Saturday, 16 January 2016

Parish Council Report

Report of the Parish Council Meeting held on 12th January, 2016

Nocton and Potterhanworth Neighbourhood Plan

The first meeting of 2016 was well attended as the public had been invited to comment on the outline draft of the Neighbourhood Plan which was recently circulated to all households in Nocton and Potterhanworth.

Discussion largely centred on the following main issues:
  • The future plans for Nocton Hall and the site of the former RAF Hospital
  • Possible sites for additional housing development
  • Reducing traffic flows through the village to improve road safety, etc
After a lengthy and lively debate (mostly on the first two subjects) it was broadly concluded by the majority of the residents present that:
  • There was a need for some form of development (but not necessarily housing) in order to deal with the problems at Nocton Hall
  • A large housing development along the lines currently being considered by the site’s owner was completely unacceptable given the lack of infrastructure, etc within the village
  • Given the fact that the condition of Nocton Hall had worsened significantly since the Options Appraisal was originally carried out, it was no longer necessary or economically viable to “restore” the building as a ruin, particularly if this would result in the need to build fewer houses
  • A smaller number of “high-end” houses (say 12 to 15) would be preferred for the site
  • Other uses (in addition to or instead of housing) should be explored in order to generate the funds necessary to bring the derelict site back into use, particularly those which might be of benefit to the wider community.
  • Any further housing in the village should be located on the former hospital site although there was some support for the possible use of the Peter Sowerby “construction storage site” at Nocton Park for a very limited number of houses (say 3 or 4) if this was a way of “improving” the entrance to the village.
  • Traffic – this is, in part, being addressed by the Parish Council which is going to trial the use of “white fencing” at the entrances to the village, initially in Wellhead Lane.  It was also suggested that a double kerb (the inner one curved to deflect back into the road, as can be seen in Dunston by the bridge) may help to stop lorries mounting and badly damaging the grass verge at the end of Potterhanworth Road.  Highways are also to be asked if rather more substantial wooden posts, like those on the bend at Bottom Lodge, could replace the ineffectual plastic ones that are there at present.
If any resident wishes to make further comments on the outline plan then please send these to the Clerk as soon as possible.  There is also a dedicated Neighbourhood Plan blog where there is further information on the Plan and where comments can be left on-line.  Please visit and let us have your views

Nocton Youth Club

Volunteer help is still urgently required and parents of participating children are to be requested to help perhaps once every 2 to 3 months.  It was also noted that children from outside the parish are attending, and although there is no wish to turn children away, it should be noted that the youth club is funded from Nocton Community Funds and the proportion of children from other villages will need to be monitored.

Dog Fouling

Under the Public Spaces Protection Order, District Councils can pass an Order that any person out with a dog or dogs must be in possession of a poo bag/bags or they could be liable to a £100.00 fine. The Parish Council is to ask NKDC to consider introducing such an order so as to strengthen the powers available to our Dog Warden to deal with irresponsible dog owners.
Village Art Work

It had been hoped that the additional art works for the village trail would now be in place.  However, Cliff Baxendale reported that it seemed that other projects in the area had taken priority.  Further discussion is to take place regarding the installation of a new bench and whether the metal design could be used for a different purpose to better effect/purpose.  Nick Jones, the Visual Arts Manager for ArtsNK, would be invited to attend a future meeting of the Parish Council to discuss the provision of further artwork in the village.  After many years of leading on this on behalf of Nocton, Cliff also announced he would be stepping back from the development of the Village Trail and other art work projects in Nocton.  His will be big shoes to fill and we are very grateful for his achievements.

Date of next meeting:  Tuesday 9 February 2016

If you believe you can make a difference, then you will make a difference

Councillor MaryAnn Williams

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