The Christmas meeting with the enticing offer of a glass of cheer and mince pies along with the prospect of seeing the latest suggestions for the remodelling of our Village Hall attracted a sizeable public attendance! The meeting was chaired by Ian Goldsworthy in the absence of the Chair and as two councillors have recently resigned the ‘top table’ was a little sparse. However this did not affect the meeting which was lively and interactive.
Thankfully no crimes to report in this village over the last month but residents are warned that any car or house left insecure is likely to provide rich pickings for opportunist thieves in the area. So please double check before leaving either please.
Village Hall Refurbishment Plans
Councillor Williams, now chairing this team, gave a short summary of the project and we all had a first chance to see the three different development options that had been sent by our Architect that afternoon. Comment sheets were available and questions (where possible) answered. These are early days, so if you have any input or constructive suggestions regarding the future of our Village Hall, please do not hesitate to get in touch with either the Clerk or Councillor Williams. Residents will be updated regularly on progress and anyone who has any expertise which might assist the Project Team is asked to please step forward!
If you wish to support the project financially then our local Co-op will share some of its profits through the Community Champions initiative. All you have to do is call 01522 781135 and give them your Co-op card number and nominate Nocton Village Hall Management Committee. Otherwise this money is just donated to a cause chosen by the local store.
Nocton Welcome Pack
Councillor Jones presented the draft of the Welcome to Nocton leaflet. This was very favourably received and should be available by mid December. Copies will be kept at the Post Office; however, if you know of someone or have a new neighbour you think may benefit from the information, please do not hesitate in contacting Councillor Jones or pick up a copy at the Post Office. Thanks were given to the organisers of the 200 Club for the funding of this project.
Nocton Youth Club
Another success! Some 20 children are now attending each week and volunteers have stepped forward to help the youth leader, Vicky, with the running of the Club.
The Youth Club is also funded from monies raised by the 200 Club which came about as a direct result of work to prepare our local Parish Plan and the need to raise community funds. Jim Eagle, the 200 Club Promoter, presented the Parish Council with a cheque for £1,200 which will be used to support projects and activities over the coming year. Jim took the opportunity to thank those residents who were members of the 200 Club and reminded everyone that now was the time to renew or purchase a new membership for 2015. 50% of the monies raised are given out in a monthly prize draw and 50% are used to support community initiatives. Judging by results to date, a worthy cause indeed!
Mark Cunningham, Chair of the Governing Body continued with the evening’s upbeat news with the announcement that in the recent OFSTED report Nocton had been scored ‘good” and fell only a little short of “outstanding”.
Responding to complaints about parking around the Green, parents have been asked to be considerate when dropping off or picking up their children and not to block driveways, etc.
There are now 58 children attending the School, a significant increase from last year and it is hoped that next year the news will be even better.
Vattenfall Wind Power Ltd
Councillors Goldsworthy and Jones are to attend a Community Investment Workshop on behalf of the Parish Council which has been organised by Vattenfall as part of the ongoing discussions prior to the submission of any planning application for the wind farm. A report on the outcome of the workshop will be given at the next meeting. A resident from Wasps Nest asked that all residents of Nocton look closely at this proposed installation and mentioned that the Action Group is meeting in London with some senior parliamentary figures to try to enlist their support in opposing any application.
Concerns over plans that have been lodged at NKDC for development in Wellhead Lane were raised by Councillors who felt that too much guidance and support was being given to the applicant with insufficient thought to the wishes of, or impact on, the existing community. Councillor Kendrick sought to reassure the meeting that all applications were determined on the basis of planning issues only although it was noted in the absence of an approved Local Plan, the National Planning Policy Framework made it more difficult to reject plans since the presumption would always have to be in favour of sustainable development (see below).
Councillor Faulkner also requested that the naming of new roads be addressed. At the time of the application for the new homes in Nocton Park all the roads were given appropriate names but it seemed that these had been altered and were now causing some problems with postal deliveries as in at least one case, it was very similar to one already in existence.
County Councillor Marianne Overton
Councillor Overton had one piece of advice for 2015 - “Shop Local”.
Four major projects are to begin in 2015 in the area of Canwick Hill which are likely to cause major traffic problems in this part of the district:
- East/West link
- Bomber Command Museum site
- Dualling of the B1188 up Canwick Hill
- Footbridge over the High Street
Councillor Overton also had a word of warning about the increasing number of planning applications that are being submitted in our area. Without a Local Plan in place, (unfortunately the one submitted was thrown out and it will be some time before a replacement can be adopted), this area is being targeted by developers with no thought as to the impact of any such development on the environment nor the lack of suitable infrastructure in most local areas.
- SID is to stay around Nocton for the time being as neighbouring villages have not requested its use - so watch your speed!
- The final part, Phase 3, of the Nocton Park development should be completed by the end of 2015.
- BT is to be asked why high speed fire optic broadband is not yet available to the majority of households in Nocton when the necessary cabling is in place along the B1188.
- A request to ‘tidy up’ the trees on the Green is to be made to NKDC.
On behalf of all your Parish Councillors may I wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and Healthy and Prosperous 2015.
Councillor MaryAnn Williams