MV NHP Steering Committee Minutes 25th October 2017


Minutes of the 18th meeting – 25th October 2017

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

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)]
Ruth Plom [Social, Educ & Welfare Gp] (RP)
Philip Allen [MPC] (PA)
Lesley Illingworth [Sec]
Mike Browning [Environment WGp]
Guest Speaker
Sue Raven [Greensand Trust]
Ian Ormrod
Joyce Ormrod
David Illingworth
Michael Wilday
Julie Sharp
Andy Marshall
Harriet Lockey [Redbourne School]
Mike McCourt
Barbara McCourt
Paul Downing (Ward Cllr)
Mark Bingham [Leader Social, Educ & Welfare WGp]
Philip Jackson [MPC]
Julian Smith
Simon Ratcliffe

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.]

Village Update

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 ‘’ 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).
Nothing reported.

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.

Maulden Green Infrastructure Survey Public Consultation 23rd Jan 2018

Public Meeting 23rd Jan 2018. 7:30pm. Maulden Village Hall

The early part of 2018 will see The Greensand Trust working to produce a Green Infrastructure (GI) Plan for Maulden as part of the Neighbourhood Plan . The GI plan will help shape the future of the parish and secure funding for environmental projects.

Green infrastructure is the network of green spaces, access routes, wildlife habitats, landscapes and historic features which provide:

  • A healthy and diverse environment
  • attractive place to live and visit
  • a good quality of life
  • a sustainable future

As part of this survey a public consultation is being held on Tuesday 23rd January 2018 in the Village Hall at 7:30pm.

If you are concerned about preserving local green spaces, landscapes, views and heritage…

Please come along and have your say

Maulden Wood
Maulden Wood

Maulden Autumn – get outside and enjoy

Although the evenings are drawing in now, we have had a very fortunate autumn (although farmers may differ slightly in what they consider to be good weather for November.) The year has been unusually bright, with very few frosts, and temperatures holding slightly above-average since September. Few of us will forget the glorious sunsets that we have had in the last few days. Photography, although a useful aid to memory, is a poor substitute for the reality.

If you have not recently been for a walk around Maulden Woods, it is remains quite splendid in autumn colours although most of the leaves have fallen already. It is still worth the time taken to visit it.

All around Maulden, we have wonderful open countryside and are very lucky that local farming businesses do a fairly good job of keeping our footpath open and passable. The few that become muddy after harvest and ploughing have already become quite well trodden and passable again. This is also the season in which nettles and brambles either die back or a cutback, which makes walking a little easier.

Drinking outside at lunchtime in our local pubs is still possible, although you may need to wear a warm coat. Just because bikini season has passed, is no reason to give up the pleasure of sitting outside.

Our local village parks and SSSIs are now putting on their winter form. They may not be as spectacular, and wildlife may be harder to spot, but there are still lots of things worth getting out to sea.

There is very good evidence that communities are hugely enhanced when people leave their homes and walk about in the local area. They meet people, they can see things that need attention, and they benefit from sunshine and green spaces. It can also help put development and change into context when one can see it from many other locations.

Maulden Village Sunset
Maulden Village Sunset

Maulden Christmas Lights Village Event

Maulden Christmas Lights Village Event 2017
Maulden Christmas Lights Village Event

2nd December 2017. Maulden Village Hall, Bedfordshire (near Ampthill)

May Blossom (Vintage Singer), Bar, Bouncy Castle, Food & Drink Stalls, Make a decoration for the Christmas Tree (craft stall + materials will be at the event), Fun Stalls.

Depending on the weather there may be more music/singing by the Christmas tree.

Note for stallholders: This year there is no charge for stalls (inside or outside)

+plus a Special Visitor to switch on the Christmas Tree Lights at 4:30pm!

NOTE: If you would like to be involved in any way (stalls, entertainment, etc) please contact tel 405852 or Send us an email

MV NHP Steering Committee Minutes 27th September 2017


Minutes of the 17th meeting – 27 September 2017

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

Welcome, Introductions and Update

Alan explained the function of this Steering Group ‘Open Forum’ meeting and welcomed everyone.
Alan introduced Lesley Illingworth who has (tentatively) offered to minute the meetings. Steering Group Members approved Lesley to join as Secretary. We went round the table to introduce everyone briefly.
AP welcomed Gianpaolo Mantini (‘GP’) from Clophill’s Neighbourhood Plan team, who was invited to share their experience. [GP contributed throughout the meeting, usefully sharing his experiences of good (and some less-successful!) approaches. His advice and others’ comments are recorded under relevant agenda headings.]

