Held on Wednesday 4th October 2023 at 7.30pm in the Christian Fellowship Church.
Sam Coster – Chair, Steph Amey, Virginia Twentyman, Anne List, Ali Doe, Paul Roberts, Steve Thompson and Andrea Long (via Zoom)
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Matthew Bradbury, Austen Williams and Rufus Philip.
2. Accuracy of Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 23rd May 2023 were agreed as correct.
3. Brief re-cap on Pre-submission Consultation – process
Andrea reported that she was pleased with the good level of responses from the recent public consultation phase. She also reported that responses had been received from all of the statutory consultees. There appeared to be no ‘fatal’ flaws in the draft. Overall, the responses indicated 85.5% agreed with the draft neighbourhood plan and 14.5% disagreed.
Andrea had compiled a Regulation 14 table of all the responses received from the pre-submission consultation. Rachel will be responsible for acknowledging the responses. The responses have been made anonymous by Rachel who solely holds the identity details of the public respondees.
The next stage is to move the Draft plan to an Amended plan and it is likely this process will take more than one meeting.
4. Brief explanation of the ‘rules’ governing plan amendments and how we move forward
Andrea advised that the steering group do not have to make amendments where they decide its unnecessary. The group can delete, remove text, white spaces and amend text. If the group make any ‘significant’ changes to the draft then we might be required to re-undertake a consultation phase. If the group decide to add a new policy or allocate a new land area then re-consultation would be required. In other words, if the plan has something new added that hasn’t already been consulted on, further consultation would have to be undertaken.
Andrea advised that there was no requirement to debate with the consultation respondees on their comments as the table provides the evidence to make decisions on.
Once Hingham Town Council have agreed the plan for submission then South Norfolk District Council will review the responses. Each representation will then be responded to as to how we have dealt with their comments.
5. Consideration of Reg.14 response table including key items for discussion
(Projects, Allocations, Ladies Meadow, Reviews of Non-Designated Heritage Assets, Green Spaces, and Views
The responses received under the section ‘General Comments’ were discussed and amendments made where the group agreed to do so, under advice from Andrea.
Steve then explained to the meeting that on the previous evening the Town Council had agreed to set up a Highways Working Party following receipt of the long awaited Feasibility Study from Norfolk County Council Highways. This report looked at the issues of the safety of the Fairland crossroads, parking in The Fairland, parking in Market Place and Bond Street, and pedestrian crossing in Church Street / Market Place. The report laid out a number of potential options with estimated costs for each issue. The Working Party will commence work to examine the study and report back to HTC on the way to make progress in negotiation with Highways, once the Terms of Reference and membership was agreed. It was intended that membership should be a small number of Town Councillors (4 at present) and possibly a number of volunteers from the community. The setting up of this Working Party means that some of the responses to the comments received to the draft plan would be able to be referenced to the action being undertaken by the Working Party as both this and the Steering Group are working on behalf of HTC. The Feasibility Study is being made visible to the public on the HTC website.
Responses to comments received regarding Sections HING1 and HING2 were then carefully discussed and amendments where appropriate were made on agreement by the group. The examination reached comment No.108 in the table before the meeting ended. This work will continue at the next meeting.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 11 October 2023.
It was also provisionally agreed to hold a meeting on Wednesday 8 November 2023.
The meeting then closed.