Monday, 30 January 2023

Kerbside battery collection in Old Buckenham

Recycle those old batteries

From today, Monday 30 January, you can recycle used household batteries from home. The collections will be weekly so that residents just need to place their used household batteries in a freezer bag, or similar sized clear bag, on top of either their black or green bin on their usual collection day for them to be recycled. It is important that the batteries are placed on top of the bins because if they are not separated, they will risk being crushed which can cause vehicle fires and fires at the processing facility.

Batteries are made from many different materials including lithium-ion (used in laptop batteries), zinc (used in AA batteries) and nickel cadmium (used in power tool batteries) and all can be recycled into their component parts. The recovered materials can be used to manufacture new batteries and electronics. They can also be used in the steel industry and even in paint production.

Saturday, 28 January 2023

Old Buckenham money

 This is what we spend it on

And a look into the future

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Coronation plans for Old Buckenham

How would you like to celebrate?

The Coronation ceremony for King Charles III will be taking place on Saturday 6 May, followed by a Bank Holiday on Monday 8 May. Breckland Council have just announced that there are grants available, up to £500, for any community celebrations and so our Parish Council would like to know what you would like to do to celebrate this occasion. Time is tight, so if you have any ideas, please email the Clerk ( or come along to the next Parish Council meeting (Thursday 2 February, 7.30pm, Village Hall) where the occasion will be discussed. The deadline for these grant applications is Friday 24 February so there is a need to get moving. Thank you in advance for all your thoughts and ideas.

Saturday, 21 January 2023

Old Buckenham Stores

Longer opening hours

Good news. The village shop is now open everyday of the week from 7am to 8pm. Pop in and see them.

Friday, 20 January 2023

Radar tower in Old Buckenham

News of progress

In October the Met Office was granted planning permission for the radar tower in Old Buckenham. Earlier this month, the process to seek tenders for the build of the radar began. Once the procurement process is complete and contracts have been awarded, then the first phase of construction should begin in the late Summer/early Autumn.

As part of their tender, prospective contractors will be required to submit a construction management plan detailing how they will modify their working practices to mitigate the impact on the local community. These plans will be shared with the local communities via the parish councils, as well as the Old Buckenham newsletter to get your feedback before any work commences.

The Met Office also plan to liaise with the local community and schools to offer to provide more information on the science and engineering aspects of the project and the wider STEM aspects of climate and weather. They will keep you up to date with the plans as they develop and would welcome any feedback from you.

Once construction is complete and the radar is commissioned it will be integrated into the UK radar network, increasing the quality of rainfall and snowfall data across the East Anglia. This will lead to improved flood and severe weather warnings for people throughout Norfolk and Suffolk, with particular focus on summertime thunderstorms, as well as improved management of water resources and sewer outflows. 


Monday, 16 January 2023

Old Buckenham discussions

 January Parish Council

These notes have been written by the newsletter editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is changed at a later date.

Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 5 January 2023 in Old Buckenham Village Hall. Those present were Councillors Naomi Bailey (Chair), Terry Cook, Ali McWilliam and Doug Irons. An apology for non-attendance had been received from Andy Nicholls. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and five members of the public.

Election of new Vice-Chair. Jonn Hicks has resigned from the Parish Council. Many thanks for his significant contribution to the Parish Council over the years. A new Vice-Chair required and a proposal for Ali McWilliam to take on the role was agreed (2 in favour, 2 abstain).

The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 1 December 2022 were approved (4 in favour).

Financial matters. Community account balance now stands at £36,075.35. Payments for approval totalled £1841.72 and was approved (4 in favour). They included the cost of the Christmas Tree on the Green, the room hire for the Parish Council meetings and payments to the community car drivers.

Precept. Donna Oakley (Registered Finance Officer (RFO)) has prepared a draft Precept budget and breakdown of expenditure of this financial year to date. The King’s Coronation in May has not yet been discussed. The balance from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee budget is to be used for any possible celebration. As the Parish Council has not yet got an estimated cost for the annual maintenance work for Prince Harry’s Wood and St Andrew’s Close, it would be unfair to residents to estimate a cost. Therefore, the Parish Council felt that the transfer of Prince Harry’s Wood should not be completed until the Parish Council is able to budget for it in the next Precept application. There is some confusion about the playground budget and the Clerk is to clarify with the RFO.

Draft Precept is £790 lower than the previous year and a proposal to accept the Precept was approved (4 in favour).