Minutes of last meeting (30/8/17)

The previous minutes were briefly discussed, agreed and signed. [ACTION: Finalised version to be filed on Dropbox.
GP suggested using ‘One Note’ instead of Dropbox as it links to Outlook and can be used to share documents with others. [ACTION: Discuss with Working Group Leaders.]

Matters arising (Actions not on agenda)

Item 1 – New attendees names and contact details still to be added to distribution list. [ACTION: AP/RP]
Item 3.1 – GP offered to provide contacts for Silsoe and Flitton (+ Haynes?) NHP teams, to be invited to a future meeting.
Item 4.1 – AP mentioned that his only copy of the outline ‘Maulden Neighbourhood Plan’ (an incomplete doc, produced only as an example by Sarah Michael) had disappeared after the last meeting. Phil Allen offered to do a re-print if AP sends it to him. [ACTION: AP/SM/PA.]
Item 5.3 – Others who attended the consultation meetings to be contacted. [ACTION: RP/Sec + RB ]

  1. Project Plan & Funding

    Update on Funding Application
    AP/SB explained that although we have been authorised to receive funding and had applied for a total of £6,950k (of the maximum available £9k) – to be spent in the current financial year by commissioning Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) to handle the Survey and the Greensand Trust to carry out the Green Infrastructure Survey – our bank account has not been opened yet, mainly due to holidays and work absences.
    It had originally been proposed the NP funds should be held in a ‘sub-account’ under the Parish Council (as suggested by CBC and in common with many other NPs), but our request had been rejected by a majority of Councillors at the last MPC meeting. It was suggested it would be easier for the MNP Steering Group to be in control of our own funds.
    GP pointed out it had worked for them and it was not difficult – only one payment in and 2 or 3 out, but the PC’s Clerk would have to apply. PJ and PA said they were inclined to agree that it should be held by the PC after all, and would reconsider this option with other Cllrs.
    [ACTION: SB/AP to discuss with SGp Treasurer (SM).]

    MNP Project Plan for 2017-18 and beyond [Paper MNP 170830/1]
    4.2.1 The draft Plan (timeline and costs) for 2017-18 and beyond needs to be revised with the latest advice and developments. Alan proposed that his paper MNP 170830/1 should be deferred to a meeting of Working Group Leaders, proposed before the next full Steering Group meeting.
    [ACTION: AP & WGp Leaders]

MNP Constitution / Roles and Responsibilities. [Paper MNP170830/2]
Alan handed out copies of the Constitution document to members of the Steering Group and reported that he had presented this to MPC at their last meeting. They had raised a number of issues:
‘Interim Parish Plan’ (para 1.1) – Cllrs asked for the term ‘Parish Plan’ to be removed – although the draft said this is something the MNP could “create or assist (the PC) with”, a Parish Plan can only be implemented by a PC. [ACTION: AP]
Councillors involvement – Some councillors had queried their proposed role in ‘liaising’ with NP Working Groups. Alan had explained that the Council and the Steering Group needed to work together, and closer liaison is needed to share information and avoid duplication of effort, eg when approaching key groups and institutions within the village – such as the school.
In view of the tight deadline to spend the funding, more streamlined/speedier liaison is also essential, rather than waiting for the PC meetings to discuss issues.
It Is also important to ensure PC involvement and oversight as the PC is ultimately responsible for submitting the final Plan.
Although several Cllrs are already closely involved in several of our Working Groups (including Roger leading the Environment Group and John Coyle on Infrastructure/Roads), the PC did not discuss or agree nominations for each Group.
Cllrs do not want to be obliged to attend every meeting [although, as Alan has explained, much of the discussion will take place via emails, not at meetings]. Cllrs would prefer their input to be described as ‘Advisory’. It was accepted they can also still attend as an individual, out of personal interest. This issue will be discussed again with Cllrs. [ACTION: PJ & AP],
Bank account (5.4) – The number of signatories required on MNP ‘cheques’ will be discussed with the Bank when the account is opened. [ACTION: SB/SM/AP]
Code of Conduct (6.1) – The need for members of the NP Steering Group and Working Groups to ‘comply’ with the Parish Councillor’s Code of Conduct was felt to be ‘overkill’. This is a formal document which has to be signed, so amend to read to be ‘mindful of the Code….’, It is about respecting others’ views and not being offensive. Individuals should also declare any Conflict of Interest. [ACTION: AP]
Subject to these amendments, the document was agreed. [ACTION: AP to revise draft.]
Alan referred to the associated summary of post-holders and Working Group members. We need to decide how much personal contact info to include (eg phone numbers, email addresses) and how to publicise contact details. Philip J pointed out that Council members are contactable directly and their details are visible on the PC website, etc. [ACTION: AP to send to PJ.]

