Held on Tuesday 28th February 2023 at 7.30pm in the Christian Fellowship Church.
Andrea Long (via Zoom), Sam Coster, Anne List, Steph Amey, Ali Doe, Austen Williams, Rufus Philip, Virginia Twentyman, Paul Roberts and Steve Thompson.
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Matthew Bradbury. Steve notified the group that Laura Handford had permanently withdrawn from the Steering group due to personal commitments and that she had been thanked for her contributions.
2. Accuracy of Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 31 January 2022 were agreed as correct.
3. DRAFT NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
Andrea asked the group for feedback on the draft plan that she had circulated by email prior to the meeting. A detailed discussion then took place on each section. She explained that the introduction was fairly standard as it explained the purposes of a plan. Rather than the plan lasting until from 2022 to 2038, the group agreed to extend to the end date to 20 years until 2042.
Andrea reported that the Site Options report from AECOM was expected next week. She explained that the Town Council would need to approve the plan in around June for it to go forward to consultation. The public consultation phase would then last 6 weeks. It was pointed out that HTC will be in purdah for a period prior to the May local elections.
A discussion took place on Section 2 which contains a profile of the parish and its history. Anne requested mention of the numerous charities operating in the parish. She agreed to write a suitable paragraph for consideration. Sam requested descriptions of the football and cricket clubs as separate entities to the Sports and Social Club. This was not agreed. Ali asked for inclusion of an archaeological paragraph. This was agreed.
Section 3 was discussed regards National and Local Planning policies. Steve requested inclusion of the South Norfolk Village Clusters Plan, and this was agreed after advice from Andrea.
Section 4 was discussed in terms of how the plan was prepared. Steph asked Andrea to check the figures regarding the stage 2 responses as the percentage figures were in error. Andrea agreed to check and alter these.
Section 6 containing the Policies was discussed. There are currently 20 policies in the draft. Andrea asked the group if they wanted to reflect community projects. These are items which may not necessarily be able to be dictated by the plan as they were not direct planning issues, however the community had shown a desire for them. An example would be for a Post Office. Steve agreed to look at the evidence gained from the public survey and stakeholder meetings and put together a list for possible inclusion. Andrea asked the group if they wanted 15 or 20 minute walking distances from any new development. This is to be decided.
In Policy 4, Design, regarding connectivity, Steph asked for pavements rather than footpaths to be included. Rufus wanted the policy to include the retention of existing natural features. Ali requested off road parking should not be visually intrusive, i.e. preferably not directly in front of a home. Steph requested that green spaces should be replaced with an equivalent sized area where lost. She also suggested any SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) should be safe from water danger for children and others. Steve asked if there should be an encouragement for environmental reasons to retain gardens as such rather than hard material landscapes. Sam suggested that there should be mention of reuse of materials, not necessarily from the same site.
Regarding Community Infrastructure, Steve suggested removing the word ‘secure’ from car parking as it was meaningless. Sam suggested that the word ‘secure’ also be removed from pedestrian connections. The group agreed to merge cycling and public footpath sections. Members agreed there should be encouragement for new permissive paths. Steph suggested inclusion of agricultural diversification of buildings into business/employment opportunities. Anne suggested adding encouragement of solar panels on to farm structures.
In Policy 17, Local Green Spaces, it was agreed to remove Rectory Bowls Club due to doubt over its true ownership.
In the Biodiversity policy, Rufus suggested the plan should encourage climate resilient planting and a mix of native species.
Regarding Flooding, Rufus requested wording that reflected the need for nature based solutions. Andrea confirmed she would have to add wording regarding the Nutrient Neutrality issue. Ali pointed out this also affected the SSSI and should be added into the Biodiversity section.
A discussion then took place as to how and when HTC would review the draft plan, likely after the May local elections.
Andrea agree that regarding the Views section, an explanation was required to reflect the parish Church as being central to many of the views chosen.
Andrea agreed to look at all the discussion points for possible inclusion in the draft prior to the next meeting.
4. SURVEY WORK
The draft document prepared by Paul and Steve with maps and photos had been circulated prior to the meeting. As a result of suggestions by group members a number of additional views had been added to a second draft. After discussion it was agreed to remove the additional views on Attleborough Road as they were short views of the road and also of ladies Meadow. It was agreed to remove the additional views from Hardingham Road as they were similar to the ones already included to the Hardingham side of White Lodge.
The draft document prepared by Sam with photos had been circulated prior to the meeting. A discussion took place and the group agreed to add the Library, Town Sign and Market Place bus shelter. Steve agreed to assist Sam with further photos of some suggested assets and fingerposts that had recently been replaced by NCC. Andrea explained that a standard letter would eventually be prepared to be sent to any building owners concerned.
5. ADDITIONAL ITEM TO AGENDA
Andrea requested the group agree the final drafts of the AECOM Parking Technical Note and the Design Codes. These were agreed subject to some minor corrections to be sent to Rachel.
No communications to report.
7. Date of next meeting
The next meeting of the Steering Group will be on Tuesday 22nd March 2023 at the same venue.
The meeting then closed.