Reports from councillors. The Chair said that the formal appraisal process has taken place for the Clerk. Due to confidential nature of items discussed, it took place in a closed meeting. All recommendations were approved by the Parish Council.

Doug Irons has enquired about joining .org website scheme through NALC. Will be contacting website designer shortly to begin designing new website. Also arranging another meeting to discuss the proposal that the Gamekeeper was given before Christmas. Due to the changing of the licensee, discussions had to begin again which caused some delays, as well as a busy Christmas/New Year period for the pub.

Terry Cook said that the Village Hall Committee send their thanks for their Precept Grant approval. The updates to the sound systems have been completed. After an incident in the Village Hall car park last term, the Committee are looking at getting an extension to the CCTV coverage to cover any blind spots. The Village Hall Committee will also be coordinating a meeting with all interested parties about the future management of the car park. The final £500 repayment of the loan from the Parish Council has been paid.

The Parish Clerk reported back on several subjects. As Jonn Hicks has resigned, some roles need re-assigning. Naomi Baily volunteered to manage the SAM sign and be the Parish Council representative on Green Working Party. Potential new burial sites will become a whole Parish Council matter. The Clerk to contact local landowners and an article to be written for the newsletter, in coordination with All Saints Church. Pot holes reported corner of Mill Road/The Green and opposite Oaklands. Repairs can take six weeks.  Broken grit bin on St Andrews Close reported and the Christmas Tree will be removed.

A Tree Survey of the Green will take place within the next couple of weeks. Clearance work on the allotments will be taking place soon. Was unable to arrange a date to meet up with contractor about Recreation Ground fence but will complete this month. Has contacted residents that live adjacent to the track between the phone box and shop regarding its maintenance. One resident has replied to acknowledge the letter and decline the invitation for a meeting and to express their view that residents have not caused the majority of the damage and so should not be contributing to the cost of repairs. Has not had a reply from other residents yet. Was contacted about the lights at Chapel Green School being too bright at night for wildlife. Contacted the Headteacher about the issue and she has agreed to look in to it.

New planning applications  Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Installation of a 22.5m lattice tower, 3 no. antenna apertures, 4 no. 600mm microwave transmission dishes and 8 no. equipment cabinets inside an 8m x 8m compound enclosed by a 1.8m high close boarded timber fence with gate and development ancillary thereto (3PL/2022/1309/F). Councillors felt that there was a lack of detailed information within the application. There is a phone mast currently being installed on nearby land and so Councillors were confused why another would be required so close by. Due to the lack of information, Councillors felt that they were unable to vote on the application but would pass on their comments to Breckland Council.

Roughlands Farm, Grove Road. Prior approval for the Change of Use of Agricultural Buildings to 1 no dwelling house (Use Class C3), and for building operations reasonably necessary for the conversion The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q (3PN/2022/0047/UC). Previous applications for this development have been refused by the Parish Council as Councillors feel that Grove Road is dangerous and traffic levels should not be increased. There is a need to be consistent in the Parish Council decisions and views. Proposal to object was approved (4 in favour).

Amended applications (for information only). Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Variation of Conditions No. 2 and No. 3 on 3PL/2020/1009/F: Introduction of external staircase to access balcony, as well as changes to the external materials. Change to the description of development, to include the variation of condition 3 (external materials), in addition to the variation of condition 2 (approved plans), (3PL/2022/1036/VAR).

Wayside, Buckenham Road. Discharge Of Conditions 6 & 8 on 3PL/2020/0202/F (Discharge Conditions) (3DC/2022/0335/DOC).

Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following applications have been considered and the applications have been approved: St Marys Chapel, Castle Hill Road. Conversion of the existing detached out-buildings to provide additional bedroom accommodation and new flat roof kitchen link between the out-building and Victorian chapel extension, with minor internal alterations to the Victorian chapel extension (3PL/2022/0997/LB).

St Marys Chapel, Castle Hill Road. Conversion of the existing detached out-buildings to provide additional bedroom accommodation and new flat roof kitchen link between the out-building and Victorian chapel extension, with minor internal alterations to the Victorian chapel extension. 3PL/2022/0996/HOU PROPOSAL

Castle House, Castle Hill Road. The conversion of the existing single-storey detached out-buildings to provide a two-bedroom dwelling (3PL/2022/0998/F)

Applications 3PL/2021/1690/F and 3PL/2021/1528/F on Cuffer Lane were discussed at a recent Breckland Planning Committee meeting. The decision was made to make a site visit in order to the Committee Members to gain a better understanding of the area. This will then be discussed again at a future Planning Committee.

