Held on 26th April at 7.30pm in the Christian Fellowship Church
Rachel Leggett, Sam Coster, Anne List, Alison Doe, Steph Amey, Laura Handford, Virginia Twentyman, Rufus Philip, Paul Roberts, Steve Thompson. Also present via Zoom, Andrea Long.
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Austen Williams and Matthew Bradbury.
2. Accuracy of Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 29th March 2022 were agreed as correct.
3. Finance and grant application update
Alison explained that £3453.08 of the awarded grant was to be returned to Locality as it was unused prior to the financial end of year but that we had spent £4401.92 so far. A further grant would be applied for to cover 2022-23. SNDC had awarded us a grant of £6000 which had yet to be received.
A record of accounts was shown to the meeting.
4. Site Allocations, Local Green Spaces and Non-designated Heritage Assets
Andrea introduced herself as a member of Rachel’s team responsible for advising on this subject. She gave a presentation via a slide show and explained that site allocations could be made for new development, housing, employment, business use, leisure and other forms of development.
There is no absolute requirement for a NP to designate sites.
Any sites chosen would be in addition to those allocated by the GNLP.
Allocating sites can also safeguard land for future use, for example for open space.
Site allocating is often the most controversial part of the NP process.
In order to allocate sites, we would need to undertake a ‘call for sites’ whereby landowners are invited to put forward sites for development. There then needs to follow a minimum 6 weeks for the responses. All sites put forward would have to be independently assessed by AECOM. Then the Steering Group would have to decide to confirm those allocations.
The Steering Group members then asked a series of questions of Andrea.
Q: Is not allocating sites detrimental?
A: Not really. You are not compelled to allocate sites. Any suggestions for sites would be subject of consultation. It would be helpful if the Steering Group made an early decision to explore this subject.
Q: Can we call for sites to be for a specific use?
A: Yes, for example a car park.
Q: If we don’t allocate sites for housing how does that affect the GNLP or other Local Plan?
A: The Local Plan or GNLP could go beyond their own allocation in order to meet a housing needs figure.
Q: If we allocate a site does it go through to development automatically?
A: It would still require Planning Applications to be submitted.
Q: Can we allocate a site already turned down by GNLP?
Rachel then advised the ‘Call for sites’ timetable should be decided at the next meeting on 31 May. Sam stated the Steering Group need to consider, discuss and decide at the next meeting and then go to public consultation.
Andrea then talked about Green Spaces. She explained that when the Character Appraisal work was undertaken we may have seen existing green spaces but the NP can protect them. She referred to The National Planning Policy Framework that states there are 3 criteria that must be met.
- Must be in reasonable proximity of the community it serves (so not an agricultural field for example).
- It must be demonstrably special to the community, for example by way of tranquillity, beauty, wildlife, historic significance, recreational. It does not have to be public space or accessible.
- Must be local in character and not an extensive tract of land.
An example was shown of a community garden in Saxmundham. Andrea showed a template devised to use as evidence that would be added to the NP as an Appendix.
Regarding Non-designated Heritage assets, these are described as buildings, places, sites, monuments or landscape not recognised already nationally, but significant to the local community. She stated we did not have to consider assets already within a Conservation area. The Steering Group should ask the local community for ideas. Trees were not considered as they have the Tree Preservation Order process to protect them.
5. Report Back on Character Appraisal work
Frost Row area was as yet unallocated. Sam offered to undertake this.
There was a discussion about smaller green spaces and Rachel will confirm the boundary of the Seamere SSSI.
The group agreed to separate out the Seamere Road area from The Hall Moor Road/Low Road area, being undertaken by Steve. Rachel will redraw the area boundaries.
Sam will harmonise the content of the reports to ensure similar standards of detail in the reports.
Rachel stated the appraisals will assist us in using the Design Codes for future work.
6. Report Back on Stakeholder Engagement work
A discussion followed about which Community Groups had been allocated to members and the list of groups was amended. Steve explained he had delivered a short presentation to the groups present at the Annual Town Meeting on 19 April explaining the principles of the NP and asking for co-operation when contacted by the Steering Group. Rachel asked members to progress on engagement if possible.
7. Business Engagement
A list had now been prepared of all businesses in the Parish with the assistance of SNDC. Sam proposed a letter be sent to every business, including farmers inviting them to a drop in event at The White Hart on an evening to be decided (between 5pm and 8pm). Sam assisted by Matthew would conduct the engagement to ascertain views and ideas. Rachel will supply a template for the survey of businesses. It was agreed not to invite Sole Traders as these would be covered by individual household surveys.
8. Household Survey
Rachel will draft a template to use ready for discussion at the next Steering Group meeting.
Rachel pointed out that the website requires updating and Steve will request this from Louise Sta Ana.
Sam stated he had acknowledged the letter received from Mr Bedford 14 March and as a result a further letter dated 11 April had been received from him. The letters will be circulated to the Steering Group members for consideration at the next meeting. All correspondence will be stored by Steve electronically.
10. Nutrient Neutrality
Steph explained that a recent decision nationally had stopped all development currently in places where run off water could be contaminated by a development. The map of the area concerned in Norfolk included the majority of Hingham including the GNLP allocated sites. This is likely to delay development of GNLP0520 (the Hops extension) until the matter is resolved and that this was to the advantage of the NP.
Date of Next Meeting
The next Steering Group meeting is scheduled to be held on 31 May 2022 at the same venue.