Minutes of Desford Neighbourhood Plan Working Group Monday 22nd February 2016 7.30pm at Desford Library

Minutes of Desford Neighbourhood Plan Working Group

Monday 22nd February 2016 7.30pm at Desford Library

Present: Martyn Randle (Chair), Paul Angelinetta, Pat Crane, David Crocker, Adrian Dickinson, Bernard Grimshaw, Jim Houghton (in part), Ewan Lindsay, Linda Mitchell, Julie Peel, Steve Thorpe, Darren Tilley, Joe Scarratt, Ian Sharpe, Kay Smith, Scott Wakefield

In attendance: John Preston (RCC Leics & Rutland)

  1. Apologies: were received and accepted from Pat & Ray Barns, Lyn Dearling, Kaye Johnson, Kate McGregor, Malcolm Peel, Terry Satchwell, Judy Sharpe, Rob Wade.

The chairman announced that one member had resigned, but he did not want people to be put off by the volume of paperwork.  The commitment can be whatever each person is happy and confident with.

  1. Minutes of 26.01.16. were signed as a true record
  2. Matters Arising: the Market Bosworth questionnaire has not yet been acquired
  3. RCC Presentation: John Preston introduced the work of the RCC and said that their expertise is in consultation & engagement, rather than planning, but they do have links with planning consultants. As part of the SLA which HBBC has with the RCC, we may have support from John’s allocated hours, shared with Sheepy parish.  John then talked through the RCC Neighbourhood Plan Toolkit (electronic copy to be circulated).

Area Designation: done

Project Funding: he can give us help with our application for the Locality grant and also suggested Awards for All.

Information & Publicity: he can provide templates for leaflets & posters if required

Evidence Base Portfolio: he can do desktop research and put together a parish profile

Public Open Meeting & Key Issues Consultation: to start exploring what people see as the issues.  Sheepy held 2 drop-in events on different days/times and at different venues.   

Stakeholder Consultation: should follow for businesses, schools, landowners, service providers.  John can collate the findings from these consultation events and provide Reports.  The findings will identify the key issues and form the basis for what policies are needed.

Community Consultation Event: an opportunity to inform people of the findings so far and what priorities are emerging

Survey/Questionnaire: the RCC have samples available and can use SNAP software to generate both online and hard copies of the questionnaire.   John can then process the data and provide a report (unless we have the expertise to do this ourselves)

Issues & Options Workshop: will enable us to decide what policies we want.  It will then be up to us to write them (or get professional help).and produce the Draft Plan

Pre-Submission Consultation: We are obliged to take heed of comments and amend our documents as necessary

Consultation Statement: it is essential to keep a record of all consultations, of whatever form, and the key points that come out of them.  The Examiner will want to see this evidence to support the content of the Plan.

The final stages are the Independent Examination & Referendum


Q&A session:

  • Funding: it was acknowledged that the fees of planning and design consultants will be considerable. Our main sources of funding will be: the Locality grant (see below), possibly Awards for All, DPC precept plus John’s time under the SLA.  Although the RCC can print flyers, posters etc we may find a local source which is cheaper.
  • Are there likely to be bottlenecks as HBBC officers’ time will be stretched. John has not found this to be so, so far, but delays are likely at the Independent Examiner & Referendum stages.  If we want an officer to attend an event/meeting, we will need to give them plenty of advance warning.
  • What is the next step? We need to gather information, to create a Project Plan and to work out the cost of the various tasks.


  1. Funding Officer’s Report: (previously circulated) The Locality grant has to be spent within 6 months, or before the end of the financial year. Up to £9 000 is available to each group, but the application process needs details of the Project Plan for the next 6 months, and the costings for each task.  Darren has downloaded the Locality Project Planner and John can provide the RCC template.  This needs to be filled in before we can proceed with the grant application, which will be after 31st

Darren is meeting the Parish Clerk to discuss how the finances will be handled.


  1. Communications Officer’s Report: (previously circulated) Bernard has done a lot of research and concluded that HBBC does not see Desford as having any strategic issues between now and 2026. He cautioned us that the housing numbers are just targets.  Any further applications for development are unlikely to be refused if they can be shown to be sustainable.

Although traffic problems are seen as an issue by residents, the roads are unlikely to be altered.  (The only way to get a relief road might be as part of a scheme for a major housing and/or business development).   Any future expansion of large businesses may exacerbate problems.   Adrian (representing Neovia) informed the meeting that their main customer is putting a new strategy in place to insist that all companies who quote for their haulage work must guarantee that their drivers will use HGV satnavs.


We may wish to consider:

  • Protection of our open spaces and green wedges
  • An exemption site for affordable housing, if this proves to be an issue.


Clarification was sought on:

  • The housing numbers, which refer to a settlement, rather than the parish
  • A number of houses on the outskirts of Kirby Muxloe are in our parish, but they may be counted as part of the Leicester principal urban area.

It was agreed that we need to concentrate our time and energy on what is viable.

  1. Terms of Reference: The following additions were put forward and Pat will take them to full Council for approval:
  • The Working Group will appoint a chairman, secretary, treasurer and communications officer
  • The purpose of the Working Group will be reviewed once the Neighbourhood Plan has been completed and adopted


  1. Information from other parishes: (previously circulated) documents obtained by David Crocker were acknowledged as being very helpful. We can learn from the experience of others.


  1. Next steps: Martyn suggested that our next tasks are to draft a Project Plan, identify key partners and create a directory, identify possible sub-groups and plan the Public Open Day (s).


Sub-groups were agreed as follows, but other members are welcome:

Project Plan group: to look at the templates and produce a draft Project Plan to bring to the next meeting

Members: Martyn, Bernard, Darren, David, Jim

Open Day group: to plan 2 drop-in events and bring proposals of venues, dates, times and format to the next meeting; to discuss what displays, resources and refreshments are needed: to produce publicity material .  The website will be used and the option of participating electronically.

Everyone will be asked to help with a leaflet drop.

A contact list of key stakeholders needs to be compiled (landowners, businesses, schools, service providers etc) so that all can be invited.

Joe said that not all land is registered with the Land Registry.  HBBC should be able to help identify owners of land in the parish; along with local knowledge.

Members: Pat, Linda, Julie, Steve, Paul, Scott


  1. AOB
  • We need to draw up a schedule of what tasks we would like John Preston to help us with, so that his contract can be agreed
  • The Working Group agreed to request DPC:

(i) to authorise the Working Group to work with the RCC in accordance with its 15 step process to produce the plan, initially on a time only-basis as funded by HBBC, and if grant funding becomes available on their usual contract basis, and


(ii) to agree to release funds for two initial Drop-in Events and any other publicity expenses, pending the Council’s application for grant funding, now being prepared by the Working Group


  • If we want John to attend our Open Days, he will need about 2 months notice
  • Bernard had received one response to the article in The Graphic, requesting that consideration is given to improved public transport links to Hinckley


Date of next meeting:

Project Plan group: Tuesday 1st March 7.30pm

Open Day group: Thursday 10th March 6.15pm

Full Working Group: Tuesday 12th April 7.30pm at the library




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