Parish Partnership Scheme bid. At the previous Parish Council meeting, the issue of crossing the B1077 from Bridleway BR11 (the Stud) to the other side of the road on a blind bend was raised to Councillor Steve Askew. Crossings are generally made at the furthest point away from the blind bend, but there is a high bank on the other side which is difficult to step up to for many walkers. Following the meeting, Councillor Askew suggested making a Parish Partnership Scheme (PPS) bid for work to make it easier to cross at the furthest point from the bend, which would result in the PC paying 50% of the cost, and Norfolk County Council the other 50%. After consultation with a Highways Engineer, an estimate of £10,000 was made for the work. As the deadline for a PPS bid was on Friday 9 December, there was no opportunity to discuss the matter at a Parish Council meeting. Therefore, a bid was written and submitted in order to meet the deadline. This does not commit the Parish Council to the project and the Parish Council can withdraw from the process at any time. The Parish Council will be informed of the decision in March and will discuss the matter once a decision has been made and possible are plans drawn up with a clearer estimate of cost.

Community Car Scheme payments. Due to the rapidly rising cost of fuel last year, the Parish Council voted to give Community Car drivers the option of getting an extra 10p/mile until the end of December 2022. A proposal to not extend the optional extra 10p/mile was approved (4 in favour).

Donation to Ox and Plough  A proposal to make a contribution of £120 to the Ox and Plough towards the electricity for this year’s Christmas Tree was approved (4 in favour).

Prince Harry’s Wood updates. Queries were made by the Parish Council about whether all overhanging trees had been cut back by Breckland Council in December. Naomi Bailey to check current status of the trees and identify any trees that still require work. Two members of the public expressed the view that the transfer should not be completed until an independent forester assesses the woodland in order to gain a full understanding of the work and costs involved. Additionally, the mowing of the grass areas in St Andrews Close are very large and will cause a significant amount of additional costs to the Parish Council in regular cutting. Survey to be completed of work required within Prince Harry’s Wood and the Clerk to ask Breckland about possibility of not taking on the grass areas in St Andrews Close.

Handyman. List sent itemising the jobs to be completed by Village Handyman. A slightly longer list of areas to be cut/strimmed and increasing costs has resulted in an increased cost of £150/month for the 7 months of April to October. Work to be completed in last two weeks of each month. Insurance certificates of contractor to be sent to the Clerk. Proposal to approve work for the Handyman was approved (4 in favour).

Date for Annual Parish Meeting. This to take place at the Village Hall on Saturday 13 May at 11am.

Public participation. A resident highlighted that they felt the agreement with the Gamekeeper for the maintenance of the car park in front, should be split 50/50 with the Parish Council. Another resident enquired about recruiting new Councillors on to the Parish Council. Councillors expressed that they were always talking to people to try and encourage people on to the Parish Council but welcomed any new ideas. Councillors to write articles for the village newsletter with information about themselves and why they chose to be a Parish Councillor.

Next agenda. This will include possible burial sites and celebrating the King’s Coronation.

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Thursday 2 February at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

Changes at Old Buckenham shop

A notice on the door of the village shop gives the following information:

Shop to have new owner

The shop will be closed until 1pm on Tuesday 17 January. Following this closure, the shop will have a change in ownership. Please welcome Krishna and show him the same kindness you have shown me. I would like to thank everyone for your support the past 20 years that I have run the Old Buckenham Stores. Many thanks!


Friday, 13 January 2023

Gardens in Old Buckenham

Time to open again?

It will be five years since Old Buckenham had its last Open Gardens weekend, so is it time to do it again? Those who were involved in 2018 really enjoyed opening their gardens and meeting visitors from far and near and raised a lot of money for charity.

Several people have already expressed interest in taking part again, either by opening their gardens or helping with the organisation. It would need at least 15 to 20 gardens to make the day viable (probably Sunday 4 June), so as a first step would anyone interested in getting involved please contact Amanda Owles.

Gardens of all sizes and types, they don’t need to be “show” gardens, just to be places that you love and which visitors would find interesting.

If you are interested or want to find out what’s involved, Amanda would love to hear from you. Her email is or call on 860288

Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Tidying Old Buckenham allotments

Allotment clearance

In January, work will begin to clear the undergrowth from the Old Buckenham allotments and to get the site tidied up. If you have previously rented an allotment and have left behind any of your materials there (tools, sheds, etc) please ensure they are removed as soon as possible as anything left on the site will be removed and disposed of.

