January parish council minutes
These reports of parish council meetings are prepared by the editor of the village newsletter and blog from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at the next month's meeting.
Five members of the public were at the January meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council and all the parish councillors were in attendance apart from Tim Ing who had sent his apologies.
The minutes of the December Parish Council meeting were considered and Stephen Thorley said under “planning applications” it should read that the planning application for two bungalows in Harlingwood Lane should be decided by the full council meeting and not to put in the Parish Council’s decision within Breckland’s published time frame. With this amendment the minutes were unanimously agreed and signed as a true and accurate record of the December meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Adrian Joel said that he had a copy of the original planning application for the amenity area near the village shop. He said the whole project needed to be considered by a working party that could come back to the Parish Council with recommendations. The item is to be put on the agenda for the February meeting.
Allotments. Adrian Joel said Tim Ing had spoken to the owner of the land and it has been discovered that the land provided is 1½ acres and not the one acre as originally agreed. The owner therefore wished to increase the rent to £900 per year. Adrian Joel said that there were three options open on which they would seek the views of the allotment holders to resolve the issue. The grant application, now with Breckland Council, is due to be discussed next week and he is hopeful that it will be approved. A mat for the parking areas has arrived and it is hoped that it will be laid soon.
Doe Lane meeting notes. Tom Johnson expressed his concerns that no parish councillor had been invited to the meeting and that only thirty people from a population of approximately 1200 had attended. Adrian Joel said the notes were valid even though there were some inaccuracies in them. Norman Cawston suggested displaying these minutes and seeing what response there was to them. Stephen Thorley proposed that the Parish Clerk send a letter to Terry Cracknell thanking him and saying that the Parish Council will take onboard the views expressed and will implement those proposals that can be acted on. This proposal was seconded by Adrian Joel and agreed unanimously.
Grit bins. Tom Johnson said he had been approached by some residents and asked if they could be provided with a grit bin. He then said we should precept for them at this year’s precept, ready for purchase in year 2012/13. He also raised the matter of Hargham Road being like an ice rink during the recent snow conditions and asked if the road could be gritted. He was informed by Norman Cawston that the Parish Council had tried in the past to get the road gritted but with no success. Adrian Joel will speak to the County Councillor William Nunn on the matter of gritting in School Road.
Planning working party. Adrian Joel suggested all plans should be displayed at each Parish Council meeting. Mike Craven-Romain agreed it was a good idea to display all plans once the working party had visited the site and made their recommendations to the Parish Council. All plans will be displayed from the February meeting onwards.
Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Area Action Plan. Derek Smalley raised the matter of the large questionnaire sent to the Parish Council which had 60 points that required a response from the Parish Council and asked what the Parish Council would do with the questionnaire. Various councillors expressed views on the matter after Adrian Joel had shown a large map of the plans. Carol Marshall said all residents have an opportunity to express their views on the Attleborough Development through the questionnaire sent out by Breckland Council. Stephen Thorley said that the Parish Council would find it hard to respond as a body as they have not had enough time to discuss the matter with residents to get their opinions and that the residents themselves have been canvassed directly.
Planning application. Stephen Thorley said that the application for two bungalows in Harlingwood Lane should be discussed by the full council. There was a lot of public feeling on the matter and there appeared to be a ground swell of opinion supporting the application. Carol Marshall expressed the view that the development is suitable for the area and would tidy up the site and thought there was no real problem with access. Gerald Norton thought that additional housing in Harlingwood Lane would increase the risk of an accident at the junction with the B1077. Derek Smalley suggested that the hedge could be cut to improve visibility. Tom Johnson said the current site is an eyesore and should be developed although he did have some concern over access to the road. Jonathan Kemp thought the site would improve if the development took place. It was proposed by Norman Cawston and seconded by Carol Marshall to inform Breckland that the Parish Council had reversed its previous decision on the application and they now had no objection. This was agreed with six councillors for, two abstentions and one against. The Parish Clerk will contact Liz Starling of Breckland Planning on the matter.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said the Breckland Council and Creative Arts East will be launching the Winter Arts Festival 2011 at the Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham on Thursday 27 January with a production of Alan Bennett’s play A Lady of Letters. He then said that Breckland Council is continuing to look at cost savings and they are currently looking to share management teams with Holland District Council which could offer considerable cost savings. Adrian Joel also said the Local Development Framework Site Specific Policies and Proposal document 2001-2026 is due to go to a special full council meeting in mid-January and, if approved, will go out for a six week consultation period before going to the Secretary of State for an examination in public.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Stephen Thorley said that he had spoken to some residents about the high cost of fuel oil. He wondered if the Parish Council could organise a buying consortium or would the residents have to do it privately. Derek Smalley is to put an item in the village newsletter to see if there is any interest in the scheme. Adrian Joel raised the matter of the Royal Wedding in April and asked if the Parish Council would be doing anything to mark the event. Derek Smalley will put a further item in the newsletter to see what level of interest there is to arrange such an event. Adrian Joel said that he will approach Breckland Council for a grant of £250 for the event if one should go ahead. Carol Marshall said she will have a meeting with the High School on the Recreation Area and a working party meeting during January. It is hoped that she will have a business plan for the Recreation Area ready by the next Parish Council meeting. Gerald Norton raised the matter of the proposed change of regulations altering the status of schools and village halls to commercial classification for the purpose of waste collection. The proposed changes would involve village halls and schools being charged for the collection of their waste and the loss of recycling credits on all the waste that is kept out of landfill. The Parish Clerk is to express the Parish Council’s view that there should be no change in respect of the classification of schools and village halls. Mike Craven-Romain said that he had spoken to our local Highways engineer and that no sign will be allowed in Ragmere Road. Also that the road surface at Puddledock is due to be done at some time in the future. He informed the meeting that the gentleman who currently cuts the grass for free in the play area is leaving the village and asked if there was anyone else willing to do the job. Derek Smalley is to put an item in the village newsletter to see if anyone will volunteer.
Parish Clerk’s report. The headteacher of the High School had asked if the Parish Council would contribute one third of the cost towards a grit bin for use outside the school. He said the cost would be £45 to the Parish Council and asked if anyone objected. The Parish Clerk is to contact the school and the county highways department on the matter.
Highways. Problems reported were a blocked culvert at the bottom of Fen Street past the black barn and Hargham Road, also a large pot hole outside number 42 Fen Street. The Parish Clerk is to contact NCC Highways on these matters.
The Green. The Parish Clerk read out a letter from the Old Buckenham Green Right Proprietors’ solicitors regarding the recent appeal. The Clerk then read out the agenda for the next Green Right Proprietors’ meeting due to be held on Tuesday 18 January. Norman Cawston said that he and Tim Ing should meet with the Green Right Proprietors to discuss a way forward on the management of the Green and report back to the Parish Council on the matter.
Items for next agenda. The Amenity Area was to be included on the February agenda.
Other matters. Adrian Joel said the village had recently lost a past member of the Parish Council, Julian Goodey, who had died on Christmas Eve. He was also a former teacher at the High School and chairman of the Village Hall committee for many years. The Parish Clerk would arrange for a letter of condolence to be sent to his widow Joyce Goodey.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be held on Thursday 3 February in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.