Sunday, 30 September 2018

Yet another Old Buckenham newsletter

Time to read the October issue
You can find out about the pop up library that is coming to the village hall, read notes on the last Parish Council meeting and keep up with latest on re-thatching the roof of All Saints church.
All this and more in the newsletter that looks like this:

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Resurfacing in Old Buckenham

New road surface laid today
The junction between Cake Street, New Buckenham Road and Ragmere Road has been closed for much of the day, The contractors were at work by 7am and lots of big machinery had been moved in. The weather was perfect so the road was scraped, new tarmac laid and then rolled by about 4pm in the afternoon.

It was amazing how many people didn't read (or didn't believe) the signs saying that the road was closed. They ended up having to turn back the way they had come. And further motorists, seeing traffic apparently using the road, ignored the signs and got stuck themselves.
If you are using this junction in the next few days, remember there are no cats' eyes or white lines so drive with care.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Old Buckenham Parish Council minutes

Parish Council minutes for September
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is changed at a later date. The full version of the draft minutes can be seen on the noticeboard outside the village shop.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 6 September at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. Those present were Phil Little (Chairman), Ben Devlin, Gemma Frost, Adrian Joel, Andy Nichols and Steve Milner. Also the following on co-option - Debbie Callaghan and Paul Phillips. Also present were Andy Emms (Parish Clerk), County Councillor Stephen Askew and eight members of the public. An apology for absence had been received from Jon Hicks.
The chairman said that applications to be co-opted onto the council had been received from Debbie Callaghan and Paul Philips. It was resolved, unanimously, to co-opt Debbie Callaghan and Paul Philips after which they made the declarations of acceptance of office.
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 5 July were approved. Matters arising from the minutes of the meeting were that Steve Milner had been unable to forward details re the problems with the Grove Road/Mill Road junction and so the Parish Clerk would write to Highways once this information was received.
Public participation. A parishioner said he was the applicant for the planning application for 9 The Old Yard which had been amended to turn the proposal through 90 degrees and to change the first floor to residential. The appearance had not changed.
A parishioner said he was the applicant for 14 Fen Street. This would be a large extension but the property was on a very large plot and the aim was to turn a small 1½ bed property into a family home. Revised plans had been submitted to take into account the comments received from neighbours and the proposed height and width had been reduced and the front door changed. Another parishioner said she was the neighbour and had some concerns about the extension and the position of the garage. Her view would be affected as would her health and her property would be devalued. She suggested that the garage should be moved further forward towards the road. The chairman said councillors would take comments into account when considering the application later in the meeting but would only be able to consider planning “material considerations”. These were explained in the article the parish clerk had provided for the September village newsletter and, for example, the affect on view was not such a “material consideration”.
A parishioner said that time was running out for the council to respond to the Attleborough Strategic Urban Extension plans (ASUE). The public survey on the ASUE had only been available for Attleborough residents to respond to and although the proposals involved using 15 hectares of land in the parish of Old Buckenham, residents of the village had not had a say. Other villages had successfully fought against similar urban expansion into their boundaries and Old Buckenham should do the same.
Another parishioner queried whether the parish council considered the ASUE to be a fait accompli? The chairman said the ASUE would be considered later in the meeting.
The parishioner said he understood Norfolk County Council was considering selling many acres of farm land off Hargham Road and queried whether this was in the parish. The chairman said this would be investigated.
The parishioner suggested that the head of the new school be asked to join the road safety committee and reiterated his concerns regarding the pedestrian crossing planned for the B1077. He asked if the officers’ report on the options considered could be publicised. Stephen Askew confirmed that this was possible and the chairman said that it would go on the parish council website.
The parishioner said he believed the Green was common land and re-iterated his views expressed at earlier meetings that there should be signs requiring dogs to be on leads. The chairman reminded him that the council had discussed this before and agreed to retain existing signs and also agreed not to discuss it further.
Stephen Askew said that the water leak at the Grove Road/Crown Road junction had returned and he was trying to get it dealt with. After much chasing he hoped that the soakaway issue in Church Lane would be dealt with in September. Revised regulations meant that landowners could start cutting hedges from Saturday 1 September and people should be aware of the potential hazards on the roads. He would be cutting his hedges, including the blind junction of Mill Road/Grove Road. He said he would be willing to cut the hedges on Fen Street if landowners there wished him to do this.
Financial matters. The Parish Clerk said that the auditors had queried variances between some of the 16/17 and 17/18 headings in the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR). He had explained the variances and the auditors had indicated they were able to continue their review.
