Meeting No 15 – 2nd December 2014

Wilmcote Neighbourhood Planning Group

Minutes of Meeting Number 15

Held at the Village Hall on Tuesday 2nd December 2014 at 7.30pm

1. Present:

NPG: Roger Harrison, Kate Compton, John Singleton, Deanna Fernie, Nick Willson, Richard Hoskin, Pam Reynolds, Ken Guy, Peter Howard.

WPC: Colin Ray – chairman, Jennie Clarke, Ted Mander, Karl McMillan, Warwick Roberts

2. Apologies:

NPG: Emma Ward, Peter Ward, Louise Stewart, Norman Lee.

WPC: Nigel Ledger, Alison McMillan

3. Declarations of dispensations granted for Disclosable Pecuniary Interests already in the register of Members Interests.

All NPG and WPC members present have dispensations.

4. The minutes were agreed.

5. Matters arising.

All matters are on the agenda.

6. WPC/NPG integration.

The existing three lead WPC Cllrs. (Colin Ray, Jennie Clarke and Ted Mander) are to adopt a hands- on approach, with one Cllr. being the chairman or vice-chairman of the NPG and the two other Cllrs. becoming closely involved with the teams dealing with such matters as the sector groups and the questionnaire.  Each member of the WPC takes the lead on particular topics at the Parish Council and in the event that specialised knowledge is required in the NPG this will be provided by consultants or by the appropriate member of the Parish Council.

7. Questionnaire

The issue of whether sites should or should not be mentioned in the questionnaire was discussed.  This was debated at the Parish Council meeting held on 26th November 2014, the minutes record the debate which led to the decision that development sites should not be specifically mentioned in the questionnaire.  Warwick Roberts outlined three items that are relevant to this decision:-

(a) the following extract from an email received from Matthew Neal, SDC:-

“The Council’s preference is that the housing requirement for Green Belt LSVs be met via the delivery of infill plots and/or small scale sites within the settlement. As you know, such sites generally comprise development “not inappropriate” within the Green Belt according to the NPPF. If the collective wish of an individual settlement, as expressed via an emerging neighbourhood plan, is to focus more of the development onto a single or perhaps just couple of larger sites, or on ‘greenfield’ sites on the edge of the village which could not be classified as ‘in-fill’, then the LPA will need to engage with that community to discuss the implications of this approach. However, it is likely to mean that such proposed sites, and the whole settlement, would need to be excluded from the Green Belt, as the scale of development proposed would be deemed “inappropriate” in the Green Belt.”

The Green Belt acts as effective protection against excessive development of the village which would cause major loss of character.  The Green Belt status must be maintained.

(b) questions raised by the Inspector of the Stratford on Avon District Core Strategy 2011-2031

“In respect of the 3 Main Rural Centres and 11 Local Service Villages that lie within the Green Belt, can it be confirmed that all of the proposed housing would take the form of limited infilling, local needs housing or redevelopment of previously developed sites, as per paragraph 89 of the National Planning Policy Framework?”

This requires SDC to ensure compliance with the NPPF paragraph 89 and the NP must equally comply.

(c) recent correspondence received by the Parish Council on views expressed by Gladman Developments on the Core Strategy question the method used to catalogue LSV’s.  A crude scoring system was used by the Council to split the settlements into the various categories. This method focuses only on four key elements and scores each settlement (0-4 points) in relation to each of these.  Based on the total scores from this assessment, and taking into account the pre-requisite that a settlement has to have at least 100 dwellings to be a local service village, the Council allocated the settlements to the various categories. The Council then assesses the scale of housing appropriate for each tier of LSV.  The Core Strategy provides very limited information on how these decisions were made merely referring to the need to “bear in mind the overall amount of housing development that would be necessary in the LSVs in order to achieve the development strategy proposed on the Core Strategy).”

Gladman object to the methodology used by the Council as it is too simplistic and could potentially result in illogical categorisation of some settlements. Gladman believe the assessment process should have been significantly more in depth and should have considered a number of additional factors.

The Council have provided no clear rationale for how the scale of growth allocated to LSV’s has been determined. These appear to be arbitrary figures, which do not reflect a current assessment of the Local Service Villages and are not evidentially based. The Council need to be able to show through their evidence base documents the process they have gone through to reach these decisions.

Weighing up all these issues the NP questionnaire should seek views on the type of development sites rather than specific sites.  All at the NPG/WPC meeting agreed.

The WPC had provided wording to Roger Harrison for inclusion in the questionnaire.  Roger explained the content of the questionnaire, all agreed.  The questionnaire was accepted as complete, this will be formally ratified at a special WPC meeting on 9th December 2014.  The questionnaire will then go for printing.

The next meeting of the NPG, on 6th January 2015, will be entirely focussed on the questionnaire circulation process.  Village meetings will be arranged for late January 2015 (a date to be agreed) when residents will have an opportunity to ask questions before completing the questionnaire.  The circulation process has previously been drafted and Kate undertook to contact all those named to explain the new timing for circulation.

8. Communications

The monthly update will be completed and circulated before Christmas.

9. Treasurers report

The treasurer (Roger Harrison) provided an update on the expenditure with a reminder that the unspent grant money will need to be returned.

10. AOB

11. Date of next meeting

    6th January 2015