Custom-Build opportunities in Stoke Ferry

People are being asked to register their interest in the opportunity to custom-build their own home on a site in Stoke Ferry.A short online survey has been launched to gauge demand for the site in this west Norfolk village. The survey is available at west-norfolk.gov.uk/haveyoursay -> consultations and is open until 10 August 2020.
The decision to potentially release this site for self-build follows the strong response we received to an initial survey which aimed to identify demand for self-build properties in the area.
The site, if approved for development, will aim to offer up to 20 serviced plots in two phases. This site is located on the edge of the village overlooking open fields and will accommodate a range of custom-build opportunities, including lower cost, affordable housing plots.
Cllr Richard Blunt, said: “We urge anyone interested in building their own home in this lovely west Norfolk village to register through the survey. Once we know the level of demand and the types of property people are looking for, we can look to bring this site forward for development. The survey closes on 10 August, so I would encourage anyone interested to complete it as soon as possible. Custom Build homes can be a real and affordable alternative to buying a new build from a developer.”
Anyone who is interested in self build generally can sign up to the council’s Custom and Self Build Register. Anyone can register if they are:
– aged 18 or over
– a British citizen, a national of an EEA state other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland
– seeking to acquire a serviced plot of land in the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk area to build a home to occupy as their sole or main residence
Interest is growing in custom and self build housing, and encouraging it is one of the government’s strategies to increase house building. Custom and self build currently account for just 10% of new homes in the UK: compared to 60% in Germany, France and Italy. Custom build offers people an opportunity to work with a developer to design and build a home tailored to their specific needs, and self build means getting involved in the construction of their home; from employing someone to build it, to laying the bricks themselves.
The register acts as a point of contact between people who are interested in custom and self build plots, and developers who can provide such plots. Anyone who has registered their interest may be contacted by the borough council regarding specific opportunities for custom and self build that arise.
To find out more and apply to join the register, visit www.west-norfolk.gov.uk and search “self build”.
The Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk is working with Custom Build Homes to undertake this survey work.

Wretton Parish Council March Meeting

1228/04/2020
MINUTES OF WRETTON PARISH COUNCIL PLANNING MEETING
HELD AT ALL SAINTS CHURCH WRETTON
2ND MARCH 2020
Present: Cllr David Llewellyn – Chairman,
Cllr Mick Peake, Cllr Mandy Peake, Cllr Martyn Cann, Cllr Ian Mack, Cllr Paul Williams.
Also present: Borough Councillor Colin Sampson and Norfolk County Councillor Martin Store
0 members of the public present.
1. Apologies for Absence received from:
Cllr Peter Garnett
2. No Declarations of Interest made:
3. Approval of Minutes:
The minutes of the meetings held on 06.01.2020 and 11.02.2020 were confirmed as a true
record.
4. Update on matters arising from previous meetings:
Covered in reports or as agenda items.
5. Reports
5.1 Chairman’s Report
• The reinstatement of the hedge which was removed in Chequers Lane has taken
place and replanting has taken place approximately 1 meter back from the line of
the original hedge. It is possible this could now allow the road to be made wider and
the situation will be monitored.
• HGVs continue to drive through the village and verges are being destroyed by them.
It is believed vehicles avoid Low Road as it has a weight restriction but follow Sat
Navs down roads that are totally unsuitable. A suggestion was made to investigate
whether signage stating “Do not follow Sat Navs!” could be installed adjacent to
other road signs.
• The Parish Council has offered to provide a page for All Saints Church on the Council
website.
5.2 Clerk’s Report
Correspondence passed to Councillors:
• Police Drop in Surgeries 08.01.20
• Norfolk ALC Updates 28.01.20, 30.01.20, 10.02.20, 12.02.20
• Love West Norfolk Day 03.02.20
• Keep Britain Tidy 12.02.20
• Norfolk ALC Training Bulletin 24.02.20
• Police Newsletter 24.02.20
• E-mail received regarding field drainage has been passed to Highways
• Carer’s Conference West Norfolk 27.02.20
2228/04/2020
5.3 Risk Assessment Update
The Clerk has received a report of a vehicle regularly parking on Wretton Green. A letter
will be written to the owner of the vehicle once they have been identified.
6. Accounts were presented and accepted for payment.
Cheques for approval of payment
Payments for February 2020
Clerks Salary £118.44
Street Light Maintenance (Feb. March) £38.64
Maxey Grounds & Co (rent of play area) £107.00
BCKLWN (Dog bin emptying) £350.43
Watton Town Council (photocopying) £6.00
Bank Balances at 31.01.2020
Current Account £5889.67
Savings Account £3465.93
Note that £95.37 has been received for recycling credits from the paper bank.
6.1 It was agreed to engage the same Internal Auditor, Mrs Ann Morgan, as in recent past
years.
7. Project Updates
7.1 Wretton Green “pond” area – Cllr Paul Williams is still looking into how the “pond” can
be filled in. He is in touch with the Environment Agency and is hopeful of finding a solution.
8. Storage and retention of documents
The Parish Council will look to store recent documents electronically with historic hard copy documents to be sorted and re-filed more efficiently with unnecessary paperwork to be disposed of.
9. Additional grass cutting for 2020
It was agreed to engage the current grounds maintenance contractor to add mowing of the triangle and verge at the junction of West Dereham Road and Church Road to the grass cutting contract for 2020/21 as quoted.
10. No Planning Applications received for consultation
11. Other Reports – for information only:
• Highways are to install bollards to prevent large vehicles damaging the verge by
Church Path.
Chairman’s Signature……………………………………… Date……………