The bank balances at Friday 31 August 2018 were £39,438.42 in the current account and £ 2,876.06 in the premium account. Total expenditure was £3,153.93 and the income received included a donation from Mrs Zair of £100 towards the circular bench repair.
Precept Grants. The Parish Clerk said he had circulated a draft grants policy and a revised grant application form if councillors considered they wished to offer precept grants in 2018/19. Groups will be invited to make applications for Precept Grants and the deadline for applications is Wednesday 31 October. The newsletter editor will be asked to advertise the availability of precept grants in the parish newsletter.
Planning. Andy Nichols said that although parish councillors were expected to view details of planning applications on the Breckland District Council planning portal before each meeting it would be useful if some details could be projected at the meeting, such as Google maps, to facilitate discussion and for the benefit of parishioners present.
Planning applications. 14 Fen Street. Extension to side and back, erection of garage: revised plan/design (3/PL/2018/0851/HOU). During discussion, including hearing more details from the applicant and the neighbour, two councillors said that the revised plans had alleviated concerns they had regarding the scale of the development. (Ben Devlin arrived at the meeting during this item but took no part in the discussion or the vote). It was resolved, with 4 voting in favour and 4 abstentions, to support the application.
9 The Old Yard. Erection of office building with first floor two-bed accommodation (3/PL/2018/0887/F). Resolved, with 5 voting in favour and 3 abstentions, to support the application.
Planning decisions by Breckland District Council. Hunters House (off Banham Road). Re-design of conservatory to form garden room. (3/PL/2018/0414/HOU). Approved.
Alice Cottage, Ragmere Road. Proposed cart lodge and alterations to dwelling (3/PL/2018/0624/HOU). Approved.
Land at March Field Way, erection of 12 dwellings (3/PL/2018/0719F). Adrian Joel reported that revised plans had been submitted to Breckland Council just prior to consideration at the Planning Committee. As the revisions were minor highways and boundary changes the application was approved subject to public consultation on the revisions. After the consultation, if no objections were received, officers had delegated powers to deal with the application so the development should not be held up. Resolved with 4 voting in favour and 4 abstentions to support the revised plans.
The Cottage, The Green. Proposed garage (3/PL/2018/0735/HOU). Not considered earlier by the parish council as no time extension granted by Breckland). Approved.
The Manor, Manor Corner. Two-storey extension (3/PL/2018/0831/HOU). Not considered earlier by the parish council as no time extension granted by Breckland). Approved.
3 The Granary, Mill Road. Replace windows (3/PL/2018/0867/LB) Not considered earlier by the parish council as no time extension granted by Breckland). Approved.
Chairman’s report. The chairman said that together with three other councillors he had attended a very useful planning course run by the Local Councils Public Advisory Service (LCPAS). This had given useful information regarding how to deal with the ASUE issue. The CEO of the LCPAS had offered further advice which he would follow up. In reply to an earlier question from a parishioner, he did not consider the ASUE to be a “fait accompli”.
He had submitted an application for the defibrillator to be provided in the telephone kiosk. In reply to questions he said that the possibility of a defibrillator at the village hall needed to be considered separately.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said that Cotman Housing had confirmed that nine of the new houses at March Field Way would be available for rent and the remaining three would be available for shared ownership. As the development had been identified as an 'exception site', the houses would be available for people that live, work or have family in the village. He would arrange for publicity to advise people to get onto Breckland’s housing list.
The previous month the government had launched its sleeping rough strategy. Breckland believed that the current number of rough sleepers in the area was less than ten. If anyone was aware of any rough sleepers they could contact him via
Village Green Management Committee. The latest report had been published with the agenda for the meeting. Although no great crested newts had been found at Ottomer Pond when surveyed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) in June 2018, one had been found during work on a nearby property. Further work had been stopped around Ottomer Pond pending further investigation. Since circulating the report, a further quote had been received from NWT to check again for great crested newts. This was significantly cheaper than the one detailed in the report. NWT had also advised that brash clearance work could continue pending this investigation. It was agreed with 6 voting in favour, 1 against and 1 abstention, to accept the NWT quote to undertake a further check for great crested newts at Ottomer Pond. Also to clear the brash piles around Ottomer Pond as per the advice of NWT but not to dispose of by a bonfire and instead ask the VGMC to obtain quotes for its removal.
Recent payments included £120 for clearance work already carried out around Manor Pond and Rod Alley Pond and £1000 to the contractor for cutting the Green in 2018. With 7 voting in favour and 1 against, it was agreed to make a donation of £100 to the firefighters charity following Attleborough Retained Firefighters having given up their time and using their equipment to aerate Rod Alley Pond to save distressed fish during the recent heatwave.
Play Area. Gemma Frost said that there was a problem with an upright rope on the climbing frame which she had reported to Jon Hicks.
Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner said he had attended the recent SNAP meeting. At speed checks in Cake Street, six offences had been committed in a total of 290 minutes of monitoring and 34 warning letters had been sent. This was relatively low compared to checks carried out in other areas. He said the police had received some complaints from neighbouring villages regarding motorbikes speeding linked to Two Wheel Tuesday. Police regularly spoke to the organisers and were happy with how the event was run and the encouragement given to the biking community re consideration of nearby residents. Ben Devlin confirmed that the police regularly attended the event and was happy with how it was managed and marshalled. The police road safety teams had also been invited to attend.
Andy Nichols said that Chapel Green School’s multi-use games area (MUGA) appeared to be finished and suggested enquiries be made as to how/when this could be available for community use. The parish clerk to clarify availability and cost of using the MUGA at Chapel Green School.
School parking. The chairman said that following the last meeting, before a wider meeting on school parking could be arranged, the Village Hall Management Committee (VHMC) had arranged a meeting with parents of the primary school regarding use of the village hall car park. The VHMC agreed that the school heads could also be included to widen discussion but due to the proximity of the end of the school term, they could not attend.
He said the meeting had been very positive and several parents had volunteered to take on the running of the car park permit scheme. He had also met the landlord of The Gamekeeper who kindly agreed to his car park being used but only if it was “marshalled” for health and safety reasons.
Parish councillors welcomed the progress and the offer from parents to help with the permit scheme. However, the wider issue of school parking generally, particularly congestion on Abbey Road, still needed discussion and all three schools played a part in that. It was agree to invite all three schools, the VHMC and parent representatives to a meeting, after the start of the new school term had settled down, to discuss how all could work together to alleviate the parking/congestion problems near the schools.
Attleborough Strategic Urban Extension (ASUE). The chairman said that the parish council needed to consider its response to the ASUE planning application which proposed to use 15 hectares of land in the parish for recreation/open space to support the development. He did not believe that the ASUE should use any land in the parish and had been encouraged by advice received from the CEO of LCPAS who had suggested that current government policy did not appear to be being followed in the ASUE. This included a requirement that the link road to the A11 should be completed before the development commenced. Steve Milner queried why there should be concern regarding a relatively small area of land when the landowner was entitled to sell. Andy Nichols said that the Local Planning register should be checked as there might be nothing that could be done to stop it if it was on the register as development land. If that was the case, then the council might be better to concentrate on securing as much Section 106 funding as possible. Ben Devlin said that, in hindsight, the parish council should have prepared a Neighbourhood Plan and the chairman agreed as advice received suggested that this would have taken precedent over the ASUE proposals. Adrian Joel said that although he would prefer the 15 hectares not to be included in the ASUE, he emphasised that it would still remain within the parish boundary. The recreation area was Phase 3 of the proposals and if approved would not commence for quite some time. Concern was expressed that although the land was planned for recreation, developers always wanted to maximise income and this could change in the future. Adrian Joel said that ASUE was legally required to have a certain percentage of open space. Andy Nichols commented on the lack of water attenuation provision for the ASUE development which might affect adjoining land in the parish. The chairman said that, together with Adrian Joel, he would meet Simon Wood, the Regional Planning and Building Control Officer of Urban Vision Partnership Ltd to discuss concerns regarding ASUE. If any councillors had any questions they wished to be asked they should email him. He would also have further discussions with the CEO of LCPAS and would share the outcome with councillors.
Meanwhile the parish council would check the designation of the 15 hectares of land in the Local Plan Register, consider the parish council’s formal response to ASUE at the next meeting and consider the preparation of a neighbourhood plan at the next meeting.
Parish Partnership bids. The parish clerk said that there was a deadline for bids for grants towards highways schemes and reminded councillors that any grant awarded would be a maximum of 50% of the scheme with the remaining funds needing to be included in the 2018/19 parish council budget. Steve Milner suggested that a bid be made for a SAM sign to address concerns re speeding traffic. Banham had recently obtained one and he would get details of cost, circulate the details and, subject to cost, make a parish partnership bid for funding.
Anniversary of the end of the Great War. The possibility of an event was raised by a parishioner at the previous meeting. No one had come forward with any proposal and planning for any meaningful event would have needed to be at an advanced stage by now. The parish council would as usual take part in the remembrance parade and lay a wreath. Canon Steve Wright had confirmed the plan this year was to hold the church service at 10am then to parade from the church to the war memorial timed for the silence at 11am.
Communications/social media. It was decided due to the late hour that this matter be deferred to the next meeting. Paul Phillips suggested that, in the meantime, any social media posts be made as an announcement with the ability to leave comments disabled.
Village newcomers welcome pack. The editor of the village newsletter had queried whether a welcome pack, which used to be provided for newcomers, could be considered again. Councillors said that this had been agreed at earlier meetings but various councillors had since left and it had not been followed through. Gemma Frost volunteered to lead on this.
Agenda items for the next meeting. Items identified included ASUE, a Neighbourhood Plan, communications/use of social media, allotment rents and the defibrillator.

