Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Cycling far from Old Buckenham

Riding for fun

Francis Darrah and his son Hugh have been in training since the start of this year for a challenge later this month. They have covered about 600 miles cycling around Norfolk before travelling the 160 miles from Morecombe to near Whitby (their own version of The Coast to Coast) over four days. They will be staying in bed and breakfasts along the way and are hoping for a westerly wind and just the right amount of sun.

Training in Norfolk for the hills of the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors shouldn’t really work but they seem to have had a head winds for most of the 600 miles of training rides so maybe they’ll be OK. And they are not raising money but just doing it for the fun of it!

Friday, 30 April 2021

Saturday funeral in Old Buckenham

Remembering Terry

Terry Cracknell’s funeral will take place on Saturday 1 May. The cortege will be leaving Rosedale Funeral Home in Attleborough at 9.20am for the service at 10am at All Saints Church, Old Buckenham. This will be followed by cremation at Breckland Crematorium. Unfortunately, due to current COVID restrictions, only family and close friends will be in attendance at the church. Those wishing to pay their respects may wish to be on the village Green, along the road leading up to the church, when the cortege arrives.

Donations are invited to the British Heart Foundation via Rosedale Funeral Home. 

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Latest Old Buckenham village newsletter

Lots of interesting news

Copies of the May issue are now out with the distributors and should shortly plop through your letter box.

Lots of original stories and writings covering the painting by a famous wicket keeper of a memorable local cricket match that took place one hundred years ago, a piece written in Norfolk dialect, the eulogy written for a well-known villager and of course notes on the last parish council meeting. 

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Working in Old Buckenham Garden Retreat

 Volunteers help out

Work continued this morning to plant out things at the garden. There are more sessions planned for the future so why not come along to the Country Park in Doe Lane and join in the fun.





Next sessions are on Saturday 8 May, Saturday 22 May and Saturday 5 June



Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Funeral of Old Buckenham resident

 Information from Terry Cracknell's family

Terry Cracknell was taken into the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on Tuesday 6 April, his aorta having “sprung a leak”. He slipped away peacefully with family members at his side on Sunday 11 April. 

Terry’s funeral will take place on Saturday 1 May.  Terry will be leaving Rosedale Funeral Home in Attleborough at 9.20am for the service at 10am at All Saints Church, Old Buckenham. This will be followed by cremation at 11am at Breckland Crematorium. Unfortunately, due to current COVID restrictions, only family and close friends will be in attendance. Those wishing to pay their respects may wish to be on the village Green when the cortege arrives.

Donations are invited to the British Heart Foundation via Rosedale Funeral Home.


Sunday, 18 April 2021

Gardening in Old Buckenham

 Volunteer gardener wanted

At Old Buckenham High School they realise the importance of being eco-friendly and are educating their students on the benefits of re-cycling, saving energy and growing their own food. They have recently prepared an area of the school for an allotment and are in the process of purchasing a polytunnel. They are now seeking a keen gardener volunteer who would be willing to take on the allotment. You would be free to use the area as your own to grow your own produce. All the school ask in return, is that selected groups of children, who are genuinely interested in gardening and will be supervised by members of staff, can be involved with hands-on help and have the opportunity to taste the produce. This will enable the students to gain valuable knowledge of plant science, wildlife and environmental issues and hopefully encourage a few green fingered students to ‘grow their own’ in the future. If you are interested in this opportunity please email the school via office@obhs.co.uk

Friday, 16 April 2021

Old Buckenham parish council minutes

 April’s Parish Council meeting

The following notes were written by the newsletter editor from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.

Old Buckenham Parish Council met via Zoom on Thursday 1 April at 7.30pm. Those present were councillors Steve Milner (Vice Chairman), Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls and Naomi Bailey. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), County and District councillor Steve Askew as well as two members of the public.

Mike Farrington and Jonn Hicks had sent apologies for their absence, Ben Devlin was absent.

The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 4 March were approved (5 in favour) with the amendment to say that Stuart Baker had offered to help cut the recreation ground grass.

Financial matters. The Community account balance was now £31,199.21 and a VAT claim had been made for £1,095.99.

Payments totalling £3,436.19 were approved. These included £234 for the inspection of the Play Area, £927.31 for repairs to the swings in the Play Area and £1,593.60 for installation of an improved security camera system at the Village Hall

Planning. All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal www.breckland.gov.uk/article/2933/Search-Planning-Applications. Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting

New planning application.  The New Agricultural Barn. Land adjacent to The Roughlands Farm, Grove Road. Variation of Condition Nos 2 and 3 on 3PL/2020/1334/F ( Erection of a single agricultural building and new vehicular access) (3PL/2021/0429/VAR). Councillors could see no issues with the proposed variations. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).

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

Land off Banham Road. Erection of a single agricultural building and new vehicular access (3PL/2020/1334/F).

64 Fen Street. Construction of Swimming Pool and erection of Pool Building including gym, changing room and lounge area (3PL/2021/0102/HOU).

Downmore Farm House, Banham Road. Creation of first floor addition to existing single-storey annexe which is part of main dwelling (3PL/2021/0327/HOU).

