Annual Parish Meeting 2018

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the Parishes will be held at Woodbastwick Village Hall on Wednesday 2nd of May at 7.30pm, and will be followed by the Annual Parish Council Meeting. All residents are very welcome to attend. It is an excellent opportunity to meet your councillors and your chance to raise local issues.

Agenda for the Annual Parish Meeting

APM May 2018

Minutes of the 2017 Annual Parish Meeting

APM minutes 2017

Report To Parishes – Spring 2018 From Frank O’Neill – Broadland District Councillor

In this note I bring the latest news on the Five Year Land Supply and the Call in Procedure at Broadland District Council.
Might I ask clerks to copy this to all members and if possible attach my note on call ins on your web site
The Five Year Land Supply
Many will know that Broadland District Council has updated its performance targets and perhaps for the first time is able to demonstrate a Five Year Land Supply across the board.
Those within the Norwich Policy Area (as was) know full well that failure to achieve the target requirements introduced two adverse consequences.
First the goalposts were artificially moved by adding a percentage makeweight to the target requirements for persistent underachievers. This is now gone.
Second the NPPF – National Planning Policy Framework document – directed that planning policies for underachievers were/are deemed to be out of date. The effect was that regardless of local plan policies (ie the Joint Core Strategy) carpetbagger developers were able to secure permissions not otherwise achievable. Blofield Brundall Hemblington and Hethersett have suffered particularly.
This is no longer true. Since we now have a Five Year Land Supply – planners concede an oversupply (!) of 8.08 years – our local plan (the JCS) will apply across this Ward. Recently you have had the opportunity to vote on the proposals for the Greater Norwich Development Plan which will in time replace the JCS
The effect of this important development was demonstrated at the Planning committee meeting on 28th March in respect of an application relating to eight dwellings in Blofield Corner Road.
The Committee had previously resolved to approve the application. I opposed. The Committee had little choice at the first hearing but to resolve to grant permission. The rules concerning the five year land supply – as they were then known required it that way.
When it came back to Committee on the 28th March Consent was refused, This was because we now have a Five Year Land Supply. Accordingly the policies in the JCS were able to apply.
This outcome is of equal relevance to outline planning permissions previously granted. They will lapse where detailed consent has not been obtained (I think within two years). If application is made for renewal JCS and/or the Neighbourhood Plan may defeat the application.
This is particularly good news for Blofield, Blofield Heath and Hemblington. I don’t think other parishes were greatly moved by the possible consequences – but it might have gone the other way. That did not happen so all is as before and all is well.
Report To Parishes – Spring 2018 Continued
Page 2 of 2
The Call In Procedure
The procedure in Broadland enables any district councillor to require a planning application to be determined
by the Planning Committee and not an officer. I am told a determination by committee increases the cost tenfold.
No matter.
Personally I expect to support any resident who requires a call in. The major difficulty in a successful request
is the time limit. Often when I am approached I find I am already out of time. The rules are opaque, not
widely known and discourage requests.
Changes can be made by the Standard Committee. The Committee is formed of elected district members and
co-opted parish members. At a recent meeting I attempted to secure transparency. I could not find one of the
members to support my proposed changes even though they were for their benefit.
In case it is of assistance the following note sets out my requirements when I am asked to seek a call in.
To meet BDC requirements
1. Have your planning consultant check with the Case Officer to ensure we are still in time. There are strict
time limits. Often when I am approached it is already too late.
2. Give thought to the reason I must give for my seeking the call in.
For my purposes
3. I would like to inspect the site with you or your advisors
4. Please confirm you or your advisors will speak at the planning committee meeting regardless of other
commitments that day
Also please
5. Confirm it would be acceptable for me to bring a member of the relevant local parish council to the site
Either in the case of an Applicant requesting a Call in
6. Say if you would be satisfied by a call in limited to where officers intend to refuse consent. I am told the
cost to the ratepayer of a planning hearing is ten times that of an officer determination. No matter.
However; it will save public money if you do not require a call in where they intend to grant consent
Or in the case of an Opponent requesting a Call in
6. Say if you would be satisfied by a call in limited to where officers intend to grant consent. I am told the
cost to the ratepayer of a planning hearing is ten times that of an officer determination. No matter.
However; it will save public money if you do not require a call in where they intend to refuse consent
While I am open to persuasion you will understand that in arranging a call in I do not necessarily agree with
the person requesting be (s)he applicant or opponent.
Frank O’Neill

NCC: Charges to dispose of DIY waste from 1st April 2018

DIY waste

Service update: from 1 April 2018 there will be a charge for the disposal of all DIY type construction and demolition waste. There will no longer be a free 80 litre or one item concession.

Up until 1 April you can continue to dispose of one item or the equivalent of one 80 litre sack per household per week for free.

DIY waste is classed as construction and demolition waste, not household waste, and whilst we’ve previously accepted small amounts for free, we can no longer do this.  Our services need to reduce their costs. We prefer to save money by changing our policies rather than by reducing opening hours or closing a recycling centre. Removing the free DIY concession will help us to do this.

