There was great concern from councillors and residents about road safety at the site. The original traffic survey was completed during the lockdown and produced unrealistic data of the volume and speed of traffic. Breckland Council has now stated that any survey completed in this period would not be useable. Road safety concerns included a lot of accidents in that area, being near a bend and vehicles frequently travelling above the speed limit as they enter the village. Additionally, there is no space to build a footpath and so there would be an increase in people crossing the road to access village facilities. Jonn Hicks wished to highlight that there had been a lot of opinions online about this specific application but very little interest in other applications in the village. He also reminded residents that the Parish Council is only one consultee and he encouraged all residents to submit their opinions for all applications on the Breckland Planning website. A proposal to object was approved (5 in favour).
5 Hargham Road. Erection of an outdoor Oak wooden gazebo structure with pantile roof (3PL/2020/0585/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
17 Hargham Road. 1st floor extension and ground floor infill creating a 1½ storey dwelling with annex accommodation, revised scheme (3PL/2020/0636/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following two applications have now been considered and prior approval has been given:
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).
Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Prior approval for conversion of existing agricultural building to single dwelling The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) -Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q (3PN/2020/0017/UC).
The following two applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved:
Buckenham Priory, Abbey Road. Infill Extension (3PL/2020/0461/LB and 3PL/2020/0460/HOU).
Land to the west of 49 Hargham Road. Permission in principle for the erection of 4 dwellings (Town and Country Planning) Permission in Principle (amendment) Order 2017 (3PL/2020/0117/PIP).
Development of Old Buckenham. Whenever a controversial planning application comes through, there is a lot of debate centred around how Old Buckenham will develop. As chairman, Jonn Hicks asked all members of the public present what their personal views were. The following points were raised:
* Like village as it is, don’t want any more houses built. 
* Can’t stop future development.
* Concern about Attleborough boundary edging closer.
* Need for housing, particularly smaller family homes.
* Parish Council can sometimes be inconsistent – Jonn Hicks reminded councillors of the “tick list” used to assess applications and this will be re-issued.
* Neighbourhood Plan will not stop all development but could give stronger arguments for/against some applications.
* Need to develop facilities, particularly for young people.
* If you want facilities, you need development.
* Developers just keep coming – Parish Council should be tougher.
* Government are very “pro” development and therefore Breckland is under a lot of pressure to approve applications.
* Planning system is complicated and unfair.
* Environmental impact of the houses needs to be considered for sustainable houses and development.
The Parish Council have previously approved the writing of a Neighbourhood Plan. When there is more freedom of movement and people are able to meet in person, the Parish Council will again look and decide the best course of action regarding a Neighbourhood Plan.
Communications. Steve Milner has started reviewing all the aspects that have been highlighted previously. Will complete and send to councillors so that they can add their own feedback and decisions can be made about best steps forward.
Action Plan update. Two defibrillator locations have been confirmed, just been waiting out this period until a tradesman can be arranged. There is also a need to continue reviewing policies.
Village Green Working Party. Some villagers feel uniformed about contents of the Green reports. The Clerk is to make this clearer in the agendas.
Residents of Almshouses are unhappy with the Pound being left uncut. The Parish Council and Green Working Party looked at initial reasons behind decision (wildflowers left to seed, rotating areas every year, feedback from residents) and decide to leave grass uncut until Autumn, as initially planned. The Clerk and Gemma Frost to write letter to residents of the Almshouses explaining the decision.
UK Power Networks have written to Green Working Party to request permission to access a small area of cables under edge of Green. This is routine request which Gemma Frost will authorise.
Road Safety. Now have new location for installing the SAM sign on Cake Street. Need to purchase new battery for the mobile SAM sign. Reminder to people to drive safely and within limits as there has been a large increase in speed during lockdown but roads are getting busier again.
Play Area. Rubber pellets are due to be delivered next week and work should hopefully be finished soon after (opened on Saturday 11 July). Safety Inspection can be arranged quickly after completion. Breckland Council had advised not to open playgrounds unless someone is present at all times to ensure social distancing. The Clerk to contact Breckland about emptying Playground waste bins.
Recreation Area. New goal posts and nets have been delivered and due to be installed next week. Will then look at planting fruit trees around boundary to help contain footballs and also provide a small orchard for the village. Grass will continue to be cut/rolled whenever weather makes this possible.
Councillors’ reports. Terry Cook explained that rules for safely opening the Village Hall are very strict. The committee will meet this month to discuss how to implement the rules. Jonn Hicks has cut grass at the front of the Village Hall. A volunteer from the village has offered to do so in the future, with possible contributions towards fuel.
Items for next agenda. Communications and Neighbourhood Plan.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held using Zoom on Thursday 6 August at 7.30pm.

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