The following application has now been withdrawn. Double Banks Farm, Old Buckenham Road Carleton Rode. Change of use of existing waste processing/composting facility to a HCL waste processing and recycling facility to produce RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) and SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel) grade material (FUL/2019/0010).

Village Hall security. Terry Cook passed on the thanks of everyone on the Village Hall committee for the installation of a new security camera system. Thanks also to Stewart Ramsey for his professional, quick and efficient service. The new cameras cover a large and enhanced area. Installation was quite a big job as it involved re-wiring and setting up the new system. It should provide excellent support and prevention against anti-social behaviour which has been a problem in the car park in recent weeks. There has not been any such behaviour occurring since the installation.

Parish Partnership Scheme (PPS). The application for the PPS to improve road safety near the schools has been approved. The final cost is broken down as follows:

Total cost: £14,500

NCC contribution: £7,250

Members’ Fund Contribution: £3,500

Parish Contribution: £3,750.

A big thank you to County Councillor Steve Askew for his generous donation of £3,500 towards the project from his councillors’ personal budget. This has significantly reduced the amount the Parish Council have to pay and Steve Askew has been vital in driving the project forward at a great pace. There will be two “wig wag” (flashing 20mph) signs placed on Abbey road (one before the bend as you approach the schools and one from the opposite direction) and also a rough footpath cut into the edge of the turning island outside the High School to help encourage pedestrians to cross at one spot and away from the blind corner. Councillor Askew was happy to help support the project and was able to give that amount due to the increase in his councillors’ personal budget. Proposal to approve payment for the project was approved (5 in favour).

Green cutting. The Village Green Working Party (VGWP) requires approval for a quote of £1000 to cut the grass on the Green this year. The cut will happen twice a year (exact timings are dependent on the weather). This is a discounted price and the VGWP have struggled to get another quote as no one wants the job. The grass is of poor quality due to weeds, etc, and so has no value. Councillors considered that if the VGWP felt that this was a good deal, then they should listen to their advice and accept the cost. Propose to approve payment was approved (5 in favour).

Clerk’s report. The need for Public Liability Certificates for workers on the Green were raised in previous meetings. Most have been collected, remaining will be chased.

Location has been chosen for the memorial bench for Bill Wardman. It will be in front of the middle of the Almshouses. Once the family agree with the location, work will start on a plinth. There will need to be some gradation of the soil so that it is easily accessible.

The Brownies Leader has sent her thanks for sending the Precept Grant early. It helped significantly and stopped the unit having to close.

Various Highways issues were raised last meeting. Reflector posts in front of ditch by the Stud have been fixed. Posts by Manor Pond have been inspected and will be fixed soon. The damaged Cake Street sign was deemed by Highways to still be acceptable and so will not be replaced.

The Parish Council will return to face-to-face meetings from the June meeting onwards. The Clerk and Jonn Hicks will work with the Village Hall to ensure it is covid-safe. TheChair and Vice-Chair will be elected at the next meeting.

Road Safety. The SAM Sign has been moved to the Attleborough Road site. Will look in to setting up Speedwatch groups as restrictions are eased.

Play Area. Swings and inspection ordered. The tractor is also very run down and requiring attention. Jonn Hicks has looked at replacing the tractor with one from Playdale. Still waiting for a final quote but to buy, deliver and install it could be over £4000. Councillors felt this was very high and wanted to look at other options and also look at raising funds for the playground. Naomi Bailey will investigate fundraising ideas.

Recreation Area. Grass had been cut but not sure who did it. Lines for football pitch will now need to be painted.

Councillors’ reports. County Councillor Steve Askew said that most of the potholes that he has been made aware of have been filled in. There are just a few more to go. Grove Road has potholes that need attention.

The road approaching the Primary School is getting in a bad state. This road has an agreement between Highways and Parish Council from the 1970s that states maintenance is paid for 50/50. Steve Askew will enquire with Highways.

Terry Cook had attended a Webinar about Green Ways which was very useful and informative. There will be significant amounts of money assigned to improving Green Ways across the country and there may be up to £1.6million for Norfolk. This will include Public Rights of Way, cycle paths, bridleways, etc. Old Buckenham need to start thinking if and how we could bid into the best use of this money Also, how can we encourage younger generations to get actively involved in these improvements and looking after the countryside in general?

Items for next agenda. Village Handyman?

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 6 May via Zoom and starting at 7.30pm.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Bargains in Old Buckenham

 Yard sale being organised

It's a while yet but the date to remember is Saturday 10 July 2021. 

You may have been clearing out things over the last few months and this will be an opportunity to sell some of them to others. If you want to be on the map of the sale sites that will be made available on the day then you should contact Steph by email stephaniegipp@hotmail.com

Get on the list now.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Plants for sale at Old Buckenham Country Park

 All sorts of vegetables

The Old Buckenham Garden Retreat will again be selling plants on Easter Sunday between 2pm and 4pm. Sunny weather is forecast so why not pop down to the Country Park and see what's on offer?




Thursday, 1 April 2021

Old Buckenham newsletter for April

 More village news

The April newsletter is printed and copies are being distributed around. The cover looks like this and inside you can read about the Old Buckenham Gardening Retreat, forthcoming cricket coaching, a pen portrait of one of our parish councillors and detailed notes on the March Parish Council meeting.



