DNP Working Group minutes 27th August 2020
5 pm Desford Church Centre
In Attendance: Andrew Norton, Bernard Grimshaw, Colin Crane, David Crocker, Jim Houghton, Judy Sharpe, Martyn Randle (chair), Pat Crane, Scott Wakefield
- Welcome: Martyn welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked for apologies to be listed.
Minutes of last meeting / matters arising: The minutes were approved as a true record and signed by Judy on behalf of Martyn. There were no matters arising.
Declaration of Interest: There were no declarations of interest.
- Treasurer’s Report: Bernard stated that there was no change in the financial situation from before.
- Examiner’s Report:
Martyn said that discussions about the Examiner’s Report had previously taken place via email. From these he had gained the impression that the comments were generally favourable, apart from the Examiner’s suggestion of reserve sites. This was agreed.
Bernard stated that if the DNPWG agreed to accept the report he would like to contact HBBC and state this. He would also like to ask the HBBC Planning Department to inform the DPC/ DNPWG if they were considering a different course of action. This was agreed. Action-Bernard
Colin suggested that HBBC should be asked to put the Examiner’s amendments in to the DNP. However he would ask that a copy be sent to himself and Bernard for proof checking before publishing. This was agreed. Action –Colin
Colin asked if the DNP Examiner’s Report was accepted and supported by the DNPWG. A vote was taken and was agreed by all.
Further discussion took place around the reserve sites. Bernard mentioned that these could be regarded as reserve sites for the Barns Way and Peckleton Lane sites that have already been given planning permission; in case they are not built. He pointed out that the DNP must facilitate sustainable development.
It was stated that it would be difficult to get the referendum passed by the parish with the mention of reserve sites in the document.
Jim reminded the group that HBBC had been strongly supportive of the refusal of planning permission for the proposed Davidson’s site.
It was mentioned that Gary had produced a good document in response to the Examiner’s comments. This had previously been circulated by email.
Bernard stated that the DNPWG /DPC could not now lawfully approach the Examiner, Timothy Jones. If changes to the DNP are desired, the only recourse is to approach the HBBC planners. The current wording cannot be finessed by the DNPWG. He explained that the plan is no longer our plan, it is HBBC’s, and only they have the power to decide on modifications.
Andrew commented that when the DNP is read the amendments will read as though the DNPWG have written them, not the Examiner. He also said that he had received a supportive email from HBBC ward councillor Robin Webber-Jones.
Bernard confirmed that the final date for a response by HBBC is the 11thSeptember 2020.
- Action Plan for May 2021 Referendum:
- Drafting of publicity documents:
Martyn asked about the funding of the referendum. Colin stated that the DPC will fund the referendum out of the money set aside by DPC for the DNP. He added that the DPC was also putting money aside for the next phase, beyond referendum.
Martyn suggested that any publicity wording would have to be phrased carefully and that key points could be picked out from the examiner’s comments. Bernard stated that in the publicity the DNPWG could say what it liked, as long as the comments were not defamatory.
Andrew suggested that the publicity should not focus on the reserve sites but should major on the positive comments and show off how good the DNP is. He also suggested that graphics showing before and after and interventions should be included.
David suggested that the DNPWG could learn from other villages that have already gone through a referendum.
Colin commented that Burbage was 6 weeks ahead of Desford.
Martyn suggested that there would need to be a coordinator for this phase.
Bernard reminded the group that nothing could be done until after 11th September 2020.
Colin mentioned that there will be a waiting time before the DNP is available from HBBC; probably in October. He added that some HBBC employees are still working from home, which will delay this process.
- Publicity: It was agreed that the usual forms of publicity would be used- Parish noticeboards, The Graphic , Parish News, websites. Pat noted that the Graphic goes to press on 23rd of the month.
- Time Line:
Martyn suggested that there should be a publicity document ready to publish as soon as the DNP is available
It was agreed to send out a simple statement to explain the position initially.
Scott stated that information could be drip fed as it would be a long time until the referendum. He offered that if a form of words were provided he would be prepared to try and improve on them. Action- Bernard and Scott
Bernard said that he agreed with this. He added that the consultation on the HBBC Local Plan was proceeding and that the White Paper states that this has to be in place by 2023.
Judy asked how soon it would be known if the DNP referendum would take place in May 2021. Colin commented that timing would be up to the government, but that time would be needed to organise the local elections and referendums.
Bernard said that there would be a statutory timetable. For reasons of economy it would be best to combine the local elections and referendum. However it may also depend on the availability of ballot boxes.
Colin reminded the group that there are 2 polling stations in the parish at Desford and Botcheston. Residents in the Kirby Muxloe part of Desford parish would have to travel to vote in the referendum.
It was confirmed that the referendum would be a yes /no question and passed by a straight majority of votes.
Jim suggested that updates on the DNP could be published in October, December, February and April.
Bernard suggested that the information could be combined with other Parish announcements.
It was suggested that a specific email address could be set up for the referendum. This was agreed.
Bernard said that if HBBC accept the recommendations they will then be written into the DNP. However at present this is confidential. He suggested that the statement from the examiner ‘I commend this…’ could be used in publicity and that we should feel happy about what the Examiner has said about Desford.
Pat mentioned that there was a need to respond to the Planning White Paper Consultation. It was asked whether the response should be by individuals, the DNPWG or DPC. It was stated that it was important to maintain the right amount of decision making within the locality of Desford; especially as the DNP had been worked on since 2016. Pat mentioned that it appeared to be steered on behalf of developers. Bernard asked whether LRALC were forming a collective view and noted that it was a very comprehensive set of changes. Colin suggested that this should be discussed and a response agreed at the next DPC meeting on the 16.9.2020. Pat offered to draft a response and to circulate this to the DNPWG for comments so it could be included with the documents for the DPC meeting. This was agreed. Action –Pat
- Date of next meeting: The date of the next meeting is TBC. It may take place in the Church Centre or via the Desford Parish Council Zoom facility.
Meeting closed 6pm.
I confirm this is a true record of the meeting: