Hoe and Worthing Parish Meeting
Draft minutes of 9th May 2012 (AGM)
Attendance. Margaret Barrett, Bill Borrett, Simon Brock, Susan Brock, Rosemary Cane, Sue Chapman, Richard Crisp, Christine Danson, Danny Danson, Angela Eglington, Richard Eglington, James Keith, David Night, David Knight, Bob Jones, Dick Malt, Sue Malt, Charlotte Mason, Ivan Mayes, Robert Richmond, Glen Stevenson, Philip Stroulger, Jenny Tuckwell, John Tuckwell, Senga Thompson, Toby Upton- Browning and Trevor Wood.
Apologies for absence. Mike Chapman, Dominic Chessum, Donna Chessum, Caroline Clarke , Celia Daniel, Krystyna Stroulger, Jenni Thorneley and Roger Thorneley.
Minutes of 2011 AGM The minutes presented were adopted by the meeting as a true and accurate record.
Matters arising from the minutes. Was deferred and dealt with during the Chairman’s Report.
Report from Local authorities. Bill Borrett had been delayed but as County Ward representative he had forwarded a written update on recent events, including Dereham Recycling Centre opening, the signing of The Community Covenant in respect of the armed forces, the Concessionary Fares Scheme and funding to improve Broadband speeds.
Robert Richmond as District Ward Member provided an update on recent issues in Breckland including car parking charging proposals, the National Planning Policy Framework and ‘Fields in Trust’ scheme.
Chairman’s report. The chairman, Trevor Wood, reported on the following issues:
The Minerals and Waste LDF was currently in its last public consultation phase. Hoe and Worthing had no prosed sites and the nearest one was extension of existing gravel workings at Beetley. The Local Development Framework for planning in Breckland had now been adopted.
A further application to extend the deadline to reinstate the former Barker Bro site had been made by Michael Goff, who had recently become the new owner. The site is currently subject of a five year period of monitoring and the new proposed reinstatement date is 30th September 2012.
A number of recent, non-contentious (and now granted) planning applications were outlined. Two very controversial proposals in Hoe and Billingford were referred to but were listed for discussion later in the agenda.
The changed position regarding registration of septic tanks was referred to. Only septic tanks and package treatment plants that discharge to a water course now need to be registered. Every home in both parishes had received written advice from The Environment Agency on how to reduce ‘diffuse pollution’ from private sewage facilities because this was thought to be contributing to the reduced water quality of the River Wensum.
The parish had succeeded in securing a £5,000 grant to deal with maintenance issues at the parish meeting room. People living near to the building had been consulted about the style of replacement door/windows that should be installed and uPVC was the clear preference. Work will begin soon on repairing the roof, gutters/downpipes/underground drainage and soakaways.
The position of Tree Warden was still vacant but nobody at the meeting expressed an interest. A reminder was given about the glass recycling facilities at ‘Corners’ and that the parish receive payment for what is collected. It was agreed that ‘Corners’, under new recent management, had a much more extensive range of local, quality products. A reminder was given that Josaphine Lloyd’s history of Hoe Church was still available, the colour version of ‘Snapshot’ of Hoe and Worthing was also still available and ‘Link Up’ (the parish magazine for Hoe) could be ordered from the chairman. A brief update on policing issues was given, including general crime trends in the county.
Reference was made to the litter pick that had taken place in the parishes the previous month. 50 bags of rubbish had been collected, an improvement on 100 bags the previous year and 300 bags the year before. Observations were made by a number of people about how much cleaner things look and the meeting agreed that thanks should be extended to all those who took part. The chairman undertook to ensure that was done.
There were no other issues arising from the minutes raised by the meeting.
Planning issues. There were two contentious, outstanding, planning proposals and a discussion took place about these. Two applications had been made, via different routes, to change the planning status of ‘Spring Studio’ to ‘residential’. This had been strongly opposed the parish and called in by the District Ward Member The current position was that the applicant’s had constantly held up consideration of the application, but, as Breckland were drawing up refusal notices the applicant’s appealed on the basis that a decision had not been made within the required period. A date for a site visit by an appeal inspector was awaited.
