Minutes of meeting 15th February 2024

Minutes Uploaded on February 21, 2024

Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday 15th February 2024 at 7.00pm in the Cedar Centre


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

 APOLOGIES – Richard Anker sent apologies as he is absent from Peterborough.


  • MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS – We unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, held on Thursday 18th January 2024 -. 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

 Peterborough Local Plan (LP) – D Shaw reported that he had received confirmation that the Local Plan programme had slipped slightly and that the city council now expected to consult on the next stage by the Autumn of 2024. We considered that an improvement in that it would be easier to consult residents in September / October than in the Holiday period of August.

  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 February (see minute 896 below).

 Castor Neighbourhood Planning (CNP) –

David Shaw reported no change since that recorded in the minutes of the previous meeting.

  1. Status report – The clerk reported that the application 23/01704/HEDG, to remove 4 metres of hedgerow had been permitted on 23rd The four applications on this agenda had also been added to the monitoring schedule.
  1. Planning applications

 24/00043/CTR – 17 Church Hill – T1 Remove a small Cherry which has been suppressed by leylandii – We have no objection to this application.

  1. 24/00074/FUL – Roadway House, Bretton Way PE3 8DD – Proposed extension and alteration of former office building creating additional storeys, providing residential accommodation (14 apartments and 7 HMOs), together with additional car parking provision and landscaping. We noted that this parish council is consulted on this application because the parish boundary dissects the property which is also in Bretton Parish. As the property is far removed from the heart of Castor Village we are minded to be guided by, and support, the views of Bretton Parish council.
  • 24/00121/CTR – Castor House, Peterborough Road – Fell and remove conifer hedge that runs parallel with road. We consider these works to be much needed and fully support the application.


  1. 24/00135/CTR – The Olde Stables, Splash Lane – Reduce small plum by 1m, reduce small cherry by 2m and reduce larger cherry by 3m. We approve good management of healthy trees and therefore support this application.


  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 met with David Hicks who confirmed that the existing care home is full to capacity and employs about 100 members of staff. In terms of conversion of the pavilion, it was noted that the building has been empty for some time and is deteriorating and said to be costing around £80k per year to maintain. Country Court Care are therefore hoping to move quickly to develop plans to submit to the planning authority.


Current plans are to convert the building without extension or addition other than an external staircase. Current thinking is for 48 single person units. Cllr. Shaw reported that David Hicks is prepared to attend the March meeting, or a future meeting of the parish council to give a more detailed presentation. Cllrs Shaw and Elliott stressed to David Hicks the need to accurately set out the demographics of the intended occupants in order to feed projected traffic flow.



 Tweentowns – The chairman and Vice chairman had attended a meeting at PECT Offices to discuss leasing the site to PECT as a tree nursery and had also met with a Board member at the site on the day of this meeting. The Chairman had asked that PECT set out in writing what heads of terms they would like included in the lease when drafted. We understand that there will be little traffic movement generated by the site being used as a nursery, other than planting and watering. PECT indicated that twice a year there would be more traffic generated by the need to lift trees for planting elsewhere and the planting of replacement whips. Longer term PECT hoped to be self sufficient and to be able to avoid buying in whips.


PECT are keen to take on the site as a nursery without delay so that they do not miss the spring planting season.


For our part we are amenable to PECT occupying the site in advance of the lease being drawn up and signed by both parties, subject to an exchange of letters of intent.


  1. Homes England Land adjacent to the Castor allotment site-The Clerk reported notifying Homes England of the decisions made at our last meeting. Our letter had been acknowledged with a promise that Homes England would consider the content and come back to the Clerk.


  • Parish Councillors Observations – Cllr. Davies reported on Gunwade ferry contract and that NJ Pacey are undertaking the work as set out in the two-year tender approved last year.


  • HIGHWAYS & Public Rights of WayCouncillors Observations –
  • subsidence on Splash Lane – We noted that the lane is still barriered off and we asked the Clerk to write to the head of Highways seeking clarification of ownership and repair intentions.