Sunday, 1 January 2023

New Year in Old Buckenham

 Just a little walk

A nice crisp, sunny day to explore a few local footpaths and to meet up with new and old friends. And plenty of dogs too.

The good news that the total sum realised for St Martins from donations was £332. Thank you.

Gathering outside the Church Rooms

David Hannah gives out all the details

The walk starts off

A further batch of walkers

Last batch disappear out of sight

Soups heating up in the Hall 

Homemade bread rolls getting ready too

First walkers on the way back

Nearly there

Another batch returning

Enjoyed their soup

Still chatting

Time to clear up

Saturday, 31 December 2022

First Old Buckenham newsletter of 2023

 Just ready for start of new year

The printed copies of the January newsletter have arrived from the printer this morning and have been given to the main distributors before lunchtime today. So there is a chance for some of you to read about what happened in December 2022 and what is planned for January 2023 as soon as it comes through your letterbox.

See you by All Saints Church for the Village Walk starting at 10.30am on Sunday and in the Church Rooms for soup and rolls afterwards.

Unfortunately there will be no 'Coffee and Chat' at the Church Rooms on Tuesday 3 January after all.

Tuesday, 27 December 2022

End of Old Buckenham Numbers Club


Old Buckenham Village Hall monthly Numbers Club has now closed. The management committee wish to thank all those who have contributed to this over the years. Thanks are also due to the dedicated collectors who walked round the village and its environs and contacted players each January. The numbers club was administered by Graham Dye to whom grateful thanks are also due. 

The winners in the last draw in December were Jenny Devaux with £10, Gerald Norton won £15, £20 went to Barbara Jones and the two £25 prizes were awarded to Pat Rout and Sarah Dye. 

The Club is now wound up. 

Friday, 23 December 2022

Old shop in Old Buckenham

 Look at the wide range and prices

This is one old document re-discovered today by the blog editor who is having a big clear out. The shop was by Rod Alley Row but how long ago? Please leave a comment if you know.

Thursday, 15 December 2022

Words for Old Buckenham newsletter

Your contributions are needed

Copy date for the January village newsletter is only five days away but many more words are needed to fill the pages. The Parish Council had no planning applications to deal with and so their minutes are much shorter than usual. People seem much busier attending local functions than keen to write up about them. Did you enjoy the switch on of the Christmas tree lights? If so write and tell me something about it. How about reporting back on the Luncheon Club's Christmas dinner? Or is there something else happening in the village that you feel strongly about.

Just send your contributions to obnewspostbox@aol before midnight on Tuesday 20 December (or write them out longhand and put them in the letterbox at Crockslea in Cake Street) and we'll try to make good use of them. Thank you.

Monday, 12 December 2022

Start the New Year in Old Buckenham

Something for your new diary 

Is that another year nearly gone? Why not come out and enjoy some fresh air with friends for the New Year's Day Walk? It will leave from outside the Church Rooms at 10.30am. The walk will be approximately 2 to 3 miles walking on fields and roads. Dogs on leads will be welcome. After the walk you are invited back to he Church Rooms for homemade soup and rolls, etc.

We normally ask for a voluntary donations for the soup and rolls. This year any monies raised will be donated to St Martins Housing Trust who are "More than a home for the homeless"
More details will follow nearer the end of the year but put the date in your diary now.

In the meantime anybody who would like to donate something other than money, such as non-perishable food, to St Martins Housing Trust this Christmas can do so by leaving it in the Church Rooms on Christmas Eve.

Saturday, 10 December 2022

Last parish council of 2022

 Here is the news

These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended in the future.

Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 1 December at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall. Those present were Councillors Naomi Bailey (Chair), Andy Nicholls, Terry Cook, Ali McWilliam and Doug Irons. Apologies for absence had been received from Jonn Hicks. Also attending were Rachel Noyes Clerk), County and District Councillor Steve Askew and one member of the public. The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 10 November were approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain).

Financial matters. The Community Account balance was now £37,604.15. Payments of £726.65 were approved (5 in favour) and included the Clerk’s salary and expenses, hire of rooms at the Village Hall and payments to four of the community car drivers. Payment made for newsletter paper as previously approved came to £777.60 (including VAT).