Clophill Neighbourhood Plan: Sharing experience

Gianpaolo Mantini (GP) shared his experiences of good, ie successful (and some less successful) approaches to the neighbourhood planning processes and achieving development that is acceptable to the village. Clophill also accepted that some additional housing is inevitable, but have similar concerns about its location and the impact of ‘over-development’ in the village.
Guidance – GP recommended the ‘My Community’ online website, where NPs can get advice and share views on project planning. Alan said that MNP’s draft Project Plan was based on the ‘My Community’ model and agreed this was a useful resource for all involved in our Working Groups.
Villager Engagement and Surveys – GP highlighted the need to be specific with data so it can be easily analysed to represent people’s wishes. Questions need to be worded carefully, to avoid giving opportunity for ‘open’ answers. They need to be written to get the information needed, eg preferred areas for development. Alan referred to the Map and CBC’s ‘coloured dots’ we had used to record the preferences of attendees at our ‘Housing Development Consultation’ meeting held in the Village Hall on 3rd April.
GP also recommended using Survey Monkey as they had a very good 24% response rate. They had also used their Parish Council’s Website to involve the Community – all ages, despite the widely-held view that many ‘older’ residents do not use the internet. They found that 95% of people have internet access.
[ACTION: AP/MB: This question should be included in the Survey.]
Alan responded that MNP intend to work with CBC’s NP advisors and Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) to develop and finalise the questions for our Village Survey [at no cost].
The Government funding can be used towards data gathering or towards bringing in expertise for surveys, or to write the final Plan. Only ~£2k is left for that part, but the MNP Steering Group had decided to draft the final document to retain input and ownership throughout the process. [CBC fund the Referendum.]
GP stressed that it is important to ensure the final document is acceptable, and it is worth getting help to do that. He also thought that with the Government extending NP funding from April 2018, additional funding will be available – possibly another £9k as the ‘clock will be reset’.
Next step – to write policies. GP advised us to reassess getting an external expert/consultant, who understands all the intricacies involved. These need to be written in easily understood language that stands up to scrutiny.
Relevant ‘Non-policy’ objectives to be considered (and possibly listed in an Annex) include ideas for future development, eg traffic calming, provision of playground equipment, tennis courts, etc. These will also inform Parish Council strategies.
GP cited Navigus as his choice of consultants, as he found them very helpful. Two consultation meetings should be planned. Navigus helped Clophill to produce a 16 page document.
Alan wanted to get the survey out to village and completed in the next 6 months, and we would then complete our Policy documents. However, GP suggested that it is best to start writing policy documents from the onset, and not wait for or worry about receiving and analysing survey data. ‘The data supports the policies but it doesn’t determine them.’ Policies need to be strategy specific – each strategy should have an outline of the context relating to it. Keep it simple. Repetition is unnecessary.
GP also suggested that villagers can be encouraged to communicate and work together on interesting projects that help locally, eg. building cycle paths to aid local commuters (Silsoe and Clophill have discussed a cycle path to Flitwick Station), or updating bus routes to allow for the ‘community that commutes’. The Steering Group is important to identify areas to include in the policy statements.
Phil Allen noted how Clophill’s issues and decisions affect the linear village of Maulden and reinforced the idea of villages working together. Alan said he intended to invite reps from other neighbouring Plan groups to our meetings. [ACTION: GP to provide contacts for Silsoe and Flitton NHP teams.]
Alan concluded by thanking GP for coming and was very encouraged by his comments and advice based on his experiences so far.