Saturday, 27 March 2021

Plant sale in Old Buckenham

Pop in for a pop up potted plant sale

Go along to the Old Buckenham Gardening Retreat over this Easter weekend to buy some organically-grown plants. Available on Saturday 3 April between 10am to noon and on Sunday 4 April from 2pm to 4pm at the Gardening Retreat in the Country Park along Doe Lane.

Plants available include:

•broad beans
•celery
•celeriac
•lettuce
•spring/summer cabbage
•cauliflower
•kohl rabi
•onions
•onion sets
•beetroot
•globe artichoke
•herbs: parsley, mint, coriander and basil
There will be more as the season progresses and the weather warms up
All funds will go back into the running of the project where they aim to support wellbeing through gardening and reconnecting with nature. The plants are all grown organically which is not only better for us, it will hugely support the insects, birds and animals too.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Restoring Old Buckenham Mill

Windmill repair work now uncovered

Repaired brickwork, replaced windows and sparkling white paint now on view for all to see.




Thursday, 18 March 2021

Old Buckenham Parish Council minutes

 Notes on March council meeting

These notes were written by the blog editor from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.

Old Buckenham Parish Council met via Zoom on Thursday 4 March at 7:30pm. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls, Naomi Bailey and Ben Devlin. Also present were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), County and District councillor Steve Askew as well as four members of the public. Mike Farrington again sent his apologies as he was unable to get a good computer signal to the Zoom site.

The minutes of the previous meeting held on Thursday 4 February were approved (7 in favour). There were no corrections or matters arising.

Financial matters. The Community account balance currently stood at £32,448.81.

Payments totalling £1,319.75 were approved (7 in favour). The Brownies had enquired about receiving their approved Precept Grant early due to difficulty in paying insurance despite being unable to open to the public. It was agreed to pay the £750 now as a loan, which would then be repaid from the Grant in April.

The Grant application form is to be updated for future applications to clearly explain that Grants will be paid out in April, once money is received from Breckland Council, as there have been several queries recently.

Public Participation relating to agenda items. A member of the public requested that the Parish Council log an objection to the appeal (3PL/2020/0578/O Appeal). While you can only object with new information, the member of the public highlighted there was potentially new information that hadn’t been released. They also showed concern that the appeal stated that the Old Buckenham housing target of 17 was a minimum target and so should not be used as a reason to reject it.

A member of the public highlighted that the posts around Manor Pond had been hit by a car and needed replacing. The clerk to inform Highways.

Parish Partnership Scheme. In December the parish council quickly applied for funds from the Parish Partnership Scheme (PPS) to contribute towards traffic safety measures for Abbey Road. While a decision has not yet been made on the application, councillor Steve Askew met with Highways to discuss potential ideas that would make it safer for pedestrians needing to cross in front of the High School in order to reach the Primary School. Firstly, two “wig wags” (speed flashing signs) could be placed on the road with one located before the bend for traffic coming in to the village along Abbey Road and the other on the approach to the schools from the traffic lights. Secondly, it was thought that a suggested crossing point should be installed as it could prevent people crossing near the corner and be easier for drivers to predict where people were likely to cross. Because of the number of roads/turnings at this location, it was difficult to find an obvious crossing point but it was suggested that pedestrians could cross on to the turning island before crossing the road. This would not be a set crossing but a suggested route through the use of dropped kerbs and a rough path on the edge of the island. This would also prevent people crossing in front of the High School gates. In total, this would cost approx. £10,000 and if the PPS application is successful, the parish council would only be expected to pay half. Steve Askew would also look at supporting the scheme with a donation from his Personal Budget. A proposal to support the suggestions made and start the planning process was approved (7 in favour). The parish council wished to thank Steve Askew for his help in instigating the process, meeting with Highways and helping to make our village safer. The clerk is to liaise with councillor Askew.

Additionally, there has been regular contact with Highways regarding work. Several dangerous potholes have been filled and a ditch on Fen Street cleared. The condition of Hargham Rodd in general will also be raised.

Planning. To consider planning applications and to receive Breckland District Council’s decisions made on any planning applications received before the meeting:

(All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal – www.breckland.gov.uk/article/2933/Search-Planning-Applications). Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting.

New planning applications. Land off Banham Road. Erection of a single agricultural building and new vehicular access. Access amended and sited further south (3PL/2020/1334/F). This had been rejected previously and there was a need for consistency. A proposal to object was approved (7 in favour).

Development Site, Hargham Road. Erection of four dwellings and garages- technical details consent following application 3PL/2020/0117/PIP (3PL/2021/0210/TDC). (Ben Devlin was required to abstain from discussion due to conflict of interest)

The PIP application was approved by Breckland despite Parish Council objection. All councillors agreed that the footpath connecting new properties to the village is vital for safety and the construction process needs to be well managed to avoid problems. Proposal to approve application was ageed (6 in favour, 1 abstain) on the condition that the footpath is built and signed off before first occupancy and that a Construction Management Plan, which includes wheel washers and no parking on road, is in place.

