April Parish Council minutes
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended later.
All the parish councillors were in attendance at the April meeting except for Carol Marshall who had sent her apologies. There were also 22 Members of the public who had come along.
After the public recess to allow members of the public to ask questions the meeting resumed and the minutes of the March Parish Council meeting were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matter arising from the March minutes. John Frost said he had looked at the paths on the Green and especially along the B1077. The surfaces are loose and needed attention. Tim Ing said the Green Right Proprietors would look at the matter. Derek Smalley informed the meeting that he had obtained the parking signs to be used at the play area part of the Green and they would soon be erected.
Planning applications. Derek Smalley said that there were six applications to deal with at the meeting and the Parish Council would concentrate on the Fen Street, Hargham Road and Shrublands applications. He said it was difficult judging these applications against the new National Planning Framework which has just come out during the week. Some decisions made by the Parish Council will be unpopular with one group of residents and welcomed by another. Old Buckenham is a designated service centre by Breckland Council because there are shops, schools, village hall, pre school facilities, etc but there was no requirement for housing under the 2008 LDF plan produced by Breckland. If development is to take place in Old Buckenham then there is a need to agree new development boundaries and agree where future development is likely to take place. House prices in Old Buckenham exceed the reach of young people or couples who wish to remain in the village so the issue of affordable social housing needs to be addressed now.
The Granary, Mill Rd. Install wood-burning stove to first floor. Proposed by Cllr Smalley and seconded by Cllr Chrisovelides and. No objections, agreed unanimously.
Old Buckenham Airfield. Continued use of land for stationing of clubhouse for use in connection with airfield. No objections, agreed unanimously.
4 Chattergate. Bay windows and porch, two additional windows, replacing existing conservatory with ground floor extension. No objections, agreed unanimously.
Land at Hargham Road. Erection of five dwellings. Tim Ing informed the meeting that Parish Council had discussed the application in detail at a working party meeting held the previous week. Councillors then expressed their various views on the application. It was proposed to object to the application as it was outside the development boundary, the road was too narrow, there was no footpath and the local school is over subscribed. This objection was agreed with 7 for, 1 against and 2 abstentions.
Land at Fen Street, erection of five dwellings. Councillors had also discussed this application at a previous working party meeting in detail and after councillors had expressed their views it was proposed to object to the application as it was outside the development area, also there was no footpath and there are no sustainable transport links in the area. This objection was agreed with 6 for, 3 against and 1 abstention.
Land at Shrublands, Puddledock. Removal of steel grain store, demolish four bungalows, convert agricultural barns to eight residential units and erect ten new dwellings. It was proposed to object to this application on the grounds that it was still outside the settlement boundary, had no access to key local services, there was over reliance on private cars and also no adequate access to public transport. This was agreed with 8 for and 2 abstentions.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Snetterton Farm. Single storey lean-to extensions to front elevation. Permission granted.
Park Farm, Abbey Road. Installation of two small wind turbines. Permission refused.
Loan to Village Hall. Tom Johnson asked if the Parish Council would make a loan of £1500 to the village hall against a grant application that they would be making. Tuim Ing pointed out that the Parish Council had already voted on the matter and that, under standing orders, no new vote could take place.
Budgetary control and forward planning. Adrian Joel said the matter was raised at the last Annual Parish Meeting and he thought the idea of a monthly expense analysis against budget was a good idea. Tim Ing asked for the views of the Parish Clerk who stated that a monthly analysis was too much for the amount of expenditure incurred each month by the Parish Council, the amount being approximately £700 after the fixed costs of insurance, grants and salary were taken into account. Sarah Dye said the forward planning was more important and she was concerned that the Parish Council could get bogged down with small variances in the budget forecast. It was agreed that a quarterly budget analysis would be provided by the Parish Clerk for the Parish Council.
Recreation Area. Jonathan Kemp said a working party meeting held at the end of March had agreed to work closely with Monster Play who had put forward excellent suggestions for the play area. It was also agreed that investigating the possible funding streams available was the next step forward and each member of the working party is working on specific funding sources. These would include Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury, Sports England, Big Lottery, Co-op, Norfolk Community Foundation, Section 106, Breckland match funding, Awards for all, Wooden Spoon, Landfill,etc The next meeting of the working party will be in mid April.
