Sunday, 14 November 2021

Old Buckenham Parish Council notes

November Parish Council

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

Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 4 November in Old Buckenham Village Hall. Those present were Councillors Steve Milner (Chair), Adrian Joel, Naomi Bailey, Doug Irons, Mike Farrington, Terry Cook and Andy Nicholls. There were no apologies. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and eleven members of the public.

The minutes of the October meeting were approved (5 in favour, 1 abstain).

Reports of matters arising from these minutes. Steve Milner reported that he had attempted to clear the two overgrown allotments but struggled. He will use the Parish Council’s strimmer to have another attempt. There is a need to advertise the two remaining vacant allotments. He had not yet had the chance to sort out recreation ground fencing.

The Clerk reminded all that the Precept Grant Application deadline is Saturday 20 November. The flashing 20mph signs (wig-wags) have been installed on Abbey Road as part of the PPS project. A charity tin has been organised by volunteers in the village shop towards the upkeep of the play area. Many thanks from the Parish Council for this gesture and support. A memorial plaque will be presented to the community to commemorate all the efforts during the pandemic. It was suggested to present plaque before the start of the next Parish Council meeting at 7pm on Thursday 2 December. Once the time and date are confirmed with the Deputy Lieutenant, Terri Hammond and the team of volunteers will be invited and the event advertised to the public.

Mike Farrington reported another accident at Puddledock the previous week. Time to re-start a campaign about the danger of the corner, especially during winter weather. There also seem to be diesel spilt on roads occasionally too. Need to coordinate a meeting with NCC Highways about what changes can be made to lower the risk.

Doug Irons had researched structure of Neighbourhood Plans and has made contact with New Buckenham and Breckland Council. Funding may be reduced in future and only appears to be made for a year at a time. Going to need a lot of volunteers within the village to push it forward as it is a community project. Need to publicise to entire village.

Naomi Bailey had spoken to the High School Headteacher, who has been very helpful, about graffiti in the bus shelter. An in-person meeting is scheduled. Also she had contacted local police regarding reports of drugs being used there. The Playground had been inspected and monthly report written. Maintenance work is currently being planned and costed up.

Trevor Cook admitted that Parish Councillors had forgotten to attend a planned joint meeting with the Village Hall management. The rearranged meeting needs to discuss the Parish Council’s role as Custodial Trustee and matters of common interest.

Adrian Joel pointed out that the County Council are taking back the cutting of borders/edging so need to confirm with Breckland if cutting will continue in the village. Also need to elect a Chairman of each working Party so that meetings can be called and organised. Remembrance Sunday Service will take place on Sunday 14 November at 10.45am at the War Memorial. Steve Milner and Naomi Bailey volunteered to lay Parish Council wreath. The Christmas tree is ordered and the lights have all been replaced/repaired. Ox and Plough has organised some music/food/drinks and school choir will also perform. Switch on is at 4pm on Sunday 12 December.

Financial matters. Community account balance is currently £34,883.16. Payments totalling £911.45 were approved (7 in favour) which included nearly £200 to the community car drivers and £250 for the Christmas tree lights. Payment was approved at the last meeting of £500 to ATTCARE.

Public participation relating to agenda items. A resident has met with District Councillor Steve Askew and a Breckland representative to inspect Prince Harry’s Wood. There was still rubbish to be cleared. Breckland Council own this piece of land and the resident requested that Councillors and villagers walk through to have a look themselves to see the state of it and consider what action, if any, might be necessary in future. Further residents raised the issue of speeding on Fen Street, which is mostly National Speed Limit (60mph). The Parish Council explained that there have been many attempts to get it changed to 30mph but with no success. The Clerk is to write to Highways again. The Parish Council also advised that the more comments from residents the better. Steve Milner highlighted that we are unable to use the mobile SAM sign on de-restricted roads, only in 30mph zones.

Planning applications. Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Four New Holiday Lodges (3PL/2021/1406/F). Highways are happy and doesn’t appear to cause any issues for neighbours. Proposal to support approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain).

Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved. Land off Attleborough Road. 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).

Twitchers Cottage, Stacksford. Retention of a mobile home which is used as an annex for a member of the family (3PL/2021/1333/F).

Old Buckenham Water Treatment Works, Abbey Road. Construction of a pump store at Old Buckenham Water Treatment Works (3PL/2021/1354/F).

Crumb Cottage, Cake Street. First storey extension over existing single storey element and internal reconfiguration (3PL/2021/1290/HOU).

