Walton Neigbourhood Plan
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Notes from WNP Steering Group meeting held at Walton Village Hall on Tuesday 11th February 2014.


Helen Massey (Chairman), Jonathan Bemrose,  Mick Dent, Liz Fairclough, Richard Fairclough, Libby Hall, Tim Howe, Philip Lee, John Leith, Sheila Leith, Christine Mason,  Norman Parkinson, Phil Roebuck, Dave Rolinson, Keith Shaw, Richard Tomlinson and Mike Wylie.

David Plaut (Clerk to WPC).

Colin Moran, John Smith, David Pickover, Mike Dando & Nick Hall (both Planning Aid).


1. Introduction.
Helen Massey set the topics for discussion:

The Brook Farm application.

The summary of projects presented at the last meeting.

The Draft Neighbourhood Plan, circulated to all members - for which many thanks are due to Dave Rolinson.


2. Brook Farm application.

Helen Massey reported on the meeting held with Mark Wheater of WMDC and Alistair Flatman of ID Planning  at which she, Dave Rolinson and David Plaut attended to discuss the letter that had been sent on behalf of the Steering Group to the Planning Committee.

Mark Wheater subsequently sent a response to the issues raised at the meeting. This response was discussed by the Parish Council at its meeting on 4th February and the Parish Council delegated the Steering Group to reply to Mark Wheater's proposals.

Mark Wheater also held a meeting on 5th February with the sporting groups in the area (Walton Community Centre, Walton Tennis Club, teams playing at Crofton Sidings and Crofton Community Centre, and WYSSC).

Helen Massey reported the response from Walton Community Centre was that, although the meeting was positive, the Community Centre remained concerned about the considerable threat to their ability to hold functions.  They were also concerned that WYSSC might install a MUGA, which Walton Community Centre are already actively pursuing.

Phil Lee said that the Tennis Club have no objections to the application.

Dave Rolinson pointed out that the emerging Neighbourhood Plan is proving very important as demonstrated by the deferral of the decision on the application which resulted from the Steering Group's representation.





The benefits and disadvantages of the application were then discussed by the meeting including:

·           90% of respondents to the questionnaire were against the application and the Steering Group's response should take into account the views of the whole village.

·           competition should be allowed to determine which organisation's function rooms will thrive.

·           the cost of playing bowls may well increase if  WYSSC is relocated.


Individual issues in the letter were then discussed:

·           Heritage Trail - even taking into account the need for site security within the development, it should be possible to incorporate a path around the development by amending the proposed boundaries.

·           Land for Allotments - it would be more appropriate for the developer to prepare the land whilst all the relevant equipment is on site, rather than to expect that the Parish Council should do so at its own cost. In addition, the term of a 1 year lease is unacceptable, grants for allotment improvement are only available for leases longer than 5 years.  Although the recent history of requirements is known, there is still a need to establish the current requirements for allotments.

·           Flooding - it is important that a scheme of mitigation is actually included in the conditions of the application.

·           Highways - it is important that traffic calming is included in the conditions of the application.

·           Landscaping -  this is important to mitigate the impact of light and noise spillage onto the properties on the Brooklands estate.

Conclusion:  the Neighbourhood Steering Group still wishes to object to the application because of the impact both on the village as a whole and on the various facilities within the village, but that WMDC should be given a further opportunity to address the above issues.


3. Draft Plan

Dave Rolinson introduced the topic by saying that the Draft Plan is written in planner's language. Other Neighbourhood Plans that he has looked at are also written that way. There may be the need to produce a more concise version for residents. However, Mike Dando has advised that, with the amount of consultation already undertaken and the response rate,  it would be possible to  move along the statutory process without having to put the Draft Plan out for further feedback from residents.

If this is accepted, then the Draft Plan could be made available on line and have several hard copies available at strategic places for inspection.

Meanwhile there are still things to prove and more analysis required as evidence. Some of this evidence base may need to be obtained by employing a consultant with the associated cost that this will entail.


Each policy was then examined:

Policy 1 - will need a consultant to provide the evidence base. It was decided that a footpath along the mineral railway will not be included.

Policy 2 – The justification to extend the Green Belt is being further explored. A meeting is required with the Canals and Rivers Trust to explore the future of the PAS 13  land.

Policy 3 - members of the group are asked to forward ideas about the improvement of the local green spaces listed. Walton Recreation Park is to be identified as 'The School Lane Rec'.

Policy 4 - maybe work with WMDC to establish historical links.

Policies 6,7, 8 & 9 - members of the group are asked to forward further ideas and comments to Dave Rolinson.

Policy 11 - delete because current broadband speed is already the best available.

Policy 12 - remove reference to 'temporary uses' and insert 'agricultural and recreational uses'.

Policy 15 - drop the plan which defines the village centre because it is too contrived.


The listed Projects

Members gave views on the priority for each of the projects at the end of section 4 to establish quick wins.


Actions resulting from the above:

Meet with the Golf Club  - Tim Howe, Helen Massey.

Set up meetings with Canals and Rivers Trust – Phil Roebuck

Set up meeting with Waterton Park Hotel - TBC

Defer a justification for the allotment request so as not to jeopardise the current allotments.

Seek responses from WMDC to procedural issues and obtain maps – Carole Crookes

Obtain heritage evidence about historical buildings - Richard Fairclough

Obtain ecological wildlife evidence. - TBC

Obtain evidence on medical issues - Tim Howe to have a conversation with PCT.

Obtain evidence about ATM's - Mick Dent.

All members to comment on 5 local green spaces.  Extract related responses from the questionnaire - Mike Wylie.

Next meeting: The next meeting on Tuesday 11th March 7pm

Future meeting dates: 8th April, 13th May, 10th June, 8th July.