  1. Working Group Updates

5.1 Housing Consultation – The responses to the questionnaire still to be analysed.
[ACTION: AP to discuss with David Bailey.]

5.2 Review of activities – membership, contacts, ‘As Is’ statements, survey questions
No significant developments, due to holidays, work, etc.
Local Economy/Business WGp – still need someone to lead this Group. Julian Smith kindly agreed to help/support this Group. Stephen Summerfield to be approached too. [ACTION: AP]

5.3 Communications (leaflet, website, banner, etc) – Simon B has been reimbursed by the Parish Council for the cost of printing the leaflets distributed to the Village.

5.4 Action Log – review of outstanding actions [AP’s paper MNP 170830/3] deferred to next Working Group Leaders meeting.

5.5 Working Group Leaders meeting (issues arising) – no meeting held since last Steering Gp.

5.6 Set dates for Working Group and Village Consultation meetings – Also deferred. Alan intends to organise a joint Infrastructure Group meeting with Safer Maulden, Speed Watch and the PC rep, tba in the near future. [ACTION: AP & other WGp Leaders.]

  1. What next?

    Complete actions as recorded above [ACTION: AP/SB/SM and all Working Group leaders]
    Organise Working Group Leaders meeting [ACTION: AP]
    Next Steering Group meeting will be held on the last Wednesday in October at 8pm, upstairs in The George, as usual. Julian was thanked for hosting the meetings in The George. Anyone with an interest in development and planning in Maulden are welcome to attend.


The standing agenda item for a report by the PC had been omitted accidentally, but the following were reported on briefly by Cllr Philip Jackson and Cllr Phil Allen respectively:

7.1 Traffic Calming/Match Funding bid
7.1.1 The latest proposal being considered is for a ‘pedestrian crossing’ directly outside the shop + bollards on the corner of George Street, and a continuous path provided to allow safe access to the crossing. See 7.2.1

Planning Applications
Branksome – CBC allowed an increase to 6 houses, despite the PC’s objections about unsuitability for the site, dangerous access, inadequate parking, etc. Disappointingly, the developer had not agreed (nor been required’) to help provide a continuous footpath to be built (on the CBC-owned verge) opposite the Shop. This would have provided a continuous safe access to the proposed ‘crossing point’.
Clophill Rd (opposite Burgoines, Hall End) – The PC had objected to the 50 houses unexpectedly requested on this site, for reasons previously given [outside the settlement envelope, unsuitable location and access, etc]. Clophill PC have also objected. At a site meeting, the developers had clearly not considered what they could provide for the village in exchange – other than a few bat and owl boxes!
CBC’s Local Plan – Formal objections have been placed over the number of proposed houses in the village but objections have to be considered by CBC within strict national guidelines (until the NP is in place) so it is anticipated that developers will continue to appeal and look for villages without NPs in place.

The meeting finished at ~21:45hrs.

MV NHP Steering Committee Minutes 28th June 2017

Minutes of the 14th meeting – 28 June 2017

Held in the upstairs Meeting Room, at The George Inn, Maulden, 20:00hrs

Welcome, Introductions and Updates from the Chair (AP)

AP welcomed everyone to the meeting – including new ‘faces’ Rob Murphy and Harriet Lockey (very welcome as she is studying at Redborne School) + Ward Cllr Paul Downing [see his update at 4 below]. AP was pleased to report that David Bailey hoped to be available to help out again soon too. 

Minutes of previous meeting (31/5/17)

The draft minutes were discussed and agreed – subject to changing Action under 6(i) [AP (not RB) to produce list of (active) members.].
[ACTION: AP/RP – Amended final version to be emailed and filed in Dropbox + website.]

  1. Matters arising (Not covered on agenda)

    Min 3.1 – AP tabled the up-to-date ‘Action Log.
    [ACTION: Steering Gp members to read, check and update before/at next meeting.]
    Min 3.2 – AP has looked at Julie Sheppard’s (JSh) notes regarding comments by children.
    [ACTION: New Social WGp Leader to contact JSh for further information.]
    Min 4.1 – CBC’s draft Local Plan (available next month) will be reviewed at the next meeting.

