I was present for most of last week’s parish council meeting. These are my recollections of the main points:
- Councillor Shoults reported back about the meeting held with Imperial College and Ashford Borough Council on December 4. The meeting was held under Chatham House rules but this did not prevent some general comments being relayed to council: Imperial’s plan (now a very weighty document) had been discussed; the number of houses proposed for Wye 3 was coming down but was still nowhere near the levels proposed by the Neighbourhood Planning Group or the village Wye 50 campaign; the proposal for housing was low density and the area was highly planted; the document referred to each of the Neighbourhood Plan principles (and one or two extras); in establishing evidence Councillor Shoults felt that the Imperial document made a number of errors – particularly regarding demography; there was actually no reference in the document for the ‘need for housing in Wye’; he said that, in general, the village group who attended the meeting were ‘a bit happier – but not as happy as we would like to be’.
- There was some discussion about the need to work on the Neighbourhood Plan as fast as possible, and the need to contract volunteers to push the process along. Currently it appears that the soonest the plan can go to referendum is the autumn of 2014. The budget will be reviewed and discussed in January.
- Locality, on behalf of the DCLG, has approved Planning Support for the Neighbourhood Plan in the person of an allocated planner for a period of ten months. This individual will help turn some of the ideas embodied in the Neighbourhood Plan into policy.
- A budget of £500 was agreed for professional traffic consultants MLM to collect more data about two key junctions in Wye for the traffic study: the junction between Little Chequers and Bridge Street, and the junction between Church Street and Bridge Street.
- Wye Business Association, working with the Neighbourhood Planning Group, will be holding a sounding board for businesses in Wye on January 18, probably in the Wolfson Hall. Information will be fed back into Ashford’s Rural Economic Assessment for the area.)
- Wye 1. An archaeological dig along the ancient route linking Wye with Wye Court found nothing – despite digging to considerable depth.
- Ashford Housing are shortly to submit plans for a five bedroom family home to be built in Cherry Garden Crescent.
- Councillor Bouverie (me) expressed concern about the organisation of the Wye Youth Cinema Club, and in particular about the fact that films weren’t being advertised and that therefore few children were attending. He has arranged a meeting with CXK, the company overseeing the club, and will report back.
- 23 fence posts need to be replaced alongside one set of allotments. This is likely to cost about £200.