The next meeting of the parish council will be held on Thursday 4 October commencing at 7.30pm at the village hall.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Road closure in Old Buckenham

Carriageway resurfacing next Saturday 
Work will begin on Saturday 30 September to carry out carriageway resurfacing works on B1077 New Buckenham Road.  To minimise disruption on this busy road the work is being carried out on a Saturday and will take one day to complete subject to suitable weather conditions.
The site is located on the B1077  at the junction of New Buckenham Road, Ragmere Road and Cake Street. 
During the resurfacing operations it will be necessary to close the roads. A fully signed official diversion route for the through traffic will be along roads of the same or higher classification. The official diversion route is via B1077 Diss, A1066 Thetford, A11 Attleborough and B1077 Old Buckenham. A local diversion will be in place for Ragmere Road.
Those living in Old Buckenham can hopefully work out a route to get to New Buckenham without going via Attleborough, Thetford and Diss!

Vehicle access to businesses and properties within the limits of the closure will be maintained from one end at all times. Pedestrian access will be maintained while work is underway.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Harvest flowers in Old Buckenham

Look inside All Saints Church

The church was decorated for the Harvest service last Sunday 16 September. Why not pop inside this weekend and look at some of the arrangements. There are large displays either side of the main doors and further displays are on all the window sills around the church.

Unfortunately you have missed out on the 'bring and share' lunch that took place in the Church Rooms last Sunday.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Watching your speed in Old Buckenham

Sunday activity
The local Speed Watch team have been doing several sessions in Cake Street recently and recorded many cars being driven at speeds well over the 30mph limit.

Late this morning some official measurements of the speeds were being made on the same stretch of road and the traffic policeman seemed to be kept pretty busy.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Old Buckenham Produce Show

Colourful entries and surprise visitors
On Sunday 9 September the annual village Produce and Handicraft Show took place in the village hall. As a result of the unusually hot weather during the summer there were not quite so many entries but there were people of all ages arriving during the morning bringing flowers, vegetables, cakes, preserves, eggs, handicraft, photographs and paintings.

Has Dad got the biggest marrow?

Soon after 11am the judging started and the hall fell quiet while items were examined and sometimes tasted.

Just before noon there were some unexpected visitors when the radio car from BBC Radio Norfolk arrived. They were looking for the treasure in Sunday's Treasure Quest programme.
They found it among the monsters made from fruit/vegetables in the children's section and then stopped to talk to some of the judges. You can listen to this programme for the next few weeks by going to
(about 2.25 in to hear start of journey towards Old Buckenham and 2.46 for arrival at the hall).

