These are my recollections of the parish council meeting last week:
- Councillor Shoults reported back on the public exhibition and public meeting about the Neighbourhood Plan (NP). Both attracted about 140 people.
- There was much discussion about the number of houses that should be proposed in the NP as there is disagreement in the council and the village as to whether 50 or 70 is the appropriate number. It was decided to ask an independent consultant to review the evidence amassed for the NP and to make a decision based on that evidence.
- The draft NP is still on course to be approved by the parish council at the council meeting on December 4. After that, there will be a lengthy review process, culminating with a referendum in the autumn of 2015. Everyone in the village will be made aware of the plan by the village patchworkers. Hard copies will be put in public buildings and meeting places.
- Councillor Shoults reported back on a meeting with the Chair and Executive of the Imperial College Endowment Board. He felt that there was agreement on the following issues:
1/ To fix an early meeting with the Education Funding Agency to establish whether the school was a certain project and could proceed.
2/ To review the provisions and policy relating to section 106 on new development in Wye and in the context of the Neighbourhood Plan and ABC’s current practice, and the impending introduction of CIL. Imperial would wish to employ a consultant to advise them.
3/ Imperial would consider the phasing of housing in their submitted MasterPlan
4/ Imperial would join with the Parish Council in meeting the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish the likelihood of the use of the Grade 1 for Community Use to see if it was a feasible or viable project, on the basis of a Trust receiving the building free of debt and at no cost. This would be in the context of an HLF Enterprise grant
5/ Imperial would straightaway take steps to prepare plans for works on properties outside WYE3 (principally Wolfson House and the High Street properties) and consult the PC at every stage.
- Councillor Shoults reported that Imperial take the view that their MasterPlan already makes substantial concessions to local views and at considerable value cost and that without 200 homes it is not viable. He and John Mansfield (who was also present) contested this view.
- Councillor Donovan reported that PROMIS have already occupied part of the Withersdane campus.
- The plans for Wye2 have been amended to acknowledge some concerns. However there is unlikely to be any movement on Unit 16 in Wye1 – despite it being visible from large parts of the AONB.
- Planning permission for 300 houses at Conningbrook on the parish boundary have been approved – together with a recreational park based around the lakes (subject to an environmental impact assessment).
- The parish council will be objecting to a planning application for 28 houses in Willesborough (also on the parish boundary), because of the effect that the development is likely to have on rural roads (particularly the Naccolt Road).
- The 26-page draft operational plan for Our Place: Wye was submitted. The council acknowledged the huge amount of work that has gone into the project thus far.
- Councillor Donovan reported that the Children’s Playing Field Charity had no governance document. It was agreed that the trustees should meet to discuss this.
- A complaint has been written to the company who had been paid to carry out a ROSPA report (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) on the children’s play area. They had submitted a report but it had been about play equipment in another village.
- Councillor Ovenden reported that Ray Wilkinson was leaving Environmental Services at Ashford. However the traffic order for Wye which he has been overseeing (which concerns parking) is likely to be completed before he goes.
- The leylandii close to the Multi Use Games Area is to be felled. Francis Huntington is preparing a tree-planting programme.
- The community warden reported back on an exciting Halloween… he also said that he had a good working relationship with the current PCSO.