MV NHP Steering Committee Minutes 28th February 2018

  STEERING GROUP MEETING/OPEN FORUM  

  Minutes of the 21st meeting – 28th February 2018 

Held in The George Inn, Upstairs Meeting Room, Maulden from 20:00hrs.  

Present: 

Committee/Working Group Members 

Alan Plom [Chair / Leader of Infrastructure WGp] 

Simon Barnes [Vice Chair / Leader of Housing WGp] 

Roger Ball [Leader of Environment Gp / Maulden Parish Council (MPC)] 

Mark Bingham [Leader Social, Educ & Welfare WGp] 

Ruth Plom [Social, Educ & Welfare (SEW) Gp] 

Sarah Michael [Treasurer / SEW WGp] 

Philip Allen [MPC]  

John Coyle [MPC]Lesley Illingworth (Sec) 

 

Observers 

David Illingworth 

Patsy Aston 

Russ Aston 

Bill Edwards 

Martin Wright 

Paul Lee 

Alistair Borland MBE 

Vicki Knowles 

 

Apologies  

Cllr Philip Jackson 

Julian Smith 

Ian Ormrod 

Joyce Ormrod 

David Bailey 

Sue Bluffield 

Steven Summerfield 

  1. WELCOME, INTRODUCTIONS AND UPDATE 
  • Alan welcomed everyone, especially the five ‘new faces’, and passed on apologies received.  Alan also apologised for his recent comments on Maulden Voice  expressing his frustration at the lack of liaison between the Parish Council and MNP’s ‘Social, Education & Welfare’ and ‘Regulation’ Working Groups.  Other WGps had benefitted from input from Councillors for the past year or more.  Others present also expressed their disappointment at this lack of cooperation and said this should be reflected to the PC.           [ACTION:  RB/PA] 
  • It was agreed that it is important to maintain a close working relationship with the Council, to share information and avoid wasting volunteers and officials’ time by duplicating meetings, etc. AP welcomed the PC Chair’s proposal to set up a ‘Stakeholder Group’ (to include the MNP) and that the MNP would be invited to attend a meeting with the School Head.  

[ACTION: Simon B and Mark to attend School meeting on behalf of MNP if possible.] 

2. MINUTES OF LAST MEETING (31/01/18) 

Subject to removing the action on Phil Allen to discuss the proposed ‘Access Link’ to Flitwick (Item 7, Min 3.(1), the minutes were agreed and signed. 

[ACTION: AP/RB – Revised final version to be filed in Dropbox folder and posted on our webpage.]  

3. MATTERS ARISING  

  •  Min 3(i) – No action reported by the PC on the proposed spur from Maulden to the ‘Strategic Off-Road Access Link (from Clophill, Flitton, etc) to Flitwick.  

[ACTION:  PJ/MPC to report back at next meeting.]  

  • Mike Lake [DLA Town Planning Ltd] had kindly agreed to allow his slides and the audio recording of his presentation and the Q&A session at the last meeting to be made available on MNP’s website.           [Action: AP] 
  • All other actions were completed or reviewed under agenda items.
  1. VILLAGE UPDATE

4.1 MNP Response to CBC Local Plan  

(i) Simon Barnes reported MNP had submitted an 8 page response to the ‘Pre-Submission Local Plan and thanked those who had copied their comments to MNP.  These had been incorporated where relevant. [ACTION: Copy of submission to be posted on MNP website. (SB/AP)]  

(ii) Cllr Allen highlighted 5 issues raised in MPC’s submission.  MPC had: 

  1. Questioned the re-categorising of the village from ‘small’ to ‘large’.  This could have significant implications.  Maulden consists of 3 parts: Hall End, which had been ‘lumped in’ with Clophill [defined as a large village; Green End/Clophill Road area, defined as small, and the centre/western end of the village, which is considered to be ‘large’.  If combined and re-categorised as one large village, this could lead to a significant increase in the extent of development required by the Government.  To be classified as ‘large’, amenities such as a doctor’s surgery, shop, school, and Post Office should be available in a ‘large’ village.  
  • MPC had disputed the ‘Settlement Capacity’ described.  
  • MPC had already objected to further development at Hall End.  
  • MPC argued there should be more ‘Important Green Spaces’. 
  • The Local Plan should take account of the emerging MNP.  

(iii) Some observers (non-MNP Committee members) are interested in reading relevant documents. Simon explained that these are kept in a private ‘Dropbox’ folder but suggested it might be possible to make these ‘open access’. [ACTION: SB/RB/Steering Group to consider.] 

(iv) The (national) Planning Inspectorate will sign off the final CBC Plan, and will take into account all comments by villagers and Councils. The Government had deferred the date for applying its new housing targets, so there was more time for CBC to submit its Local Plan – which had been prepared in a very short timescale.  [ACTION:  AP to confirm when the Inspector will ratify CBC’s Local Plan.]  

4.2 Green Infrastructure Consultation Meetings 

(i) Roger reported that there had been 212 responses from the initial Consultation meeting on 23 Feb and subsequent on-line survey. The ‘drop-in’ format of the follow-up Consultation event to be held in the Village Hall (on 5 March) will allow more discussion to help refine the policies for the Green Infrastructure Plan, under 4 category headings: Landscape; Biodiversity; Historic Environment and Access and green space. 

(ii)  This 2nd meeting will again be based on a selection of maps but reflecting the findings of the 1st meeting, but would not be the usual all-evening meeting with presentations.  Less people are expected to attend and Maulden Voice and other local social media should be used to ‘spread the word’ and alert people to the different format.  Help will be needed to ‘meet and greet’ and several volunteered to attend.   

[ACTION:  Roger to advertise the event and coordinate with Jon Balaam/GST.] 

 

4.3 Report from Maulden Parish Council 

 

(i)Traffic Calming – A proposal for a ‘pedestrian crossing’ is being considered near to Budgens, possibly to be match-funded by CBC.  Other traffic calming issues discussed included match funding for solar-powered Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) which can record speeds 24/7.  This information can then be presented to the Police. 

 

(ii) School – A meeting with the Lower School is to be set up to determine what the Head considers is needed, and not just rely on conjecture. 

 

(iii) Litter Pick – MPC will be supporting the ‘Great British Spring Clean It is hoped  that more than the 8 people involved last year will volunteer to take part. Details tbc. 

 

 

4.4 Planning applications  

 

  1.  Cllr Allen gave an update on the planning applications already received that have been approved, are undecided, under appeal or a potential appeal is possible: 

 

  1. CB/18/00435/OUT Old Farm Clophill Rd(49 dwellings)– New application February 2018 after previously refused in April 2017 and rejected in Call for sites/Draft Local Plan.  

 

  1. CB/17/00981/OUT – Land North of Clophill Road(21 dwellings) – CBC approved 31/1/18and included in Pre-submission Local Plan.  

. 

  1. CB/17/04583/OUT –Land adjacent to129A and 131 Clophill Road(25 dwellings) – Included in Pre-submission Local Plan. Application awaiting decision.  

 

  1. CB/17/01156/OUT – Land East of No13 Clophill Road(14 dwellings) -Rejected at Call for sites/Draft Local Plan but recommended for approval.  Appeal lodged and ‘Minded to Refuse” agreed unanimously by CBC Committee on 31/01/18.  

 

  1. CB/17/03546/OUT– Land at Clophill Road(50 dwellings) – Not included in Call for Sites/Local Plan and refused Oct 2017. New plans proposed and an appeal will be lodged separately.  

 

  1. CB/17/03937/OUT – Land South of Limbersey Lane(14 dwellings) -Awaiting decision, rejected at Call for sites/Draft Local Plan. 

 

  1. Potential total dwellings – 127 are in current planning applications not included in CBC’s Pre-submission Local Plan + a further 85 are included in the Pre-submission Local Plan.  So, if all sites/plans are approved, these would total 212 new dwellings.  

 

  1. In addition, 3 other possible development sites are under consideration, which could increase the number of dwellings significantly.  The first two have been presented to the Steering Group/Open Forum:  
  • Hillson/Aragon proposal 
  • DLA Town Planning proposal 
  • Maulden Parish Council land. 

 

  1. CBC, the Parish Council, and local landowners involved would all need be in agreement for the DLA Town Planning proposal to go ahead.  It was stressed that MPC are not part of the DLA Proposal ‘consortium’.  MPC would make its own decision based on need of any facilities and benefit for the Community. MPC would need to sell some of its land, possibly change land use from allotment to building land, and allocate a replacement site for lost allotments.  This would need the Secretary of State’s permission. 

 

  1. Presentations to Steering Group 

 

  1. It was agreed that it was not the role of the MNP Steering Group or the purpose of the Open Form meetings to provide a forum for developers to present their proposals and could be misconstrued as  consultation‘.  Alan said he had rejected recent requests.     

 

  1. Working Group Updates 

 

5.1 – 5.4 Deferred. Other than the activities reported re the GIS and Housing above, nothing else to report. 

