SHENLEY NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
STEERING GROUP MEETING at METHODIST CHURCH
TUESDAY 26TH MARCH 2019 at 7pm
M I N U T E S
Attendees: Nicky Beaton* (NB, Chair), Martin Finney* (MF), Rosemary Gilligan* (RG, Vice Chair), Richard Archer* (RA), Rachel Shaw* + , Angela Koch (AK-ImaginePlaces), William Susman (WS,Chair Parish Council), Sharon Madsen (SM) *denotes Steering Group + denotes attended part of the meeting
Apologies: Gemma Archer *(GA), Gavin O’Sullivan*(GS), Maureen Ashman* (MA), Julie Lloyd (JL)
- Apologies for Absence: GA, GS and MA .
- Approval of Previous Minutes:
Minutes of the meeting on 18th February 2019 – Minutes approved.
Action Point from 18/02/19 re TPOs:
Point 4 – AGREED that AL and WS would check the list of TPOs that are on the proposed sites. RG said that at the Shenley Park AGM it was said that ‘All TPO’s have been taken off’. MF has been given a map prepared by ‘Hospital Agents’ in 1988 showing all the TPO’s. He says there are only 5 TPOs now. This has been confirmed by Glyn Dredge, Park Director. MF will get a copy of the map. Cathy Waddington was at the Park AGM – she talked about a conversation she had with Hertsmere (HBC) about TPOs. RG to email her for clarification. AK stressed that we need to have our TPO’s in order and Veteran trees recognised. MF confirmed that trees in our Conservation area are protected. NB & RG to mention to HBC on 29th March that MF is prepared help with tree work. AK stressed again that TPOing trees in Shenley Parish should be a priority.
- Health Check -Thursday 21st Feb
NB reported that the Health Check was considered to be a great success. It lasted from 4.30pm until 9pm. Vincent Maher and Ann Darnell from HBC Planning were present. Tony Burton’s recommendations have largely been actioned. At the meeting Tony asked HBC why despite several requests they have not given us an indicative housing figure for Shenley. He told them that they should give us a figure. NB, RG, RS, RA and MF met on 6th March to discuss the Exam and sent notes to AK. NB sent an email to Vincent again requesting a figure and has yet again received a dismissive email saying a figure cannot be given indeed if pushed the current Local Plan means the figure is zero! It was agreed that HBC are as always being disingenuous and even more so probably due to the Local elections scheduled for 2nd May.
- Hertsmere Borough Council – Feedback
NB has emailed Mark Silverman to say that he will receive the revised Plan by Friday 5th April. He has been requested to start the SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment) on receipt. She has also requested that as soon as the SEA is complete it should be presented to the HBC Executive Committee for approval so that the Regulation 16 Consultation can start at the end of May/early June. Mark has confirmed that he will start the SEA on receipt of the Plan.
- Draft Consultation 16 Shenley Plan – Presentation by AK
- AK confirmed that lots of the Design Policies have been moved into the Shenley Design Code & Principles section. She has used stronger language as requested and more colour. One of Tony’s suggestions was that Design Code could be in a separate document but AK disagrees and firmly believes it should be in Part C. Group agreed with her recommendation.
- Shenley Parish population figures: AK says if the Electorate figure is 3900 for the Parish then a population figure of 4300+ would seem to be too low…it would be more likely to be 5,000+. AK is using the 2011 census figure 4300.
- There was a discussion about site numbers. AK thinks Vincent’s approach is wrong and she pointed out that numbers depend on a site’s typology, existing trees etc. There can’t be a formula that fits all. With any site a developable area has to be ascertained before numbers can be worked out. HBC’s figure of 380 for Site 4 for example is too high. With regard to traffic issues AK pointed out that if development is on land close to main facilities the developer will not need to build a big roundabout similar to the new Harperbury roundabout as existing infrastructure will work but traffic calming could be introduced. WS commented that the traffic lights in Shenleybury cost £80K.
- AK commented that the new landscape photos plus map showing where the pics were taken in the Rural Character section is a good edition to the Plan. It show cases Shenley landscape well. NB pointed out that she was not able to provide photos of the Cowley Hill end of Shenley. If anyone can provide a photo it can be included.
- AK used Tony’s Policies almost word for word. He helped AK to change the Local Knowledge for Good Design section. When there is a new Govt. set of words for Building for Life we can include them when we revise our Plan in the future.
- By agreement AK will put the approved Policies at the front of the Plan rather than at the back as had been suggested.
- Special Policy Area (SPA): Tony was not sure what difference it would make having an SPA. AK recommends that we keep it. All agreed.
- RA and others were concerned that we should say 5 or more not 10 or more re significant developments to avoid a repetition of the Rest Harrow development situation.
- AK will make NB and MF’s corrections and action comments made at the meeting by the end of Thursday evening. The revised plan will be circulated to all and also to all Parish Councillors.
- NB stressed the importance of everyone reading the amended Plan and giving final approval by Thursday evening next week so that a hard copy of the approved Regulation 16 Shenley Plan can be delivered to Mark Silverman at Hertsmere to facilitate the Strategic Environmental Assessment being started. Mark will use the Radlett Template and the assessment will take approximately 6 weeks.