DIY waste can be disposed of through our ‘Pay as you throw’ service.  Other options include hiring a skip or employing a licenced waste carrier. Please make sure to factor in the cost of disposing of DIY waste when planning your latest DIY project.

Norfolk Broads Yacht Club open day on 5th May 2018.

There will be an open day at the NBYC on 5th May, plus various courses during the year.

7453 NBYC Membership Leaflet A5 2pp forWEB


Closure of Rackheath Lane at Spixworth

Closed end of Rackheath Lane, Spixworth

Rackheath Lane, Spixworth, has been permanently closed at its junction with the B1150 North Walsham Road (pictured above) now that the A1270 Northern Distributor Road provides a vastly better link through to the A1151 Wroxham Road.

The closure is to ensure that traffic stops using the narrow lanes and difficult junctions that were popular routes before there was a purpose-built alternative.

The closure also simplifies access from Crostwick Lane, Spixworth, on to the B1150. Although more traffic will be turning right towards the NDR, it will not be competing with traffic emerging from Rackheath Lane. The mouth of Crostwick Lane has been widened to ease left turns.

Update on the NDR and reopening of Plumstead Road

Permanent changes in the roads serving the Plumstead area will come into effect on Monday 19 February when Plumstead Road and Middle Road reopen and Smee Lane and Low Road close.

Plumstead Road has been closed since mid-January to allow completion of its realignment to a new roundabout serving a link road connection to the A1270 NDR.

Middle Road, an important local access route over the NDR from Great Plumstead, has been closed since May 2016 for construction of a bridge over the new dual carriageway.

Both roads will be open to general traffic by 6am on Monday 19 February. A permanent 30mph speed limit will be in force on Middle Road.

At the same time, Smee Lane and Low Road, which have been kept open during the closure of Plumstead Road and Middle Road, will close permanently.

Traffic management staff will be at the ‘Road Closed Ahead’ signs on Monday to redirect any vehicles trying to get through these lanes. Access to properties within the closure will be maintained, and temporary turning heads will be provided at the points of closure.

Closure of these two lanes will allow them to be broken up and removed so that the NDR dual carriageway can be completed.

Plumstead Road four-week closure from Monday

Plumstead Road four-week closure from Monday

Three-way lights on B1150 North Walsham Road

Plumstead Road will close for four weeks from Monday 15 January for work to connect the road with the A1270 Norwich Northern Distributor Road dual carriageway.

This could well be the last really disruptive phase of work of the whole project – along with three-way lights on the B1150 North Walsham Road, also from Monday (see right).

The Plumstead Road closure will be between Thorpe End and the junction with Broad Lane. The work involves realigning Plumstead Road to connect with a new roundabout that has already been constructed. Once complete, a short link road from this roundabout will provide access from Plumstead Road to the main roundabout on Norwich NDR (see below).

The width of Plumstead Road and the nearby railway level crossing mean that the work cannot be carried out under temporary traffic lights, and so a full closure of the road is unavoidable. Unfortunately it is not possible to maintain safe access for pedestrians or cyclists.

Plumstead road showing new roundabouts

New roundabouts and link road (left) that will link Plumstead Road to the NDR dual carriageway. Picture Mike Page.

Diversion route

Traffic heading to and from Norwich should use Salhouse Road. The marked diversion will be (from the Plumstead side of the closure) north along Broad Lane/Green Lane East to the Sole & Heel roundabout, west towards Norwich on Salhouse Road, returning to Plumstead Road via Woodside Road. (Same route in reverse for journeys from the city side of the closure.)

It had been hoped that Middle Road, Great Plumstead, would be open to provide an alternative local route, but very wet weather at a critical time saturated and damaged the earthworks and prevented surfacing before Christmas. Instead, Low Road and Smee Lane will be kept open.

Middle Road reopening

The target for Middle Road is opening in February. Asphalt base layers will be going down next week, and on Wednesday (17th)Tarmac lorries will need to go through Great Plumstead to supply asphalt for use on the eastern embankments.

Report to Chairman Parish Councillors and Residents Christmas 2017

Woodbastwick Parish Council
Incorporating Panxworth and Ranworth.

Report to Chairman Parish Councillors and Residents Christmas 2017

From Frank O’Neill Broadland District Council Member for Blofield with South Walsham

Broadland & South Norfolk District Councils – pooling expertise.

You may have read of the discussions for Broadland and South Norfolk to work more together by pooling resources. The idea was floated to me by John Fuller (Leader SNDC) earlier in the year when the proposal for devolution involving a new tier of local authority governance was not happening.  I thought his proposals a good idea then and today really do support this. It is too soon to say how it will shape out but it is safe to say: people expect good services when they pay for them.

All the cuts that can be made have been made (in my view). Thus if savings are to be made by pooling resources what’s not to like?

Broads Authority (BA) Local Plan – pre-submission Consultation
The BA is the overarching authority for the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads. It exercise various functions not least Town and Country Planning.