Land off Attleborough Road, NR17 1QB. Ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) farm along with continued agricultural use, ancillary infrastructure and security fencing, landscaping provision, ecological enhancements and associated works (3PL/2021/0236/F). Councillors felt it was a detailed and considerate application but would emphasise the importance of construction and maintenance traffic going through Attleborough to the A11 and not through Old Buckenham. Proposal to support was approved (7 in favour).

22 Oaklands. Proposed garage extension to rear to provide workshop area (3PL/2021/0271/HOU). Councillors could see no problems to the application. Proposal to support was approved (7 in favour).

The Gamekeeper Public House, The Green. Replacement of structurally damaged roof timbers (including removal, storage and reuse of roof tiles) and associated repair works where necessary (3PL/2021/0272/LB). Councillors understood the need for the work in order to preserve the building for any future use. Proposal to support was approved (7 in favour).

Roughlands Farm, Grove Road. Prior Approval for Change of use of Agricultural Building to a Dwelling (permitted development). The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q (3PN/2021/0013/UC). Councillors have previously objected to several applications on this site but they have been withdrawn before decisions. A proposal to object was approved (7 in favour).

Appeal against Breckland Council decision. An appeal has been made to the Secretary of State against the decision of Breckland Council to refuse planning permission on the application for five residential dwellings on land west of Attleborough Road (3PL/2020/0578/O Appeal). The Parish Council’s original comments against the application have been forwarded on to the Inspector. While a resident had questioned if there was new information about the application, the Parish Council felt that there was nothing they could add to their original comment, based on the information that was available to them.

The Chairman Jonn Hicks explained his frustration that residents will get very vocal about planning applications which directly affect them or if they are highlighted on social media. There have been a lot of opinions about this particular application but very little interest in other applications in the village which have the potential to have a far greater impact on our community. Jonn encouraged everyone to stay up to date on local planning applications (either through the Breckland Planning website or through Parish Council meetings) and also to state their opinions to Breckland Council directly. The more voices the better.

Track repair (village shop to phone box). Residents had been in contact to highlight the large, permanent puddles that were on the track during winter. It is a track which receives a large footfall as it leads to the crossing/schools from the shop. As the water is unable to drain away, there is a lot of muddy standing water during winter months. It also creates problems for residents living beside the track, as they have a large volume of mud outside their front doors. It was highlighted by several councillors that the majority of damage is done by the cars of the residents that live there. If it was just a footpath, then there would not be the same level of stones pushed off. Jonn Hicks questioned if it was fair to ask all villagers to pay for repairing a track which is being damaged by a few residents accessing their homes. A proposal to investigate cost-effective solutions and ask residents that live off the track to make a donation towards its repair was approved (7 in favour).

Clerk’s report. A dog bin application for Harlingwood Lane has been rejected. Thanks are due to Phil Little for fixing a new backing to the village noticeboard. He will also make noticeboards for the phone box but is struggling to get hold of decent hardwood at the moment. The village hall committee were happy with proposed new camera system and Terry Cook is liaising to arrange installation. Speaking to Playdale to arrange new swings and an inspection of the play area. They have only just started opening up again. Our MP George Freeman has written to Breckland Council against the proposed Weather Radar.

A memorial bench for Bill Wardman will be placed outside the Almshouses (exact position to be decided). Family have sent proposed design. Some councillors would have preferred that it was made of recycled materials instead of oak but the family have offered to take responsibility of maintenance. The Parish Council will pay for the concrete base, family will pay for installation. A proposal to agree design and general location was approved (7 in favour).

Village Green Working Party. The Working Party had emailed some questions for discussion/approval. Will the Ox and Plough and the Gamekeeper be charged rent this year? The Ox and Plough was not charged last year due to pandemic and so will be charged this year. Price has not changed for a long time, therefore will go up to £550 this year and will rise each year in line with inflation. The council doesn’t know who owns the Gamekeeper or what their plans are yet so will hold off charging until owners have been contacted.

Will the Parish Council approve £1000 charge for cutting the Green again this year? Councillors were under the impression that there were to be three cuts throughout the year but there has only been two in recent years. The Clerk to request detailed quote for full discussion next month. Public Liability Certificate is also needed for anyone who works on the Green.

Road Safety. Bluetooth now working and Steve Milner has managed to download data from last couple of days from the equipment in Cake Street. He was pleased to see majority were at 30mph but speeds up to 51mph were recorded. A new battery needed for mobile SAM sign on Crown Road.

Councillors’ reports. Adrian Joel asked what would the price of hedging for the Recreation Area be? Jonn Hicks explained that he will be calculating required amounts this month. Will we be able to hold Annual Village Meeting in the Village Hall in May? Jonn Hicks explained that restrictions will not be lifted by then to allow public meetings so it will have to be postponed. The AGM date will also have to be considered. Andy Nicholls sad he had someone who can help cut the grass in the Recreation ground. Jonn Hicks explained he has a volunteer who is willing to do this and Ben Devlin offered his ride-on-lawnmower that can be used.

Items for next agenda. These would include the cutting of the Green and recruitment of a potential new councillor

The next Parish Council meeting will be held, via Zoom, on Thursday 1 April starting at 7.30pm.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Old Buckenham Gardening Retreat

 Get involved

Old Buckenham Gardening Retreat would like to welcome everyone from the village to their new Community Garden at Old Buckenham Country Park in Doe Lane. It’s situated directly in front of the cafe on the hill.

