Cllr Sue Lintern (Chair)
Cllr Daphne Clements
Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey
Cllr Mandy Leamon
Cllr Trudy Mann
Cllr Jim McNeill (Vice Chair)
Cllr Gail Reeve
Cllr Donna Stocking
(Vacancy – 1)
Helen Richardson (Parish Clerk and Financial Responsible Person)
Also, in attendance:
Cllr Martin Storey, Norfolk County Council
Matt Kenny, Trustee of the Playing Field Committee
88/19 Emergency Evacuation Procedures was read by the Chair.
89/19 Openness and Transparency Notice – The Parish Council record the meeting. The Chair notified the public of this.
90/19 Apologies for Absence
There were apologies of absence from Cllr Colin Sampson.
91/19 Declarations of Interest on Agenda Items and Dispensation Requests
Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey declared that his property bordered area of the development site within the conservation area. Cllr Mandy Leamon declared an interest in being a trustee of the Playing Field Committee.
92/19 To Discuss and Agree a Further Response to the Borough Council Planning Department on the items listed below regarding the planning application 19/00274/OM Outline application with some matters reserved for the erection of up to 70 residential dwellings and access at Land on The South West Side of Lynn Road Stoke Ferry Norfolk (2agriculture Mill Site):
• Green Space Provision – On and/or Off Site;
• Public Access to the Playing Field;
• Public Footpath through the Development;
• Planning Conditions for the Completion of the Development.
Green Space Provision – On and/or Off Site
The Chair shared that the Borough Council had contacted the Parish Council regarding the provision of green space and it needed to respond to whether it felt a one off payment for the provision of play equipment for the playing field would be acceptable to offset there not being any on the site.
The Clerk clarified that the Planners had confirmed that there would be green space provision with a small park area on the stores site on Furlong Road. The Chair shared that the Parish Council had been offered approximately £30k from a separate development at Indigo Road for play equipment including maintenance to also go on the playing field, and from what planners advised this site could offer considerably more for play equipment.
RESOLVED The Parish Council agreed the following response to the Borough Council regarding Green Space provision:
• Two smaller green spaces within the development should be incorporated into the plans at either end of the development determined by the split that the public footpath creates.
• The Parish Council does not wish to place more play equipment on these pieces of land but would wish to see them be developed as usable public green spaces. This is because there would already be play equipment on the current playing field plus additional equipment from proceeds expected from another development site opposite and a play park on the stores site at Furlong Road. The Parish Council doesn’t wish to have three separate areas with play equipment on but does wish to have public space usable in some other way so perhaps items on this land which were not play equipment, instead perhaps a bench or trees.
The Clerk agreed to also find out whether there would be maintenance money provided for green space within the development site and whether the decision of what was on the green space would be taken by the developer or passed to the Parish Council for decision.
Public Access to the Playing Field;
It was agreed that the piece of land at the back of Buckenham Drive would resolve the need for access to the Playing Field. It was understood that the developer would lay a path through a main section of the path way but the Parish Council wished to know what would happen to the rest of the section of the land. The Parish Council understood that the piece of land was owned by the Borough Council and as it had no amenity value it was considering gifting it to the mill to be included within the development.
RESOLVED: The Parish Council agreed for a pathway to be tarmacked over the scrub land at the rear of Buckenham Drive bungalows and for this to be used as access to the playing field, however it is requested that as a proviso this is not to be taken into account within the 17 square metre per house calculation for green space.
The Chair advised that David Mills, Public Right of Way Officer at Norfolk County Council had advised that it was most unlikely that the Parish Council were owners of the footpath (that went through the centre of the development), and the most likely case was that when it was gifted to the village it was done so as a good will right of way gesture, but not with a transfer of title deed.
