West Dereham Parish Council Minutes August 2 2012
Present: Mrs Claire Cann – Chairman, Mrs Pam Bullas, Mr Mark Dawson, Mr Tom Foy, Mrs Ruth Marsters, Mrs Pam Walker. 7 members of the public
Papers presented to Councillors: Clerks timesheet, expenditure spreadsheet, Glazewing Report.
Mr Mark Stewart, British Sugar Project Manager for the Bio-Energy Facility at Wissington Sugar Factory had been invited to attend prior to the start of the Parish Council meeting to inform the Council and members of the public of the plans for an anaerobic digester at Wissington.
Norfolk County Council omitted to consult West Dereham Parish Council in the first instance but Claire Cann and Mark Dawson have recently undertaken a site visit at the factory and Mark Stewart had been invited to the Parish Council meeting to answer any questions raised.
The anaerobic digestion project is already in its third year with the main driver for British Sugar being a desire to reduce the company’s exposure to the volatility of the price of gas. British Sugar use a lot of natural gas and costs can be reduced if gas is produced on site through anaerobic bio-digestion. Sugar beet pulp will be used to produce gas on site rather than British Sugar needing to buy gas.
At present sugar beet pulp is dried and sold for animal feed. It is envisaged that in future 75% of the beet pulp will be used for bio-gas production instead.
The anaerobic digestion plant is to be located to the south and west sides of the existing factory chiefly as ground conditions near the river are not conducive for building. British Sugar is trying to minimise any impact on the environment and there will be positive environmental outcomes resulting from this project.
It was noted anaerobic digestion does not smell if the process is undertaken correctly therefore no smell should emanate from the digester and noise at the perimeter of the factory must not be above a specified level. The anaerobic digester itself will be completely enclosed.
British Sugar believes positive impacts include the reduction of fossil carbon fuel that will be used by the factory, the drying stacks will be less used therefore emissions will be reduced and there will be a small reduction in traffic to and from the site.
There will be a small residue remaining from the anaerobic digestion process to be used as a fertiliser which will be transported from site.
During construction of the development there will be an increase in traffic to and from the site but routes are to be controlled so vehicles do not pass through local villages.
As part of the project a new effluent treatment plant is being constructed also which will mean no water will be taken from the Wissey to run the scheme. Water will be re-used on site with some discharged back into the river following required treatment.
It was noted that British Sugar has three factories already with small scale anaerobic digestion on site including one at Wissington that has been running for approximately ten years.
Mark Stewart answered the following questions:
- Will the development be visible fromWest Dereham?
West Dereham is north of the factory so the new development will be screened by the present factory.
2. Is the gas produced to be stored?
There is no gas storage facility in the planning application as gas produced will be used. A low level flare will be used to burn off any gas produced that is not able to be used. At present there is a mains gas pipe to the factory.
3. Will animal feed customers still be catered for?
British Sugar sells animal feed through ‘Trident’ and at present a lot of the feed produced is exported. The local market should not be affected.
4. Will there be any light visible from the development?
All lighting is focused downwards and mobile lighting will be used for the proposed development wherever possible. All lighting will be low level and no permeation is permitted beyond the site boundary.
5. How long will the construction period be?
It is expected construction will take eighteen months and, as a result, during that time roads that border West Dereham are likely to be busier.
Construction of the lagoon could begin next spring although this should not see any increase in traffic as materials are already on site. Hardcore will need to be brought in for the ensilement area but peak levels of construction vehicles should be below normal campaign traffic levels. During the campaign there is up to one thousand vehicles to and from the Wissington site in one day.
Claire Cann noted that the envisaged reduction in traffic as a result of the digestor is only a drop of around ten to fifteen vehicles to and from the site per day.
The Chairman drew the session to a close stating that the Parish Council was pleased with the openness demonstrated by British Sugar and it is hoped that the Parish Council can continue to have a good relationship with the company. She feels Parish Councillors should be aware of worst case scenarios when confronted with such new development. British Sugar appears to be environmentally responsible but at present it is economically sound to be so. This situation has been created by the Government in response to the Kyoto Agreement and future policy will also much depend on government legislation.
Wissington Sugar Factory is the largest site run by British Sugar with other sites at Bury St. Edmunds, Cantley andNewark. At present sugar production is capped and there is little scope for factories to grow. It is possible the factory at Wissington will continue to expand and it was noted that the majority of land owned by British Sugar is to the north of the present factory and the river.
nformation can be found at www.britishsugarbioenergy.com and this website will be updated as the project progresses. Further communication with parishes is planned and Mark Dawson offered to pass any questions or concerns back to Mark Stewart at British Sugar.