In the future it will be offering a wide variety of garden-based courses for all age groups. The garden will also be open Thursdays to Sundays (times yet to be announced) for people to volunteer or to simply relax and unwind.

Over the coming months there will be organic and sustainable vegetable plants for sale to raise funds for the project. These are currently being grown off site until they get a polytunnel at The Retreat.

The organisers are currently looking for materials to build a shed or shelter for The Retreat. This will ensure the garden can be available to everyone in all weathers.

If you want to know more or can help in any way please contact Jessica via the 'Old Buckenham Gardening Retreat' Facebook page or email ob.gardeningretreat@gmail.com

Sunday, 7 March 2021

See more of Old Buckenham Mill

Like a striptease

More of the mill is now visible as the scaffolding is taken down including the repaired brickwork and the window frames.




Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Old Buckenham planned power cut

 Support for the powerless

As UK Power Networks needed to upgrade the electricity network in part of Old Buckenham, the houses in Cake Street were without electricity from 9am until 3pm today while the engineers were diverting the overhead/underground electricity cables in the March Field Way area.

The blog editor was visited in person to check that he was coping OK and later in the morning he received a phone call saying that the Power Network support vehicle was parked in a garden along the road should any help be needed. So of course he and his trusty camera had to visit. The support available ranged from a hot coffee, tea or chocolate, a pack of biscuits, the opportunity to charge up your phone, use a WiFi point, microwave a meal and even to take away a self heating meal that could be ready to eat in ten minutes.

Thank you to Kate who was manning the vehicle. It was so pleasing to see the support that was available to those who may well have needed that extra little help while they had no power for some six hours.






Monday, 1 March 2021

Old Buckenham newsletter for March

Less words than normal

It's now out being distributed and looks like this.














 This issue contains the minutes of the latest parish council meeting, a pen-picture of the parish council's vice chairman and the regular message to residents from Tim.

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Old Buckenham windmill emerging

 Spring awakening

Having spent the winter undercover, the newly-painted cap of the mill can now be seen peeping out as the scaffolding is being taken down.




Friday, 26 February 2021

Growing at Old Buckenham Country Park

Old Buckenham Gardening Retreat 
There is an organic community garden for the people of Old Buckenham taking shape within the Old Buckenham Country Park in Doe Lane. It will be focusing on using the power of gardening to help with mental health, combating isolation and learning new skills. Clare, Jane and family have been working away to get things ready for the forthcoming growing season. They have been helped by donations from various people - the ground has been ploughed, a fence erected, bark chippings delivered and now a large load of spent mushroom compost. The blog editor visited yesterday to see how they were getting on.



In future the garden aims to be open for courses, education and needs volunteers. They are looking for people wanting to get involved and grow with them.  You'll find Old Buckenham Gardening Retreat on Facebook or you can just walk up there and have a look.

Friday, 12 February 2021

Old Buckenham parish council minutes

Latest discussions

These notes have been written 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 on Thursday 4 February 2021 at 7:30pm via Zoom. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls, Naomi Bailey and Ben Devlin. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), County and Breckland councillor Steve Askew as well as five members of the public. Mike Farrington had sent his apologies for not being able to attend.

The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 7 January 2021 were approved (7 in favour) with correction of the spelling of March Field Way. There were no matters arising from these minutes.

Declarations of interests not already recorded in the current Members’ Register of Interests. Jonn Hicks announced he will be changing his current employment.

Financial Report. The current Community Account balance is £33,004.23 including £80 allotment rent payments.

Payments of £625.42 were approved (7 in favour) which included £121.95 to community car drivers and £72 for training with the National Association of Local Councils.

Public participation relating to agenda items only. The public were able to comment during individual agenda items.

To consider planning applications and to receive Breckland District Council’s decisions made on any planning applications received before the meeting. (All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal – www.breckland.gov.uk/article/2933/Search-Planning-Applications.) Parish councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting.

New planning applications. West View Farm, The Green. Convert the existing barn into one dwelling to include the demolition of adjoining existing hen house and erection of side extension and the creation of a new access (3PL/2020/1500/F and 3PL/2020/1501/LB). There was some concern about the ability for vehicles to turn in/out of the property on a small access road. Propose to support was approved (7 in favour).

Part of Anglian Water Drilling Unit site Abbey Road. Erection of a 24.46m high radar tower and associated comms cabin (portakabin) (3PL/2021/0091/F).

Councillors observed several issues with the application and associated reports:

* There was very little mention or consideration of the rare bat species in the area and how they might be affected by the radar.

* Many of the nearest residents had not been consulted directly despite claims that a full consultation had taken place.

* There was not a thorough visual impact assessment from the neighbouring property or any definitive suggestions of how the structure could be screened from sight.

* Some of the neighbouring parishes have yet again not been consulted despite Old Buckenham highlighting it during the original application.

In addition to these issues, the application has only been classed as a ‘Minor’ application, rather than a ‘Major’ one and has been given to a junior Planning Officer, rather than a more senior one.

County Councillor Steve Askew has requested that the application be taken to the Chairman’s Panel so that he may request it to be taken before the Planning Committee.

