Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group
Draft Minutes of a Meeting held at the Village Hall, Singleton
on 20 November 2014 at 7.15 pm
Present: – Mr Chris Simpson, Doug Goth, David Kay, Jim Pawson, Cllrs Lee, Bailey , Chew, Gallagher and Smith, and the Parish Clerk, Verena Henderson, who took the Minutes. Fiona Riley, Planning Policy Officer of Fylde Borough Council, also attended the meeting to offer her advice and support.
1. Apologies were received from Mark Clifford and Kath Smith
2. Neighbourhood Planning
Cllr Matthew Lee, Chair of Singleton Parish Council, welcomed all the volunteers who had agreed to join the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group to help with this process. Their help was very much appreciated. Neighbourhood Plans took preference over the older Parish Plans and without them we would be subject to national planning policy and at the mercy of any large developers. It was not a way to stop development, but we could try and shape it and say where we would like it to be.
Fiona Riley reported that the Parish Boundary had been approved and we were now good to go and start off the Neighbourhood Planning process. There were no formal requirements at this stage and it would not be until we submitted our Plan for consideration that formalities would have to be met.
What the new Steering Group needed to do now was to decide what it wants to do in the future. We already have a lot of information to hand – the Village Design Statement and the Housing Needs Survey from 2011 – both contained useful information and were a good starting point.
The Steering Group needs to decide what are the key issues they want the neighbourhood area to deal with – housing, employment, transport, heritage, community assets etc. Where do we want Singleton to be in 10/15 years’ time? What is our vision? We need to document some sort of vision. We need to write policies.
The Steering Group needs to have some formal terms of reference and Fiona would send the Clerk a model document to work from. The Group should also decide on who should be responsible for different aspects of the process. People have different skills and these should be used to the best advantage. Developers will be very interested in what we produce. We need to put all the information out in the public domain, publishing minutes and any developments on the website.
Two large planning applications had recently been received – one from Singleton Trust for 20 houses in the village and another from a developer who wanted to build 18 houses close to Singleton Cross Roads. The Steering Group could certainly have a say about these planning applications and of course the rest of the parish i.e Little Singleton still needed to be considered.
The Neighbourhood Plan would become a statutory document and would be incorporated into Fylde Borough Council’s Local Plan. Again, this would give the Plan a lot more input. The Plan needs to be written in a planning style. Fiona Riley will pass on a document to us to help in this regard.
Although the Steering Group would be heading this, they would need to work in conjunction with the Parish Council as only the Parish Council can take it forward in a parished area.
Fylde Borough Council was currently working on their Local Plan, concentrating on the more urban areas as part 1. However, they were now considering bringing forward the rural areas (part 2) and considering them alongside the urban areas. A report is going to Cabinet on 26 November to decide on the time frame for all this. Fiona will keep us informed of the outcome.
Everyone agreed that they wanted to retain the character of the village and that any development should be in keeping with the existing properties. Preserving both the heritage and conservation area was felt to be very important and Fiona would check on whether the Singleton Conservation Area appraisal, published in 1979, was still a relevant document.
Throughout the whole parish there is a need for low cost for-sale housing.
We wanted to see more facilities for children/young people.
Transport was seen as a major problem and this could be flagged up. Support for the Blue Route was also mentioned.
We would encourage new rural businesses in the parish, as well as supporting those already here.
There is a problem with policing and it was feared that if Singleton grew too big the current policing levels could not cope. This would be flagged up as a problem in the Plan.
We need to know what the plans are for the A585 before we mention this in our Plan. LCC Highways Master Plan is going before their Council on 17 December 2014. This will cover work across Lancashire and it is thought this will be out for public consultation early next year.
We should include problems with Singleton junction in our Plan under transport.
The Steering Group would like a document structure, a model document that everyone can understand. Fiona Riley would look for an example for us. We want to produce a document that is easily followed and easily understood.
We want to engage with the community to find out what the issues are and what we want to achieve. We need the support of the community and evidence of this. It was suggested preparing a survey for all residents to complete.
All who live and work in Singleton should be involved in the process – not just those who live here – all have an interest in the parish.
Fiona will send a model Terms of Reference for us to adapt. She will also try and send us samples of policies and guide lines for us to work to.
At least one member of the Steering Group will attend the monthly Parish Council meetings to ensure everyone is kept up to date.
The Clerk will circulate minutes to all members of the Steering Group and the Parish Council. Once agreed, copies will be put on the website.
Fiona Riley was thanked for her attendance and helpful advice. She would send all the information requested to the Clerk as soon as possible. Once we had a Terms of Reference to work on we could produce a proper framework for the Steering Group.
The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on 27 November and this matter will be discussed again there.
As there was no further business, Cllr Lee thanked everyone for their attendance and the meeting closed at 8.50pm.
6. Date and Time of next meeting
To be decided once Terms of Reference have been adopted.
Signed …………………………………………… Dated ………………………………………
Clerk to Singleton Parish Council
Tel: 01995 670455