Minutes – 3 February 2014

Minutes of the Meeting of Visit New Mills held on 3rd February 2014


  • Present:

Barry Bate, Northe Slack, Sean Whewell, Beth Atkins, Jean Fildes


  • Apologies:

Mike Daniels


  • Minutes of the Meeting of 13/01/2014:

(as amended) were accepted as a true and correct record.


  • Matters arising:

From Appendix A (notes from a meeting with High Peak Borough Councillors). These notes were accepted as correct with the addition that Councillor Barrow had stated that he would be happy to attend future meetings of Visit New Mills if requested to do so.

From 8 – Forthcoming Marketing for New Mills Festival. There was a discussion about decision-making within the group and about the relationship of the group to a number of Festivals planned for New Mills. It was resolved that the response (proposed at the last VNM meeting and subsequently circulated for comment) should now be sent. Northe will supply Barry with the email addresses of all intended recipients.


  • Response to the Local Plan

Sean reported that the group was registered for an electronic reply to the consultation. Beth was unhappy about the Plan overall and expressed concern that there was no Neighbourhood Plan for New Mills. The question of the overall target figure (360) for High Peak was raised. Jean offered to investigate (through the planning portal) all of the ‘live’ planning decisions. She will then attempt a numerical analysis of ‘what is proposed’ versus ‘what has been agreed’ in the last 4 years – since 2011.

Jean expressed concern about the Laneside Road application. She felt the site was very unsuitable – especially in light of Coal Authority reports on mining activity, etc.. She also felt that there were major traffic issues on this site and the Pingot Lane one. Parking was already problematic and would only be exacerbated by an increase in housing density. She felt that we should support the objections to all of the new greenfield sites on the basis of overdevelopment being prejudicial to the quality and amenity of the environment.

In terms of the brownfield sites the group felt that the Birch Vale site should contain some form of affordable housing. At Newtown Station the group felt that mixed use offered most effective use of the site.

It was agreed that Jean will formulate a generic group response: 1) disagreeing with the proposed developments at Laneside and Pingot and 2) agreeing with the proposed developments at Newtown Station and Birch Vale, but with caveats around the importance of mixed use, preservation of views, amenity and traffic control.

It was also agreed that VNM will make a future agenda item of ‘Working on the localism agenda and the development of a Neighbourhood Plan’.


  • Finance Update:

Sean reported that the balance remained at £841.07 in credit. One outgoing (of £20.00) needed to be paid – leaving a current balance of £821.07.


  • Web Site Update:

Sean reported that Derbyshire Community Foundation have refused the VNM application for a grant.

Beth reported that the Greenbank Trust application had been successful.

In light of these two decisions Beth reported that she had now arranged for the (10%) matched funding for the Greenbank Trust to come form her Leadership Fund. When Greenbank officially report the decision later in February it is hoped that the website project can start.

Beth reported that the Adult Education course in website design was now set up and will run later in the month.


  • Action Plan update:

Jean reported that she had forwarded the Action Plan draft (still to be updated), the VNM Constitution and a copy of her letter to Jo Brookes (and Jo’s reply) to the 5 High Peak Borough Councillors for their consideration.


  • Any Other Business:

Sean initiated a discussion about whether VNM can act as a ‘bank’ (or, at least, offer some banking facilities) to other events in the town (e.g. the Carnival). Jean expressed concern about the potential complexity of financial dealings within the organisation. She felt that prospective funders would be concerned and reticent about lending if VNM finances were too complex.

She also raised the issue of VNM’s financial and public liability in becoming involved with the finances of other organisation’s projects.

Barry will ask several organisations if they are able to offer VNM advice about how to proceed in this matter.


  • Date, time and place of next meeting:

3.00 on Tuesday 25th February at Sean’s house.

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