Neighbouring residents have raised the issue with CPRE and Natural England themselves and are awaiting responses. A proposal to object was approved (7 in favour).

The parish council is to consult with Natural England for help and advice in the effect on the rare bat species and to possibly place a Holding Objection. The parish council will also request that the Planning Officer undertake a site visit in order to give them a greater understanding of the impact on the nearest residents.

Oak House, 64 Fen Street. Construction of Swimming Pool and erection of Pool Building including gym, changing room and lounge area (3PL/2021/0102/HOU). There were no objections and proposal to accept was approved (7 in favour).

Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved. 29 Fen Street. Erection of one dwelling (Technical Details Consent following the grant of Permission in Principle 3PL/2019/1405/PIP)(3PL/2020/1339/TDC).

Rosedale, Fen Street. Change of use from existing Storage/Industrial unit to Residential Dwelling (3PL/2020/1332/F).

Development Plot at Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Demolition of existing building (with extant permission to convert to a dwelling) and the erection of New Single Dwelling and Cartlodge, and Change of Use of Agricultural Land to Domestic Curtilage (Revised Scheme)3PL/2020/1009/F).

Scales Farm, Road From Stacksford Lane to Hargham Road. Erection of new two-storey office building and demolition of external store (3PL/2020/1341/F).

The following application has now been considered and the application has been refused. Land at Roughlands Farm, Grove Road. Erection of a new single storey dwelling (3PL/2020/1250/F).

Options for Community Involvement Fund from PACE Solar Farm. Andy Nichols has spoken to PACE regarding the possibility of a Community Involvement Fund should the Solar Farm be approved. PACE confirmed that they were happy to contribute to such a fund in principle, although there was no amount decided. This could be used for community projects which highlight/educate about greener energy. Councillors felt it would be important to consider involving the schools but also ensuring it would benefit residents of all ages in the village. Any projects would also need to consider ongoing maintenance costs in the future.

New camera for Village Hall. Ben Devlin had obtained a quote for the installation of a new camera and security system at the Village Hall. Work came to a total £1328.00 (+VAT). Propose to accept quote, provided the Village Hall agree, and install the new system. There is the option of a monthly subscription for maintenance at £10/month, which would need to be paid for by the Village Hall. Terry Cook to update the Village Hall management committee.

Chairman’s Report. Village Handyman has had to move home earlier than expected. Noticeboards should be repaired this month by an alternative workman.

Clerk’s Report. Thanks to those for the reporting and warning about a missing manhole cover. It was replaced the next day. Still trying to find suitable location for new dog bin on Harlingwood Lane. Have been asked about previous plan to move and re-home some fish from Rod Alley Pond. Ben Devlin is still hoping to complete this soon during the cooler weather. Requiring a suitable location for a memorial bench for Bill Wardman. Jonn Hicks suggested outside the village shop and the clerk to consult with the shop owners. Reports of tractors driving aggressively through the village and possibly speeding. Jonn Hicks is to contact local farms to request drivers are more considerate when driving through villages.

Village Green Working Party (VGWP). No report as group not able to meet currently.

Road Safety. Both the normal SAM sign and the mobile SAM sign will be repositioned soon.

Recreation Area. There are no restrictions on replacing the damaged fencing with a hedgerow. Natural England is to be consulted for advice on the best species to encourage a range of wildlife habitats. They are hoping to visit during next month to advise.

Councillors’ reports. County Councillor Steve Askew said that road maintenance issues highlighted last month have been completed - pot holes filled in on Fen Street, Attleborough Road pot hole filled in and missing manhole cover replaced. Councillors highlighted some new issues that have arisen including a drain that has possibly collapsed on Cake Street and is causing flooding, flood water on Hargham road that is not draining away and may need to have drains jet cleaned as well as-drains on track (up from Primary School to the Clinic) and on Attleborough Road that may be blocked/collapsed and need investigating. Andy Nicholls said a resident had kindly cleared leaves off the path along Cake Street alongside Prince Harry’s Wood as they were so slippery. Need to ensure these are cleared regularly during autumn and winter months as could cause nasty accidents.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday 4 March 2021 starting at 7.30pm. 

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Not in Old Buckenham

New choice for local meals

Those who used to enjoy meals at The Kitchen on the English Whisky site at Roudham may be interested that it now has new owners. OakVilla cannot open the restaurant fully at the moment but are doing order and collect meals each weekend.




Saturday, 6 February 2021

Sponsoring Old Buckenham village newsletter

Your name and message on page 1

 If you are interested in 'sponsoring' an issue of the Old Buckenham newsletter, it is a nominal cost of £10. The next dates available are June, August and September this year but should you have a special occasion that you wish to celebrate before then you may be able to share a month with someone else.

Just contact the newsletter sending an email to obnewspostbox@aol.com and the editor will come back to you.

Thank you.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Bigger pond in Old Buckenham

 Changes to Ottomer pond

The recent rather damp weather means that Ottomer pond is now rather full of water and the edges have moved outwards to a considerable amount. We now have an island in the pond. It is also possible to sit on one of the seats to admire the view and paddle your feet in the water at the same time. Also the ducks can swim straight into their house.

