Minutes of the 11th meeting – 29 March 2017
Held in the Main Bar, at The George Inn, Maulden, 20:00hrs
Committee/Working Group members:
Simon Barnes (Treasurer/Chair Local Economy WG)
Alan Plom (Secretary/Chair Infrastructure WG)
Cllr Roger Ball (Maulden Parish Council)
Simon Ratcliffe (Local Economy WG)
Ruth Plom }
Mark Bingham } (Social, Welfare, Education WG)
Sarah Michael }
Apologies for absence:
David Bailey (SG Chair)
Alan Murray (Communications)
Cllr Christine Inskip (MPC)
Siobhan Vincent (CBC)
Cllr Philip Allen (MPC)
Cllr Philip Jackson (MPC Chair)
Cllr Stephen Summerfield (MPC)
- Welcome and Update
Simon Barnes (SB) chaired the meeting as Chair David Bailey was unable to attend at the last minute. The upstairs meeting room was double-booked so we met in the bar (not ideal due to background noise). It was reported that Julie Sheppard (Vice Chair and Chair of the Social, Education & Welfare WG) had resigned from the Steering Group and was no longer working on the Plan, leaving a significant vacancy. Julie was thanked for her input and will be sorely missed.
- Minutes of previous meeting (22/2/17)
Agreed and Simon signed – [ACTION: AP to remove ‘draft’ from title before posting in the NHP Dropbox folder and on MauldenVillage.org website.]
- Matters arising and actions carried forward
The full lists of matters arising (from 30/11/16, 25/1/17 and 22/2/17) deferred to next meeting.
- Village update
- CBC’s ‘Community Planning’ event (23/2/17)
- Siobhan Vincent (CBC’s Neighbourhood Involvement Officer) explained that the “Shaping Where you Live” event held at Haynes Village Hall was one of a series in Central Beds. It was intended to gauge the preferences of residents (in Maulden, Clophill and Haynes), to feed into CBC’s ‘Community Plan’. The analysis and conclusions will be available in ~4 weeks.
- The draft Plan is scheduled to be presented to CBC’s Executive Committee on 6 June, followed by an 8-week consultation period. It will then be amended as necessary, before issued again for comment and finally returned to the Committee in December 2017. The final Local ‘Community’ Plan is expected to be published in summer 2018.
- Several NHP Steering Group and MPC members had attended (including SB, AP, RB and Philip Jackson and Phil Allen). PJ thought that CBC’s questionnaire was ‘light’ on housing and preferences for type of development could not be indicated. Others thought that the options given were not clear. Philip also asked when the results of the Call for Sites exercise, criteria and guidelines on numbers for Parishes to work to, would be released.
- Siobhan reported that of 846 sites submitted 220 had been filtered out for consideration. The outcome would be available by end of June 2017. Although the draft CBC Plan would not be binding, it will provide evidence for CBC and PC’s to consider in relation to planning applications. She also advised that any housing agreed before the Plan was published would not be included in the projected totals.
- PJ stressed that the village still needs a Neighbourhood Plan – agreed by referendum – as this would have significant influence on planning decisions. MPC has objected to the recent applications on the basis that they are outside the ‘Development Envelope’ and would cause a loss of green spaces and agricultural land, etc, MPC has also referred to the emerging Maulden Neighbourhood Plan and these applications being “premature and insufficient”.
- However, the PC accepted that the village will have to grow to meet future targets, possibly by as many as 200 houses. The current problem is that CBC has to work in accordance with the current National Planning Framework, which gives a presumption of approval – even if the infrastructure is inadequate.
- Any development should be allowed in the least damaging way so collecting the evidence to support objections is critical. This would also inform what we could request Developer’s contribute to the village. This would come from the levy imposed on developers (under ‘Section 106’) for developments of more than 5 houses. The village also needs to decide if it prefers to allow ribbon/in-fill developments vs maintaining existing open areas.
- The views of residents will be collected at MPC/NHP meetings (eg on 3 April) and from the ‘all-village’ survey. SB suggested that the NHP should consult Developers for their views too. Care was advised as ‘informal’ conversations could be misconstrued and quoted in applications. It would be better to consult on the agreed sites, to be announced by CBC after 6 June.
- The potential and (financial) advantages of MPC-owned land being offered for development was also discussed. This could be offered to CBC even though they are not on the current Call for Sites list. Although such sites would not be included in CBC’s Community Plan it could be considered as a ‘windfall site’ and suitable for development in preference.
- Concern was expressed that Maulden (or any other parish) could be used to ‘soak up’ unused ‘quota from other parishes.