Development Site 605747 291109 Hargham Road. Erection of 4 dwellings and garages - technical details consent following application 3PL/2020/0117/PIP (3PL/2021/0210/TDC).

The following applications have now been considered and the applications have been refused. Coal Storage Yard Road, from Stacksford Lane to Hargham Road. Outline Planning Application for 5 Dwellings (3PL/2021/0500/O).

Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. New cabin to replace existing poly tunnel for fitness and well-being centre (3PL/2021/0908/F).

Trustee of Old Buckenham Eleemosynary Charity. The Eleemosynary Charity provides support to residents that are facing financial difficulties. Majority of the trustees are Parish Council appointed. A Parish Council trustee has recently stepped down and therefore necessary for the Parish Council to nominate a new councillor to be a trustee. Proposal to nominate Naomi Bailey for the position was approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain).

Temporary Gamekeeper rent. Area in front of the Gamekeeper is part of the Green. As the Gamekeeper is beginning to trade again, the Parish Council need to address the issue of renting this area of the Green, just as other businesses currently do. Councillors have started working on a new policy about renting the Green. This will then allow clear and consistent rules for areas of the Green to be rented, both by businesses and individuals for events. Until this policy is completed, a temporary agreement needs to be written for the Gamekeeper to use this area in front of the premises. Proposal to write a temporary agreement for the Gamekeeper and then create a contract for the use of the Green was approved (7 in favour).

Wildflowers on the Green. The Green Working Party have decided to have a designated area to encourage and diversify wildflowers. The aim is to prepare the area in March 2022 and sow seeds in April. Area is 30 metres by 50 metres (0.2 of a hectare) and will be marked with 4 or 6 fence posts, rather than a full fence. Will be easy to mow around when Green is cut. Aim is that the wildflowers are in an area that will allow them to be seen and enjoyed. Initial thoughts were to plant on the western side of the Green (between Windmill corner and Almshouses) but a resident highlighted that it does get fairly wet there during winter. Suggestion of nearer the traffic lights so that people can easily see them as they walk/drive past. Surveys are frequently completed of existing wildflowers by Green Rights Proprietors and there are equations to calculate the biodiversity gain. Seeds are all native species. Any donations received from public will be put towards costs and remainder paid for from Green Working Party budget.

Village footpaths. Terry Cook has looked at maps with Countryside Officer but there is no record of a permissive path from Puddledock Corner. There may have been one previously but it just was not transferred to the maps. If an individual or group of individuals wishes to check if a Permissive Path was granted in the past they would need to check with the NCC Legal Orders and Registers Team. If an individual wants to make a claim for a footpath to become a Permissive Path then they would need to contact the Legal Orders and Registers Team and would need at least 12 people to sign a document claiming they have walked the footpath for over 20 years. While the Parish Council will not be doing this, Terry Cook is happy to advise. There is still confusion about why the permissive path was recently rescinded. Could enquire with the landowner for their reasons why they have done this.

War Memorial maintenance. Steve Milner and Adrian Joel have inspected War Memorial. Most slabs are solid and stable although a little uneven. Need to ensure any cleaning would not cause any damage to the stone. A parishioner explained that it could be sensitively cleaned without chemicals and would cost an estimated £1500. This would last 4 to 5 years and needed to be done in the Spring. May require scaffolding to reach the highest parts. Parishioner kindly offered to donate half of the money towards its cleaning and the Parish Council will match the donation to cover total cost. Proposal to also put aside £300 a year towards regular maintenance in the future was approved (7 in favour).

Queen’s Jubilee. A village meeting is to be organised to get ideas and plan a village celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee. A second meeting will be required for discussing a Neighbourhood Plan. Need to talk to the local community groups/businesses so they can get their ideas together before the meeting. Also need to look at funding of the celebrations. Steve Milner will bring a proposal to the next Parish Council meeting.

Neighbourhood Plan. Need to advertise for more residents to join the Neighbourhood Plan team. It is a big commitment and requires a large number of residents to support it. While the Parish Council are supporting the Neighbourhood Plan and helping to organise a group, it is a community project. Possibly could pay for a professional to put together a framework which would give clearer information to residents and explain the process. Doug Irons to research consultants/cost/grants/funding.

Items for next agenda. These will include Precept Grants, Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and the Neighbourhood Plan.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 2 December at Old Buckenham Village Hall starting at 7.30pm. There will be a presentation beforehand of a commemorative plaque for the community at 7pm. 

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