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
Maulden Christmas Lights Village Event

Bouncy Castle, Food, Bar, Music, Fun Stalls

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. 

MV NHP Steering Committee Minutes 30th August 2017


Minutes of the 16th meeting – 30 August 2017

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


Committee/Working Group Members

Alan Plom [Chair/Leader of Infrastructure WGp] (AP)

Simon Barnes [Vice Chair/Leader of Housing WGp] (SB)

Mark Bingham [Leader Social, Educ & Welfare WGp]

Nigel Coote [Environment + Comms WGps] (NC)

Roger Ball [MCP[(RB)

Ruth Plom [Secretary] (RP) – part/end only


Andy Marshall

Barrie Wickins

Cath Bennyworth

Chris Bates

Ian Ormrod

Joyce Ormrod

Leslee Reynolds

Lisa Hudson

Nick Langdon

Rob McLeod

Roger Bradshaw

Sian Nelson


Emma Jackson

John Coyle [MPC]

Julian Smith

Mike Browning

Phillip Jackson [MPC]

Stephen Summerfield [MPC]

  1. Welcome, Introductions and Update
  • Alan was pleased to welcome so many new faces to the meeting – all concerned about preserving our village. Everyone described their interest, experiences and aspirations. Many had lived in the village for 10 to 25+years.
  • Alan and Simon explained the process, status and value of a Neighbourhood Plan, in influencing development – in the wider sense and over the longer term. Also our links with and the role of the Parish Council, Ward Councillors and CBC were explained – for the benefit of the ‘newcomers’. This led to considerable discussion, extending over most of the meeting. ACTION:  Add all new names and contact details to distribution list.
  1. Minutes of last meeting (26/7/17)
  • The previous minutes were discussed, although not in order and some items were covered rapidly at the end, as most of the meeting was spent discussing the role of the Steering Group, and the scope and activities of the Neighbourhood Plan, for the benefit of the many people new to the Open Forum.
  • v3 of the minutes were agreed and signed, subject to adding Cath and removing Nigel’s names from attendees. ACTION: Amended version to be filed on Dropbox.
  1. Matters arising (Actions not on agenda)

Item 3.1  Contacts for Silsoe and Haynes NHP teams requested – enquiries to be routed via CBC.

Item 3.2  Standing invitation sent to Gianpaolo Mantini and Steve Roddell from Clophill’s NHP team to  attend a future Steering Gp meeting to share their experiences.

Item 4.1  Docs copied to Dropbox.

Item 5.3  Some of those who attended the consultation meetings had been contacted, but process to be completed. ACTION: RP/Sec + RB.

4.  Village Update

4.1 CBC Local Plan – Neighbourhood Plan and Villagers responses

  • Much of the meeting was spent discussing the implications of CBC’s Draft Local Development Plan and individual and group responses to CBC.  Duck End Lane/Moor Lane, Silsoe Road and Cobbit’s Road areas were well-represented at the meeting and in the comments seen on Maulden Voice or received directly so far, but other parts of the village surprisingly less so.
  • All present accepted some housing development in the village was inevitable, but were concerned about its location and the impact of ‘over-development’ in the village.
  • The infrastructure in and around the village is already straining, and there was a strong feeling that doctors and other services would not be able to cope with the increased population occupying the extra houses currently approved and proposed, let alone any additional development in and around Maulden as proposed in CBC’s draft Local Plan.
  • Alan reported that he had submitted MNP’s (16 page) response to CBC (with some difficulty), literally at the “16th hour 57th minute”!  He thanked Simon for his extensive research, collecting information on Maulden’s housing needs, and drafting the response. This would also be useful background for the NPs Housing Plan. David Bailey had also made some helpful comments on the draft.
  • A slightly amended version [with a better ‘call for sites’ map and an additional Appendix] had since been sent to CBC, and accepted. A limited number of copies of the amended version were tabled and discussed briefly.
  • ACTION: A copy of the final version of MNPs submission to be posted on our website and in Dropbox.
  • Alan also circulated a copy of an outline ‘Maulden Neighbourhood Plan’. [NB. This was not based on factual information and only intended to illustrate what the final ‘Plan’ could look like.  Unfortunately someone had taken this home with them after the meeting.  Alan needs his only copy back, because it will be too expensive (using his own printer and coloured ink!) to print out another copy.]   
  • ACTION:  Please let Alan know if you have it [via gro.n1511254646alpdo1511254646ohruo1511254646bhgie1511254646nnedl1511254646uam@o1511254646fni1511254646 ] and return it either at the next meeting, or to 3 George Street, Maulden [opposite The George].
    1. 3.2. Report from Maulden Parish Council
  • Roger reported that the PC had convened an Extraordinary General meeting (in camera) to discuss its response to CBC’s Local Plan. They had also agreed to consider making available an area of PC-owned land for development.
    1. 3.3.Recent Planning Applications
  • The recent application to build 50 houses between Clophill Road and the A507, opposite Burgoine’s is causing a lot of consternation, especially as these would be in addition to the (up to ~350) houses that might be permitted by CBC’s Local Plan.
    1. 3.4.Clophill Neighbourhood Plan : Sharing experience 
  • Not discussed as Gianpaolo Mantini had not attended. [Subsequently notified that he was unwell.] 

