STEERING GROUP MEETING
Minutes of the 18th meeting – 25th October 2017
Held in The George Inn Upstairs Meeting Room, Maulden, from 20:00hrs.
Welcome, Introductions and Update
Alan welcomed everyone – another good turn out with more ‘new faces’, concerned about the recent planning applications. He also introduced this month’s guest, Sue Raven from the Greensand Trust, who will be explaining Green Infrastructure Surveys.
Minutes of last meeting (27/9/17)
Alan explained that we are required to keep notes of each meeting, and a record of significant activities, contacts and comments received.
The previous minutes and actions were reviewed and agreed (subject to amending ‘PA’ to ‘PJ’ in MIn 4.3.11) and signed. [ACTION: Finalised version to be filed on Dropbox and posted on our webpage.]
Alan mentioned ‘GP’ (from Clophill’s NP) attending our meeting last month and the benefit that can be gained by Maulden and other local parishes communicating and working together. There is a general acceptance that more housing is needed and developing a NP will be helpful in decision making and planning the way forward to the benefit of everyone.
Matters arising (Actions not on agenda)
Item 2 – Members decided to continue to use Dropbox to share documents with other SGp and WGp members, rather than ‘One Note’ recommended (by GP) at the last meeting, as a number of our active members do not have access to ‘One Note’ or Outlook.
Item 3(i) – New attendees names and contact details still to be added to distribution list. Alan stressed this information would only be used for the purposes of the NP. [ACTION: LI]
Item 3(ii) [Item 4.1] – Alan reported that his copy of the outline ‘Maulden Neighbourhood Plan’ (produced as an example by Sarah Michael) had been found. Phil Allen offered again to print several copies, for publicity purposes and WGp Leaders. [ACTION: PA to copy for AP.]
4.1 Report from Maulden Parish Council
Roger said that the full Council have not met since the last MNP meeting. The next PC meeting is on Monday 30 Oct.
4.2 Planning applications (Limbersey Lane, Hall End/Clophill Rd)
4.2.1 Cllr Allen reported that the planning application for 50 houses at Hall End/Clophill Rd (opposite Burgoine’s) has been turned down by CBC but warned the developer is likely to appeal.
4.2.2 He also reported that the proposal for 14 houses off Limbersey Lane will be discussed by the PC on Monday. It was a pointed out that the site has been cleared ahead of planning permission being granted. Ecology, footpaths, etc, have been disturbed. There was considerable discussion about this application. Points of concern raised included:
(i) Sue Raven (Greensand Trust) questioned if any ecological studies had been done and said she would check this. [ACTION:SR]
(ii) This site was rejected by CBC in their draft Local Plan –mainly due to a 50% risk of flooding due to surface water/springs/stream. Simon reiterated the area could flood and highlighted the flood assessment report. David Illingworth described the extent of the problem and flooding of Sleaford End, due to blocked ditches and drains.
(iii) Water run-off will be increased if the area is covered in houses and hard surfaces.
(iv) The access point, due to restricted visibility, speeding traffic and slippery surface caused by vehicles exiting from the lorry park/industrial units and farm entrance on Limbersey Lane. Phil thanked Speed Watch for carrying out some initial monitoring in the vicinity. CBC would be asked to carry out a more detailed round-the-clock survey.
(v) The Greensand Ridge public footpaths would be affected and no alternative is evident on the planning application map.
(vi) The 14 houses were considered inappropriate for this site and it is outside the Development Envelope.
(vii) Residents in Cobbett’s Road also fear this could be a ‘Trojan Horse’ application, enabling access to the land behind their road. However, this cannot be used as grounds for objection.
(viii) Objections should be registered individually as combined objections only count as one. CBC’s deadline is 4 (or 11?) November.
(ix) Decided it would be appropriate for MNP to register our objections based on the responses to our consultations and submission to CBC on the Local Plan. [ACTION: SB to draft objection for MNP. ]
4.2.3 Cllr Allen pointed out that a total of 186 new houses have been applied for in Maulden, 106 in the past 4 months, including: 21 at Hall End, 23 behind Wheatlands Close, as well as the 50 refused on Clophill Road at Hall End, and another 49 at Old Hall Farm, Green End/Clophill Road, and the 14 on Limbersey Lane.
4.2.4 Ward Cllr Paul Downing stressed the value of the NP in identifying what the village needs and directing developers to contribute to the village appropriately, eg school building, recreation areas, etc. The MNP needs to think ahead to what the village will be like in years to come taking a long term view. Alan agreed and pointed out that NPs were not intended to deal with short term/immediate planning applications. However, the evidence we collect could be used by MPC and CBC to counter unsuitable applications. The value of an interim ‘Village /Community Plan’ (as proposed by MPC Chair) was unclear. It can inform but needs ratifying or it carries no weight. [ACTION: AP to discuss with PJ.]
4.2.5 List of Planning Applications – The proposal for the PC to issue a ‘master list of the status of all current Planning Applications was agreed. [ACTION: PA to compile and circulate to PC and make available to MNP.]
4.3 Road Safety (Willow End Cottage incident, potholes, etc.)
4.3.1 Willow End Cottage incident – Extensive damage was caused inside, but it was considered stable. However, the owners are very nervous since the van crashed into their cottage and have written to CBC and MPC requesting a barrier to prevent a recurrence. It is on the agenda for the next PC meeting and CBC have responded to say they will consider carrying out a ‘traffic safety assessment’.
