Planning – Development site at Stowe Hill

A letter from Stowe Nine Churches Parish Council:

Development site on the A5 at Stowe Hill 

Application Number DA/2015/0195 – 5th Feb 2016

The application for this site was opposed by Stowe Nine Churches, Weedon Bec and Flore Parish Councils and by South Northants Council and Highways England, but was granted by Daventry District Council (DDC).  Objections included the unsafe access onto and off the A5, development in the open countryside and the long-term intentions of the applicant for more than one pitch or for use as a transit site.  Stowe Parish Council has also always had concerns about the ability of DDC to adequately enforce any transgressions of the permission.

The consent was for ’Use of land for stationing of caravans for residential purposes Oner Gypsy and Traveller pitches, formation of hardstanding, resurfacing of partially overgrown access track and conversion of existing building to dayroom ancillary to that use’ with a condition that ‘no more than one mobile home and one day van shall be stationed on the site at any one time’ and one that ‘The development shall not be occupied until highway improvement works to the access from the site to the A5 are compete…’

In April, Stowe Nine Churches PC raised the matter of the significant clearing of the site far in excess of that which had been approved and asked DDC to ensure that the development complied with the original proposal ‘and that additional pitches are not approved retrospectively’.

In May 2019 the Deputy Chief Executive of DDC said that there were ‘on-site unauthorised works to create a hardstanding beyond the planning permission’………..that ‘a retrospective/new application had been suggested’ and ‘their intention that additional vans will be coming to live on the site – they say in 2-3 years . He states that DDC were taking legal advice on their options but that there was no intention on the part of DDC to use that site as a ‘Stopping Place’.

Since May, Stowe Nine Churches has been supported by the Weedon District Councillors in endeavouring to ensure that DDC enforces the terms of the original planning consent, with little success.  We were told that no residents would be allowed on the site until the Highways England requirements for the entrance were met – which was a condition of the permission! -These works have not been completed, but there are now at least 5 static units on the site and rumours that up to 30 more units could be added once the necessary hard core has been delivered (3000 tonnes in 150 loads has been ordered from a local contractor!).

Executive Director (Community) Maria Taylor stated recently that the site is approved for residential use ‘for one traveller family only’ but that is not what the original permission said (see above).  There is a difference between one pitch (1 static and 1 mobile home) and one family – which could be a very extended family group in multiple caravans, and the consent was not personal to one family.

Our concern has always been that we did not feel confident that DDC would ensure that the terms of the original permission would be adhered to, on the basis that previous developments within the parish have been granted retrospective consent when works had ‘strayed’ from the original plans.

The Parish Council (Stowe Nine Churches) monitors all of the consents applied for and granted, as they occur and until the development is completed, and has called attention to perceived breaches as appropriate.  The system and rules should be made to work for everyone, not just those residents who are careful to comply with what has been granted.  If developers and land owners believe that they can do as they please, confident that they can get ’retrospective consent’ after they have built what they wanted, what is the point of the planning system?

Councillor Johnnie Amos, who has been dealing with this matter on behalf of the Parish Council, has been asked by DDC officers – where is the harm?  How many people care about what is happening? He has suggested that as a Parish Council we canvass the opinion of our residents.

If you feel as strongly as the Parish Councillors do – that ‘permission’ should mean what it says, then write to planningenforcement@daventrydc.gov.uk  and let them know how you feel.  The more correspondence they receive, the more likely they are to act. (Please copy in the parish clerk so that we can monitor the level of concern clerkstowe9churches@gmail.com )

Circulated by Stowe Nine Churches Parish Council

Daventry District Council planning website direct link: Application Number DA/2015/0195

Reference Number: DA/2015/0195
Registration Date: 09-Mar-2015
Application Type: FULL PLANNING
Parish: Stowe Nine Churches
Ward: WEEDON
Main Location: Land At Stowe Hill, Watling Street, Weedon (Stowe IX Churches Parish), Northamptonshire

Case Officer: Mr B Allen
Proposal: Use of land for stationing of caravans for residential purposes 1 No. gypsy and traveller pitches, formation of hardstanding, resurfacing of partially overgrown access track and conversion of existing building to dayroom ancillary to that use. Part Restrospective.
Decision: Approval Full
Decision Date: 05-Feb-2016

 

Parish Council – December 2019 Meeting

Nether_Heyford_Parish_Council_2019

The December meeting was held as normal on Monday 6th in the  Baptist Chapel Schoolroom.

Like all Council meetings it was open to the public.

Reports from the District and County Councillors: A report from Cllr Brown was read out, explaining that progress towards Unitary authorities was on hold due to the current political situation. He also gave details of NCC’s draft budget consultation. Cllr PB also referred to the uncertainty regarding the initiation of the Unitaries because of the General Election. He gave details of the refuse collections over the holiday period.