5 Project Plan and Funding

5.1  Funding Update

  • Alan reported that the bid for Government funding had been submitted and he has had conversations with the assessors for the department, confirming that our application was being considered positively, and we should hear within a week to 10 days.
  • Alan explained the complicated process of applying for the grant and why it had taken so long to obtain and consolidate all the information and quotes required. This wasn’t helped by loss of key members of the Steering Group. He thanked Sarah (MNP Treasurer) for collating the information and driving the application through.
  • As previously proposed, we have applied for a total of ~£6,500, primarily to commission Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) and The Greensand Trust (GST) to help us develop the NP. It also includes ~£500 for publicity materials, a banner and consumables, etc.
  • Initially, BRCC will be helping to finalise our Survey questions (at no cost, under their contract with CBC), and then posting out, collecting and collating the village survey. The GST will be carrying out a ‘Green Infrastructure Survey’ and will produce a detailed report.
  • The money will have to be spent over 6 months

5.2  Project Plan

  • Simon Ratcliffe had agreed after the last meeting to be Project Manager but unfortunately wasn’t available when the draft Plan was required [to be submitted with the application for funding], so Alan had produced one (based on the ‘My Community’ model), giving the timeline for 2017/18 and beyond (possibly another 3 years).
  • In view of the lack of time and non-availability of some key Steering Group members/Working Group Leaders, the Project Plan (Paper MNP 170830/1) was not reviewed.  ACTION:  To be discussed and agreed at next meeting, before posting on website and in Dropbox.

5.3  Constitution & Roles

  • Alan had also finished drafting the ‘Constitution, Roles and Responsibilities’ document (Paper MNP 170830/2) but again, discussion was deferred to the next meeting.
  • Simon appealed for more volunteers, to help the Working Groups. Ruth needed to stand down from the Secretary role (due to work and family reasons) so we also desperately need someone to take notes and produce draft minutes of our Steering Group meetings.
  • ACTION: To advertise (via MV) asap, and anyone interested to let us know via:

gro.n1511254646alpdo1511254646ohruo1511254646bhgie1511254646nnedl1511254646uam@o1511254646fni1511254646 .

  1. Working Group Updates

6.1  Housing – Discussed at length under previous agenda items.

6.2 Infrastructure – In response to a point about ‘Clophill Road becoming a race-track’, Alan explained the position regarding Traffic Calming, including the joint application by MPC and Safer Maulden to CBC for match funding for a project (still to be identified), and Safer Maulden’s proposed survey of residents’ preferred options and locations for measures to be installed.  However, this was a costly process, and unlikely to be resolved quickly.

6.3  Communications – Publicity had been stepped up on Social Media (Maulden Voice, etc) particularly on the back of CBC’s consultation on the Local Plan.  The leaflet had also been successful in generating awareness and interest, having been delivered throughout the village.  Only one person at the meeting did not recall having seen it.

6.4  Local Economy/Business – We need someone to volunteer to lead this Working Group              (preferably someone with a business based in the area) as Simon is now leading on Housing.     ACTION: Suggestions/volunteers to join (and lead) this Group.

6.5  Social Welfare and Education – ACTION: Mark Bingham to discuss scope with previous Leader   (Julie Sheppard), re-convene the Working Gp, review the draft ‘As Is’ Statement and Questionnaire.

6.6  Environment & Heritage – Roger Ball has taken over this Group and started to collect information.  ACTION: RB to review Robbie Locke’s draft ‘As Is’ statement and Questions, and to liaise with Sarah Michael and Greensand Trust to initiate the Green Infrastructure Survey.