1. Apologies for Absence accepted from:
Ms Paula Kellingray
2. Declarations of Interest.
Pam Walker declared a possible interest in item 8. as she is an allotment holder.
3. Approval of the Minutes.
The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on16/07/12were agreed as a true record of the meeting.
4. Matters arising from previous meetings.
The meeting was briefly opened to members of the public.
- Concern was raised regarding the need for all footpaths in the parish to be cleared as many are impassable. Paths will be identified and Norfolk County Council will be approached regarding cutting the paths.
- Residents are walking on the road rather than the footpath at the corner of Church Roadas brambles are overhanging the pavement. The owner of the hedge will be contacted to request that the brambles be cut back.
- It was noted not all footpaths in the village are signed. Signs have been removed and not replaced but the Parish Council does hope to reinstate the footpath map board by the phone box in Station Roadonce a Village Handyman has been engaged. It has also been suggested the Parish Council could produce a leaflet identifying the Rights of Way. The Clerk was asked to bring the definitive maps relating to the parish to all future Parish Council meetings.
5.1 Chairman’s Report:
- The Chairman reported that her recent visit to Wissington Sugar Factory accompanied by Mark Dawson had been very enlightening.
- The hedge at the eastern boundary of the Cemetery has been trimmed by the owners of the adjacent property. The Chairman and Clerk have met with Ian Burton from Country Grounds Maintenance (CGM) regarding various grounds maintenance issues relating to the Cemetery. Ian Burton has also been made aware of concerns regarding employees ofCGMspeeding alongBath Roadand St. Andrews Walk.
- The Chairman, Pam Bullas and Pam Walker are booked to attend a course entitled ‘Grave Matters’ on August 15th. It was suggested all Councillors should attend this course organised by the Norfolk Association of Local Councils in preparation for the proposed extension ofWestDerehamCemetery.
5.2 Clerk’s Report
- The Clerk and Tom Foy attended the ‘Grave Matters’ course on July 24th and found it very informative. Matters raised included emphasis on the need to undertake risk assessment relating to memorial safety and the digging of graves in particular (it is perhaps beneficial for a Parish Council to employ its own grave diggers if possible), the transfer of Rights of Burial and the length of time such rights should exist, decoupling of the Rights of Burial and the right to place a memorial on a grave and the increasing requests for various types of burials and memorials.
- Nigel Manning will represent Glazewing at the September meeting of the Parish Council as it is now six months since Glazewing last attended a Parish Council meeting.
- The Highway Community Rangers will be in the parish the week commencing August 20th 2012.
- The grass at the Village Hall will be cut as soon as the weather allows.
- Hayley Kurt (Borough Council of King’sLynnandWest Norfolk) will attend the October meeting of the Parish Council to explain changes to the refuse collection in the borough.
5.3 Police Report:
Jane Edwards the Police Community Support Officer allocated to the village had sent apologies for not being able to be present at the meeting.
- There have been only two calls made to the Police relating to incidents in West Derehamsince July 5th. The Police attended both calls which were connected and related to domestic incidents.
- The Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP) meeting held at West Derehamwas well supported and said to have had the best attendance for a SNAPmeeting in the area.
- Praise was voiced for the commitment to the village shown by PSCOJane Edwards.
- The Watlington Neighbourhood policing update showed one local theft in Wretton between July 27th and 28th and issued a warning for owners of caravans to be vigilant as two thefts of caravans in broad daylight have occurred recently in the area. Caravans should be secured and documents kept outside of the van.
5.4 Village Hall Report:
- The Hall continues to be successful with events arranged advertised in the monthly village leaflet drop.
- A Charity Fish and Chip supper is to be held on Friday August 3rd.
- The bar is popular and well supported.
- Outside works have been started at the Village Hall as grant funding has been received. A storage compound for bins is being constructed near the gate to prevent the dust cart from driving across the gravel and creating huge ruts in the car park.
5.5 Glazewing Report:
- Copies of the Glazewing Report were available and points of the report were discussed.
- A planting scheme for the northern boundary of the Station Roadsite has been submitted to Norfolk County Council as required under a condition of planning permission C/2/2011/2024. The scheme was submitted in April 2012 but it is thought planting will not take place until at least October 2012.
- Responses were given in the report to issues raised at previous Parish Council meetings but it was felt not all questions posed had been answered. A letter will be sent to Glazewing again asking for the number of vehicles leaving the site between 2amand 7amand whether vehicles can be issued with “Am I driving carefully” signs. Copies of correspondence will be sent to Borough Councillor Trevor Manley, County Councillor Richard Rockcliffe and MP Elizabeth Truss.
