Saturday, 11 February 2017

Parish Council Report - February

Report of the Parish Council Meeting held on 7 February 2017

Apologies were received from Parish Councillors Graham Jones and Liz Murray and District Councillors Rob Kendrick and John Money.

Police Report
A letter reporting that no crimes had been committed in the village during the past month was received from the Police.  Since then, however, it appeared that another incident involving dogs had occurred.  The person concerned had been advised by the Chair to report the matter to the Police.  Please ensure that if you have any concern regarding dog behaviour in the village, the matter is reported directly to the Police (by telephoning 101) as without evidence nothing can be done to stop these incidents from happening.

Nocton School
Steve Whaley, a Governor of the Spires Federation of our local schools, reported on the School’s concerns regarding the lack of visibility at the designated crossing point on the corner of Potterhanworth Road, where the footpath from Nocton estate crosses the B1202.  The Parish Council had on several occasions previously brought this to the attention of the Highways Authority and had held on-site inspections with its officers but to no avail.  The Parish Council agreed that the matter should be reported to the LEA, especially as some one third of the children attending Nocton School use this crossing.  The Parish Council confirmed that it would give its wholehearted support to the action of Nocton School in attempting to have the dangers to pupils recognised and appropriate action taken to resolve the problem before there was a serious accident.

Revenue Budget and Precept for 2017
The proposed budget and precept 2017/18 was presented and approved.  Due to the proposed closure of the village hall later in the year for rebuilding, there was some downward adjustment to various budget heads but an increase in the rebuilding/refurbishment contingency provision to enable the building work to start in September.  The bulk of the costs would be met from a Public Works Loan although once planning permission had been obtained further grant applications would be made to reduce the borrowing.  The effect of the increase in the Parish Council’s budget for 2017/18 will result in an increase in the monthly payment for a Band D property of just under 78p per month.  Full details of the budget and the effect on the precept for all householders can be found on the Parish Council’s website.

Village Hall Rebuilding Sub Committee Report
Due to family commitments, the architect from Simons was unable to attend the last meeting, so final recommendations for the design of our new Hall will now be considered by the Sub-committee on 21 February at 6.00pm.  It is intended that the Sub-committee will then recommend a final design for consideration by the Parish Council at it meeting on 14th March, following which planning permission will be sought.

Planning Issues
No planning applications had been received, however, Councillor Kaye reported that the outline planning permission at the rear of a property in Wrays Yard had been rejected by a majority of 19 – 0 earlier that evening by the NKDC Planning Sub-committee which he had attended.  The Local Plan is now far enough ahead for its policies to be taken into account in the future determination of planning applications which is good news for Nocton since under the Plan it had already exceeded the 10% growth criterion for new houses for villages such as ours.  Once the Neighbourhood Plan is adopted (hopefully in May) then future development in the village will only occur where residents want it to!

Damage to Village Green
The Parish Council expressed its concern at the damage being done to edges of The Green by lorries and other large vehicles particularly along the section of the road leading to the Church and School where turning is extremely limited.  Letters would be sent to all residents whose properties border the green (plus the School and Church) seeking their co-operation in doing what they can to prevent such damage and asking that when it does occur then every effort is made to ensure that it is made good.  Advice from the Highways Authority would also be sought on ways of minimising the problem.

Nocton School
The issues which had been discussed at the recent meeting between Councillor Kania, the Chair and the Head Teacher of Nocton School were noted.  An update on the position regarding the proposed removal by the school of the fir trees within its grounds which were causing a problem to the school path is awaited.

Nocton Park
Building activity at Nocton Park appears to have stopped since planning permission for a further property on Steamer Point had been refused.  This was confirmed by Debbie Wilson from the Nocton Park Management Committee.  Ms Wilson also confirmed that she was presently in contact with Anglia Water regarding the delay in “signing off” on the drains etc.  This appeared to be the result of a communication problem between the developer and Anglia Water, which she was hoping to resolve.

Completion of the road from the B1202 to the culvert should now go ahead.  The concern by Highways that two of the driveways are too steep is not borne out by the occupants and it is hoped that common sense will prevail and that this section of the road would now be completed without further delay.

Highways Issues
Due to the number of queries that had arisen on matters involving the Highways Authority this month, a representative is to be invited to attend the next Parish Council meeting to answer these and other highways related questions.

Date of next meeting:  Tuesday 14 March 2017 at 7pm.

“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop”.
Councillor MaryAnn Williams


  1. Regarding the safety of the Potterhanworth road crossing:

    "...the School’s concerns regarding the lack of visibility at the designated crossing point on the corner of Potterhanworth Road, where the footpath from Nocton estate crosses the B1202."

    I certainly believe there is a serious risk of an accident on the corners of this road as there is zero visibility of oncoming traffic. Clearance to cross this road is left to a combination of (1) trying to listen for oncoming traffic (and then guessing at their approach speed) and (2) luck that vehicles do not appear once you are in the middle of crossing. Children from Nocton Park have to cross this road 4 times a day on the way to and from School due to the provision of a footpath on only one side of the road.

    Does anybody else have any comments or stories of near-misses on this topic?


    1. Thanks Matthew - it is a very poor placement for a crossing. In these days of risk assessments, I am astounded how this was permitted, on what is a blind 90 degree bend.


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