6.7 Regulation – ACTION:  Alan still to speak with David Bailey.

7   What next?

  • As many of the Steering Group members were unable to attend the meeting discussion was carried over to the next meeting – or an interim meeting of Working Group Leaders if it could be arranged.


  • Alan apologised for moving rapidly through the second half of the agenda, but many of the key issues had been raised earlier, and the meeting was over-running beyond our scheduled 90 minutes.  He thanked everyone for coming and feedback suggested that all found it to be a useful update. Alan reminded everyone that we need more volunteers to help us.
  • The next meeting will be held on the last Wednesday in September at 8pm upstairs in The George, as usual. Anyone with an interest in development and planning in Maulden  are welcome to attend.
  • The meeting finished at ~21:45hrs.

MV NHP Steering Committee Minutes 26th July 2017


Minutes of the 16th meeting – 26 July 2017


Committee/Working Group Members

Alan Plom [Chair/Leader of Infrastructure WGp] (AP)

Simon Barnes [Vice Chair/Leader of Housing WGp and Local Economy WGp] (SB)

Ruth Plom [Secretary] (RP))

Sarah Michael (Treasurer) (SM)

Nigel Coote [Environment + Comms WGps] (NC)


Phillip Jackson [MPC] (PJ) 

Roger Ball [MCP[(RB)

Rob Murphy (RM)

Sally Chapman [CBC Development Plan Process Manager, Regeneration & Business Directorate] (SC)

George Tarrant (GT)

Julian Smith (JSm)

Cath Bennyworth

+ 2 others [names not obtained]

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

  1. Welcome, Introductions and Update
    • SB (Vice Chair) welcomed everyone to the meeting as AP was delayed for a few minutes.  Apologies were received from a number of previous attendees, including our Ward Cllrs.
    • ACTION:  AP to talk with the other new volunteers Jenny, John and Tony.

2.  Minutes of last meeting (28/6/17)

  • v3 was agreed and signed, without amendment.

3.  Matters arising (Review of actions not on agenda)

3.1  Item 4.1 – ACTION: AP to request email details for contacts in Silsoe and Haynes NHP teams from Cllr Paul Downing.

3.2  Item 4.1 – ACTION:  AP/Sec to re-invite Gianpaolo Mantini and Steve Roddell from Clophill’s NHP team to attend a future Steering Gp meeting to share their experiences, asap                                                                                                       

4.  Village Update: recent events or emerging issues

4.1 CBC Local Plan and MNP in context

  • CBC need to have a rolling 5 year supply of housing. NPs are intended to last for 20 years, and should be kept under continual review, as the village’s needs change. The new Act allows for NP reviews. Of the 79 Parishes in CB, only ~50% ‘need’ to produce a NP.
  • SC warned that NPs must comply with Reg 14 of the Neighbourhood Plan Regs, engage with the community, and support any statements/policies with evidence, as the Plan is a statutory document or it will fail. Types of evidence to go in the Appendices were discussed.
  • CBC staff and BRCC will be able to help us with finalising the questions, etc.
  • CBC’s ‘Planning Document Hierarchy’ was distributed (and explained).  This clarifies the inter -relationship and status of the different types of Plan [nb. Those with bold titles are currently in place.]

ACTION: Sec to post copy on Dropbox.

  • Specific evidence (reasons and policy) and a consultation statement and map/s are needed, eg. for bungalows. SC suggested we put in a wish list of what the villagers wanted and need.

4.2 Leaflets

  • SB reported that ~75% of the village has received the MNP leaflets so far – mostly delivered by Speed Watch volunteers.  RB and others had also helped.

4.3 Maulden Lower School

  • AP and NC had met with the new Head Teacher of Maulden Lower School.  She was very supportive of the MNP but surprised she had not been consulted about the implications for the school on capacity. AP urged the School and Governors to discuss the Local Plan.

4.4 Maulden Parish Council Update

  • PJ said that MPC will be responding to CBC on the draft Local Plan by the deadline, 29 August.
  • He questioned some of the statements in CBC’s ‘Settlement Capacity’ document e.g. Maulden’s Post Office once a week was hardly “a capacity”.

4.5 Recent Planning applications

  • MPC are currently considering applications for 21, 23, and 49 houses. The first two have been put on hold and the largest site plan has been rejected. MPC are in close consultation with CBC.