Councillor reports. County Councillor Steve Askew said that Serco have been due to cut back overhanging trees in Prince Harry’s Wood this week. Naomi Bailey is to visit properties and confirm work has been completed to a satisfactory standard. He was also contacted by a Banham resident regarding Banham Community Car Scheme which is no longer operational. Banham Parish Council will be discussing it at their next meeting but were looking at the idea of neighbouring parishes working together. Breckland Council have no objections. He will keep in contact with Banham Parish Council and will keep our Parish Council updated. The Community Car Scheme in Old Buckenham is well used but always on the lookout for new drivers.

Ali McWilliam had seen the SUE presentation at Attleborough Town Hall. Homes England were also present. Noted changes to transport networks in local area including adding new roundabout on the B1077. Will also be putting in some small shopping areas and other additional services.Terry Cook said that Serco and Breckland have reacted quickly to recent fly tipping in the village. No further problems reported. However, please report any problems quickly via Breckland website or to the Parish Clerk.

Doug Irons had met with The Gamekeeper manager regarding the details for leasing and resurfacing of the small area of Green outside of the pub which is currently used for parking. Was a very positive meeting in which all parties were happy to get the arrangements sorted quickly. As car park area is used by residents for accessing properties and for parking, the Parish Council will pay 60% of maintenance costs while The Gamekeeper will pay 40%. Manager was also keen to get involved in community activities and events. Paperwork will be drafted and another meeting to be arranged for in the New Year.Doug Irons will lead development of new website. Request for Councillors to inform him of features/pages they feel that the website should include. The Clerk reported that the next stage of Local Plan Update (Issues and Options consultation) will be on Tuesday 20 December at 4pm, Elizabeth House, Dereham. Two places for any Councillors able to attend.

She had contacted Breckland Planning relating to residents’ concerns raised at the last meeting. Reply received stated they can provide evidence that they wrote to three of the immediate neighbours and that while the comment was removed from the website, it was still consulted during the decision-making process. Reply did not, however, explain why the comment was removed. Recent information event received regarding work on the Brenntag site in Attleborough. Councillors were unable to attend but slides from the event have been received. Feedback to be passed on to the Clerk, who will complete feedback form. The A11 will be experiencing high levels of night closures (8pm to 6am) during December as work is switched to the Southbound side. Diversions will be via Diss. Contacted with a request for permission to install a mirror on the Green for safely leaving driveway. Clarified with Highways who said that they do not support them. Resident informed, who will now liaise with Highways/Breckland Planning themselves.

She had been contacted by the Manager of Old Buckenham Stud who wished to correct some comments from previous Parish Coumcil minutes. The Stud was not directly contacted about donating land for a burial site and so has not, as stated, that they were not prepared to give up any land.

Planning applications. There have been no new or amended planning applications received.

Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following two applications have now been considered and have been approved.

Land at Rosedale, Fen Street. Erection of 1 No C3 dwellinghouse and part demolition of outbuilding to be used as garage (3PL/2022/0429/F).

Clay Barn, Attleborough Road, barn C complex. Proposed conversion of former agricultural buildings for residential use forming two dwellings (3PL/2022/0736/F).

The following application has been withdrawn: Hargham Road. Residential Development - 12 Units (3PL/2022/0298/F).

Track Repair between Village Shop and phone box. Have been asked about maintenance work on track, specifically the “shop side” of the posts which has large areas of wear, causing large puddles during the winter months. The track is part of the Green, not Highways, but is used by several residents to access their homes. Previously, the Parish Council has made contact with residents to enquire about financial contributions towards the work. Last action was for the previous Chair to arrange meeting with residents but the Chair left the before it could be carried out. A quote was collected at the start of the year for resurfacing the track, but is likely to be higher now. Councillors felt that while the Parish Council would contribute towards the work, it should not pay the full costs due to the fact that the damage done is partly down to the residents’ cars wearing away the materials. Parish Council would pay for half, while residents pay the remaining half. Clerk to write a letter to residents who live off the track to inform them of previous quote received and explain that Parish Council will pay half the cost. If they are happy to proceed, a meeting to be arrange in the New Year between the Parish Council, residents and Green Working Party.

Prince Harry’s Wood. Have received transfer forms for signing. A few details are just being finalised regarding the cutting back of overhanging trees near properties and liaising with the insurance company. Will have to add new areas of grass in St Andrews Close included in the transfer  as these areas will need cutting by the Handyman. After completion of tree cutting work, transfer forms to be signed by two Councillors and an independent witness.

