Minutes 18th January

Minutes Uploaded on February 9, 2024

Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday 18th January 2024 at 7.00pm in the Cedar Centre

  • PRESENT: Neil Boyce (Chairman), Cllr. R Anker, Cllr. William Baxter, Cllr. Steve Davies, Cllr. Gary Elliott, Cllr. Fiona Rowlands, Cllr David Shaw, Cllr. Dennis Surgeon, Cllr. Terry Young. six members of the public were also in attendance.

 APOLOGIES –None – all Councillors present


 MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS – We unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, held on Thursday 7th December 2023 -. These were duly signed by the chairman.

Proposed Cllr. Gary Elliott and seconded Cllr. Steve Davies

 Matters arising from the previous minutes. –

  • Public Forum – Nothing raised by those present

 PLANNING and associated matters

  1. Peterborough Local Plan (LP) & Strategic Housing & Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) and Local Plan update –
    1. Cllr. D Shaw reported that, in conjunction with the Clerk had submitted the Parish Council comments on the Stage 1 call for sites as mandated by the Parish council at the December meeting. The draft submission had been circulated and observations incorporated in to the final submission.
  1. Cllr. Shaw also reported on attending the Face 2 Face briefing for parish councils attended by approx. 50 representatives from parishes. It was apparent from that briefing that all the representations made in response to the earlier consultation, had as yet, made no impact on the planned end date of 2044, or any impact on the calculated housing requirements.


  • Cllr Shaw in conjunction with Martin Chilcott, had attended a meeting with Milton estates. Milton estates are working with Burghley and Nene Park Trust, and are said to be against the Castor development.

 Cllr Shaw also reported that there is growing interest in extending the John Clare Countryside project into a much wider collaboration, involving the relevant parish councils to produce a wildlife and Landscape Strategy.

  1. Cllr. Shaw also reported that there is a further consultation exercise being undertaken on the land values and build costs for the sites under consideration. Parish Council thanked David for the update and RESOLVED to give retrospective approval to the observations set out in our response to the consultation on potential development sites.

Proposed Cllr. N Boyce Seconded Cllr, T Young.

  1. Joint Community Action Plan (JCAP) – We noted the current version of the plan is due for discussion with Ailsworth PC at the joint meeting, now planned to be held on 29th

 Castor Neighbourhood Planning (CNP) –

David Shaw reported that the City Council Local Plans team had reconfirmed in an email of 13th December 2023, that the proposed amendment to the Neighbourhood Plan should be treated as a Material Modification which would require examination but not a referendum. Furthermore, that it would NOT need a detailed consultation process but the Parish should consult with the various landowners of the site.


  • As a result of the Review of the CNP and the second response from the City Council Local Plans team (dated 13 December 2023) that The Parish Council confirmed its wish to amend policy CRV1 to read:

“As a consequence of planning permission having been granted for C2 use and development on the Woodlands site the quantity of “some” development in the third paragraph of Policy CRV1 is considered to be the existing C2 use and development (as granted planning permission, or as varied to be similar in impact). Any further development is unlikely to be supported unless accompanied by evidence of clear local community support for the proposed scheme (demonstrated through a thorough and proportionate pre application community consultation exercise).”


2) the Parish Council carry out the necessary consultation with landowners under regulation 14 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012 with exact wording of the consultation letter, dates, and return address being delegated to The Clerk, The Chairman, and David Shaw.

 Status report – The clerk reported that other than the addition on the agenda for this meeting the only changes to the report since the last meeting were two applications being permitted.

 Planning applications


  1. 23/01704/HEDG – West side of Cow Lane – Remove 8 metre length Hedgerow to provide access – we noted that if permitted the access would need to cross a county Wildlife site. In addition, the site to which access is required, is the same site (number 2113) as put forward for possible development and being considered in the SHELAA stage of the Local Plan review, in which an alternative access is proposed (see minute 879a above). We therefore consider the requested access is unnecessary and if permitted 8m is excessive. We vigorously OPPOSE this application and request that if planners are minded to approve the application conditions be imposed that it is the minimum width possible, to minimise the impact on the Wildlife site AND it is to be used SOLELY for agricultural purposes in perpetuity.


  1. 23/01742/HHFUL – 10 Allotment Lane – Installation of entrance door and side screen to existing external opening. We noted the planning history related to this application and support the application as an improvement on the present site condition.


  1. Woodlands – Standing Item – Shaw reported no movement whatsoever on the planning portal related to the application by Nene Park Trust, and would expect the planners to determine the application in the not too distant future. In respect of the care home application Cllr. D Shaw and Cllr. G Elliott anticipated meeting David Hicks on the updated proposals and will report back to a future meeting of this parish Council


  1. Site meeting Clay Lane – we noted that Cllr Shaw and others had met with representatives of the developer site and discussed access to the site and the requirement for a footpath, “right of way”, between Sylvester Road and Clay Lane.