 

5.5 Improving Communications 

 

(i) Societies, etc – Discussed how to improve communications with the whole village.   A ‘newcomer’ to the Village (Martin Wright) was invited to share his suggestions. Apart from the Village Magazine and social media/websites [which not everyone has access to] he recommended the Scouts and Beaver groups, football team and other clubs and societies where village folk meet together could broadcast information to a wider audience.  Many of these fall to the ‘Social, Education and Welfare’ Working Group.            [ACTION:  Mark B to follow up, with Martin Wright.]   

 

  1. Regular Update – Phil Allen asked for a regular update to help the PC understand more about the MNP issues and to develop strategy.  AP explained that in addition to circulating the Minutes of MNP meetings, he and Roger had presented brief updates to each PC meeting.  However, MPC‘s Standing Orders are no longer being suspended to allow MNP to speak.  

 

  1. Articles – Articles have been included in this month’s Oracle, the Village Magazine and The George’s e-News and Alan had presented a review of achievements and proposed activities in his introduction to the GIS Consultation meeting on 23 January. Info to be included in Village Welcome Pack‘ [ACTION: R Plom] 

 

  1. Interim Reports – Agreed that interim reports, summarising progress to date and emerging issues would be helpful. This will require more time to be given up, but a progress report will be needed at the end of the Financial Year and also for the AGM in May, so it could be based on those. [ACTION: AP/ANO?] 

 

5.6 Village Consultation meetings 

 

Deferred, subject to discussion on the revised Project Plan.  

 

  1. Project Plan & Funding 

 

  1. After the formal part of the meeting closed, the Steering Group members present discussed the delayed delivery of elements of the Plan.  This was due to individuals finding they could not commit time due to work pressures, etc. [ACTION:  SB/AP- Patsy Russ Aston offered to help, eg reviewing documents.] 

 

  1. It was agreed that the BRCC’s Survey should be deferred to the second half of the next financial year (ie. after the summer) to allow us sufficient time to complete the GIS survey and agree suitable questions for this and other topic areas. This is still well within the timescale of the overall Project Plan, which anticipated completion of the NHP by March 2021. 

 

  1. This would also mean that the unspent money would need to be returned, but the scheme was being carried over for another 4 years.      

 

  1. WHAT NEXT? [SUMMARY OF URGENT ACTIONS]

 

Minute  Action  Who 
1(i)  A point of liaison between the Parish Council and MNP’s ‘Social, Education & Welfare’ and ‘Regulation’ Working Groups is still needed.  RB/PA/PJ 
1(ii)  MNP to be represented at meeting with School to discuss future needs, if poss.  SB/MB 
3(i)  Link from Maulden to ‘Strategic Off-Road Access Link (from Clophill, Flitton, etc) to Flitwick – report back to next meeting.  PJ/MPC 
3(iii)  Steering Group to consider open access to MNP documents on Dropbox.  SB/RB 
3(iv)  To confirm when the Inspector will ratify CBC’s Local Plan.  AP 
4.2(ii)  Roger to advertise the GIS event and coordinate with Jon Balaam/GST.  RB 
5.5(i)  To contact ‘Social’ Groups + discuss with Martin Wright.    MB/MW 
5.5(iii)  Info to be included in Village Welcome Pack‘.  R Plom 
5.5(iv)  To produce and post regular interim updates/summary reports.  AP/SB/ANO? 
6.(i)  New volunteers to be approached, [eg Patsy and Russ Aston offered to help review documents.]  SB/AP 

 

  1. AOB/ Date of next meeting 

 

The next meeting to be held on Wednesday 28th March at 8pm, Upstairs in The George, as usual. Anyone with an interest in development and planning in Maulden are welcome to attend.  

 

There being no further business, the meeting finished at 10:00 pm. 

CBC’s Draft Local Plan Settlement Capacity Study for Maulden – August 2017 version

Central Bedfordshire Council: Initial Capacity Study for Maulden.

The initial settlement capacity study in Central Bedfordshire councils draft local plan (August 2017) can be found on Central Bedfordshire Councils website at the following address

www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/localplan

A copy of the study for Maulden taken from the website can be found below.

MAULDEN

Maulden is a small village with a residential population of 3,130 people in around 1,290 dwellings (161). The village is located 1.5 miles to the east of Ampthill and 3 miles to the north-east of Flitwick, and is located on a minor road from Ampthill to Clophill. The settlement is situated on the Greensand Ridge and is classed as a residential village and serves larger settlements in commuting distance.

CONTEXT & ASSETS

Planning: The Parish boundary is identified by Central Bedfordshire Council (162) and Maulden does have a Neighbourhood Planning Area, however the plan is yet to be developed. Maulden is bordered by Green Belt land to the west of the village which prevents coalescence with Ampthill to the west.

