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August 11 Minutes

Bunwell Parish Council

Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting

Held at Bunwell Village Hall

on 8th August 2011 at 7.30 p.m.


1. Present


Cllr W F. Easton (in the chair)

Cllr M R Pankhurst

Cllr M Dávila-Smith

Cllr Jean-Jacques le Cornu

Cllr R J Kemp

Cllr Mrs D A Harrison

Cllr J W Pennell (Minute Taker)

Cllr R Spreadbury






Cllr Beverley Spratt - District & County Councillor

32 Members of the public

Mr D Westrup – Tree Warden





2. Introduction

The chairman welcomed the public to this special open meeting to discuss the Neighbourhood Plan which followed the special Green Event to discuss how the £5,000 grant awarded to Bunwell by South Norfolk Council to implement an Air-to-Air source heating project should be implemented. He explained that there would be a short formal meeting of the Council before the Neighbourhood Plan discussion.

3. Apologies

The Clerk’s apology was accepted and so Cllr Pennell was appointed to take the minutes

4. Declarations of interest


5. Telephone Kiosk on the B1113

A number of residents on the Turnpike have asked if the parish could adopt the Red Iconic telephone kiosk on the B1113. They would be prepared to look after this. It was resolved to postpone the discussion on this until the next meeting as the Clerk, currently on annual leave, had all the details and would be better able to brief the meeting.

6. New Water Main Update

The work was due to start on 15th August along Bunwell Street. All the residents had been notified. There would be no road closures in the immediate future.

7. Safer B1113 Update

Cllr Pennell gave a presentation on what was intended. Currently the village was divided by the B1113 with the village hall and play areas one side and shops, the Church and the school on the other and with children and elderly folks on both sides. There was also difficulty for pedestrians walking to school and the like. A ‘trod’ path – a ‘trod’ path is a hard surface path but is not sealed with tarmac – could be constructed between the village hall and Larkins Close at an approximate cost of £12,000 and a set of push button operated flashing signs could be installed opposite the Old Queens Head for either £7,458 or £12,658[i] depending on whether two ‘your speed’ signs were included. In the current financial situation we would be unlikely to get either project as there was only a budget of £300,000 for the whole county for footways and highways considered that flashing signs had been adequately catered for in the recent past.

However, highways at the instigation of our County Councillor, Cllr Spratt, had introduced two new matched funding pools: one of £100,000 for footways and the like and the other for a similar amount for flashing signs. If we were to apply for some of this funding we would likely be considered very favourably – particularly as the neighbourhood board had taken note of this project and were forming a working party to assist. The School and FOBSA had also indicated that they might be able to find some money to help with this and an application could be made for other monies. If we were to borrow £10,000 for this, it would add about £5 to the council tax if we repaid it over 5 years but only £2.50 if it was a 10-year loan. We could precept for it immediately but that would cost each council tax payer £25 as a one off.

The chairman stated that this had been a priority of Bunwell for the past several years and included in the Parish Plan. In the discussion that ensued, every one was in favour – including all members of the public present – and the consensus was that the higher priced option should be the one adopted. It was unanimously resolved to borrow the money from the PWLB should we receive the match funding from Highways and that it should be paid back within five years and the precept raised accordingly for that period. It was also decided that Cllr Pennell and County Cllr Spratt should go ahead and liaise with Grahame Bygraves of Highways and Westcotec to progress the project.

8. Adjournment of Meeting to Discuss the Neighbourhood Plan

The Meeting adjourned and Cllr Pankhurst, vice chairman and chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan working party chaired the discussion. He pointed out that a lot of work had already gone on and indeed a questionnaire – which was the first step to developing the plan had already been circulated. This was a step on from a village plan and was the successor to the Parish Design Statement that the Parish Council had been working on for some years.

Cllr Pennell made a presentation on the new laws that were coming in as a result of the localism and Big Society agendas of the coalition government where their intention was that power be handed down to the most local level – in rural areas, the Parish Council which would for planning purposes be a neighbourhood forum. This would mean developing a plan for the built environment, which had to follow planning law, and in particular the LDF (Local Development Framework) prepared by the District Council, which was being consulted on at the moment. The plan had to be approved by a government appointed inspector and then, if it was approved by a majority of local electors voting in a referendum, it would become the plan and the Parish Council would in effect become the planning authority.

He pointed out that the government seemed completely serious about this and were issuing consultations almost weekly now. The latest was on the simplification of the planning laws/guidance which replaced 1000 pages with just 50. This simplification had at its core the presumption that unless there was something to the contrary, any application should go ahead provided that it was sustainable development and that there was nothing in a plan to stop it going ahead. In other words, if there was no current plan the presumption was that the development should be given planning permission.

After a discussion it was agreed that the further work should go ahead and a number of residents volunteered to help

9. Agenda Items for next meeting

The Telephone Kiosk on the B1113

10. Next Meeting

5th September 2011 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall

11. Close of Meeting

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.05 p.m.


[i] It consists of one system each side of the road operated by push button which will flash ‘wig-wags’ and illuminate a sign which says “20 m.p.h limit – Pedestrians Crossing” or similar.

a.    Payment to NCC Highways to take on and insure maintain etc each sign @ £2,000 each = £4,000

b.    Signs, Posts, Erection and Solar Power, per side is £1,729 = £3,458.

c.     Optional :Radar controlled “Your Speed” signs : Each side @ £2,600 each = £5,200.