November public recess notes
These notes have been written by the blog editor from material supplied by the parish clerk.
One resident raised the matter of his concern over the Chairman not delegating enough and putting too much pressure on his time. He commented on a meeting that he had attended of Norfolk County Council Planning Committee where the planning application for new school was passed. He thought the Parish Council was listened to by NCC at the meeting but the whole presentation was not done in the best way. He referred to a recent planning application for a pig farm in Old Buckenham where the applicant employed a professional who won the application. He thought that if Parish Council had a professional person to put their case on the new school it would have stood a better chance of winning the case. He thanked Steve Milner for all his efforts. Steve Milner replied that he thought the best case was put forward by Parish Council and that the Parish Council could not afford to pay a professional to put forward their case. A resident, who attended the meeting, said that from a purely planning point of view the application was a valid one. The only objection at that time was access and NCC had dealt with it. A resident said that traffic flows to and from the school would cause problems because of traffic coming from Thetford, Attleborough and Diss. Steve Milner said that traffic levels were raised at the meeting but NCC said the increased levels were insignificant. Jonathan Kemp, Derek Smalley and Andrew Joel made comments on this point. Stephen Askew, the local NCC councillor, spoke on the meeting and said the committee had dealt with all issues raised in detail and the application was given full consideration. Jonathan Kemp gave a brief summary of the work of the Working Party* (see notes below) which had held another meeting earlier trying to find a way forward following the approval of the planning application. Adrian Joel suggested a meeting with the Head of Children's Services and also the Director of Transport of NCC rather than the local Highway’s Engineer. A resident also suggested the meeting with both the Director of Transport and the Parish Council. Steve Milner said he would be meeting with the local Highways Engineer next week to discuss road safety issues and other councillors were welcome to attend the meeting. A further resident raised the matter of a planning application before the council for approval. Another resident raised some points of concern over the application as she was directly affected by the application.
*Chapel Road School Working Party
This group met in early November. It consists of Jonathan Kemp (Chair), Sarah Hornbrook, Adrian Joel, Mike Bartlett and Tim Bornett (who was not able to attend this meeting).
At the meeting there was a discussion on the outcome of planning, a review of the conditions set out in the planning consent, a discussion on the Parish Council’s conditions successes, the elements that now need to be prioritised and a discussion around the education consultation and the decision of the Director of Children’s Services.
Planning permission for the school has been granted and there is no third party right to appeal. The only possible route to query the decision would be the ombudsman but this would focus on the procedural elements and would not change the outcome. Judicial review is an option but an application has to be put in within six weeks and costs can exceed £50,000.
The conditions in planning consent were reviewed. There was a need to set up meetings with the successful contractor at earliest possible stage to form a relationship and ensure the conditions are met.
Of the eight conditions that the Parish Council had asked for, four had been taken into account. For instance it had been agreed that the 30mph speed limit is moved nearer to Attleborough and that construction traffic would not to enter through the village.
In future the focus needs to be on a 20mph speed limit by the schools, installation of crossing refuges, the use of the new road and the availability of the MUGA (multi use games area) for the local community.
Tim Bornett had conducted some research into the education consultation – this will continue to be investigated to see if any influence can be achieved through the Director of Children’s Services.