- The road towards the Station Roadsite has been laid with loose chippings and Highways will be asked for clarification regarding the maintenance work recently undertaken and whether further re-surfacing is to follow.
- Glazewing will be asked to clarify what the figures stated on their monthly report for Carbon Dioxide recovery actually mean, how they are calculated and what impact this has on the village.
The meeting was suspended to allow members of the public to contribute:
- Large vehicles using the village are eroding the verges so roads are becoming wider at the expense of the roadside paths. In places alongStation Roadthe verges have been eroded by some eighteen inches. When any resurfacing takes place the eroded verges are metalled over rather than reinstated. It was felt this widening of the roads can only be advantageous to Glazewing. It was suggested roads need to be curbed, as was the grass triangle inStation Road, to stop further verges being lost.
- It was reported May Gurney lorries are travelling to theStation Roadsite on Saturday afternoons. The Parish Council has been informed by Glazewing in the past that the yard is not open on Saturday afternoons but lorries have been reported as regularly travelling to the site and some as late as6pm. A member of the public has been told by a transport manager at Glazewing that the company has contracts to keep and drivers are permitted to leave for journeys when they choose. Lorries are reported to leave alongStation Roadfrom around4amwith vehicles going towards the site from5.30amonwards.
- It was again reiterated that if vehicles travel at 20mph or less this can reduce the impact for residents ofStation Road. A suggestion was made that a sign could be erected by Glazewing at the exit of theStation Roadsite reminding drivers to adhere to the 20mph voluntary speed requested.
5.6 Broadband Update
Norfolk County Council has invited tenders for the Better Broadband for Norfolkproject to be received by September 7th. Norfolk County Council has one month to then accept or reject any proposals. If only one tender has been submitted it may not be automatically accepted.
Financial position update:
The Parish Council bank balance will stands at £11341.46 once the following payments have been made.
6.1 Payments agreed in accordance with the budget:
Clerk’s salary (June) £171.00
Country Grounds Maintenance (GGM) – grounds maintenance £93.50
NorfolkAssociation of Local Councils – Summer Conference attendance fee £45.00
NorfolkAssociation of Local Councils – ‘Grave matters’ course fees £100.00
Bonnetts – notice board and grave markers £544.85
West DerehamPCC– use of Church £120.00
7. Maintenance of the hedge at the southern boundary of the Cemetery.
Quotes are being sought for maintenance of the hedge at the Cemetery and this matter will be an agenda item at the September meeting of the Parish Council once responses have been received.
Further quotes have also been requested relating to grounds maintenance and management of the proposed cemetery extension: grassing of the extension, seeding with poppies, bulb planting and annual grass cutting.
An appointment is also to be made with the arborist fromCGMwho will advise on suitable types of trees to be planted in the cemetery.
Some discussion took place regarding the precise date for the cemetery extension to be handed back to the Parish Council by the tenant and this matter will be an agenda item for the September meeting of the Parish Council. The tenant will be contacted for a handover date.
8. Allotment farm tenancy agreement
Discussion took place regarding the recent allegation that over spraying has taken place on the land held by a tenant farmer adjacent toWest Derehamallotments. Crops at the allotments and some gardens are showing signs of contamination.
The Parish Council has made considerable enquiries in attempt to gather all facts relating to this incident. The tenant farmer and the contractor who undertook the spraying have been contacted and DEFRA, the Norfolk Association of Local Councils, the Farmers Union and the Met. Office have been approached for advice.
A response will be issued to the allotment holders who will be made aware of the Parish Council’s findings and view that their farm tenancy contract (which is based on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Farm Business Tenancy Agreement) fulfils the remit of being a responsible and considerate landlord to all its tenants. The current farm tenancy agreement is due for renewal in 2013 and the Parish Council will review all clauses in the agreement in light of this recent incident. It was felt a stipulation could be included in the tenancy agreement that a border should be established around the field so distancing the allotments from any possible future spraying of the land.
9. No further correspondence received.
Application for consultation:
Extension to agricultural store at Hill House Farm,Bath Road, WestDereham 12/00939/F.
The Parish Council expressed concerns relating to this proposal:
- It was queried whether this development would be purely for agricultural use or whether it may be used by the grounds maintenance arm of the business located at Hill House Farm
- It was not known if neighbours of the proposed development had been notified
- As with other developments the Parish Council would like any lighting to be sympathetic and not create unnecessary light pollution
- If screening is needed then it is hoped this would be of natural plants.
11. Further Reports/items for the next agenda:
11.1 To consider use of the Abbey Room at the Village Hall for future Parish Council meetings or the possibility of using microphones at Parish Council meetings.
11.2 More magnets will be purchased for the village notice boards.