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 – 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 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.