Public Participation: Mrs Matthews expressed concerns over the situation regarding flooding in Watery Lane and in support of the proposals of the highways department to alleviate it.

PCSO:  was felt to be doing a good job, and was visible and friendly.

Streetlights: Lights outside the Baptist Chapel, 15 watery lane, between Bliss Close and the Luddle, and Rolfe Cresc. all to be reported as out.

Roads and pavements: Poor condition generally. Conifers in South View had been cut.

The Green and Play Area: The Green was felt to be in good order. CK felt more trees were needed, AW wondered whether sponsoring would be popular. Play Area inspected and no problems.

Playing Fields: Netball Court had been started.

Trees: Churchyard and Green pollarding to be done in early New Year.

Allotments: Wildlife area progressing well. Pond being developed. 5 Allotments free.

Footpaths: Very muddy in the exceptionally wet weather.

Churchyard: Hedges trimmed, wall in good order.

Canal: MB reported the dog mess situation had improved.

Joint Burial Board: Fallon name plate details to be kept on file. 3 recent interments.

Youth Club: All going well. PCSO had visited to introduce himself.

Defibrillators: Both checked and in order.

To reconsider the situation regarding kerbs in Watery Lane. Discussion took place about the reasons for the problems in Watery Lane and about the proposed solutions from Highways, who recommended raising the dropped kerbs on the residential side of the road opposite the allotments, and dropping the kerb on the allotments side by 1 ½ – 2 inches over a 3 metre length. Highways have the funding to do the work. Resolved To support the Highways plan.
Resolved. To purchase a Sand Bin for placing in the area, and later to purchase sand and bags when it is installed.

To consider the provision of an office. This was a long term project, deferred for the present.

Church roof/Alarm. Council considered a contribution towards funding for a replacement steel roof, and an alarm system. It was felt an immediate contribution could be made, and further assistance given if required. Resolved. £1000 to be contributed towards the replacement roofing.

To consider removing the Memorial Green hedge. Resolved. To remove the hedge.

To consider signing the Armed Forces covenant. Resolved. To sign the covenant.

Grants Policy – to adopt. Deferred.

Neighbourhood Plan – No report on progress due to the illness of Mrs Corner.

To consider the recommendations of the Finance committee regarding the 2020/21 Precept. In light of the decisions at the meeting it was felt better to defer acceptance of the Finance Committee recommendations until January.

ACRE Village Awards 2020 – Resolved. To support the Village Hall Management application to be put in by Alwyne Wilson.

PDF of Full Minutes December 2019

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com 

It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Council meetings take place on the first Monday of each month (unless there is a Bank Holiday)

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on the first Monday of the month at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom at 7.30 pm and is, like all Parish Council meetings, open to all Parishioners.

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the councillors please visit our Nether Heyford Parish Council page.

Parish Council – November 2019 Meeting

Nether_Heyford_Parish_Council_2019

The November 4th meeting was held as normal in the  Baptist Chapel Schoolroom.

Like all Council meetings it was open to the public.

Flooding: We have been subject to heavy rain again, and the village has largely escaped the problems it has caused elsewhere in the County, and other parts of the Country. The lane between the Heyfords had to be closed for a time, and while that is inconvenient it is better to have the water there than elsewhere in the village.

Public Participation: Jo Dixon informed Council that the Tennis Club was fundraising towards a target, and had been applying to Sport England for funding, but that they wanted to deal with the owners of the land, so she asked Council whether they would accept contact from Sport England.

Mrs Reeves felt that Council should thank Mr Arnold for all his efforts on behalf of the village in regard to flood alleviation. The Chair thanked Mr Arnold on behalf of the Parish Council. Mr Arnold said that a great deal of work had been done, and that it had helped improve the situation regarding flooding.

Reports: Roads and pavements. The sign on Hillside road by the Green had been knocked over. Clerk to follow up regarding the signs that need painting.

The Green and Play Area: It was felt that the hedge on the Memorial Green should either be replanted or removed as it was in poor condition. Decision deferred to the next meeting.

It was resolved to allow the Heyford Singers to hold “Carols on the Green” on the Green in December, and resolved to give a grant towards expenses to the Heyford singers.

The Fair was supposed to be coming in September but had not done because of poor weather.

Playing Fields: It was resolved that Council to approach Sport England on behalf of
the Tennis Club, and to accept funding.

Trees: The hedge in the jitty between the Memorial Green and Church Street was in need of attention. It would be checked to see who owns it.

Allotments: A report on expenditure was given and additional funding requested in next years precept. Mr Thorneycroft had asked for assurances that schoolchildren would be allowed to enter the new playing field through the allotments and was concerned that a gate had been chained and padlocked. It was not clear who had done this. The hedge between the water pumping station and the allotments was in need of attention.

Canal: It was reported that volunteers were doing many minor jobs.