  2. Village update (recent events or emerging issues)

    CBC Update
    Cllr Paul Downing (PD) updated us on CBC’s Local Plan and confirmed the draft will be out for consultation in July with a meeting for Cllrs on 18th. Fellow Ward Councillor Mike Blair is the contact with CBC for this aspect and another Councillor, Nigel Young, has experience in the development of a NP. PD also has contacts for the Silsoe and Haynes NHP teams.
    [ACTION: PD to email details to AP.]
    PD observed that Maulden’s NHP is further ahead than some others, although Clophill started theirs 3 years ago. They had found it difficult to get community engagement too, particularly the under 40 age group. AP has invited Gianpaolo Mantini and Steve Roddell from Clophill’s NHP team to attend a StGp meeting, asap.
    PD has also had experience of working with specialist NHP Consultants (Navigus), run by a former local council town planner. They can assist with grant applications and follow a standard (acceptable, though detailed) formula for applying for funding. AP recalled DB contacted Navigus in the early days, but we were waiting until funding had been received before inviting them to a meeting to explain what they can do for us. PD confirmed that up to £9,000 can be available over a period of 3 years from CBC, to be spent in 6 month blocks.
    [ACTION: AP/SB – The NHP Project Plan will be updated at the next meeting.]
    PD reported on a meeting at Woburn with the Greensand County Partnership (GCR) and CBC (Claire Porter leads). Lottery money had been made available to make the GCR a ‘National Park’. AP and SB had met Greensand Trust staff involved at the recent CBC NHP Training session and would pass on their contact details to MNHP’s lead on Environment (Robbie Locke).
    [ACTION: AP to contact and inform RL.)

Maulden Village Show (24 June)
The large ‘Call for Sites’ map was displayed in the Hall along with the analysis, and the new leaflet was handed out. Feedback was positive and several new volunteers offered to help, although quite a few enquiries came from other Parishes, eg a Cllr from Ridgmont, who was seeking advice on the process. AP thanked RP and NC for their help at the event.
The sale of the Parish Council land to obtain money to reinvest in the community was a popular option, as was providing parking near the school.
[ACTION: AP to post photos in Dropbox, eg for use in the final NHP Report.]

CBC NHP Training event (9 June)
AP and SB found the session helpful and an opportunity to meet others involved and at various stages. As Cllr Downing said earlier, we are more advanced than many. Other Village Plan Groups were facing similar problems in maintaining progress and are willing to share experiences
A speaker who had been involved in developing Meppershall’s Village Plan and now extending it into an NHP was very informative. She advised to avoid getting too wrapped up in spreadsheets – keep it simple! To raise their profile (at village events etc) they had invested in ‘NHP branded’ tee shirts, pens and stationary – even their envelopes were in ‘corporate’ orange.
[ACTION: ‘Branded’ items to be considered by Comms Team.]

MPC meeting (12 June)
RB reported that two applications had been received to join the Parish Council (including ex-NHP Vice-Chair Julie Sheppard) but the proposal to coopt them had been outvoted. This will be reconsidered at the next meeting.

Planning requests
The Group were surprised to hear that an application had been lodged to increase the properties at Branscombe from 4 to 6 and that there are no valid reasons for CBC to object to the revised plans under national guidelines. An NHP would be helpful and have to be considered in such situations.


In SM’s absence, SB reported that the MNP bank account was still to be set up (possibly as an account under MPC) and funding still to be applied for.
[ACTION: SM and SB to follow up.]
AP reported that consultants Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd (suggested by JSm) had not been able to help us due to a perceived conflict of interest (one lives in the village). We need to compare costs and what BRCC and Navigus (or other consultants) can do for us.
AP reiterated the rules for funding, i.e. funding of £3,000 x 3 years is available. Each bid must be supported by 2 quotes and spent within 6 months. CBC had advised these funds cannot be used to pay retrospective bills. NHP Project Plan to reflect this pattern.

