Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting
Held on Monday 6th February, 2023 at 7.30pm in the Cedar Centre
- PRESENT: Neil Boyce (Chairman), Cllr. Richard Anker, Cllr. William Baxter, Cllr. Jane Greene, Cllr. Fiona Rowlands, Cllr David Shaw, Cllr. Terry Young. Three members of the public were also in attendance.
- APOLOGIES Dennis Surgeon and Steve Davies had both previously given apologies as being unable to attend the meeting.
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
- MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS – We unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, held on Thursday 12th January, 2023 -. These were duly signed by the chairman.
Proposed Cllr. Fiona Rowlands and seconded Cllr. Jane Greene
- Matters arising from the previous minutes. – The chairman reported meeting with an officer from the city council at the site of the fallen tree and that the city council would be establishing the cost of removal of the whole tree and associated fence repairs.
- Public Forum – There were no contributions from the public other than reference to the public meeting held immediately prior to this meeting of the parish council.
- PLANNING and associated matters
- Joint Community Action Plan (JCAP) – We have no immediate actions to make or changes at this time but the JCAP will be reviewed again at the next joint meeting with Ailsworth Parish Council.
- Neighbourhood Planning (NP) – David Shaw reported no change to the current position regarding review by the city council other than the planning authority stated intention of starting a review of the local plan later in the current year.
- Status report – The clerk reported that the Flood mitigation scheme for the Old Mill had been permitted and that the application for Pagoda replacement at 10 Allotment Lane had been refused.
- Planning applications –
- 23/00071/PRIOR – 6 Clay Lane – a single storey rear extension – noting that this is a “PRIOR” application we have no material observations to make.
- 23/00034/FUL – Woodlands, Splash Lane – Demolition of Sports and Leisure Complex and redevelopment of the site with a 54 unit assisted living extra care building (C2) and associated car parking. Councillor Shaw had previously introduced the proposed plans to a public meeting held immediately before this meeting. We noted that we had already requested the planning authority to refer the application to the Planning & Environmental Protection committee. For our part we recognised that the height of the proposed building is somewhat lower than the existing Sports building but nevertheless still appeared to be an excessively imposing structure.
In particular we observed that the original sports hall (the existing building) had a relevance to the sports facilities on the Woodlands site but that the siting of a large scale “assisted living extra care facility” adjacent to the planned enhanced sporting facilities was at best incongruous.
Cllr Shaw referred to the points made at the earlier public meeting and offered to try to summarise the views expressed and based on material planning considerations for inclusion in our response to the planning authority. We are OPPOSED to the current planning application in its present form as we consider it to be an incomplete application. There is a need for a landscaping proposal which in our view needs to incorporate an extensive tree planting element, especially to separate the site from sporting facilities.
We have concerns about the transport generation conclusions, and doubts about the model used. This site in a secluded site in an isolated rural environment at the far end of a cul-de-sac. The village has no shops and no bus service. A model based on an urban environment produces wholly erroneous results. We have already experienced the unacceptable traffic generated from the existing football pitches being used for a one-day tournament involving several teams and this combined with the anticipated traffic generated by a care home of this size and nature in our view demonstrates that this location is unsuitable for this development.
- Woodlands – Standing Item –
- Land swap proposal – No further developments or response to our formal approach.
- Tennis Courts and Bowling Green. No further developments or response to our formal approach.
- Anticipated Planning application by Nene Park Trust (NPT) and the Tennis Club – we were informed that the NPT application had been submitted to the planning authority but had yet to be validated and visible in the public domain.
- LAND & ALLOTMENTS:
- Community Allotment Beds – The chairman reported that one of the holders of a community allotment bed had requested the supply of compost and had been informed that this was the responsibility of the holder as with all our plots on the allotment site and we confirmed that it is our view.
- HIGHWAYS –
- The chairman reported on our request for hatched yellow lines to be painted at the entrance to the access road to Ferryfields.
- Cllr Anker reported on comment that Castor was one of few villages without large poppies on lamp posts in early November. We will consider this matter again later in the calendar year for Remembrance Day 2023.
- Community MATTERS –
- Joint Parish Liaison Group (JPLG) – We agreed to explore the availability of the cedar centre for a meeting on 16th March and John Hodder undertook to circulate to all Councillors confirmation of availability and appropriate papers for consideration at the meeting.
- Langdyke Trust – Nature Recovery Project (NRP) – The Vice chairman reported on a meeting held at Sacrewell Farm and the progress made by a number of parish councils. We could be proud of the progress made in Castor. In regard to the plans for the paddock, Mike Horne would be delivering the trees from Sutton on 20th and 21st of this month and the Clerk was requested to ask for removal of the manure and material deposited at the entrance to the site.
- Good Neighbours scheme (GNS) – The Chairman reported on the continuing expansion of the affiliations to the scheme and the growing number of volunteers. GNS had also been awarded a further £8000 for provision of Roving Warm Hubs in our rural communities. We also noted that the scheme had been given a Mayors Civic Award.
- Commemorative Tree – Greene reported on the successful planting of an impressive specimen of a Copper Beech tree and Victorian style metal tree guard. An application had been made for the tree to be registered with the Queens Canopy. We deferred consideration of the wording of a plaque pending the outcome of that application. We expressed our gratitude to Cllr. Jane Greene for her tireless pursuit of this tree and asked that this be recorded in our minutes, along with our appreciation of the efforts of all those involved in the planting of the tree and guard.
- Operation Golden Orb – King Charles II Coronation celebrations – We unanimously RESOLVED, on the basis of a contribution by Ailsworth Parish Council, to purchase sufficient commemorative mugs for the children of the school and pre-school play group. Additional wording to be “Presented by Castor & Ailsworth parish councils” and authorised the clerk to place the order on our behalf once numbers had been ascertained.
Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce and seconded Cllr. David Shaw
- Climate Change Policy – Shaw reported on a continued dialogue with Andrew Nash to agree a shortened version of a climate change policy for adoption by this parish council. The revised version will be brought to a future meeting for our consideration.
- Standing Stones
- Water Leak –Cllr Baxter reported the test holes now appeared to be dry and whilst hopeful that the leak had been stopped he would continue to monitor the situation.
- Information Boards – Nothing further to report at this stage.
- Governance Matters
- Grant application – The preschool play group had requested a grant of £60 towards the costs of a banner promoting their existence aimed at gaining additional children. We regard the preschool play group as a valuable in our village and RESOLVED to provide the £60 sought, with the condition that the banner was only used whilst the group were in occupation at the village hall and taken down at the end of every session.
Proposed Cllr. Terry Young and seconded Cllr. Jane Greene.
- official announcements & CORRESPONDENCE. – None
- Future Agenda Items
- Review of Cricket Club Lease
- Armed Forces Covenant
- Swim Run event 2023
- Date of next meeting – 2nd March 2023 in the Cedar Centre commencing at 7.15pm
Clerk & RFO 13th February 2023