Minutes of an Extraordinary West dereham Parish Council meeting
Minutes of a turbulent meeting convened to examine problems associated with Glazewing activities within the village
Minutes of the West Dereham Parish Council meeting held
on Friday 9th May 2008 in the Village Hall at 7.30 p.m.
1. Present: Miss Richardson - chairperson, R. Drew, B. Glover, Mrs. Cairn, Mrs. Berry together with Christopher Fraser M.P., John Eastgate, N.C.C. Highways, Peter Riches, Norfolk Constabulary, Peter Burgess, Glazewing Transport Manager, Richard Rockcliffe County Councillor, Trevor Manley Borough Councillor and 58 members of the public.
Miss Richardson opened the meeting by thanking all for attending and introduced Christopher Fraser M.P. and the other invited speakers then handed the meeting to the M.P.
Mr. Fraser started by stating that he had been asked to Chair the meeting on behalf of the Parish Council. His only interest was to allow the Village's voice to be heard and to try and move the situation forward. He also confirmed that he had held meeting with Mr. Grief director of Glazewing who had stated that he was committed to finding a solution to the problem but that it was proving to be very difficult. Peter Burgess was then introduced and he read a statement from Glazewing which said that they were actively engaged in trying to purchase land to eventually have a road other than Station Road as an access to their business. Due to the delicate nature of land ownership / purchase etc: it is not possible at this time to disclose anything more specific than that Mr. Tim Phillips of Planning U.K. East Anglia has been appointed to deal with the land acquisition and planning application for the project. It is anticipated that the application will be with the Council within the next 6 months with hopefully a successful decision about 12 weeks after that date.
John Eastgate confirmed that he had been here twice before and he had been for the last 9 months working towards a satisfactory conclusion of the problem but from a County Council view point Station Road was not a high priority.
Peter Riches stated that there have been no traffic accidents along Station Road and therefore it was not a high priority with the Constabulary. He also confirmed that data collection has taken place in the area showing that vehicle movements have reduced by as much as 20/30 vehicles per day. Richard Rockcliffe stated he had only represented West Dereham for the last 3 years and has already attended several meetings with John Eastgate and Glazewing.
Christopher Fraser asked Tim Phillips if he was able to ensure that the Planning application was submitted within the timescale as per the statement and he confirmed that this would happen. John Eastgate explained the planning process and stated that if all consultations were carried out prior to submission it would help to speed the application through the various processes. It became very apparent that the Environment Agency, Highway Agency and any other specialist authorities must be consulted together with the Parish before submission of the application.
Richard Rockcliffe asked that a time table be prepared by Tim Phillips and that this be submitted to the Parish Council and when the dates and time scale were calculated Christopher Fraser said the submission date would be on or before 9th November 2008 with a possible result by March/April 2009. Glazewing confirmed that once planning permission was received it would anticipate making an immediate start on the construction but felt they were unable to give a completion date as unknown construction problems might occur.
A question was asked as to whether this would totally eliminate traffic along Station Road and if the entrance to Glazewing's would be closed on completion of the new road - it was confirmed that Station Road is a public highway and that there could be no guarantee that all traffic would be eliminated from Station Road. The question was asked as to whether the new road would be north or south of the Cut Off Channel and the meeting was reminded that because of the sensitive nature of any negotiations this question would not be answered at this time. Again the public was reminded by Peter Burgess that if any member of the public saw Glazewing vehicles where they ought not to be or doing what they ought not to be he would be grateful if they telephoned the Company and spoke to him at the time. A member of the public stated that they had tried to do just that and had failed as they were not connected to his 'phone line - he apologised for this. Christopher Fraser questioned the relationship between the village and Glazewing and was assured that there had been antagonism in the past but both parties were working together now.
Highways were then criticised for promising help to improve the road surface and this had not materialised. It was refuted by Peter Burgess that the Company lorries use Basil Road when Police and/or VOSA checks are being carried out by as he confirmed that the Company have no problem with either authority. The Parish Council are to advise the Police on where any data collection devise should be placed.
Complaints were made that Glazewing lorries use Station Road very early in the morning and sometimes late at night - John Eastgate pointed out that there are two licences - the plant is allowed to operate between 7a.m. and 7/7.30p.m. and the operating centre is 24 hours. It was questioned if this was a health & safety issue and it was pointed out that the licences were issued by a government department. The highway department endeavour to maintain Station Road but it has no foundation and as a public highway can be used by all vehicles. It was suggested that pot holes should be reported direct on 0845 8008009. Glazewing lorries do generally access the village via Wereham Road but this is purely a goodwill gesture on the part of the Company. It was confirmed that Eastern Traffic Division of 22-23 Hill Road Cambridge issue Operators Licences and the public can write to them if they so choose but the County Council can only object to any Planning matters on the access point to the highway. Station Road is not nor will ever be a high priority to the County Council only to the parishioners.
Christopher Fraser said that during the next 18/24 months discussions must continue and pressure to deliver must be maintained through the Parish Council.
It was confirmed that all Glazewing lorries have been supplied with hand free kits for Glazewing mobiles and that the drivers have been requested to drive at 20.m.p.h in Station Road also the Company written to they suppliers asking for their help in this matter. Christopher Fraser stated that he had a letter from Malcolm Grief .stating that all lorries have been asked to take special care along Station Road.
Concerns were expressed about a very late night working and it was confirmed that a machine had been broken down and the engineers did work were late one night. A member of the public suggested that the matter of another route was being carried out very secretively and would like to know 'what was in this for Glazewing?' The question was asked if after the new road was constructed if the end of Station Road could be blocked off and the answer was no as it gave access to a bridleway on to which all farmers and their traffic have a right to travel.
It is hoped that one day Government departments might all liaise with each other and then progress with matters of this nature would be less difficult. The Parish Council are going to discuss and then contact the Highways regarding signage on the A134 and hoping to eliminate the fly tipping in Lime Kiln Road - Glazewing were thanked for the 'clearing' up they do in the Village and it is hoped that they will continue to do so.
Christopher Fraser said he understands that although there were many concerns, the positive statement by Glazewing may have helped and he summarised by confirming: (1) Planning application will be submitted within the next six months (2) public comments might be done formally through Parish Council not individually (3) Peter Burgess to look into high un-sheeted loads (4) safety issues and speed limit of 20m.p.h. along Station Road would be looked at again by Glazewing. He also confirmed that he is looking forward to the opening of the new road and that he is always available through either the Swaffham or London offices and will speak on someone's behalf to raise issues if they feel unable to do so themselves.
The Parish Councillors then held a short meeting and agreed the accounts and recommended approval of Frimstone's planning applications.
The meeting closed at 9 p.m.