The consultation ends at 4 pm on 5 January 2018. This is the final stage of consultation before submission to the Planning Inspector for clearance. There is a public drop in session on 9 December next at Potter Heigham Village Hall from 10am to 12 noon.

The proposed Broads Local Plan sets out the final policies the BA wish to adopt to help determine planning applications in the Broads Area. Please encourage parish council members and local electorate to have their say.  People can formally respond on the BA Website.

Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) Consultation – Early Warning
Planning is an evolving process. When adopted the GNLP will become the local plan for Broadland and South Norfolk District Councils with the City of Norfolk. It will replace the current plan – the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) which also spans the three local authorities.

Coming up for public discussion is the “Resolution 18” consultation. This will be our chance to comment on how much growth will take place locally before it too goes to the Inspector for approval.  There is a second consultation document dealing with Site Proposals.

Deadly dull all this may be but if people are to influence the future of the Built Environment locally I encourage everybody to respond to the consultation – preferably on line. You can pick and choose the questions you want to answer.

A cautionary note.
To date only parishes within Blofield and South Walsham Parishes that also fall within the Norwich Policy Area (NPA) have been affected by the Five Year Land Supply. In future it seems that the same rules will apply across the whole policy area. The principal implications are:
 If by expanding the area of focus beyond the NPA we meet the Five year and Supply then all new building must comply with local plans and nobody will be subjected to carpetbagger developers of the kind who have visited Blofield in the past
 Nobody is making promises but the current supply is 4.8 years within the NPA. Thus there is some hope of satisfying government targets. However if we fail again then the consequences may seem dire to some residents previously unaffected.

Review of Planning Procedure at Broadland District Council

Enforcement Action
There has been much complaint regarding the failure by BDC to take action for breach of planning law e.g. development that requires permission but has gone ahead regardless.

I have complained about the lack of overview of planning enforcement decisions. So often it appears to the casual observer that a file is opened and after a while it is closed without anything happening. Officers would not agree.  Nevertheless planning enforcement decisions have been taken within the department and neither parish not district
councillors hold any sway.

In future where a department decision is challenged the proposal by Head of Planning and endorsed by me is to provide a mechanism to refer the decision to the Planning Committee. Of course terms and conditions apply; here are the two key Points:
 The decision to close the file without action must now include a reason.
 Only the relevant district councillor can call in the decision for determination by the Planning Committee.

Perceived Flaws in the Call in Process for determining

Part A – Good Planning Reasons
Planning Applications
It is abundantly sensible that all planning applications are determined by the Planning Committee unless they can be made by officers under delegated powers. There can be problems when for a variety of reasons a decision should be made by committee even though the planning officer holds delegated power.  Hitherto any Broadland Councillor had power to call in an application without giving reasons. HoP did not
approve. His proposal was to make the call in conditional on good planning grounds.
I have successfully resisted. It is not possible to invest an untrained councillor with the skill to determine in law what would be good planning ground. One implication might be to remove effective supervision from elected members.
The agreed compromise is that in future the grounds should be justifiable. It is impossible to argue against this. It cannot be in the public interest to refer to committee where there are no justifiable grounds. Note that I have been told the cost of determination by committee is ten times that of an officer determination.

Part B – The Call In Process itself
There are time limits. As often as not when I am asked to request a call in it is already too late. This aspect was recently discussed at BDC Standards Committee.

I proposed
 either an extension of the time limit or
 a health warning across all relevant published documents.

I thought I engendered support from Head of Planning. Perversely when my proposal was put to the vote not one other committee member supported my proposal. Thus no change. It is fair to record that of the six committee members present three were co-opted parish councillors.

Many will know that Herondale at Acle (near the library) is/was a purpose built home providing support for people in need of post operative care. It closed for these services when Age Concern handed back the lease unable to make it work financially.
The building is now surplus to Norfolk County Council requirements. If sold it will be lost forever. I wrote to both Norfolk and Norwich and Great Yarmouth hospitals to enquire if there was any interest. Neither replied.

You will have read in the EDP that the future of a similar service provided at Benjamin Court Cromer for 18 beds has been secured. The North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group have voted in favour of the Norfolk County Council’s £2 million offer to turn the Cromer unit into a re-ablement centre.

If such a service is available in North Norfolk do we not want something like this in the East of the County? If yes what do we want And how do we do it?

If anybody would like to
discuss this further here are my contact details –
Tel 01493 752 111
Email [email protected]

SAM2 sign

SAM2 Sign

The Parish Council has received funding through the Parish Partnership Scheme for a SAM2 traffic management sign.  The sign flashes up the speed of oncoming vehicles and tells drivers who are exceeding the speed limit to slow down.  It will act as a reminder of the restricted areas and will be rotated between various sites in Salhouse Road and South Walsham Road.

Resignation of Chairman

Sue Hitchcock has resigned from the parish council due to pressure of work and we all wish her well for the future.  Kit Cator (Vice Chairman) will act as Chair until the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council on Wednesday 3rd May when a new chairman will be elected.