Here is some photographic evidence.








Friday, 29 January 2021

Old Buckenham February newsletter

 More local information

The February 2021 newsletter has now been printed and copies are being distributed around to all the houses in the village.

There is an item on the re-thatching of All Saints Church, information on the proposed large solar park within the Old Buckenham parish and the revised plans for a weather radar along Abbey Road as well as the life history of Reg Sturman who died in January aged 95 having lived all this time in Old Buckenham. Read it carefully to keep up-to-date on the village news.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Old Buckenham weather radar details

Examine the plans

The planning application for the weather radar can now be seen on the Breckland Council webpage. 

Reference3PL/2021/0091/F
StatusUndecided     
ProposalErection of a 24.46m high radar tower and associated comms cabin (portakabin).
LocationPart of Anglian Water Drilling Unit site Abbey Road, Old Buckenham,  NR17 1PZ

This will be discussed at the next Parish Council meeting on Thursday 4 February and there is plenty of background information to read beforehand. You may also wish to make your own comments direct to the planning officer.

Friday, 22 January 2021

Old Buckenham weather measurements

Proposed weather radar

The Met Office have been in contact with the Old Buckenham parish council to say they have completed the remaining preparation work on their plans for the erection of a reduced-height weather radar at the Anglian Water site on Abbey Road. They intend to submit a planning application to the District Council by the end of January.  They would encourage a thorough reading of the planning information pack that will be made available on the planning portal.  This will contain all the relevant assessments and surveys.

The Met Office do not anticipate communicating directly with the parish council or any other of the stakeholders during the formal planning process period. Any feedback and concerns should be directed to the planning department at Breckland Council through the normal planning process. They would like to remind everyone that there is a dedicated project website containing a wide range of further information, including answers to frequently asked questions that they have encountered during this and other radar developments. These should hopefully answer many of the question that the parish councillors or residents may have.   

They will also be writing directly to Mr and Mrs Riches at Waterworks House, the neighbouring parish councils and Old Buckenham Airfield to make them aware of the forthcoming submission. 

The Met Office thank Old Buckenham parish council for helping them to engage with the local community and surrounding area. They hope that they have been able to reassure the majority of residents about many of their concerns and remain committed to working towards solutions, where possible, that help alleviate the impacts of the construction or operation of the radar. 

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Old Buckenham Parish Council

January Parish Council meeting

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

Old Buckenham Parish Council met, via Zoom, on Thursday 7 January. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls, Naomi Bailey and Ben Devlin. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), County and Breckland councillor Steve Askew, Harman Sand and Rob Shaw from PACE and two members of the public. Apologies had been received from Mike Farrington.

The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 3 December 2020 were approved (7 in favour). Matters arising from those minutes included thanks to councillor Steve Askew for his swift action on reports raised last month. Discussions with Highways regarding road safety outside the school have resulted in submission of an application for a grant to help with these issues. Also the Village Hall Management Committee have kindly agreed to empty the Recreation Area bin, for a small donation.

Financial Report. The Community account balance now stands at £34,660.96. Payments of £1,627.68 were approved (7 in favour). These included £450 for the rent of the allotment site and £115.40 to the various community car drivers.

Solar Farm presentation by Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE). There will soon be an application for a Solar Farm in the Parish, located between Puddledock and Bunn’s Bank. Harman Sand and Rob Shaw from PACE took part in the meeting via Zoom to give more details. The site will have the potential to provide the needs of 7,500 homes and could play a part in the Governments zero carbon emissions target. Many factors were considered during the planning stage.

* It will be set away from Bunn’s Bank, due to its historic status and also from the scheduled monument.

* It will be well screened to minimise visibility, including the small sub station.

* Liaised with Old Buckenham Airfield to ensure no glare would affect pilots.

* Areas at risk of flooding have been avoided.

* No loss of agricultural land as sheep will be able to graze below the panels, which also manages the growth of the grass.

* It will provide an increase in biodiversity to the area, with a 47% increase in hedgerows and therefore nearly 300% increase in habitats.

The application is likely to be submitted in January and will include a large number of specialist surveys. The average lifespan of a solar farm is 40 to 55 years. This one is proposed for 55 years. Once installed, maintenance should not cause too much disruption as one panel can be removed at a time with ease. An existing footpath will be kept and a new footpath will join up to it. This path will be given ample space and set safely within the field. PACE were asked about a Community Involvement Fund and were very open to working with the Parish Council on possible options for the village. Councillors also highlighted the need to ensure all construction traffic was directed through Attleborough, rather than through the village.

Precept. The councillors added £2000 to the Contingency Fund for village maintenance meaning that the Total Precept to apply for would be £22,310. This is slightly higher than in previous years due to larger total of grants approved and it was felt this was down to current Covid restrictions. There had been an over-spend on Green maintenance and the Play Area in the last year. The total of £22,310 was approved (6 in favour, 1 against).

Clerk’s report. The clerk had been contacted by several people regarding flooding in the village recently, particularly due to the heavy rainfall on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 December. Cake Street and Fen Street were the two main areas highlighted. Councillor Steve Askew will contact NCC Highways regarding possible solutions.

