Minutes – 27 May 2014
Minutes of the Meeting of Visit New Mills held on 27th May 2014
Barry Bate, Northe Slack, Beth Atkins
In attendance: Joe Dugdale (Rural Action Derbyshire)
Sean Whewell, Mike Daniels, Jean Fildes
- Minutes of the Meeting of 28/04/2014:
from 3) Action Plan update – “Beth clarified that VNM was now dealing with 3 distinct types of ‘boards’ – 1) those portraying maps (fixed), 2) those displaying ‘art work’ (fixed) and 3) those displaying posters/ information materials (moveable)” – added.
from 8) Any Other Business – the date of the meeting was 27th May NOT 27th April – correction.
– were accepted as a true and correct record.
- Matters arising:
From 4 – Matters Arising – From 7 – Action plan – draft policy. Barry circulated the proposed policy on planters/ cycle racks. He will circulate this to other members. If there are no additions or amendments he will then forward it to the Chair of New Mills Town Council for consideration. He will ensure that the covering letter stresses the safety aspects of the proposal.
From 5 – Finance – date of AGM. It was decided that the next meeting (which will be the first AGM) will take place on Monday 23rd June. Barry will ask if the Heritage Centre can be the venue.
- Local Plan:
Joe Dugdale shared his knowledge and some experiences of the Localism agenda. He outlined his experience at Chapel, where he had been contracted to help establish a parish Steering Group.
The Localism Bill (2012) had established a new context for planning. In the past planning issues had tended to be ‘wish lists’ – not often reflecting the wider contexts. The Localism Act had put in place top-down system where national targets directed regional and local plans. The effect is that accepted plans are much more likely to be successfully completed than in the past.
Within the Local Plan are certain rights and one of these is the right to have a Neighbourhood Plan. Any Neighbourhood plan can not counteract national or regional strategies and targets. It can, however, propose different ways of achieving those targets. All Plans should have elements of sustainable development within them – but the exact definition of sustainability is open to interpretation.
A ‘Neighbourhood’ needs to be defined clearly and a Neighbourhood plan can only be proposed by a ‘qualifying body’. If there is a Parish then this body might be a Parish Council or a Town Council. Residents might form a Community Forum which could act as a qualifying body, but can not work against an existing Parish or Town Council. Proposals from any qualifying body must be feasible i.e. capable of being economically enacted. Neighbourhood Plans can make reasonable requirements (taking into account feasibility) and then be submitted to be ‘made’ (come into force). Plans can deal with discrete aspects of the area (environmental, transport) or they can be ‘broad brush’ and deal with all aspects together.
Planning should now lead development – but the principal aim has always been to ‘free up’ the planning process. A Local Plan can not stop development – but it might serve to shape that development; to affect the way in which that development is done. Any Neighbourhood Plan must 1) pass an independent inspection and 2) pass a referendum/ public vote of the Plan.
Joe felt that, in New Mills, the Town Council would have to be the qualifying body. However, Town Councils don’t have the resources to formulate a complete Neighbourhood Plan and sometimes work with local groups who can provide the voluntary effort and the specialist assistance needed for such a big piece of work. A Neighbourhood Plan must be in conformity with a Local Plan but it could be developed in advance of a Local Plan where that Local Plan is not yet completely formulated. For each potential Neighbourhood Plan the Borough Council can claim £30k and the Town Council £7k in order to support the formulation of that Plan. This is for their own use and can not be used as a form of ‘grant’ funding.
Joe outlined the steps that HAVE to be taken in this process:
1 the qualifying body agree to draw up a Neighbourhood Plan
2 a map of the area is produced (to define the boundaries)
3 the map is sent to the Borough Council – who consult the community on it and note comments made
4 the qualifying body (and its’ volunteers, supporters, etc.) work through the development of all the policies
5 all policies are collected together to form the Draft Plan – which is sent to the local authority
6 the local authority consults on the Draft Plan within 6 weeks and collects comments
7 the qualifying body meets to consider if any revisions are needed – and make any that are necessary
8 the Plan is sent back to the local authority – who contract an independent inspector to assess it
9 inspectors have the power to call public meetings to assess the viability of the Plan
10 if the inspector approves the Plan a public vote/ referendum is called in the area and the Plan must be accepted by a majority of voters.
11 if there is public acceptance of the Plan the local authority can then declare that it is ‘made’.
At this point the Plan comes into force and remains so for the next 15 years.
Drawing up a Neighbourhood Plan is an extensive piece of work requiring considerable resources on the part of many people. However, such a Plan will shape planning policies in that area for a considerable amount of time.
Joe also suggested that VNM might think about drawing up a ‘Community Plan’ – which would be much less work than a Neighbourhood Plan but might eventually be converted in to one.
Beth has collected some information form the Local Plan about differences in strategic views of parts of the Borough. She will circulate these to members for their consideration.
- Finance Update:
A finance update was not available.
- Web Site Update:
Karl had made an initial presentation of current progress with the website to some members on 22nd May. All present were happy with developments so far. Northe apologised for not sending out the initial brief – but this was now felt to be unnecessary.
- Action Plan update:
It was agreed to defer this item until the next meeting.
- Any Other Business:
- Beth updated the meeting on issues with Arden Quarry. She wanted to start a petition centred on the use of old planning permissions by businesses in order to start up (or re-start) activities which were detrimental to local communities. The petition is written – but she may need technical help and will circulate information to members.
- Beth outlined recent developments about youth issues. She reported on a recent meeting between herself, Mark Gadd, Steven Lewis, Sgt. Booth (Derbyshire Constabulary), Lee Baker (PCSO), Rebecca Harland (Youth Services) and Victoria Elliss (community Projects Officer). Some of the remedial issues discussed had included the repair of street lighting, the alteration of seating in High Lea Park and an attempt to increase particular ‘activities’ such as a café in Revival Church and music at the Beehive – especially on Friday nights.
She felt that a major problem was the secondary provision of alcohol (alcohol provided directly or indirectly by parents). She hoped that this will be dealt with through work in schools – including work with parents.
- Northe reported on the Folk Train which arrived in New Mills on Sunday 25th and had been well patronised. The next Folk Train will be on Carnival Day.
- Northe reported on the Bushcraft Workshop that had taken place in the Torrs on Monday 26th. This had been well patronised – but there had been problems with the ‘unclean’ state of the grass.
- Date, time and place of next meeting
3.00 on Monday 23rd June at New Mills Heritage Centre. This will also be the first Annual General Meeting of Visit New Mills.