Held on Tuesday 31st January 2023 at 7.30pm in the Christian Fellowship Church.
Andrea Long, Rachel Leggett, Sam Coster, Anne List, Steph Amey, Bradbury, Ali Doe, Austen Williams, Rufus Philip, Virginia Twentyman, Paul Roberts and Steve Thompson.
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received prior to the meeting from Matthew Bradbury. It was agreed that Steve would write to Laura Handford to ascertain if she wanted to continue as a member of the group due to her non attendance recently
2. Accuracy of Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 January 2022 were agreed as correct.
Rachel summarised the work to date by showing a slide with stages and timescales. The draft Neighbourhood Plan was now expected by Spring 2023. There would be a public exhibition and then it would be submitted after a consultation period, expected to occur in late May. Ali and Rachel are to ascertain available dates for Lincoln Hall.
Andrea explained there were two Policies missing, Connectivity and Style. She explained theses involved ‘Design Elements’, involving layout of a development. This meant the overall shape of a development, access, entrance, road network, turning places, location, type of development, spaces and relationship with adjoining developments as well as distances to spaces and facilities.
Members of the group had been looking at various developments outside of Hingham to ascertain ideas for “good design for Hingham”. Ideas had been collated and sent to AECOM to assist them with writing the Design Code. The group discussed these ideas and Andrea used the discussion to start drafting some policy wording. The group had identified that attractive green spaces at the entrance to and within a development would soften new development and mirror existing areas of Hingham such as the Market Place and Fairland. A nucleus of dwellings overlooking a green space were generally thought to be attractive, with development forming a radial pattern from this focal point. It was noted that social housing should be integrated within the development rather than form an identifiable area within it.
The use of soft boundaries and retention of existing hedging, trees and special features was also noted as important.
A discussion took place about adopted and unadopted roads and she was asked if the Plan could dictate either. Andrea thought we could only ask for roads to be to adoptable standards but she would check.
Connectivity was discussed as involving footpath and cycle connections both within a development and connecting it with the rest of town. The group stressed the importance of all roads within development having pavements.
The group discussed style of dwellings, including having variations of design of individual dwellings within a development, roof shapes, windows, doors, detailing, heights, scale and architectural features. The group asked Andrea to add the subjects of integrated or linked garages, exterior panels, window sizes and shapes, features on primary elevations and to break down the ‘square box feel’. She was also asked to include something about gables, porches, roof angles, themes, pitches and materials.
The curtilage for dwellings was discussed and it was noted that within the developments viewed by members of the group, those with car parking and wheelie bin storage directly in front of the property were less attractive and gave a more cluttered feel to the development. The addition of front gardens to dwellings helped to give development a greener more spacious feel.
Andrea will prepare these Policies for approval at the next meeting.
Andrea explained there were two options.
Option 1: non-site specific. This allowed the Plan to say what a car park should achieve if a site should become available but not tie any specific site to just being a car park in the future.
Option 2: designate a specific site for car parking.
Rachel advised that the car parking policy has to also be a discussion for the Town Council and that the results of the site assessments were needed to inform any decision made.
Other policies, further amendments
These would include ideas which the group discussed such as materials used, roofs, doors, elevations, windows, boundary treatments, driveways, roads and pavements and communal spaces. Other subjects to be finalised were discussed by the group, covering Density, Landscaping, Parking, Safety, Drainage, Sustainability and Storage. Andrea undertook to write a Design Policy based on the group’s discussion.
5. introductory chapters
Not discussed due to time constraints
6. AECOM work update and discussion
Parking Study technical note: The parking study final draft from AECOM was still awaited.
Design Code: The 3rd draft of the Design Code document was still awaited.
Site options assessment: The site visits had taken place and the resulting report was awaited.
7. Steering group progress on
Local Green Spaces
The group were reminded by Rachel that Green Spaces have to be in reasonable proximity to the community they serve, demonstrably special and local in character. Ali had prepared a document showing specific suggested spaces which was discussed by the group. Consultations would be required with the land owners of green spaces proposed to be included in the Plan. Steve agreed to send a map, sizes in square metres and co-ordinates of the green spaces being considered for inclusion.
Non-designated Heritage Assets
Sam hoped to have a discussion document prepared for the next meeting. A draft will be circulated prior to the meeting.
Paul and Steve volunteered to prepare a document with suggested views, maps and photos ready for discussion at the next meeting. A draft will be circulated prior to the meeting.
No communications to report.
9. Date of next meeting
The next meeting of the Steering Group will be on Tuesday 28th February 2023 at the same venue.
The meeting then closed.