An application had been made in Billingford to install several pitches for touring caravans, wooden ‘camping pods’ a camping site, a visitor centre and two large sheds for storage of plant. The site is close to and facing the residential part of Worthing and a lengthy discussion took place about the proposal. The view was consistently expressed that severe ecological damage had already been caused to the site that had previously been a wildlife haven. It was also a protected heritage site. Concerns about the future effects that the proposed development would have on the environment, ecology, highway, historical heritage and visual integrity of the entire area were expressed. The Chairman indicated that the Planning Sub Committee for Worthing had objected to the proposal and the meeting unanimously agreed that the most rigorous opposition should continue to be made. The chairman agreed to convey the views expressed in a letter of objection.
Hoe Parish Room. At the previous meeting in October 2011 the chairman had undertook to apply for a grant to extend Hoe Parish Room to include toilet and kitchen facilities. He reported however that he had been unable to do so without the consent of the church to both the extension and installation of a septic tank. The church warden stated that he would determine the process of obtaining the consent and obtain an answer from The Church.
Hoe Common. The history of Hoe Common, an area of acid heathland was briefly explained. To date the land, designated ‘an allotment for the poor of the parish’ has been subject of a trust but this is no longer active. During the recent past the area has been maintained by a group of Parishioners working under the direction and with direct supervision from The Wensum Valley Trust (WVT). Due to the attendance of a supervisor of WVT the working parties had been insured but WVT has ceased to exist.
Meetings have recently been held at the site with Norflok Wildlife Trust with a view to discovering sources of funding and to establish an effective maintenance strategy. Other liaison has taken place between parishioners to look at ways of updating the trust. This has included a solicitor who is resident in the parish and carrying out the legal work without charge.
An outline was given of the legal position and a lengthy discussion took place about future action. The view was expressed that at least one of the new trustees should be an office holder rather than a named person. It was generally agreed that trustee should be the person elected to chair the parish meeting. It was pointed out that the area was allocated as ‘open access land’ and the necessity to take any action was questioned. It was pointed out that without maintenance work the area would become woodland inhabited by first regeneration species, rather than the increasingly rare open heathland that provides unique wildlife habitats and characteristic flora. Maintenance could only be carried out with sufficient funding however, the amount of maintenance needed was considerable and funds could only be applied for with a clear means of proving ownership. Funding sources frequently become available for limited periods but at the moment we are prevented from preparing a funding bid because of the lack of an effective, operative trust deed.
The meeting voted on a proposal that a new trust deed should be prepared, new trustees appointed and sources of funding sought to enable continued maintenance to take place. This was agreed in its entirety and there were no opposing votes.
Parish Web Site. A web site is currently being constructed that was initially intended to make the Hoe and Worthing Photographic Archive available. There was an explanation given about the site’s flexibility and various possible functions, including displaying parish news letters, minutes etc. There was a lengthy discussion about the legal aspect of making some information so widely available and about confidentiality. The chairman agreed that, in future names would not be included in the minutes, attributing any particular comments to specific people.
The total cost would be in the region of £50 and it was proposed that this should be provided from parish funds; there were no votes against the proposal. Clearly a lot of work had already been done and vote of thanks was offered to the parishioner constructing the site. The web site address is www.hoeandworthing.co.uk
Jubilee events. An update was provided on the proposed events to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and The Olympic Games. These would include a street party with several traditional games, an evening barbecue with live music, several ongoing sporting events, an art and craft event and bi-monthly talks on various subjects. Mugs would be provided to resident children without charge and they would be available to others at a cost of £5. The last proposed meeting would be on 30th May.
It was very evident that considerable work had gone into the arrangements to date and a vote of thanks was offered to the instigators of the jubilee/Olympics year events.
Treasurer’s report. The accounts for the year ending 31st May 2012 were presented to the meeting. A proposal was made that they were correct, this was seconded and unanimously agreed by the meeting.
It was agreed that discussion about future expenditure and setting the precept would in future take place at the October (finance) meeting.
A vote of thanks was offered to the treasurer for all of the work she did in respect of the parish meeting finances and a further vote of thanks for the work she has done to organise bulk heating oil deliveries to our two parishes.
Any other business. Gratitude was expressed for the volume of parishioners who volunteered their time for the benefit of the two parishes.
Election of officers. A vote was taken on proposals for officers to serve for the forthcoming year; the following was agreed with no opposing votes:
- Worthing Planning Sub Committee: Susan Brock, Danny Danson, David Knight and Roger Thorneley.
- Hoe Planning Sub Committee: Simon Brock, Dick Malt, Toby Upton-Browning and Trevor Wood.
- Treasurer: Margaret Barrett.
- Vice Chair: Roger Thorneley.
- Chair: Trevor Wood.
Date of next meeting. 10th October 2012.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.50pm.