5 Project Plan and Funding

5.1  Funding

  • SM met with SB and AP on 25 July and estimated the funding required for our “phase one“ grant would be around £5k. Quotes have been requested from BRCC and Greensand Trust (GT) [CBC’s ‘preferred’ contractors] – for BRCC to mail out, collect and collate the MNP Working Group surveys and for GT to carry out the ‘Green Infrastructure’ Study and produce a suitable report.
  • Meanwhile, MPC had loaned MNP £250 for the production of the leaflet, produced by SR & SB. 

5.2  Project Plan

  • SC confirmed that the Housing Needs survey carried out by BRCC for MPC in 2014 would be considered still current and did not need updating – other than any other supplementary evidence from our own surveys – so this would save some time.
  • SC advised us not to use the grant money on consultants until we need them (towards the end) to check and ratify the Plan as suitable for submission. Sally‘s team at CBC and BRCC will be able to help MNP to frame our Maulden-specific questions.
  • Agreed to use the ‘My Community’ Project Planner and to consider timeline and costs for 2017/18. and beyond.

5.3  Constitution & Roles

  • AP has not finished drafting the Roles and Responsibilities document yet. [ACTION AP – Bring to next meeting]
  • It was agreed that we need a Project Manager – SR volunteered after the meeting.
  • More help is needed from volunteers, particularly now the Working Groups need to crack on. AP suggested local skills are needed to fill the gaps – ACTION: to advertise (via MV) asap.
  • ACTION: RP to contact the names on the slips and emails produced from the village meetings and the flyer.  RB volunteered to help.                         .

6 Working Group Updates

6.1  Housing

  • The MNHP needs to respond to CBC on the draft Local Plan, based on factual analysis of the early feedback. PJ pointed out that no target had been set (yet) but 72 houses had been built in the past 10years, and 150-200 new houses could be anticipated. We need a balanced range of sites.
  • ACTION: SB/AP to review and update the As Is statement and adapt for sending comments to CBC.
  • The detailed analysis of the call for sites map used at the 3 April Housing meeting is still to be completed. [ACTION: DB]

6.2   Infrastructure

  • The As Is statement and questionnaire need to be updated following the meeting with Safer Maulden and SpeedWatch. [ACTION:  AP]

6.3  Social Welfare and Education

  • ACTION: Mark Bingham to convene WGp, review As Is Statement and questionnaire completed by Julie Sheppard is to be reviewed.

6.4 Local Economy & Business

  • SB reported no further progress on this aspect.

6.5  Environment & Heritage

  • Roger Ball agreed to take over this Group, from Robbie Locke .  ACTION: RB to review As Is statement, and to speak to Greensand Trust.

6.6 Regulation

  • Scope and purpose of this WGp is unclear – ACTION:  AP to speak with DB

6.7  Communications

  • The new e-mail address is now being used after being put on the leaflet, the website and mentioned in posts on Maulden Voice.
  • £100 has been budgeted for a Pop-Up Banner.
  • Other places to advertise the NP could be the PC notice board outside the Co-op/Budgens, the Church magazines ACTION: SB to talk to Lynda and Mark
  • ACTION: AP to produce a summary update for publicity and email responses to enquirers.

7   What next?

7.1 Action Log

  • The Action Log has been updated, and will be reviewed again at the next Working Group Leaders meeting (on 23 Aug). [ACTION: AP]

7.2 Project ‘Risk Assessment’

  • GT asked if there was a deadline, and if this is dependent on MPC.
  • After some discussion (incl with SC/CBC) it was agreed that this was not necessary for this project. Issues such as funding, finding people and time, can be considered in updates/reports to PC, etc.

7.3 Future meetings

  • Agreed that the Steering Group will continue to meet monthly on the last Wednesday evening of the month, in The George.
  • Working Group Leaders meetings will be held (when necessary) on the Wednesday evening the week before the SGp meeting
  • The Village Hall is reserved for another MNHP/MPC Consultation Meeting in July, but these will need to be rescheduled – in Project Plan (~every 8 weeks).


  • No further business, the meeting finished at ~9:30pm.
  • Next meeting 30 August – same place & time.

CBC’s Draft Local Plan Settlement Capacity Study for Maulden

Central Bedfordshire Council: Initial Capacity Study for Maulden.

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

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


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.


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).


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.



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.


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.


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.

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]
178 Environment Agency (2016) Flood Map for Planning