Friday, 20 November 2020

Old Buckenham Parish Council

Council meeting in November
These notes have been written from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met via Zoom on Thursday 5 November. Those present were councillors Steve Milner (Vice-Chair), Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls and Naomi Bailey. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and three members of the public. Jonn Hicks had sent his apologies while Mike Farrington and Ben Devlin were absent at the start of the meeting (Ben Devlin did join the meeting near the end).
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 1 October were approved (5 in favour). There were no matters arising from the minutes.
Financial matters. The Community Account balance now stood at £38,215.68.
Payments of £960.26 were approved (5 in favour) including accounting fees, newsletter paper, clerk’s salary and expenses, village handyman and community car payments. £600 was also paid for emergency tree work on the Green. The Charity Account Annual Return has been submitted.
Correspondence. A Parish Council Facebook page has been set up. It has been well received and has already been used to notify the council of a maintenance issue in the village. It has been suggested to put a profile in the village newsletter every month of individual councillors. A request for a bench in memory of Bill Wardman has been received from his daughter. Currently looking at suitable locations and bench designs.
Several questions have been received about proposed weather radar. No planning application has yet been received.
Steve Askew has informed the Clerk that the Highways Ranger scheme is still operational and that the parish council can email requests for any work that needs doing. George Freeman, our MP, has written asking for opinions on Covid-19 response and planning reforms. All councillors are to email their opinions to the clerk and these will be collated into a single response.
Action Plan update. The village handyman due to complete several maintenance tasks.
Village Green Working Party. The Green has been cut.
Road Safety. Several councillors raised concerns about the number of lorries using the minor roads and exceeding weight limits following temporary closure of B1077. Farm vehicles have also been stopping on roads for loading without any warning signs. Clerk to contact councillor Stephen Askew.
Play Area. Still open during lockdown. Playdale were booked to attend but will now not come out during lockdown. Toddler area bin is not being emptied as company don’t have key. The clerk to chase up.
Recreation Area. Lines on football pitch not painted yet. Andy Nicholls to chase up.
Councillors’ reports. Terry Cook said that the Village Hall has closed again during lockdown. Adrian Joel reported that the bin in the village hall car park needs emptying again and Andy Nicholls said it would be good to know the pub’s plans so that the village can support them.
County Broadband cabinet location. County Broadband is looking to place a cabinet on the corner of the Green with Mill Road and have asked for parish council feedback. Councillors could not see any problems with the location. Rachel Noyes to inform the Green Working Group.
Covid-19 update and preparedness for winter. Terri Hammond joined the Zoom meeting and provided an update on the village group of volunteers.
Previous volunteers have been contacted and most are happy to reprise the roles in helping those in the community that are isolating or shielding. A message has been put in village newsletter aiming to get the message out that help is available if you need it. Main job is prescription runs and they are in communication with the doctors’ surgeries for this. Breckland Council are in contact. Adrian Joel also highlighted that the community car is available.
There was concern about people feeling lonely and if there was anything that could be done to help support them. Terri explained that they have been told by Breckland to look out for those struggling and they will referred to the correct support. Thanks to Old Buckenham 2000 Trust who are, once again, helping the volunteers with the finances before reclaiming from the residents.
Parish Paths. Articles in the Village Newsletter have been well received and have led to some useful feedback already from both walkers and landowners. One common issue is unclear/missing signs. New signs are needed from the roads and also along the footpaths. This would incur a small partial cost to the Parish Council. It was proposed that the Parish Council should commit (in principle) to improving signage and footpaths in the Parish and this was approved (5 in favour).
Chapel Green MUGA. Chapel Green School are unable to provide money for the access to the MUGA as it is pupil money and so has to be spent on the children. The main issue is providing access to the MUGA while ensuring security of the school. Initial quotes for an access gate from the village hall car park were very high. There is no lighting of the MUGA which would severely limit its use in the evenings, particularly in the winter months. Can the high costs be justified if it can only be used on the weekend? The Parish Council has previously looked at getting its own MUGA (possibly on the Recreation ground). A feasibility study would give clearer understanding of the situation. Andy Nicholls to investigate a quote for a MUGA.
Planning. 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. 59 Fen Street. Single Storey Side and Rear Extensions, conversion of Garage to provide additional Accommodation, Front Porch and Render to existing External Walls (3PL/2020/1092/HOU). No objections. This application was supported (5 in favour).
Land between Willow Cottage and Priest Hill Cottage, Fen Street. Technical Details Consent for erection of one dwelling and garage. Permission in Principle reference 3PL/2019/1258/PIP (3PL/2020/1076/TDC). No objections. This application was supported (5 in favour).
Land to rear of development plot between Willow Cottage and Fen Street. Change of use of agricultural land to garden (3PL/2020/1075/F). A large garden extension proposed. A resident questioned the depth of the ecological study. Old pipeline runs underneath proposed extension but is no longer in use. Proposed extension would surround neighbouring property. The council voted to oppose the application (4 in favour, 1 against).but would comment to Planning that they could probably support if a smaller extension was proposed or there was a restriction on development on the area labelled on the plans as Paddock/Orchard.
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following application has now been considered and the application been approved.
Tall Trees, New Buckenham Road. Removal of the existing single-storey extension, new two-storey extension, replacement windows and new external cladding (3PL/2020/0979/HOU).
The following application been withdrawn. 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/2020/0326/F and 3PL/2020/0327/LB).
(Ben Devlin joined the meeting)
Items for next agenda. Precept applications.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday 3 December at 7.30pm. It was then agreed (6 in favour) to close the meeting to the Public and Press in order to discuss a personnel matter.

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