Report of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party 11th April 2015

Report of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party Public Meeting held in the Memorial Hall on Monday 11th April 2015

Present: Working Party Members 8 and Public  43

In attendance were representatives from the Neighbourhood Plan Working Parties of Tarrington, Bridstow and Wellington Heath.
Karla Johnson from Herefordshire County Council Planning Department was also present.

Apologies: B Morgan S Rose C Smith

The format of the meeting followed that illustrated in the publicity flyer circulated throughout the village and in the Mercury Community Magazine.

Welcome: Chairman J Finnigan
Introduction: T Weston
Vision, Issues, Objectives and Policies: J Marsden
Convertible Buildings and Land Allocation: J Weston
Introduction to Settlement Boundaries: J Finnigan
Much Marcle Settlement T Weston
Rushall Settlement
Kynaston Settlement
What happens next? J Marsden
The Chairman outlined the next stages:

  • Draft Plan by August
  • Statutory consultation for 6 weeks in September/October
  • Early 2017 Amended Draft Plan submitted to Herefordshire Council
  • Independent Examination of Draft Plan in January-March 2017
  • Spring 2017 Public Referendum

Question and Answer Session

Issues Raised:

  1. The value of the Neighbourhood Plan was questioned. Community involvement is essential to achieve a plan whose vision, objectives and policies will treated as material considerations by Herefordshire Council when it determines planning applications.
  2. It was pointed out that, on appeal by the developer, the Secretary of State can overrule planning decisions taken by Herefordshire Council so to what extent was the Neighbourhood Plan valuable. The absence of a Neighbourhood Plan in Ledbury had enabled green field land to be developed.
  3. The Working Party was complimented for its efforts to develop a Neighbourhood Plan.
  4. The speed limit on the A449 of 50 mph was considered to be excessive. This was not in the remit of the Neighbourhood Plan and was being dealt with by the Parish Council to the best of its ability.
  5. A resident of Monks Walk was concerned by the negative comments of this development. It was pointed out that these were views expressed in the community response to the Resident’s Questionnaire. The Chairman of the Parish Council indicated that during the planning application for Monks Walk the height and size of the housing had been considered to be too large. The objections of the Parish Council were turned down. For new planning applications the objectives and policies of the Neighbourhood Plan would be material considerations.
  6. It was commented that the map showing the Much Marcle Settlement Area did not include new housing built recently (e.g. Monks Walk Orchard). The plan when published would include such features as Herefordshire County Council had the necessary up to date Ordnance Survey licence permissions.
  7. The small size of the Much Marcle Settlement Area was questioned and why it did not extend appreciably to the west of the A449. Areas suitable for development had been identified inside and outside the settlement areas but there was always the worry that not enough new houses would be brought forward for development. The Working Party had addressed this problem by identifying sites for approximately double the minimum number of new houses required. The question of the number of houses would be a feature of the independent assessment of the Neighbourhood Plan.
  8. Reference was made to the non-housing ‘green space’ areas of the village the Barton’s playing field, Mortimer’s Motte and Bailey castle, the walk to Helens, the Church and its graveyard. The question was raised as to how the current inadequate size of the graveyard at the Church fitted in with the Neighbourhood Plan. It was recommended that the Parochial Church Council seek advice from the Parish Council, and approach local landowners.
  9. The absence of new sporting facilities in the Neighbourhood Plan was drawn to the meeting’s attention. There was no clear indication of progress in this area although K Johnson said that some help might be obtained via County Council.
  10. The ability of businesses within the parish to support the employment required for 22 houses was questioned. Employment was likely to be provided outside the village.
  11. It was indicated that the information concerning the Neighbourhood Plan would soon be available on the Parish Council website (, but this was a work in progress.
  12. The Secretary’s email address was provided for those who wished to communicate in writing with the Working Party.

Received Written Suggestions:

  1. The inclusion of a ‘wild life areas’ map, as mentioned by the Working Party Chairman in his review, was a welcome addition to the Neighbourhood Plan.

J. Gibbon Secretary NPWP 12th April 2016