Neighbourhood Planning Cttee - February 2022 Minutes

HOUGH ON THE HILL PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES of the Hough on the Hill Neighbourhood Planning Committee held at Hough on the Hill Church Community area at 6.30pm on Wednesday 9th February 2022.

Present:  Cllr A Knott (AK) (in the Chair) Cllr. P. Baker (PB), R. Moore (RM), Cllr Penny Millnes (PM), Marilyn Taylor (MT).  There were 6 members of the public also present.

Apologies received from Roger Twelvetrees (RT) and Chris Ward (CW).  

AK welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee since the decision by the Parish Council to substantially update the existing 2015 Neighbourhood Plan.  He gave a short summary of the reasons for updating the existing Plan, particularly the new spatial policies that now apply here since the adoption of the 2020 South Kesteven Local Plan.  An updated Neighbourhood Plan will provide clearer guidance about the types of development residents of our parish would consider suitable, and - as a statutory planning document - carry weight in determining planning applications.  (NB  All relevant documents - and the SP3, SP4 and SP5 SKDC planning policies - can be found on the Parish Council website.)  The key role of the NP Committee is to organise ongoing engagement with residents of the parish to ensure the updated Plan reflects local views.  

1   Questionnaire/Survey & Follow Up Publicity

MT reported that a leaflet has been distributed to every household in the parish explaining the process of updating the NP, along with a questionnaire/survey that seeks initial views about living here and whether the priorities of the Plan need to be changed, or can remain as they were in the 2015 NP.  The questionnaire/survey is also available online (with a link from the PC website, which was unfortunately wrongly labelled on the original mailing).  To date there are 21 responses online, and 7 hard copies (plus any in the porch box).  

It was agreed that the text drafted by MT for a post on the Nextdoor website should be placed.  It was also agreed that the text drafted by MT for distribution to her email list should go ahead.  The draft text for a follow-up leaflet was also agreed.  This will be distributed by PM/PB to Gelston, Andrew Barrett to Brandon and RM/RT to Hough on the Hill.  

2   Programme of Work with AECOM

AECOM are the consultants being provided to us through the government’s ‘technical support’ programme assisting communities preparing neighbourhood plans.  They are going to help us specifically with producing detailed design guidance, and also with identifying our ‘edges of settlement’.  AK and MT had an online inception meeting with our lead consultant which clarified that they estimate approx 4 months of work with us and gave an example of the high quality professionalism of their completed work.  A day’s site visit has been arranged for Friday 4th March. MT, AK, PM and Andrew Barrett will accompany them around.  

AECOM have advised that we seek further assistance through the technical support programme to help us with defining potential ‘green spaces’ for designation in our Plan.  This was agreed.  MT to action.

3   SKDC Contact

Our contact at SKDC, Jake Horton, has been updated on our progress to date.  We are the first parish in SKDC to update an existing plan but he has given some helpful guidance about how to approach this and suggested an example neighbourhood elsewhere to look at.  Covid restrictions mean he is unable to attend any of our meetings at the moment, other than online, so it was agreed to wait until we are a bit further on before arranging a meeting with him.  He is in liaison with AECOM regarding map access, and has also again referred us to Ropley’s plan regarding edge of settlement definition (which has also been forwarded to our AECOM consultants).

4   Grant Budget Spend to Date

£1,340 was awarded from the Government’s support programme for neighbourhood planning (which must be spent by 31st March 2022 when the programme ends).  The Committee noted that to date spend is £776.90.  

5   Project Plan

The Project Plan is on track to date.  After the survey closes on 27th Feb, MT will compile a report of the results.  This will be considered at a meeting of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee to be held at 6pm on Wednesday 2nd March, so that the report can be approved before it sent on to the Parish Council for their meeting on 10th March.  

However, because the AECOM site visit is not now until 4th March, it was agreed that the proposed Community Engagement Workshop on 10th March will be put back to 2nd April.  Leaflet publicity spend will still be within the 31st March deadline.   It will be a physical session, in the church, in the morning and a Zoom session can be offered in the afternoon.  

Other opportunities for public engagement may be available in the summer such as the Queen’s Jubilee and the Village Fete.  It was also noted that the Annual Parish Meeting on 26th May could be another opportunity. 

Date of Next Meeting:  Weds 2nd March at 6pm (changed to 15th March 2022)