Youth Club: to seek Quotes for external lighting so children could stay outside longer.

Defibrillators: In good order.

Neighbourhood Plan: A report on expenditure was given and a request for additional funding made to cover work on site assessment. Any money left over would be returned.

The Housing Needs survey would be distributed shortly, with a return date of 29th November. Part 1 would be filled in by all, Part 2 would be for those who intended to move or downsize in the next 5 years.

Precept Meeting: will take place on November 28th and set the budget for the next
financial year. Village organisations wishing to apply for funding must apply by
November 25th at the latest.

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com 

It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Council meetings take place on the first Monday of each month (unless there is a Bank Holiday)

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on the first Monday of the month at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom at 7.30 pm and is, like all Parish Council meetings, open to all Parishioners.

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the councillors please visit our Nether Heyford Parish Council page.

New Village Playground Area – Your help is needed

New Village Playground Area – Your help is needed

After years of hard service our Village Play area is getting a bit “tired” and is now in need of some major renovation work.

In view of this your Parish Council have taken the decision to use this as an opportunity to completely revise the whole thing.

We are planning a completely new Play Park that in addition to meeting the needs of younger children -as is the present case, will also cater for children into their teens. It is also hoped to put some “Outdoor Gym” type of equipment in place that can be used by all of us.

Right now we need to form a group who will work to plan and bring the project to fruition.

We already have three Parish Councillors prepared to work on this. Ideally we need two to three members of our community who are in touch with the needs of the proposed Play area users and who have vision, skill and ideas needed to complete a workgroup of six who will bring this plan to fruition.

We believe that we could have identified a source of funding. We have timescale to get the whole project finished by the beginning the next School Summer Holiday. We need to get going as soon as possible if this is to come together.

If you feel you have the vision, time and skills to be a part of this please contact either:

Dave Musson – Joint Project Leader –  davemusson073@gmail.com
Lesley Dilkes – thedilkesfamily@outlook.com

Parish Council – October 2019 Meeting

Nether_Heyford_Parish_Council_2019

The October 7th meeting was held as normal in the  Baptist Chapel Schoolroom.

Like all Council meetings it was open to the public.

Reports from the District and County Councillors
P Bignell SNC gave an update on Local Government Reorganisation, outlining the course of events and the timing. The next Parish Council elections will be in 2020, and will be for 5 years, thereafter it will be for 4 years.

Lighting
Work continues on the plan to renew lighting. LEDs seem to be the preferred option, and show substantial savings. AW reported that the Lighting Working Party was looking to ask for presentations and quotes from 5 companies.

Public Participation
The chair thanked Nick Essex and Dave Musson for their work on the Village Millennium sign, which was being repainted. The work has continued, and the sign now looks stunning.

Roads and pavements
A gutter on Weedon Rd was felt to be badly overgrown. Clerk to ask Mr Gibbins to look at it. There had been complaints about drainage on Watery Lane. Stuart Mann of SNC had been in contact with the clerk and subsequently with Mr Thorneycroft as a local source of knowledge on drainage systems. It was reported that the previous drains in Watery Lane were now disused as they had tended to contribute to problems as water from the river would back up them when the river reached a certain level.

The Green and Play Area
Some steps are missing from one of the Play Area rides, some older children had been seen with them. The Play Area working party were looking at different catalogues and formats and were hoping to recruit some non-councillors. Jez Wilson had been very helpful.

Allotments
There would be 2 volunteer Saturdays on Oct 19th and 26th. New plot holders had come forward. SC asked for the rent letters to go out earlier.

Wildlife area is progressing well.

Footpaths
NH reported a rotten stile remnant was now a trip hazard on the path from the fishery to the church. Clerk to report

Churchyard
Limes to be pollarded when leaves come off.

Youth Club
New lights to be put outside. New helpers had come forward.

Defibrillators
Both checked and working.

External Audit
It was resolved too accept the External Auditors report.
“On the basis of our review of Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return(AGAR), in our opinion the information in Sections 1 and 2 of the AGAR is in accordance with Proper Practices and no other matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met.”

Overgrown hedge in South View
A petition had been put together and given to SNC who were appointing an officer to deal with this long standing issue.

Neighbourhood Plan
SC reported on progress. Midland Homes Association had been contacted regarding a Housing Needs Survey. SNC recommended that this be done again before presenting the NP for consultation. Site allocation would need to be worked on and must be well founded.

Precept Meeting
will take place on November and set the budget for the next financial year. Village organisations wishing to apply for funding must apply by November 25th at the latest.

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com 

It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Council meetings take place on the first Monday of each month (unless there is a Bank Holiday)

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on the first Monday of the month at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom at 7.30 pm and is, like all Parish Council meetings, open to all Parishioners.

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the councillors please visit our Nether Heyford Parish Council page.