All afternoon exhibitors came to see how well they had done and other visitors came to look around. Prize giving took place around 4 o'clock with lots of trophies to be presented by Kate Lloyd, the current Old Buckenham WI president. This was followed by an auction of produce which provided the opportunity to get some great produce for just a few pounds.

Then it was time to clear up and think about what to enter next year.

See you all next time...

Sunday, 9 September 2018

More digging in Old Buckenham

What's there to be discovered
On Saturday 8 September the Norfolk Heritage Recovery Group (NHRG) were back detecting in Old Buckenham on fields alongside of Fen Street, land kindly made available by Stephen Askew. Once again, villagers were invited to come along and view any finds recovered on the day. These were displayed at the dig registration tent and showed the wide range of items discovered. Here are a few photographs taken on the day by the blog editor.

Head down, looking in
Breezy day for digging
By George, look what I've found
(click on any of the photos to enlarge the image)
The detectorists on Saturday were all members of the Norfolk Heritage Recovery Group. Most weekends they go out on charity digs. The members pay an entry fee to take part, and all the proceeds are given to charity. Saturday's dig was to support the ‘Raise the Roof’ appeal for re-thatching Old Buckenham church. Between this dig and the one a fortnight ago they expect to donate over £800.
Some of the best finds were a Roman coin, a Roman brooch, two Queen Elizabeth l coins (both in excellent condition), a William and Mary silver 3d piece and a sterling silver US Airforce Technician's Badge which was declared the Best Artefact Find of the Day.

All the archaeologically significant finds will be recorded by the county archaeologist Finds Liaison Officer and recorded on the national database at

Monday, 3 September 2018

Friendship in Old Buckenham

Chapel Friendship Group

This Group that meets at the Methodist Chapel has been having some enjoyable afternoons so far. Here is a list of forthcoming dates and itinerary for the rest of 2018. Because of the Flower Festival over the Bank Holiday weekend, there was no meeting at the end of August and the next meeting is on Wednesday 26 September at 2.30pm. The lady speaker will to talk about Pearls and there will be some practical activity to follow this.
On Wednesday 24 October the speaker will be Heather Edwards, who pioneered Music Mirrors, here in Norfolk, which is now gaining recognition around the world. This is about capturing musical memories for your loved ones. It can help carers, health professionals and families to connect with people who are losing their identity to dementia or cannot communicate well after having a stroke or other health conditions which make communication difficult. All are welcome to this talk whether you are a lady or a gentleman. This meeting will commence at 3pm.
Then on Wednesday 21 November there will be a talk by Rev Jacqui Horton who will teach the wonder and magic of Origami.
To avoid the annual Christmas Sing-a-long at the Church, the December meeting will be after two weeks on Wednesday 5 December. This meeting will be taken by Gill Large and will be the Group’s Christmas event. All of these meetings are open to anyone who would like to come along and as the name is now the Chapel Friendship Group, any gentlemen are welcome too. The start times of the last two meetings will be announced in later newsletters.
Other dates for your diary are the Harvest festival on Sunday 23 September starting at 10.45am. Everyone welcome. This is followed on Monday 24 September at 7pm by the auction to sell up all the goods donated to the harvest festival. Why not go along for a bargain and lots of laughs.
Songs of Praise as usual will be on Wednesday 19 September.
On Sunday 30 September there is no service at Old Buckenham. The service will be at St Martin's Church in New Buckenham where the war memorial that was in New Buckenham Methodist Church is being placed and dedicated.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

What's on in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for September

Monday 3    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 4    Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards

Wednesday 5    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 6    Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 8    Heritage Recovery Group, Fen Street, 12.30pm to 4pm

Sunday 9    Produce Show, Village Hall, 2.30pm

Thursday 13    Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 13    Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm for 7.45pm

Saturday 15    Litter pick, meet outside village shop at 10am
Monday 17    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 19    Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Wednesday 19    Luncheon Club outing

Sunday 23    Harvest Festival, Methodist Chapel, 10.45am

Monday 24    Auction of Harvest Festival produce, Methodist Chapel, 7pm

Wednesday 26    Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 27    Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 28    Visits from Mobile Library during morning