Recreation Ground fencing. Gate/fence has been reversed into and broken. Wood is poor quality and so has been easily damaged. Naomi Bailey felt that this will happen repeatedly and so a stronger structure is needed. AN highlighted the need to stop footballs hitting cars/rolling in to car park. Councillors suggested researching quotes for 4/6 foot high chain link fencing with hedges along the car park end of the Recreation Ground. A double gate would also be required to allow for grass cutting machinery to access the field. The Clerk is to collect quotes.

County Broadband wayleave. Have been contacted about a wayleave from County Broadband. Sarah Dye has dealt with the matter on behalf of the Green Rights Proprietors. Originally, the Parish Council were to discuss the suggested placement of a new telegraph pole near the playground. However have recently been informed that Highways have already approved the work.

Public participation. Resident felt that there should have been greater planning in advance for the maintenance of Prince Harry’s Wood and grass areas and the additional costs that this will incur.

Items for next agenda. These are expected to include the Precept, the Recreation Ground fencing update, the Track update and latest on Prince Harry’s Wood.

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Thursday 5 January 2023 at 7.30pm at Old Buckenham Village Hall.

Friday, 9 December 2022

Luncheon Club in Old Buckenham

What was cooking?

Wednesday was time for the Luncheon Club to have its Christmas Dinner. Here, rather later than hoped, are a few photos of the occasion. Apart from a special, free to enter, raffle there was also a visit from a class from the nearby primary school to sing a couple of songs.

Getting a supervised stir

Stuffing ready for the oven

A  bit of mardling

Watching the primary school singing

More listening to the singing

Some of the helpers enjoying their lunch

This is what we got for dinner...
... and for pudding

Time to help with clearing away the plates.

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Old Buckenham on screen

A red hot piece of village news 

The new thriller “The Chemistry of Death” based on the books of Simon Becket and filmed partly in Old Buckenham during the summer launches in mid January on Paramount Plus streaming service.

Sunday, 4 December 2022

Old Buckenham's Christmas Tree

 Switch on is next Sunday

Being found in Old Buckenham


The blog editor has been clearing out lots of old paperwork. He wondered why he had saved this envelope. Then he read the address and realised that even the local post office knew who did the village blog.


Thursday, 1 December 2022

Fourteen years of the Old Buckenham blog

Some history

On the first of December in 2008, this site first started operating and it has been going ever since. It does not have a large audience compared with many blogs that are still active but a few statistics may interest you.

The tracking program, not necessarily very accurate, says that just over 144,000 have looked at the Old Buckenham blog. Of these some 86% are from the UK, 4% from the USA and 2% from India. At the other extreme only one person in Angola and one in Senegal have chanced upon it in fourteen years. Very few people have ever left any comments. Perhaps we will do a proper analysis next year to celebrate 15 years of blogging.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Latest Old Buckenham newsletter

 Yet more stuff to read

It is December tomorrow and the latest newsletter is already dropping through the letter boxes of houses throughout the  village.There is a review of the year from the parish council chairman, Christmas activities at both the village churches and the usual long notes on the November parish council meeting. Plus details of other activities to keep you busy throughout the month.

Saturday, 26 November 2022

Christmas market in Old Buckenham

 Your chance to buy

If you go along to Chapel Green School on Wednesday 14 December between 3pm and 5pm you'll find lots of stalls where you can buy all sorts of gifts. You can also get refreshments and take part in a raffle and a tombola while listening to a Christmas choir.

Saturday, 19 November 2022

Latest news from Old Buckenham

From your Parish Council

These notes were written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that will be changed at a later date.

Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 10 November 2022 at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall. Those present were councillors Naomi Bailey (Chair), Andy Nicholls, Jonn Hicks, Terry Cook and Alison McWilliam (once co-opted). Apologies for non-attendance from Doug Irons. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and one member of the public. Alison McWilliam was co-opted as a new parish councillor (4 in favour). A proposal to agree the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 6 October was approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain).

Financial matters. Community account balance now stands at £37,937.64. Payments of £908.24 were approved (5 in favour) including £227.25 to community car drivers and £122.50 for cutting the grass in the Recreation Area. Barclays have made the requested changes to the bank signatories to include Clerk and Registered Finance Officer (RFO). This will now allow the RFO to make further changes.