Chairman’s report. Terry Cook and Jonn Hicks had to clear up large amount of glass dumped in the village hall car park. The Parish Council will look into the possibility of upgrading the Village Hall security camera system with a new one as this could benefit the whole village, not just the Village Hall. The Clerk is to contact the Village Hall and Ben Devlin will investigate new camera options and costs.

Recreation Area. Fence has been inspected by councillors and appears to quite rotten in places. They will investigate replacing with a hedge rather than fencing. This will create increase in habitats, improve drainage and possibly be cheaper.

Councillors’ reports. County and Breckland councillor Steve Askew said that he had been asked about the flooding at Puddledock. The landowner has been contacted and will clear the blocked ditch. Potholes in Fen Street are particularly bad and he has chased their repair several times as they were dangerous to cyclists and cars. In the flooding just before Christmas, Cake Street was overwhelmed so he will contact Highways and look in to possible solutions. Building was still continuing in March Field Way so hopefully the site is still on track for a July finish. Adrian Joel wished to thanks the volunteers who came out to help install the Christmas tree on the Green. Will need to look at purchasing new bulbs for next Christmas. Thanks again to Dave Tranmer at the Ox and Plough for supplying the electricity. The track from the schools to the Clinic is in poor state with large potholes and a blocked drain on it caused flooding to a nearby property. The clerk to contact Highways regarding both issues. The playground bin is now unlocked but needs emptying. The clerk to chase up.

Planning. All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal – www.breckland.gov.uk/article/2933/Search-Planning-Applications. Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting

New planning applications. Land off Banham Road. Erection of a single agricultural building and new vehicular access (3PL/2020/1334/F). Many Councillors felt it was a dangerous road and an increase in traffic on there could cause problems. A proposal to support this application was lost (1 in favour, 4 against, 2 abstain).

Scales Farm, Road from Stacksford Lane to Hargham Road. Erection of new two-storey office building and demolition of external store (3PL/2020/1341/F). This would be built on existing footprint. Councillors felt it was important to support the development of local businesses. Proposal to support was approved (7 in favour).

Double Banks Farm, Old Buckenham Road, Carleton Rode, NR16 1NH. Change of use of existing waste processing/composting facility including in-vessel composting to an HCI (Household, Commercial and Industrial) waste processing and recycling facility to produce RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) and SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel) grade material (FUL/2019/0010). Have been contacted previously but there have been updates to traffic proposal. Previously supported but concern over traffic to/from plant. Jonn Hicks informed that the Operator’s License would not allow the lorries to travel through Old Buckenham but they would have to go via Spooner Row. Proposal to support was approved (7 in favour).

(Ben Devlin lost internet connection at this point)

Land at Chalk Lane, Snetterton. The construction of an agricultural feed mill (Use Class B2) with ancillary offices and welfare facilities, creation of a new vehicular access and associated infrastructure including silos; engineering; landscaping; and ground works - this is an Environmental Impact Assessment. Additional plans, site selection documentation, job details, view point photographs and flood risk and drainage assessment (3PL/2020/0780/F). Jonn Hicks abstained from discussion and vote due to professional conflict. The councillors could not see this causing any problems for Old Buckenham. As site is near the A11, all traffic should enter straight from there. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour, 1 abstain).

Land adjacent to Beckwood, Stacksford. Erection of Dwelling and Garage (3PL/2020/1464/F). Breckland have previously rejected this and also later on appeal. There was concern from some councillors that the utilities would struggle to cope. The building would take place on an old filled-in quarry. Propose to support was approved on the condition that all environmental protection suggestions are followed (4 in favour, 2 abstain).

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

Development Site, Harlingwood Lane. Construction of a new dwelling house and detached garage (3PL/2020/1016/F).

Land to rear of development plot between Willow Cottage and Fen Street. Change of use of agricultural land to garden (3PL/2020/1075/F)

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).

Acer House, The Green. Single Storey Side Extension (3PL/2020/1248/HOU).

Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Forty additional camping pitches and forty additional touring caravan pitches (3PL/2020/1007/F).

The following application has now been considered and the application has been refused. Rear of 41 Hargham Road. Detached Single Storey New Residential Dwelling and construction and two-bay cart lodge (3PL/2020/1217/O).

Items for next agenda. Subjects will include a possible hedge at Recreation area, Village Hall security cameras and suggestions for using any Community Involvement Fund benefits as a result of the potential solar farm.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held, via Zoom, on Thursday 4 February at 7.30pm. 

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Services in Old Buckenham

 Meeting at All Saints Church

Although All Saints Church has not been organising formal 9.30am services at the church, those who wanted to meet have been joining an informal gathering on Sunday mornings and the monthly 8am Communion Service has still happened.  However, a letter has been received from the Bishop of Norwich. Bishop Graham has explained that whilst worship with a congregation present is still permitted, he feels it is necessary to change this.  He says " I would now strongly encourage all incumbents, churchwardens and PCCs not to have physically present worship (except funerals and urgent marriages) in the next few weeks. The risks are now too great, even with all of the precautions that we have so painstakingly put in place."
The Churchwardens and the PCC agree and will follow his lead and move back to online gatherings only.
The good news is that the church door is left open so that All Saints is available to all who may need it as a place for private prayer and reflection.