- Joint NHP/Maulden PC Housing consultation meeting (3/4/17)
- This meeting is intended to help the Parish identify sites which residents would prefer to ‘fill’ or ‘protect’. It was proposed to use CBC’s ‘Call for Sites’ map as a basis for this exercise – although 75% of sites across Beds had already been rejected by CBC, so some of those in Maulden may not now be an option anyway.
- PJ suggested that although the ‘interim’ Housing Questionnaire produced by the NHP for the first NHP Introductory meeting in January was not finalised, this format would provide the necessary information about the demand, size and type of properties needed. [ACTION: DB to send latest version of the ‘Housing Questionnaire’ to PJ, and AP to ensure sufficient copies printed for use at the meeting on 3 April.]
- Coloured (eg green/red) dots could be used to identify individual’s preferences ‘for or against’ locations. Siobahn offered the strips of numbered colour-coded dots left over from CBC’s consultation exercise. [ACTION: SV/CBC to deliver the ‘dots’ + full-size maps and relevant leaflets to AP, before the meeting on 3 April.]
- Useful comments were made by The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) in their objections to the Old Farm site on Clophill Road. They highlighted the importance of the landscape around the Greensand Ridge, demonstrated by the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership recently receiving £1.66M Lottery Funding to ‘protect and preserve’ the area around the Ridge. Their submission letter is available via the CBC Planning Portal, but a copy will be posted on the NHP section of www.MauldenVillage.org website. [ACTION: AP to post copy of CPRE’s on the NHP webpage.]
- Report from Maulden Parish Council meetings (13/3/17 + 27/3/17) [RB/PJ]
- Cllr Roger Ball and Philip Jackson reported briefly on two recent MPC’s meetings. At their meeting on 13 March the PC had agreed in principle to offer some PC-owned land (near the School and allotments) for development.
- The PC meeting on 27 March considered the planning applications for 21 houses nr Trilley Field, at Hall End (not in the Call for Sites); 23 on land near Wheatlands Close and the development at Green End (5×5 bed dwellings). PC has objected on the grounds above, plus the school being full and increased traffic.
- The PC had increased its Council Tax as it had not been increased for some years and the Council will overspend on its precept, mainly on replacing and improving lighting.
- SB (NHP Treasurer) reported that he had met with DB and AP on Sat 26 Feb to complete the online application, but had been unable to obtain all the information needed to complete and submit it to CB. This has still not been completed, due to pressure of work on key individuals. [ACTION: SB/DB to complete and submit the formal application.]
- PJ confirmed that the PC had also agreed to ‘loan’ the NHP up to £250 for publicity materials etc, in advance of funding being received. An account for the NHP funds will need to be set up, via MPC and invoices should be sent to the PC as these would not then be subject to VAT. [ACTION: DB/SB]
- Project Plan
Deferred to next meeting.
- Working Group Updates
Deferred to next meeting.
- Discussion deferred, except:
- Introductory text – needed for leaflet, etc [ACTION: AM]
- Logo – SR had produced a couple of versions, with split support. Ideas were exchanged which he will consider and try to revise before the Housing meeting. [ACTION: SR]
- Quotes – needed for funding application, including publicity materials, a banner and the website. [ACTION: SR]
- Delivery of survey and/or leaflets – Street Watch and the Scouts were suggested.
- NHP AGM – AP reported that the Village Hall is still booked on 25/4/17 for another NHP/MPC consultation meeting. This date was too early for the proposed NHP Infrastructure Group/Traffic Calming meeting, so NHP Chair had suggested this could be used for the NHP AGM with a view to filling all Steering Group posts and Group Leaders. New members and helpers are needed.
- Training needs – The CBC training event is provisionally planned for Friday 28 April, at the Greensand Trust HQ, on the A6. SV asked what we needed, and was advised that WGp leaders need a steer on framing their questions and getting the wording ‘right’ for completing and analysing the Survey effectively; the format of ‘As Is’ Statements and production of the final report. It would also be a good opportunity to learn any tips from others.
[ACTION: AP to contact Siobhan Vincent to confirm arrangements and who is going.]
- Speeding/Traffic data – Phil Allen asked for any recent information that could be used to challenge the applications, eg at Hall End as well as Green End. Deadline 14 April. [ACTION: AP to contact Maulden Speed Watch Coordinator, Malcolm Crawford.]
- Maps – Nigel Coote has access to maps. [ACTION: Robbie Locke (Environment Group Leader) to discuss with Nigel.]
- Next meeting – Wednesday 26 April, 8pm in The George [ACTION: AP to check room booked.]
Meeting ended at 21:45pm