6 Working Group Updates

Housing – Analysis of joint MNP and MPC consultation meeting (3 April)
NC presented a bar chart he had produced, more clearly illustrating the figures in the table summarising villagers ‘build/no build’ responses on the Call for Sites map.
NC to clarify names and locations of sites with AP. He will then merge the maps/names for consistent identification.
NC has requested a digital version of the Parish Sites map from CBC for further breakdown/ analysis. Julian Smith has ‘Promap’ software which can be used to digitally analyse the maps.
[ACTION: NC to follow up with AP, JSm and CBC/SV.]
DB had offered to analyse the responses in the questionnaires submitted to compare answers with preferred locations.
[ACTION: AP/SB to follow up with DB]

Other WG activities
SR introduced Harriet Lockey (HL) to the Group. She is willing to help and agreed to join the Communications Group with SB, NC and SR. She is a student at Redbourne School and will discuss with the English department if/how students could get involved with projects, eg. interviewing people, making a film about Maulden, covering the NHP in the School newsletter and. She also suggested wider use of social media.
[ACTION: HL to discuss at Redborne + SR will use his contacts at Alameda School too.]
Rob Murphy (RM) has lived in the village for 18 months and approached AP at the Village Show. His background is in Arts and Communications and the Environment. He agreed to join the Environment Group.
[ACTION: AP to inform RL.]
AP mentioned that The Greensand Trust had already worked on an ‘environment’ project with children from Maulden Lower.
[ACTION: NC to arrange for AP and himself to meet the School Head (Mrs Dwyer) to discuss involving the schoolchildren and parents.]
AP is also still trying to organise a joint meeting between the Infrastructure Working Gp, MPC, Safer Maulden and Speed Watch. The Safer Maulden Survey also needs to be updated before it can be distributed throughout the village.
No activities reported by the Environment Group.
[ACTION: AP to contact RL.]

6.3 Communications
The banner has not been purchased yet as we have no funds, but SB had kindly arranged for 5000 leaflets to be printed in time for the Village Show. Copies were handed out and SR and the Comms team were complimented on its appearance.
[ACTION: SB to put leaflet on website and Dropbox.]
However, AP pointed out that 5 sites had not been marked on the map on the back of the leaflet – in particular 3 at Hall End, another on Silsoe Road and the PC’s land near the school. He and RP had marked these on a number of leaflets for use at the Village Show. It was agreed it was not vital to amend them all, but the remaining marked copies should be issued at Hall End.
The Street Watch Team have started delivering the leaflets.
[ACTION: SB to produce a list of streets covered and a street map to be obtained.]
JSm took some few leaflets to leave in the bar and will also mention the NHP in The George’s e-Newsletter. He is also happy for the venue to continue to be used for any NHP meetings.
The website needs to be updated. HL mentioned her mother has been asked to give a talk on ‘Communications’ to the school and wondered if it would be useful for the MNP teams. HL also suggested setting up a Facebook page for communicating with villagers e.g. on the final questionnaire, and using Survey Monkey. Both need to be considered, along with other Social Media [Instagram, Snapchat, etc].
[ACTION: SB/Comms Gp to meet (with HL) to discuss options.]

7 What next?

7.1 Action log
AP handed out an up-to-date version of the list of outstanding actions from all previous meetings
[ACTION: Steering Gp members to read, check and update – for discussion at next meeting.]

7.2 MNP Constitution/roles and responsibilities
AP has started drafting the Constitution, but there is no standard model to base them. Caddington had been suggested but CBC do not promote a single format as they each need to reflect local circumstances.
[ACTION: AP and SB to discuss (+ with DP if possible) and table at next meeting, when CBC/SV will be present.]

7.3 Project Plan
This needs to be updated. It was suggested a ‘Project Manager’ needs to be appointed, and should not be the Chair.
[ACTION: AP/SB to update Plan (and discuss with DP if possible) + Steering Gp Members to find a Project manager.]
AP wondered if a consultant would perform this function. CBC/Siobahn Vincent has agreed to attend the next (July) meeting when our structure will be discussed.
Consultants will then be asked to attend a meeting to pitch their plans and costs for their work.

7.4 Project ‘Risk assessment’
[ACTION: AP to review/produce – based on the Project Plan.]

Dates of meetings
Steering Group/WGp members were happy to continue meeting on the last Wednesday of the month and hold an additional meeting for WGp Leaders before the Steering Group Meetings if necessary.
The next ‘interim’ meeting for WGp leaders will be on Wed 19 July at 8pm.
The same venue was agreed with JSm. Julian was thanked for hosting our meetings. Alternative venues, eg. the School Hall and/or the Village Hall were suggested to spread the meetings over more areas of the village, and enable/ encourage more people to ‘drop in’.


There being no further business, the meeting ended at 21:40pm.