Present Cllrs.J.Preece (Chairman)
Also in attendance: J.Heminsley – Neighbourhood Plan Consultant
R.Phillips – Neighbourhood Plan Consultant
Mrs.L.Florence – Parish Clerk
Apologies: were received from Cllrs. Mrs.Z.Stretton and M.Stretton
Declarations of Interest
There were no Declarations of Interest received.
The Chairman thanked John Heminsley and Bob Phillips for attending the meeting.
The meeting had been convened to enable the Neighbourhood Plan consultants to give an overview of the status relating to the Plan, the work involved and next steps. It would also provide an opportunity for Councillors to ask any questions. A comprehensive Neighbourhood Plan Update and Next Stages report prepared by the Consultants relating to the Neighbourhood Plan was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting for information (file copy attached to Minutes). Cllr.R.Wilkinson said he felt the document was very comprehensive and focuses Councillors on the involvement in producing the Plan.
The Parish Council agreed to move forward with a Neighbourhood Plan which would enable the Parish Council to be able to influence and shape the future of the village and also provide some financial benefit through Cil funds to enable the Parish Council to look at projects/services/enhancement of the village. To assist in this process Consultants Mr.J.Heminsley and Mr.R.Phillips were engaged to undertake the work relating to the production of a Neighbourhood Plan. It has been key to involve community volunteers to be part of the Steering Group so that it is not just a Parish Council led Plan.
The Parish Council have engaged Creative Souls to take forward the PR/Marketing for the Neighbourhood Plan which will include the Consultation process.
Funding has been received from Groundworks in two stages with a total sum of £7,000 to cover the costs of the Consultants and Creative Souls. The Parish Precept includes the sum of £5,000 to cover the role of Admin Co-ordinate for the Plan. This role is on a self employed basis and for the duration of the work of the Plan.
The Plan will link into the District Council Local Plan which is currently under review but in the context of the Neighbourhood Plan the Parish Council can have some influence on strategic decisions and key policies which affect the village for example allocating land for housing and business development,issues relating to green belt. There are two main areas of the NP which are focussed on which are Housing and Employment Land together with green belt land. It is important to argue the point that Norton Canes has already contributed its percentage of new housing as part of the Cannock Chase District quota and that we would object to any areas of land being taken out of green belt to support new housing developments in the future. Norton Canes now has 21% of housing growth in the District as a whole whereas population is proportionate to 8%. Cllr.Beddows questioned whether there was enough land in the village to accommodate more housing. It was reported that in the context of the Local Plan going forward to 2036 there will be a requirement for Norton Canes to have more new homes based on percentage calculations. It is important that the Parish Council continue to lobby the District Council to recognise that the percentage figure for Norton Canes is 8%. Whilst there are financial benefits for Cil funding it should be stated that no infrastructure from existing developments has physically been delivered yet and that until this is resolved then we would be opposed to any new further developments with the exception o provision for housing for the elderly. Cllr.J.Preece informed the meeting that 60% of land in Norton Canes is roughly green belt and that is where the pressure is going to come from. .
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has already submitted a letter to the District Council putting forward appropriate suggestions one of which relates to the need for more bungalows and appropriate housing for the elderly. It was felt relevant to submit this letter now to the District as they were looking at the Local Plan Preferred Options and it necessary that the areas of the NP were on the District agenda when considering this process.
The Local Plan that is under review is now for a longer period of time i.e 2036 and it has been difficult when undertaking work for the Plan when the existing Local Plan which works to 2028 is still instu.
The Consultants outlined the background to the work of the Neighbourhood Plan and referred to how the Steering Group and Topic Groups work.
The Consultants outlined the role of the Steering Group which various topics groups as follows feeds into:
The consultants summarised the work of the groups and referred to the report which contained sections relating to the topic groups which gave an update of the policy areas. Debate took place relating to some of the topic areas of the Plan.
As the work of the topic groups has progressed it has been necessary to amalgamate some of the group as there were overlapping issues in each of them. As part of the Consultants work they have met with various heads of organisations at County Council, Education, Health, Arriva (now D & G Bus Services) and will be meeting with Police to engage these organisations in the Plan.
It is proposed that the Parish Council develops a wish list for investment in the Parish – potentially a list of ‘Asks’ which could then be used to seek a more direct relationship between benefits for the Parish and giving Parish/Neighbourhood Plan (NP) support for new sites.
The key stages of the plan were outlined:
Designation – Granted
Preparing the Plan including informal Consultation
Cannock Chase District Council to Consult ( usual timeframe 6 weeks)
Meeting closed at: 20.10 p.m.
SIGNED ……………………………………………………… DATED …………………………………………………….