  • Peterborough Road Drains – we noted the perennial issue of blocked drains in apportion of Peterborough Road, and noted the particularly bad state due to the heavy wet weather in January and February. In our opinion, responsibility lies mainly with the highway authority since it is the highway that is flooded. We agreed to invite James Collingridge to meet with councillors to walk the problem area and invite him to bring a drainage engineer at the same time if he considered it may aid discussion and a permanent solution.


  • Community Matters:
  1. Anti-social Behaviour. We again referred to the spate of Graffiti despoiling our village and the recurring issues of Speeding and inconsiderate parking. We noted that the Police have agreed to hold a “surgery” in Castor on 11th April and we asked the clerk to ascertain if the Village Hall could be made available between 6pm and 8pm on that date and to maximise publicity to urge residents to attend letting the police know of any ongoing concerns.


  • Graffiti – Cllr Shaw agreed to maintain a log of all instances if they were reported to him in order to see if a pattern emerged. The Clerk was also asked to check with Clair George the availability & costs of covert cameras in hot spots.


  • Speeding – we noted that our success in getting 20 mph throughout the village had achieved some reduction in average speed, but regrettably some speeding still persists. In the absence of getting sufficient volunteers to operate Speedwatch, the only other remedy was enforcement through Police presence or speed cameras. The Chairman undertook to raise this with the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.


  • Inconsiderate Parking – One resident has been particularly concerned and Vocal about this issue as well as the speeding through the village. The chairman reported he is to meet with the resident to explain the actions taken by the parish council and the lack of enforcement powers. Cllr Elliott explained, as a grandparent, how he had witnessed the changed practices of the school to do as much as possible to minimise the need for parking to drop off children in term time. As a parish Council we are opposed to the introduction of more yellow lines, and consider that they would only result in moving the parking elsewhere and possibly causing even more problems.


We are aware that these anti-social behaviours are widespread and experienced in other rural Parishes. It Is the main item on the next Parish Liaison group to be held on 21st March and open to attendance by all councillors from parishes within Peterborough city Council area. The police and Crime commissioner will also be present.


  1. 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 February 2024.


  1. Langdyke Trust Nature Recovery Project – We noted the extensive work carried out by Mike Horne and Gary Archer. Gary had submitted the final invoice for £6000. We agreed to payment in full on completion of the work and were informed that an interim payment is required to enable more material to be purchased. We delegated the Clerk to liaise with Gary Archer the extent of interim payment required.


  1. Standing Stones Information boards – Baxter reported approval of the final content and identifying source of graphics the final content to be circulated to Councillors.
  2. Climate Change Group – We noted that the next meeting clashed with the next parish council meeting. Cllr. Terry Young indicated his willingness and we approved his attendance as the parish council representative – the Clerk to Notify Andrew Nash.
  • Governance Matters: None at this meeting

 To receive official announcements, correspondence of note, notices, or; reports from chairman, clerk, or councillors.

  1. Swim Run event – The chairman reported the request to hold the annual event, to include use of parish council owned land as part of the course. The event to be run over two days 8th and 9th We noted that the event in previous years had been well run and marshalled and followed by cleanup by the organisers. We also noted the changes forced upon the organisers for 2024 and unanimously gave our permission and support for the event.


  1. The Clerk referred to the meeting of the Parish Liaison Group at 6.30 on 21st March and extended the invitation to all parish councillors.
  2. The Clerk reported on a limited offer to all parish councils of an official framed photograph of the King being available on a first come first served basis and that he had already registered the interest of Castor Parish Council.


  • Future agenda items
    • Village defibrillatordeferred to the joint meeting with Ailsworth Parish Council on 29th February and to be reported to our March meeting.

 Date of Future Meetings

    1. Next meeting– scheduled to take place on 7th March.
    2. May Meeting – scheduled for 2nd May, clashes with the City Council election. We noted that the May meeting are both the Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Parish Council meeting. We unanimously agreed to re-schedule the May meeting to Thursday 9th May and asked Cllr. Baxter to confirm the availability of the Cedar Centre for that date.


Clerk & RFO 16th February


Meeting Closed at 8.49pm