- NB to ask SPC to give the revised Plan approval at the Council meeting on Tuesday 2nd
- AK thinks our Vision & Objectives are fine as they are. All agreed that they stay the same but are presented in two columns on the page to make it easier to read.
- RG feels we should highlight that Shenley has one of the most deprived areas in the Borough.Figures will be looked at again. Meeting did not feel it was necessary to change current text. She pointed out that the latest Govt. Housing figures report shows that Hertsmere have delivered 58% more houses that they need to. This needs to be mentioned to them on the 29th.
- Community Priority Projects: All agreed that they should not be numbered Project 1,2 3 etc only listed so as not to emphasis particular projects.
- It was agreed that the photos of the Charrington Place houses should be moved to the Design section.
- Basic conditions Statement – Not discussed but AK is scheduled to do a final amendment after the SEA.
- Revised Consultation Statement Version 1.3 – Not discussed but comment above applies.
- Meeting with Hertsmere Borough Council Planning + AECOM, HBC re Plan and NDO on 29th March + Feedback re Call with AECOM on 12 March.
- NB, RG, AK and David Carlisle of AECOM are meeting with Hertsmere Planning at 10.30 on Friday 29th March to discuss the revised Plan, NDOs, the Special Policy Area and other important points. David will be present to help us achieve a better outcome.
- Conference call with AECOM on 12th March: Participants – NB, RG, AK and David Carlisle. Notes: Re housing numbers David confirmed that 2014 Govt. projections should be used which means HBC figure is 12,000 and 4% gives us a figure of 480 for Shenley but HBC have said we cannot assume we will get 4%, the figure could be higher! Vincent Maher surmised to NB prior to the Mock Exam that the figure could be around 11,000 and mentioned again that we may need to take some of Watford’s numbers. RG says HBC seem to be fixing on numbers higher than St Albans. All agreed that the Local elections on 2nd May are a big distraction for HBC at the moment. She commented that the 2018-2031 Hertfordshire County Infrastructure Plan does not have any major infrastructure planned.
- David said that Green Belt isn’t in itself a reason for not meeting housing targets! He confirmed that Village Envelope expansion was against core strategy and an NDO of the size being considered for Site 4 is likely to be unacceptable due to the openness issue. It was agreed that Site 4 owners need more detailed legal advice from Landmark Trust if they are to proceed.
- David confirmed that it is common place for Neighbourhood Plans to put forward a housing mix. HBC have told us that we can’t ask developers to build a particular mix.
- Special Policy Area? The new head of HBC Planning comes from Watford where several SPA’s have been implemented. We will ask him for advice re ours.
- AK is not sure that the Building for Life Policy will survive in our Plan but we can put all the key points in even if we remove it. It is a tool not a weapon.
- David commented that Good design should not cost anything more. Can make sure it is fairly cost neutral. AK commented that unfortunately a lot of good planning rules are not adhered to. 2 scale drawings are required in the Radlett Plan. David says that the Design and Access statements are important.
- When to use must and should – We all agreed that we want as many musts as possible. As long as it is not ‘out of conformity’ we want to use must. David commented that he tends to use should.
- David said changes to the Planning Practice Guidance should help us. AECOM advised the Govt. re the revisions.
- NB asked David how many days AECOM will give us. He said generally it is around 3 to 6 days. He will confirm what we are going to get.
- Communication – Plan for next couple of months:
- NB & AK recommended that the next Public Meeting should be at the end of May/early June depending on when the Regulation 16 Consultation is started by HBC. We need to encourage the community to give us as much feedback as possible. Radlett ended up with only 26, probably due to the HBC Consultation happening at the same time but they have had to repeat the consultation. NB stressed that we do not want this to happen to us!
- SM stressed the importance of the way the Plan is promoted particularly in relation to Site 4. All agreed that we need to emphasize that in terms of all the sites put forward by owners and developers AECOM, the Government funded independent advisers recommended Site 4 in their Site Assessment report as does our Consultant AK both for good planning reasons. Also the feedback from our Reg 14 Consultation overall was positive and it is given a positive rating in HBC’s Green Belt review and for all these reasons this is why it is favoured. All agreed that the Map of the area should be at the back with the other maps but the Vision Statement which illustrates some of the design principles we advocate should remain in the revised Plan as positioned by AK. AK says there is an intrinsic reason for Site 4. MF recommended that we term it ‘An Emerging Vision’. All agreed as it is just that. AK reminded us that there was 68% support for the Village Envelope! She informed us that of the 700 plans submitted nationally to date only 3 have not been supported.
- It was agreed that it would be a good idea for all Owners/Developers to be given the opportunity to give a 6 minute presentation of their schemes plus display boards. Idea to be discussed at the next meeting.
- SM will prepare a Communications Agenda for meeting on 25th All to think about presentation content. It was agreed that WS will represent the Parish Council with a short piece before NB as SG Chair introduces the presentation which will be presented by Steering Group members as per the last Public meeting.
- Any Other Business
- Date of next meeting: Thursday 25th April tbc
AK to send revised Plan to everyone by Thursday evening (28th).
Everyone to read amended Reg 16 Shenley Plan by noon Thurs 4th April. NB requests everyone reads Plan and comment as early as possible. All changes to be complete by end of 4th. NB to take hardcopy to Hertsmere on morning Friday 5th April so that Mark Silverman can start the SEA.
Meeting closed at 10.30pm