The Chair added that if any member of the public had any information to prove otherwise such as the sale of the land to contact the Parish Council. The Chair agreed to contact a resident who it was believed may have some knowledge of this issue. It was noted that the footpath through the development was on the definitive map as a registered footpath and had been done so around 20 years ago by the Parish Council. The Parish Council had also paid for it to be tarmacked. It was felt by a Councillor that perhaps the developer should have investigated the ownership for a definite answer as part of their planning process, but acknowledged it was for the Parish Council to disprove ownership more. A Councillor commented that even if the Parish owned the path there may still not be a valid reason for there not to be a road crossing on it within the development.
RESOLVED: The Parish Council felt that appropriate kerbing and crossings for the path should be made clear as part of the planning designs. They would however continue to investigate ownership of the path.
Public Access onto the playing
The Parish Council felt strongly that the public access onto the playing field via an opening from the site was not an option. They noted that the Playing Field Committee had not been consulted by the developers.
RESOLVED: It was agreed that as this wasn’t an option, with the access via Buckenham Drive scrub land pathway this resolved access and to inform planners of this request.
The Chair advised that the planning application was due to be discussed at the Planning Committee on 3 June starting at 10 am. The Clerk advised that the Borough Council would be in contact with the Parish Council nearer to the time with details of how many would be able to speak from the Parish Council and attendance information.
Cllr Martin Storey shared that you the Parish Council were very wise to have a meeting so that members of public could have their say on these issues, and advised the Parish Council and village not to hold back on making any comments to the planning department at this stage on any aspect in relation to the development. He also shared that within planning processes the Parish Council were a statutory consultee and the Planning Committee always read all the comments from Parish Council as part of the papers received.
Cllr Martin Storey clarified that the Borough Council operated an affordable housing policy of around 20% of a development to be allocated for affordable housing so for this site would be around 14 properties. It had been his view that self-build or custom build sites didn’t offer details of what could be agreed as planning. He shared that the Borough Council are against what is known as ‘pepper-potting’ or grouping all affordable housing on an estate together and assume that there will be affordable housing on both the mill site and stores site at Furlong Road.
The Chair advised that these notes would be circulated to the Councillors for comments before being sent off to the Borough Council as the response to the issues raised.
The Clerk agreed to ask the planning team for an update on the 30 homes development site at the stores on Furlong Road, and whether it was being called in also at the June Committee. As soon as more information was known this would be shared Councillors.
The appendix to these minutes is the comments made by individual Parish Councillors and members of the public during discussions in the meeting. It was agreed to share these with Planners, on their advice, for them to use either in the current stage of the application or for the future stages. It was agreed that it was important to record these comments formally.
93/19 To Note the Date of the Next Meeting
The next meeting is the Annual Parish Meeting and Annual Meeting of the Parish Council on Wednesday 15 May 2019 at 6.30 pm in the Stoke Ferry Village Hall. The meeting was later in the month due to the elections and the bank holiday.
Meeting Closed at 8.37 pm
Green Space Provision – Parish Councillor and Public Individual comments.
The Parish Councillors made the following comments:
• The mill and development site used to be green land, and any development on this site needed to be within the correct historical setting together with adequate garden space for each property. In particular that the Grade II and II* properties included in the site should be allocated enough garden to make them viable for sale as the dwelling houses which they historically were, and to prevent them from being subdivided into multiple-occupancy. This was important as the development was within the centre of the village. It was felt that though there was a playing field next to the site, the design of homes should be sympathetic to the historic nature of the 12th century village centre conservation area which is part of the site.
• The initial plans for development had included 55 homes but the current application intensified the site by an increase of up to 70 homes, which ultimately has an impact on the amount of green space for the entire development By including terraced smaller dwellings, and varying rooflines to echo the existing mill, enough green space should be released to make this possible.
• It should be possible for developers to make allowances for green space within the development site if they were looking to make a payment for equipment on green space elsewhere.
• It was noted that there were members of public that had been against a loss of green space at a meeting held with the mill in September 2018 and a strong feeling about ensuring that the village kept as much green space as possible.
• Concern that other money for equipment had been offered from other development sites to be on the playing field, as well as current equipment. There was also concern of who might maintain the additional equipment. Play equipment on the Furlong Road Site, Playing Field and this development would mean three separate play areas.