Ron’s Rambles

Covid 19
There is no doubt that, as a nation, the way in which we have confronted this pandemic has not been to our credit. Given where we were in early March it is possibly fair to say that the government has acted in a fairly sensible way, although it is clear that should have put more emphasis on ‘testing and contact tracing’ than they did. Without doubt, the large majority of the public have given the government their full support. The question that will need to be answered is why we were where we were in early March. Even then it seemed the government had not quite realised how serious this invasion was, they were still talking about the possibility of leaving it to infect sufficient numbers to create ‘herd immunity’. Dominic Cummings seemed to favour that idea. When Imperial College statisticians pointed out that there would be over half a million deaths before you could hope to achieve anywhere near that condition, they came to their senses, although even then, I think, they permitted a football match and Cheltenham to go ahead. Sadly, even after seven weeks of lockdown, at the time of writing, we still have over five hundred people dying every day, at that rate, if we are unable to bring it down further, it will add over 100,000 deaths to the total for the year. That total would be greater than the number of UK civilians killed in the six years of WW2. Attempts to restart businesses will make it difficult to simultaneously bring down the infection rate and subsequent death rate.
Some time ago It was internationally agreed that a new pandemic was likely at some time and that nations should be prepared for that. It seems we did set out to prepare, we had a warehouse, so we were told, ready stocked with the necessary to combat any pandemic whenever it might appear. In the event we did not have one protective gown in that warehouse and practically no facility for testing with swabs.
Boris tried to reassure the nation in his blustering and bumbling way. It was tragic for him that he should be struck down, we are all very pleased to see him back to health. Indeed, we are very pleased to see anyone recover after being attacked by the virus. At the moment anyone going into intensive care with Covid 19 has only a one in three chance of coming out alive. In Boris’s absence Dominic Raab stood in for him in many of the No 10 briefings and I was greatly impressed by the manner in which he handled that unenviable task.
Those who criticise the government’s slow reaction may receive the sarcastic comment that ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing’. There is nothing very wonderful about hindsight, of course, but foresight can be wonderful. Foresight as shown by South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Germany saved thousands of lives.
Future Impact of the Virus
It is quite impossible to predict what the new normal will be. Many businesses will not recover, many jobs will disappear for a long time, the nation will struggle to produce the wealth that it had done before, there will be huge debts to repay. Nobody wants to see another period of austerity but it is difficult to see how we will be able to afford the public services and the welfare that we did. We are not going to be alone in this, the United States is likely to be in a similar situation as will many other nations. We hear about the enormity of the debt we are incurring but to whom will we owe this money? Are there people who will benefit financially. Didn’t Jacob Reese Mogg’s favourite investment company say that this was a golden opportunity? Can’t be right.
The one nation that is beginning to look like the outstanding exception when the virus has been defeated and gone away is China. China has suffered a big drop in it’s GDP but it still has a GDP that we would have been overjoyed with even before the Corona virus, so, while every other nation is going to be poorer China looks as though it will be richer and will have even greater influence in the world and could replace the US as the world superpower.
I remain afraid that the enormity of this disaster is not yet realised by the people at large.
Sense of Smell
I have seen or heard somewhere that dogs may be able to detect the presence of the virus by smell. Seems rather improbable and yet I believe that trials have shown that dogs can detect the presence of cancer, especially lung cancer and breast cancer.
It is true that dogs have demonstrated how acute their sense of smell is in detecting so many things, drugs, bombs, cadavers, people, to name a few. I read recently that dogs are being used to detect smart phones inside packages, it seems the plastic casing has a unique smell.
Scientists will tell us that dogs have up to 300million chemoreceptors in their noses compared to our measly six million. One must assume that dogs are able to detect things because those ‘things’ emit particles, how else? Yet those particles must be very small and few in number, but unique to the material, and must, therefore, be molecules. The technical term for these particles detected by the chemoreceptors is odorants. I believe that some seemingly solid materials may have a smell, at one time I believed some metals had a unique smell, certainly some leathers have a fairly strong smell, leather upholstery in cars goes on smelling for the whole of the car’s life. (I have an old car, twenty years old, each time you open the door the smell of leather is quite strong). It is surprising that these materials must be continuously shedding molecules.
If this is so, it is surprising that, with all the advances in particle physics and such techniques as gas chromatography, we do not seem to be able to produce an instrument that could ‘smell’ substances as well as dogs can. If it is possible to detect and distinguish diseases by their smell one would think that there could be an instrument capable of performing the task? Such an instrument would be invaluable if indeed Covid 19 is detectable by smell.
Someone will write in and tell me I am talking rubbish, just like Donald Trump.
He doesn’t talk rubbish, disinfectants kill most germs. Just logical ennit.
Sayings
When I was young, if my grandmother heard some news that surprised her, especially if it was news about neighbours or friends, she would often say “Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs”. Under similar circumstances, my mother would probably say “Well I’ll go to the pictures”. Both expressions struck me as very odd things to say and I just put them down to another of the eccentricities in a slightly nutty family.
Quite recently, to my immense surprise, in a TV play I heard the expression ‘go to the foot of our stairs’ used to express surprise in exactly the same way. So, it wasn’t unique to my family after all, and it set me wondering where on earth the expression came from.
It was sometime after seeing that programme that it occurred to me that the script writer might have been related.
There are many sayings that seem odd today yet there is an explanation for them in history. Things that we say, often without thinking. Can’t think of any at this moment but I will watch out for them from now on.