4.3.2 Potholes – A large proportion have been repaired, and resurfacing of part of Flitwick Road is scheduled soon, when the road will be closed during the work. This will also be discussed at the Parish Council meeting on Monday.
4.4 Covanta Incinerator– Mike Browning explained that planning permission for this facility in Stewartby/Marston Vale has been granted. It is estimated that up to 600 lorry movements per day will travel to it, through Beds (from all directions). Everyone was encouraged to sign the ‘Change.org’ petition to prevent the Environmental Permit (to operate) being issued – either through the website ‘Beds Against Incinerators’ or through the posts on Maulden Voice.
Project Plan & Funding
5.1 Update on funding
Funding of just under £7000 has been approved for MNP to employ consultants – BRCC to carry out the village survey and analysis, and Greensand Trust (GST) will carry out the Green Infratructure Survey.
Simon and Alan have applied for an independent Bank Account (rather than hosted by the PC) to avoid concerns and to save time. Waiting for confirmation it has been opened. They had proposed that Sarah should also be a counter-signatory – helpful rather than essential – but as she is not able to help at the moment we will go ahead with just the two signatories. [ACTION: SB to follow up with Barclay’s.].
5.2 Green Infrastructure Survey (GIS)
5.2.1 Sue Raven gave an interesting presentation, based on photocopies of a powerpoint handout, explaining the 5-stage process. [ACTION: AP – Handout to be posted in Dropbox for reference.]
5.2.2 Having a GI Plan is an essential component of development. It covers less-obvious issues such as vistas to be preserved – including looking into an area, not just out. It includes use and production of digitised maps, eg showing footpaths, flood areas, etc, that can be used for other purposes.
5.2.3 Another important element is to identify and establish a ‘Biodiversity Network’ with other parishes. It is also now possible to ‘designate’ Green Spaces and ‘Nature Improvement Areas’.
5.2.4 Roger will arrange a meeting with GST, to enable this project to start asap with a completion date of next Feb/March (our 2nd anniversary) preferred. [ACTION: RB]
5.3 Revised MNP Project Plan
To be finalised after the funds have been received and project milestones agreed with GST and BRCC. It will be circulated to the working group. [ACTION: AP/SR.]
5.4 MNP constitution/roles & responsibilities
This had been discussed and agreed at the WGp Leaders meeting – subject to a minor amendment requested by the PC. The list of SGp and WGp members also needs to be finalised after the PC have agreed who will lead/liaise with each of our Working Groups – in an ‘advisory’ capacity.
Working Group Updates
Analysis of joint NHP/Maulden PC Housing Consultation
David Bailey attended the Working Group meeting on Sunday 22 Oct and confirmed that he will do the analysis. [ACTION DB – To collect Survey Forms from AP.]
WGp activities – Membership, contacts, ‘As is’ statements, survey questions
A few WGp Leaders met on the 22 Oct, David had also originally offered to help standardise the ‘As Is‘ Satements, as they will form the ‘preface‘ to the survey/report. The Questions are ~80% complete and available in Dropbox. [ACTION: WGpL]
Communications (articles, website, social media, banner, etc)
6.3.1 Articles – We have not been asked for copy for the Church magazine lately, but it would be timely to reinstate this regular and ideas would be welcomed for further publishing ideas to get information out and to make announcements. Alan has been writing monthly articles for The George e-Newsletter. Harriet mentioned Redbourne has a newsletter and
6.3.2 Banner – The funding includes money for a banner to make the MNP known and recognised more widely at events, etc.
6.3.2 Redborne – Harriet Lockey (Head Girl at Redborne Upper School) offered to organize a school assembly for the MNP to inform (‘6th Form’) students at Redbourne, in the New Year. A meeting with the School Governors could also be arranged. There are now ~1,600 students at the School..
6.3.3 Student Projects – Alan outlined possible projects that could be picked up as part of project work. Harriet provided a list of contacts in different teaching Departments.
6.3.4 Simon Ratcliff also has connections, via Alameda Middle School.
6.3.5 Maulden Lower – Nigel Coote and Alan met with the Head at Maulden Lower, and suggested possible areas of mutual interest – projecting numbers vs facilities, etc. The importance of the School being informed of the MNP was accepted and a presentation to a governors meeting was suggested. Councillors have also recently had contact with Maulden School – we need to ensure we are not covering the same issues.
6.3.6 Hillson’s – Simon will speak with members of the Hillson family regarding school issues. Alan wondered if one of them might be willing to join the Local Economy and Business WGp, [ACTION: SB/AP]
Action Log (outstanding actions from previous meetings) [AP/MNP 171025/3]
Alan handed out copies of the up-to-date Action Log to WGp leaders.
6.5 Other issues arising from last WGp Leaders meeting (22/10/17).
Steering Group Officers and WGp Members list
T&Cs – Steering Group Officers will fill in their contact details so contact can be made
Working Group and Village Consultation meetings.
We have been invited to have a stand at the Maulden Christmas Tree lights ‘switch-on’ event, in the Village Hall on 2 December 2017 Banner needed
We also need to agree a schedule of village consultation meetings… [ACTION AP to discuss with PJ]
Next Steering Group meeting – will be on the last Wednesday of November (29th) at 8pm, Upstairs in The George, as usual. Anyone with an interest in development and planning in Maulden are welcome to attend.
No further business, the meeting finished at 2200.