People, Community Facilities and Services: The geo-demographic profile (163) of Maulden identifies the Parish as consisting of elderly people reliant on state support”, “owner occupiers in older-style housing in ex-industrial areas” and “successful professionals living in suburban or semi-rural homes”. ONS data (164) for Maulden reveals the median age of residents to be 43, and that the village has more residents under 16 than over 65.

Maulden has a small collection of services and facilities which include a community centre, a pre-school/nursery, a lower school, a convenience store, three food serving pubs, outdoor recreational facilities and a children’s play area. The settlement does not have secondary education facilities, restaurants/takeaways, health facilities or entertainment venues. Notable towns with superstores close (165) to the Maulden area include Ampthill (approx. 1 mile), Flitwick (approx. 3 mile) and Shefford (approx. 7 miles). Maulden has a number of active clubs and groups.

Leisure Strategy sites (166) are present in and around the village, including a recreation ground and amenity space. The settlement has a large surplus of informal large recreation areas and a small surplus of formal large recreation areas and allotments. However, there is a deficit of small amenity spaces, play areas for children and facilities for young people (167)

Education: Redborne Upper School and Community College is close to capacity; however, any spare existing capacity is likely to be used to accommodate growth already showing in the pupil forecast. The school site has the capacity for expansion (168). Maulden Lower School is at capacity, however, any spare existing capacity is likely to be used to accommodate growth already showing in the pupil forecast. The school site has the site capacity for expansion. Alameda Middle School has some existing capacity, although pupil forecasts predict an increase and the school cannot accommodate expansion

Employment: The village does not contain a major employment area (169). Employment data (170) for the area shows that 14.7% of residents work part time, 38.8% of residents work full time and 14.7% are retired. Full time employment figures for the village are lower than the Central Bedfordshire averages, whereas the retired figures are higher. The main industries of employment in the village are wholesale & retail, construction and education. 26% of residents work within the ward and 18% work elsewhere within Central Bedfordshire. The most commuted to location outside of Central Bedfordshire by ward residents is Bedford (171).

Transport and Movement: Maulden does not have access to the primary road network, but is connected to Flitwick via Flitwick Road to the south and Clophill via Clophill Road to the east. The village does not have a railway station, and the nearest station for the village is Flitwick, 3 miles to the south-west. Bus Stops are also present within the village. Ampthill Road through Maulden is often seen as an alternative to the congested A507 for some motorists travelling between Clophill and Ampthill. This has prompted concerns to be aired by local residents and the Police as to the safety implications of speeding traffic within the village, and a priority for local action (172)

Bus: Whilst there are a large number of different services, they are infrequent, do not operate on Sundays or outside of peak periods, and are heavily reliant on being subsidised by Central Bedfordshire Council (173)

Other Infrastructure:

Sewerage and Wastewater Treatment: Maulden is located in the Clophill Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) catchment area. The other settlements located in this catchment area are Clophill and Silsoe. The settlements in this WwTW catchment have a combined capacity of 2442 dwellings (1774)

The National Grid is to be investigated when other technical studies are completed.

Landscape & Land Quality:

Landscape Character Type (LCT): Maulden is located partly within the Mid Greensand Ridge LCT, a large scale ridge with a gently undulating ridge top. The village extends south to the Flit Greensand Valley, with it’s small pockets of wetland vegetation, market gardening and scattered farmsteads. The area has a strong underlying heathland character and a high ecological value due to the number of nationally important sites present. The LCT also has extensive areas of Deciduous Woodland, Mixed Woodland and Coniferous Plantations, and primary transport routes, cross the area (175)

Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land: The village of Maulden is located within Grade 3 agricultural land (sub grade 3a or 3b unknown) which extends north, east and west of the village. To the south of the town the land is Grade 2, and further north, beyond the band of Grade 3, is additional Grade 2 land. Further to the south-east of the village is an area of Grade 1 land.

Historic Environment: Maulden has a small collection of Listed Buildings which are mostly situated around the former village green in the east of the village. A small number of individual Listed Buildings are located in the south of Maulden. Maulden’s Conservation Area is situated in the east of the village around the former village green. The area is characterised by the green space, dramatic views of countryside to the south and the separation of the church from the village gives significance to the spaces between them. Earlier houses in the Conservation Area have timber frames and thatched roofs, whereas red brick has been used for infilling (176). Bolebec Farm moated enclosure is to the north of the village, and is a Scheduled Monument. The entire eastern side and middle of the village is in an Archaeological Notification Area.

