Walton Neigbourhood Plan
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Notes from WNP Steering Group meeting held at Walton Village Hall 

on Tuesday 11th March 2014.

Helen Massey (Chairman), Jonathan Bemrose,  Sue Birkby, Liz Fairclough, Philip Lee, John Leith,  Dave Rolinson, Keith Shaw and John Smith.

David Plaut (Clerk to WPC).

Richard Fairclough, Sheila Leith, Tim Howe, Colin Moran, Richard Tomlinson and Mike Wylie.

1. Brook Farm application.

Helen Massey reported that a letter in line with the points raised at the last Steering Group Meeting was sent to Becky Eades, Planning Officer, and to all the members of the Planning Committee, prior to the Planning Committee's meeting on 27th February to consider the deferred application.

She noted that the Clerk had spoken in objection at the meeting on behalf of the Steering Group and the Parish Council. She also commented on receiving a phone call, a few days before the committee meeting, from the owner of Highwood Farm who had additional objections to the application and her letter of objection dated June 2013 was belatedly circulated to members of the Planning Committee before their meeting.

Nevertheless, the application was approved.

Dave Rolinson felt there is a positive outcome to the situation because, even though the Neighbourhood Plan is not yet in existence, the process has yielded a package of benefits: a deferral of the decision giving time for further negotiations to take place and which resulted in the offer of 40 allotments, a widening of the footpath along Shay Lane from Drain Beck to the Nature Park and £150,000 for the local sports clubs.

The next stage of the development will be the consideration of the application for the development of the WYS & SC site on Walton Lane to which the Parish Council is entitled to add its objection.

2. Draft Plan progress

a) As a result of Carol Crookes' continued absence through sick leave, Helen Massey contacted Richard Hollinson for a response to the Draft Plan.

Subsequently a response was received from Neville Ford with 10 comments, only one of which is considered a significant hurdle to progress. This is whether or not the PAS area near the Manor estate can be re-designated as Green Belt and still be in conformity with the LDF.  Opinions differ on this issue and Dave Rolinson will seek other people's views.

Even if it is the case that the Plan cannot re-designate an area as Green Belt, then there may be other ways of framing this policy.

There is a need to get further information from WMDC and consult on conformity with the LDF . Dave Rolinson & Helen Massey will request a process meeting with Richard Hollinson.

b) Evidence being gathered for the Plan:

Richard Fairclough has compiled a list of properties of note in the village.

Mike Wylie has extracted and documented related responses from the questionnaire.

Hazelwood Consulting have been engaged to provide ecological evidence for the mineral railway line that runs parallel to Oakenshaw Lane.

A meeting with the Golf Club is still required. Tim Howe, Helen Massey

A meeting with Canals and Rivers Trust (who put in an objection in response to the questionnaire) is still required. Phil Roebuck

A meeting with Waterton Park Hotel is considered desirable but not essential.

John Leith will follow up more information on cycle paths and liaise with the local cycling forum.

3. Next steps

Mike Dando has offered to vet the plan before submission to ensure there are no obvious shortcomings for a fee of £1,500. No decision on this was taken.

The process continues with publicising the Plan and making it available for comments to all residents for a period of six weeks. At the same time, statutory consultees need to be consulted (at WMDC's cost).

After that, and taking into account the responses to consultation, the Plan can formally be submitted to WMDC.

The need for feedback to residents on current progress was felt to be very important.

An opportunity for feedback will be at the Annual Parish Meeting on 10th April.

It was agreed to have displays, particularly of the work with the schools, made available at the meeting and to advertise the meeting in the Walton column of the Wakefield Express. To be completed by John Smith, Dave Rolinson, Sheila Leith.

Next meeting: The next meeting will be on Tuesday 8th April 7pm.

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