    1. Cricket Club – Lease – We had before us the final version of the lease and RESOLVED to sign the lease.

Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. Fiona Rowlands

The lease was duly signed by The Clerk on behalf of the Parish Council; by representatives of the cricket Club and witnessed by a member of the public present, John Hodder.

 Tweentowns – A meeting has been arranged between representatives of the parish council and PECT, to take place in the PECT Offices on 22nd January to discuss the PECT proposals for the site and to agree terms for a simple 10 year lease. Given the adjoining site owned by Ailsworth Parish Council a representative of the council will also attend to see if there is any interest in using both sites for the same purpose.

  • Homes England Land adjacent to the Castor allotment site. We considered the offer from Homes England to acquire this small, unusable plot, for £1 and instructed the Clerk to respond that parish council would accept the offer subject to our contribution to legal fees not exceeding £125 +VAT.

 Parish Councillors Observations – None other than observing the excellent work carried out by the contractor Ben Emery.


  • HIGHWAYS & Public Rights of WayCouncillors Observations and subsidence on Splash Lane – The Chairman reported conversations with the City Council Public rights of way officer, Lee Moore, and Chris Rollason of Nene Park Trust; on the cause of the collapse and responsibility for reinstatement, together with possibility of restricting vehicular access after carrying out repair work.


  • Community Matters:

 Joint Parish Liaison Group (JPLG) – We have no changes to make to the draft agenda for the next meeting with Ailsworth parish councillors now scheduled to be held on 29th January 2024.

  1. Langdyke Trust Nature Recovery Project – We noted the very comprehensive report from Mike Horne an Activities throughout 2024 and thanked Mike for his exceptional work and commitment. We also noted that the Splash Lane project is proceeding according to plan and on target to be completed in this financial year
  2. Standing Stones Information boards – Baxter reported good progress, on supplying maps with topographical data, to the signage which is now in the final stages of design and printing
  3. Playground reinstatement – complete, insurance claim settled and Kompan paid in full. Cllr Baxter enquired about the key provided to Kompan and not returned. The chairman responded that he had pursued that with the directors and enquiries are being made.


  • Governance Matters:


  1. Precept Forms – the Clerk reported that these had been completed, in line with the approved budget, and submitted within the timescale set by the city council finance team.
  2. Grant application. We had before us an application, from the events organising group, for £2000 seed funding for the K900 event. A year long event celebrating the 900th anniversary of the landmark St Kyneburgha church building. The event will peak with an event in July to replace the annual fete. Historically the events have made profits distributed to organisations in the village. We noted that Ailsworth Parish council had offered a loan of £1000.

We are supportive of the event and accept that seed funding is required before income is generated and profits made, but are also conscious that events have consistently been profitable. We therefore RESOLVED to provide £1000 as a direct grant and to offer a further £1000 loan, repayable if the event made more than £5000 profit before distribution of proceeds to village or other organisations.

Proposed Cllr. G Elliott Seconded Cllr. T Young


  1. K900 Insurance – The event group organising K900 had asked if the parish council insurance would cover their event. The Clerk had made enquiries with our insurers and reported that as the event is supported by the parish council but not a parish council event, the council’s insurance will not provide the necessary cover. The insurers were also unable to provide a quote for the premium as the events organisers will have to set out their requirements and fulfil the obligations specified in the policy documents when issued. The insurers response was unequivocal, that the events group need to make their own insurance arrangements.


  1. Bank Balances and transactions pending. The clerk reported that, at the time of drafting the agenda, the monies from the insurance claim had not been paid and funds not transferred from the 95-day notice deposit account to the current account. Thankfully, within the last few days, both tranches of money had been received in the council current account and the remaining invoices had all been paid.


  • To receive official announcements, correspondence of note, notices, or; reports from chairman, clerk, or councillors.
  1. PECT OFFER of grant – in the last few days Mike Horne had secured a grant of £987 from PECT for pollinators and passerines, payable to Castor parish council on signing a legal agreement. We RESOLVED to accept the grant and the Clerk duly signed the agreement in our presence.

Proposed Cllr. N Boyce Seconded Cllr. Wm Baxter

  1. Training Course – Cllr. G Elliott reported attendance on a CAPALC training course for new councillors and that the course was excellent and his impression that by comparison with the contributions from other attendees our parish council appeared to fare very well


  • Future agenda items
    • Village defibrillatordeferred to the joint meeting with Ailsworth Parish Council on 29th

 Date of Next Meeting – scheduled to take place on 1st February, would require the agenda to be issued in 8 days’ time. The Chairman and vice chairman would be unavailable on 8th We agreed to schedule the meeting for Thursday 15th February subject to availability of the Cedar Centre

 Clerk & RFO 19th January 2024