Biodiversity: Maulden Church Meadow is a SSSI, County Wildlife Site (CWS) and Local Nature Reserve is east of the village, as is the much larger Maulden Wood and Pennyfathers Hills SSSI, which also contains the Maulden Woods & Heaths CWS. Duck End Marshly Grassland CWS is to the south of the village and along the southern border of the settlement boundary is the Flit Valley CWS. Lowland Dry Acid Grassland exists to the east, as does Lowland Meadows. The settlement is also located within the Greensand Ridge Nature Improvement Area. The Green Infrastructure Network borders the settlement to the north and south and is part of GI corridor 6 (177). The Biodiversity Network surrounds the settlement to the north, east and west.

Flood Risk: Flood Zones 2 and 3 border the town to the south, however the flood zones are not directly bordering the village, but are around 1.5km south of Maulden (178).

SENSITIVITY & DEVELOPMENT EFFECTS

The settlement contains sensitive environmental receptors including best and most versatile agricultural land, SSSIs, County Wildlife Sites and Green Belt land. The settlement also contains designated heritage assets in the form of Listed Buildings, a Scheduled Monument and a Conservation Area. The sensitivity of the settlement community and environment is considered to be MEDIUM-HIGH.

CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

Communities

1. Education: There is room for limited growth and also expansion at Redborne Upper School and Community College as well as Maulden Lower School indicating a medium to high capacity.

2. Healthcare: Lack of healthcare facilities indicating a low capacity.

3. Retail/Groceries/Newsagent/Post Office: Convenience store and post office present indicating a medium to low capacity.

4. Leisure/Cultural: Outdoor recreational facilities and Children’s Play areas present indicating a medium capacity. Development could contribute to addressing deficits in the provision of small amenity spaces, play areas for children and facilities for young people.

5. Green Belt: The west of the settlement is constrained by designated Green Belt land.

Transport & Movement

6. Rail links available in the settlement of Flitwick around 3 miles away, and the settlement is not well-served by bus services which are infrequent and of varying quality, indicating a low capacity. There is no direct access to the strategic road network and the settlement suffers from through-traffic.

Environment

7. Development in the north-east has the potential to affect nationally designated biodiversity (SSSIs). Any development in the north, east and west of the settlement is constrained by the Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Networks.

8. Any development around the settlement is likely to result in the loss of best and most versatile agricultural land.

9. Development in the far south of the settlement is constrained by flood risk areas, and locally designated biodiversity.

10. Development in the east of the settlement may affect designated heritage settings.

11. Development to south of Maulden would be visually highly intrusive, mean loss of attractive and good quality soils.

12. Additional infill results in loss of characteristic open spaces which gives Maulden character and provide views to Maulden Woods or the panoramic views to south.

MAULDEN SUMMARY

Capacity: Medium (without Green Belt release: Medium)

Development in the north-east of the settlement may require mitigation measures to avoid negative effects on biodiversity but could also lead to environmental improvements through increased connectivity between Priority Habitats and existing green spaces. Though there are flood risk areas to the south of the settlement these could be avoided through the appropriate siting of development.

Development in the west of the settlement would be subject to the lifting of Green Belt restrictions.

Overall, the settlement offers opportunities to encourage sustainable development, particularly in the south of the settlement, which is well connected to the existing urban area, and could deliver development gains and improve service and facility provisions in the settlement. Development could also deliver a range of housing for the local community, and there may be potential for environmental improvements.

References
161 Central Bedfordshire Council (2015) Ampthill Ward Profile
162 Central Bedfordshire Council Call for Sites Settlement Maps
163 Central Bedfordshire Council (2015) Ampthill Ward Profile
164 ONS (2011) Neighbourhood Statistics- Maulden Lower Layer Super Output Area (008D)
165 Google Maps (2016)
166 Central Bedfordshire Council Leisure Strategy GIS Map Data
167 Central Bedfordshire Council Leisure Strategy Parish Profile
168 Central Bedfordshire Council Education Capacity Information (2016)
169 Employment and Economic Study (2012) Stage 1 Report [existing employment sites]
170 ONS (2011) Neighbourhood Statistics- Maulden Lower Layer Super Output Area (008D)
171 Central Bedfordshire Council (2015) Ampthill Ward Profile
172 Central Bedfordshire Council (2012) Ampthill & Flitwick Local Area Transport Plan 173 Ibid. 174 JBA Consulting (2016) Central Bedfordshire Water Cycle Study
175 Central Bedfordshire Council Landscape Character Assessment (2015) Type 6
176 Maulden Village Conservation Area (2008) [Online] http://www.mauldenvillage.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2014/02/Maulden-Conservation-Area.pdf
177 http://bedfordshirenaturally.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/GI-plan-leaflet.pdf
178 Environment Agency (2016) Flood Map for Planning