• Any green space within the development could be maintained by the village as they had a Handyman.
• As part of the planning process if there was a green space within the development there would need to be a minimum size agreed.
The Chair invited members of the public to comment on green space provision and the following was noted:
• Green space with trees within the development would be better for wildlife and the general environment for those living there.
• By a show of hands 12 of the 14 in attendance believed there should be green space within the development.
• Play equipment would not be needed on the development.
Planning Conditions for the Completion of the Development
The Parish Councillors wished to make the following points to the Planning Team as consideration for conditions for the development:
• Is there a possibility that sale conditions could be placed on the homes for resale to people who live locally first such as people from the village or within a certain mile radius?
• There had been a lot of complaints from properties next to the playing field to the Playing Field Committee regarding ball games and general noise from children on the field and equipment. The Parish Council agreed that they were concerned about this issue and suggested that the height of the fencing should be key to resolving this issue or to plant poplar trees native to the area as another option to resolve.
• There was concern that there would be over 100 cars travelling in and out of the site within one access. It was believed that Lynn Road may have not been a viable option for planners as access for the development, but it was believed it may be possible to have a cross roads at the Post Office into the site. A more sympathetic access to the development should be considered than the standard plan that they have in place.
• It was agreed that there should be enough parking offered within the site for each home so that there aren’t issues for those living there having to need to park on the highway.
• A development with fewer cars and better-quality housing would be better for the village, such as rows of affordable, terraced cottages for single residents, small families and elderly residents.
• For a historic village centre, there should be homes that are sympathetic to this and not just 3- or 4-bedroom homes that are generic in design.
• The comparisons for the design of the homes which would be relevant to this village that the Parish Council would like the developer and Planners to consider is at the moorings by Bridge Road by the bridge across the River Wissey in Stoke Ferry. This design would mean that the village didn’t lose its cultural identity and moving away from generic design. The Parish Council wished to request that the houses that back onto the playing field don’t have access onto the field under any circumstance.
• Suggestion that as most of the buildings historically were limestone, Carrstone, flint, chalk, clinch and weatherboarding, and the Parish Council wished to maintain the character of the village that this be considered for the design of homes. The Chair advised that a neighbourhood plan would be able to generally request these sorts of requirements for buildings within the village.
• The Parish Council wished to convey to the developer if they had or would consider approaching a Custom Build company for the development. There were contractors via Norfolk County Council that were seeking sites.
The Following was noted during the discussion of the Parish Council:
• It was noted that Planners had advised it was highly unlikely that a bond would something they would condition on the site. However, a bond is still our preferred course of action by our Borough Council with Amber REI to ensure that the Mill buildings are removed.
• There can be conditions on pre-occupancy, where by you can sell homes, but they not be occupied until there are conditions met. In acknowledging this is a large development site it may be difficult to realistically enforce such conditions as the planners were aware the developer would wish to build in phases, but it is hoped this could be a form of control.
• Planners had advised that the Buckenham Drive entrance would be developed first on the mill site, and then move into the green space after so pre-occupancy wouldn’t be needed. However, despite, possible difficulties, a pre-occupancy condition should still be striven for to ensure and re-assure the village residents that the Mill buildings will be removed.
• It was noted that a transport survey was carried out as part of the application process and this indicated the outline plans had considered the impact of extra traffic.
• It was noted that the Parish Council and the village needs to keep its focus on what housing development it wanted in the village now and for the future when the factory goes.
• The Parish Council had not been made aware of what plans there were for the Grade 2 listed buildings and the Grade 2* building along Lynn Road, but would seek an update from the developer or planners when it was available.
• There was self-build allocation of 5 units on the site along the Lynn Road boundary immediately to the left of the right of way footpath through the centre of the development.
• There were no details available at this stage regarding necessary boundary fencing or walls adjacent to the playing field as it was outline planning.
• The site was not viable without the development of the green field.