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Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Castlemorton Parish Council Newsletter November 2007

Dear Parishioner,

The Parish Council, established from May 2007, is aware of the difficulties of communicating with you. About half those households on the electoral roll receive the Parish Magazine, in which our Parish Clerk - Sheila Normington, writes a summary of the Parish Council meetings. Minutes of these meetings are always posted on the Parish Hall notice board. Information on other topics, such as the flood relief scheme, appear here as well as at sites at Hollybush, by Hancocks Lane gate and on New Road opposite the turn to Eight Oaks.

We do not have a website, but have set up a "Blog" for communication - http://castlemortonparishcouncil.blogspot.com/.

We would like to know if you are able to and would wish to receive Parish information by this route. Please tell us by returning the attached questionnaire.
If there is enough support we may be able to press BT for improved Broadband facilities within the Parish.

Please note that Parish Council meetings are open for everyone to attend. They are notified on the Parish Hall notice board and also on the Blog. They take place every 7 to 9 weeks.
Recent actions taken by the Parish Council include the distribution of Big Chill tickets and the lengthy pressurising of the Royal Mail to replace the post boxes stolen from the intersection New Road/Gullet Road.
Angus Golightly Chairman, Castlemorton Parish Council

The Parish Hail Trust

The Parish Hall, owned by the Parish, is our most used facility and is run by a committee of three Parish Councillors - Mary Watts (Chairman), Joan Bedford and Gerald Downs, plus two Parishioners -Sue Merricks and Richard Armitage (Treasurer).
This year work on floor repairs and new drains at the rear and side of the building was carried out. Some further work will be undertaken on the NE corner. Thereafter planning work is under way for a disabled toilet facility. The hall has been redecorated and bookings have risen. Support funding from the Precept will still be required to fund the improvements.

The most regular users are: Castlemorton Gardening Club, meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7.45 pm (contact Chairman Helen Hitchings 01684 567997).
Dog and Puppy training for all standards on Tuesday evenings (contact Robert Bint 01684 573944).
Country and Western held monthly - dates on the Notice Board (contact Derek Newton 01905 427808).

All bookings, including private hire, should be made through Joan Bedford 01684 833441 or by email -joanmbedford@ukonline.co.uk

Planning Application Process

Planning applications to Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) are all viewed by the Parish Council. This process is co-ordinated by Jerry Fryman and all Parish Councillors can and do participate in viewing applications.
We draw your attention to the fact that, as our views are often disregarded by MHDC Planners, you have the opportunity to speak for three minutes if an application goes before the Southern Area Planning Committee. You may find that your individual effort carried more weight than that of the PC.

4 C's

A new group, successor to the Tripartite Meetings, is the Castlemorton Common Consultative Committee (4 C's). In this context Castlemorton Common refers to the area defined under CL9 (Common Land 9) namely Castlemorton Common, Hollybed Common, Shadybank Common and Coombe Green Common in Birtsmorton.
This group was convened following the report of the LUC (Land Use Consultants) commissioned by the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Board. Using heritage lottery money the LUC produced a report recommending a new action plan for common management. To date the 4 C's has met on two occasions and has an agreed constitution. It will meet again in late November and hold an AGM before the end of the year.
Representation is:Malvern Hills Conservators (MHC) - 2, Representative of owner Coombe Green -1,
Castlemorton Parish Council - 2, Castlemorton Common Association - 2,
Birtsmorton Parish Council -1, Welland Parish Council -1,
Active Graziers - 3 Further recreational interests on behalf of an organisation - 1
All of these have voting rights.
Administrative support will be provided by MHC - Ian Rowat (Director), Val Moore (Administrative Support), and Rob Havard (Conservation)

Policing
In the last few months you may have noticed an increased presence as PC Mark Taylor now has the assistance of 2 Community Support Officers - Jemma Coates and Lucy Rowbotham, who have a support vehicle to assist them in rural areas.
PC Taylor has asked the Parish Council to alert you to two current issues, namely the increased incidence of scrap metal theft and bogus callers. Please advise the police via their usual number or 08457 444888 for non-emergency incidents or you can leave a message for PC Taylor on 01905 725776 if you have any helpful information.

Castlemorton United Charities

The Board of Trustees of Castlemorton Poor's Charity would be pleased to receive written applications for grant aid towards the costs of further and higher education incurred by local students' needs. Applicants must be resident of the Parish of Castlemorton. A letter outlining the course of study being undertaken should be submitted to the Clerk, Mrs. Shirley Williams, Rose Cottage, Hollybush, Ledbury HR8 1 EJ. The Board normally meets in March and November of each year.


And finally the attached Questionnaire .... Archived here

In 2001 the previous Parish Council sought the views of the Parish and published a discussion document. The summary of this was on the lines that there was not a great demand for change, but the Parish Council were required to keep an eye open for anything unusual coming along. Since then Central Government has brought in a much greater level of legislation for Parish Councils to handle, with greater demand placed on the responsibilities of Parish Clerks. We are fortunate in not only having Sheila Normington as a well trained and approachable Clerk, but we are able to share the costs of her training and updating, as she is also Clerk to both Birtsmorton and Pendock.

This brings us to consider operational costs, which are always rising, and our Precept which has remained at £4000 for over 5 years. In considering your questionnaire and making any additional comments, which we hope you will do, we ask you to be mindful that many new ideas can make additional financial demands. We are required to set next years precept at our next meeting in January.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Jerry's responce to the South Worc's Core Strategy

I went to the meeting at Upton Memorial hall last night. It was a very good meeting hosted by the planners from Worcester and Malvern Hills.
After the initial ‘‘Death by Powerpoint’’ presentation, the discussion was deep and of a high quality. There is a strong push for most Parish Councils to respond, if they can quote their ‘Parish Plan’ that would be helpful. However many Parish Councils will not meet before the deadline, therefore everyone is urged to respond as individuals ASAP.

I have more copies of the questionnaire and issues document.


My personal view is: -

Horror at the thought of spec’ builders covering green field sites with tacky budget homes at 17 to the acre. Look at the examples we already have. The legacy of our housing is dire. From ‘Fruitlands’ to ‘St Peters’ we have sacrificed green fields to the predations of philistine spec builders who cover the land with uniform unimaginative dwellings. I have considerable trepidation that the green belt will be sacrificed, and a deep concern over the current practice of ‘garden harvesting’ as part of the infill strategy. Worcester planners seemed to be quite pleased with the Warndon Villages.
(I leave you to make your mind up there!).
Nevertheless I do acknowledge that we need more houses at prices that are affordable and that this area should accept it’s share. The problem would be mitigated if we could build better and more sensitively but we do not.


My suggested solution:-

Some sensitive development in all locations, but with care and due respect to local consultation. Redevelop some of the worst suburbs in the towns and redress some of the past mistakes. Indeed some small villages may well need a degree of development to preserve a degree of viability and prevent them becoming dormitories for the retired rich.

At all costs preserve the green belts and as much green land as possible. The green belts are vital for the quality of life. In the future the green fields may well be needed to grow food, despite the current policy to import food from the cheapest source.

Take up the challenge to build new eco towns and concentrate most of the new building on the ‘semi’ brown field sites at Defford Aerodrome and Pershore Aerodrome (Throckmorton). These sites are well served by road and rail, well away from anything else.
From the start you could integrate a sustainable infrastructure into the site. Incorporate innovative ideas such as geothermal harvesting under the drains and roads, use combined heat and power generation from waste. Orientate and plan innovative new buildings to best solar advantage, landcape the site with favourable microclimates. With vision and imagination we could build something rather wonderful. Not just cheap spec built houses that all use the same ‘book plan’ with an eye to profit and the economies of scale.

The design skills used to support such a ‘state of the art’ project could stimulate an emerging industry in sustainable innovation. This in turn, could be one of the ‘primary’ industries that would dovetail into the technology corridor. It could help provide employment for the growing population. Generate the wealth that will build for status and quality, rather than price.
To stimulate originality and help support the agenda, the authorities could initiate ‘design awards’, and promote a planning policy that encouraged ‘difference and individuality’ and inspire an interest in the quality of the built environment. After all we must leave behind something truly worthwhile for our future generations not just more and more mediocre urban sprawl.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Draft Minutes of Meeting 8th November 2007

You can view the minutes in the archive here.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Recent Planning Applications Oct/ Nov 2007

Click on each link to view the application on Malvern Hills Planning site,
individuals are invited to comment there on any proposal.

Erection of a single storey timber framed conservatory:- The Old Vicarage, Castlemorton.

Siting of timber lodge:- Grove Farm Druggers EndCastlemorton,

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Respond to the South Worcestershire Core Strategy

The Parish Council has been asked to repond to consultation documents published by the South Worcesterhire Core Strategy, a partnership formed by Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester City Council and Wychavon District Council.

The core issues concern the major challenge, to locate more housing in this area and establish Worcester as a major hub. The Strategy will replace the existing Local Plan and all options are being considered.

Individuals are invited to respond and further information can be found on this link

http://www.swjcs.org/

There is a meeting at Upton Memorial Hall on 22nd November 2007 at 3.30 pm

We urge you to respond as the deadline for the consultation November / December 2007.