Localism Act and village planning. Sarah Dye said she had attended a meeting on future planning within villages and it was said that villages should look to develop their own village development plan. She stated that the process would be time consuming and could prove expensive to produce. Akis Chrisovelides said he had a person who is qualified in this area of expertise and is willing to produce a plan for the village. Adrian Joel explained the way the Neighbourhood Plan would work in conjunction with Breckland Council. He also said that it may be good if local villages could group together to produce plans for each village and reduce costs. Tim Ing said that the item would be put on the May agenda for more discussion. The Parish Clerk to contact NALC and Norfolk Rural Community Council for more information on the subject.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing said that the Annual Parish Meeting was not well attended but two issues raised at the meeting are being dealt with. These were the question of budgetary control and that future Annual Parish Meetings should be different and engage more of the residents in the village rather than just receive written reports from groups in the village. The Parish Council would look at this well before the next Annual Parish Meeting and he asked councillors to think about it and come up with suggestions. He then addressed the point raised by a villager who expressed concern that the Parish Clerk did not live in the village and therefore could not understand the general feelings of the residents. Tim Ing said that previous clerks residing in the village had people knocking on their doors at all hours. He said the present clerk is well qualified to do the job without the need to live in the village. His job was not to know the feelings of the village, that was a matter for the Parish Councillors. The clerk was there to advise them on how they can carry out their duties as councillors. The meeting was informed that a previous parish clerk, Cecilia Wardman, who had served in the position for ten years had passed away. The Parish Clerk to send a letter of condolence and it was suggested that councillors might make a donation to the church in her memory. The damaged dog bin had now been replaced with a new one and moved to a better site to make emptying more accessible.
Parish councillors’ reports. Paul Boggia raised the matter of street lighting in the new development at St Andrews Close. The Parish Clerk responded that the Parish Council had asked for street lighting to be provided as the new development could house elderly people and lighting could help combat any vandalism. Norfolk County Council had refused the request. John Frost said that the Easter service was coming up at All Saints church and this year was asking people to sponsor lilies. Over the years this scheme has raised over £12,000 for the church funds. Steve Milner said the Diamond Jubilee celebrations now have barn dance tickets available and that everything was in place for the airfield celebrations. Paul Boggia said that a section of road would be closed in the village on the day of the celebrations. A further working party meeting was planned for Saturday 14 April. Adrian Joel said there had been a meeting of Old Buckenham Allotment Society (OBAS) and the matter of shed colours was raised. A colour called Willow Green was suggested as a suitable colour and approval for this was given. The Parish Clerk is to send letter to Mrs Cawley and Tim Bornett on matter. OBAS are still looking for funding for eco-toilets and it was agreed that OBAS would do the research and Parish Council would sign off the grant applications. John Frost suggested a best allotment competition which was thought by councillors to be a good idea. Akis Chrisovelides said he had finally made contact with the young people in the village who were interested in setting up a Youth Council. It was agreed that further contact would be made after exams were finished. Tom Johnson said that he had attended the AGM of the Village Hall where the issue of the car park surface was discussed including the possible resurfacing of the area including the grass around the Recreation Area. Sarah Dye said the play area was due for its annual safety inspection and she would arrange it. Derek Smalley said he attended the SNAT meeting with police where he raised the question of speeding in Hargham Road and HGVs not observing the weight restrictions. The police have made them a priority issue over the next two months. Also the police will make efforts for extra patrols to the village in relation to vandalism. He has delivered another welcome pack and would be seeking feedback on the contents of the packs to see how people receiving them feel about them.
Clerk’s report. The Clerk asked for permission to enter into discussions with the insurance provider to see if they will offer the Parish Council a three or five year fixed premium deal when insurance comes up for renewal in June. The Parish Council agreed to this. The Clerk then said he hoped to get draft accounts to councillors during the next week and they would have to adopt them formally at the next Parish Council meeting.
Highways. Tom Johnson raised matter of road signs at the junction of Hargham Road and the B1077 as the signs for weight restrictions do not seem to apply to Hargham Road. The Parish Clerk is to talk to Highways on the matter. Derek Smalley said that reflector posts in Cake Street are missing and that the grass verge in Grove Road at the junction of Mill Road and Crown Road has been severely damaged. Tim Ing said the landowner of the land at the junction of Hargham Road and Grove Road has put in a wire fence and removed some hedges to improve visibility. In Barkers Lane some of the potholes have been repaired but not all. The Parish Clerk is to raise these matters with Highways.
The Green. Adrian Joel raised the matter of Parish Council funding for maintenance of the green as Tim Bornett had said he was told by NALC that the Parish Council could fund the Green. The Parish Clerk said that he had written legal advice from NALC saying that at present the Parish Council could not do this as the Green Right Proprietors was not a formally registered non-profitable organization or a registered charitable trust. Adrian Joel said he had seen two 13 year old children clearing rubbish from Prince Harry’s Wood which he thought was excellent on their part.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council, which will also be their AGM, will be held on Thursday 3 May in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.