Councillors’ reports. Jonn Hicks explained that when the churchyard was extended, a survey was not conducted on the ground and so an old existing sewer pipe was not detected. The pipe is now broken and flooded which is resulting in tankers emptying the sewage every day. Anglian Water will be putting a new pipe in to the Stud field which is directly behind the area. This confirms that the Stud field could not be used for burials in the future. Jonn Hicks will begin contacting local landowners about possible donations/purchases.

Terry Cook noted the increased problem of fly tipping in recent weeks. This has occurred on the outskirts of the village but also on the Green. All incidents involved tyres as well as other rubbish. All fly tipping was reported to Breckland and has been removed by Serco. There is a proposal by Norfolk County Council to reduce the hours that recycling centres are open which could lead to further problems. If anyone spots any fly tipping then they can inform the Clerk who will report it for collection. He also reported on the Village Hall update. It has recently been re-insulated and new boiler installed. Having looked at recent bills, the Village Hall is becoming more energy efficient resulting in lower bills.

Two parents who had volunteered to run the Village Hall car park Permit Scheme have stepped down after experiencing aggressive behaviour. The Village Hall Committee has decided it would not open the car park for school parking if the permit system is not in place by next September. There is a suggestion to arrange a meeting between representatives of the Sepientia Trust, the Primary School, the Parish Council, the Village Hall and Councillor Steve Askew to find a solution. Councillors were supportive of the proposed meeting with Naomi Bailey and Terry Cook to attend. A recent Health and Safety check on the Village Hall has resulted in improvements.

Terry Cook had also been contacted by a parishioner on Cake Street who was concerned that Breckland have not informed the neighbours about a planning application and that comments were removed from the planning website. The Clerk is to write to Breckland and Councillor Steve Askew to raise the issue. Had also been asked about whether access to the footpath opposite the Stud entrance could be improved. Currently the footpath comes out down the Stud driveway but ends at a blind corner and a steep bank on the opposite side of the road. The Clerk is to enquire with Highways.

The Chair had been contacted by the Ox and Plough owner to request that all mention of the Ox and Plough pub be removed from Green rental agreement. Agreements have been redrafted with pub removed and re-signed. The Christmas tree is ordered for delivery in the first week of December. Switch on will be organised for Sunday 11 December. The Ox and Plough has agreed to supply electricity for the tree and the Parish Council will make a donation towards the electricity costs. Andy Nicholls suggested researching new LED lights for the future which would be cheaper to run.

The Clerk had been contacted by a parishioner who was very concerned by the speed and volume of vehicles using Grove Road. Terry Cook suggested researching schemes from other counties in which Councils were implementing 20mph zones on rural roads. The Clerk is to enquire. The SpeedWatch equipment has been collected and she has sent out an advertisement for volunteers. Currently there are five people who have offered to support but it would need a minimum of six for it to run. The Clerk is to send out a last request for volunteers, otherwise equipment will be returned.

Fen Road will be closed for works from Monday 21 to Wednesday 23 November. County Broadband has been in contact about a wayleave and digging an area of the Green to lay a cable. They have been put in touch with Sarah Dye as representative of Green Rights Proprietors and who has previously dealt with wayleave requests. Searches about Prince Harry’s Wood have come back from solicitors with no problems. Took a little while to organise a clear map of the areas involved, as also includes areas of grass within St Andrews Close but is sorted now. Will be expecting to complete on transfer soon. Also there has been a small increase in the hourly rates of the solicitors.

Feedback was requested on the recent Attcare report which was recently received. Terry Cook explained that he was disappointed in the report as it focused more on methodology, rather than outcomes of the data. He also felt the structure of the report was poor and it failed to address how many people are seeking healthcare in alternative villages/towns and why. Any other feedback from Councillors to be sent to Clerk. He had also had a question raised about whether the Parish Council could improve the aesthetics of the main entrance to the village with flowers (in tubs or in the ground). Councillors highlighted that these would be extra areas that would need maintenance and increase costs of handyman routine jobs.

Planning applications. All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal. Councillors have been asked by the chair to view the new applications in advance of the meeting.

New planning applications. Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Change of use of land from agricultural to residential in order to accommodate a new site entrance (3PL/2022/1150/F). Councillors noted that there was very little information in the application. Jonn Hicks also highlighted that there have been several applications to build on this land previously which have all been rejected by Breckland. Proposal to object was approved (5 in favour).

Amended applications. Old Buckenham Airfield, Abbey Road. Revised description of proposal. Erection of 6 no EV chargers for the charging of electric aircraft, the retention of a two storey office and the erection of a single storey office on existing concrete pad (3PL/2022/0937/F).

Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Variation of Conditions No2 on 3PL/2020/1009/F, introduction of external staircase to access balcony (3PL/2022/1036/VAR).

Land at 608360 291240 Cuffer Lane. Change of use of land from agriculture land to mixed use of agriculture and leisure and domestic use (retrospective). Erection of fencing, entrance gate, bell tent, outdoor kitchen, chicken feed store, beehives, chicken coop and earth bund and alterations to existing pond (retrospective) (3PL/2021/1690/F). Change of description and amended proposed site layout.

St Marys Chapel, Castle Hill Road. Conversion of the existing detached out-buildings to provide additional bedroom accommodation and new flat roof kitchen link between the out-building and Victorian chapel extension, with minor internal alterations to the Victorian chapel extension (3PL/2022/0996/HOU and 3PL/2022/0997/LB). Revised ownership certificate.

Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following applications have now been considered and have been approved.

Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Eight New Holiday Lodges (3PL/2022/0783/F).

Downmore Farm, Banham Road. Proposed change of use of an existing agricultural building to dwelling house together with the building operations reasonably necessary to facilitate the conversion (3PL/2022/0604/F).

Old Buckenham Airfield, Abbey Road. Erection of 6 no EV chargers for the charging of electric aircraft, the retention of a two storey office and the erection of a single storey office on existing concrete pad (3PL/2022/0937/F).

Crumb Cottage, Cake Street. Variation of Conditions No 2 (Approved Plans) and No 3 (Materials) on 3PL/2021/1290/HOU - Roof material changed from standing seam to clay pantiles, Window 18 opening now hung to the left and Front dormer window changed to 3 panes (3PL/2022/1066/VAR).

Planning Appeals. The following Appeal  has been dismissed: Rear of 41 Hargham Road (3PL/2021/0830/O). Appeal reference APP/F2605/W/22/3295975.

Newsletter paper. Quote for Village Newsletter paper was above the pre-approved limit and came in at £648 (plus VAT). Proposal to approve was agreed (5 in favour).

Remembrance Day. This would be on Sunday 13 November at the War Memorial. It was hoped to have as many Councillors there as possible. Terry Cook had been asked by the Church if a member of the Parish Council would be willing to read out the Roll of Honour and he agreed to take part.

Plaque for Jubilee trees. Platinum Jubilee trees were now planted opposite the Gamekeeper. Now a need to place a plaque at the site. The Clerk had sent out some possible suggestions of wording and her Option 2 was approved (5 in favour). The Clerk is to research costings of different materials for plaque.

(Jonn Hicks left the meeting)

Website. Councillors have been sent quotes and information about two companies for building of the new Parish Council website. Proposal to accept Option 1 was approved (4 in favour). Doug Irons has previously offered to lead development.

Inspection of trees on the Green. Green Working Party have requested to spend £600 on a tree inspection and written report detailing trees for immediate work and also a 10 year maintenance plan. Proposal to accept was approved (4 in favour).

Allotments. (discussed at start of meeting while Jonn Hicks was still present) Quotes received from two landscape gardeners for clearing overgrowth and rubbish from allotments. Because of volume of the work, they would like to work together on project. Estimated to take two to two and a half days to clear and would cost £200 each for a day’s work (expected £800 to £1000 total). Councillors supported the idea that any materials that are still salvageable could initially be offered to the community. Would require a skip hire to remove waste. Proposal to accept quote and allocate £1500 to the initial clearance was approved (5 in favour). Both workers have Public Liability Insurance and would send copies to the Clerk. Once improved, the allotments will require a maintenance plan by the allotment holders to ensure it does not return to a poor state again. Security is still an issue and there was another recent theft from the site. Solutions such as large communal storage will be investigated. As project will require a lot of money, the Clerk to research grants/funding options. Ali McWilliam offered to join Allotment Working Party.

Pre-application of Telecommunications Tower. Parish Council had been contacted by Breckland about the pre-application of a Telecommunications Tower at Old Buckenham Country Park for initial comments. Councillors understood the need for better mobile phone coverage in the village but were also aware that the weather radar tower met strong objection. Councillors were curious what the coverage would be and if it would cause any problems for the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival at the site. Clerk to feedback comments.

Items for next agenda. These would include Precept Grants and confirmation of Christmas tree arrangements.

The date of next Parish Council meeting will be Thursday 1 December at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.