Hazelwood Parish  Neighbourhood Plan
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Hazelwood Parish Neighbourhood Plan

Steering Group

Date; Thursday October 23rd, 2014.

Venue; Bowling Club pavilion.

Present; Martin Angold, Robert Walker, David Railton, Martin Farrell, Mike Wood, Keith Walker, Irene & Bob Wrigley, Glen and Lesley Wall, Kay Reid, Michael Say, Kevin Eaton (Chairman).

Guests; Malcolm and Kate Sutton.

Apologies; Judy Harris.

Prior business.

Chairman welcomed Malcolm and Kate Sutton, explaining that the policy was to provide time for guests to raise any topic, in advance of the main business. Following this, guests could stay or depart, as they wished.

Malcolm said that they were simply wishing to know whether the Steering Group was able to provide any further thoughts on the outline building possibilities, put forward by them on August 19th. They had recently had a discussion with AVBC concerning a site on the North side of Over Lane, opposite the Church yard.

Chairman said that the group, unfortunately, was not in a position to add further to the situation at this time. It was not in the Steering Group’s gift to approve or disapprove any application, however outline.  It was essentially a matter of policy and this was still being discussed and formulated. Resolving this, putting it to parishioners and AVBC for approval was likely to be a lengthy process.

A specific observation was made by Mike Wood. He said that as the proposal involved building on ‘countryside’, this was not currently permissible. Malcolm Sutton believed that legislation could allow this, in certain circumstances.

Chairman concluded by saying that AVBC were the appropriate body, although any firm application would come through to the Parish Council for comment. From now on, any such comment would be against the stated background of an emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

Invited to stay for the rest of the meeting, the Suttons agreed.


These were approved for the September 4th meeting and signed by the Chairman

Matters arising


Final Questionnaire - conclusions summary

This had been prepared to combine the key statistical findings with the main conclusions - currently spread across several files. The document built on the work carried out by Bob and Irene Wrigley as regards conclusions. Michael Say said that one or two further conclusions had been included, again, with the approval of Bob and Irene. The document would be the primary source for the presentation to parishioners at the next Open Evening.

This was approved.

In addition, it was agreed that the information gathered about non-land use issues can now be transferred to the Parish Council for potential action.

Vision statement

Michael Say had prepared what he felt was an enhanced version; the paper showed the current draft for comparison. After discussion, an earlier version, close to the last draft, will be adopted.

Review of meeting with Helen Metcalfe September 30th

Notes from that meeting had been distributed. In simple terms, the draft document showing suggested objectives and policies was not thought to pass muster, for the reasons stated. Helen Metcalfe believed that the group needs to concentrate on three key aspects; Design, Landscape and Housing. She also felt that the approach needed to be more strongly playing to Hazelwood’s rural strengths. A clear distinctiveness needs to be shown that boldly contrasts with the generic approach of AVBC’s Local Plan.  The Neighbourhood Plan has to show what especially needs to be done, and why, to protect Hazelwood that is not already catered for in AVBC’s planning policies.

Chairman said that the intended Housing Needs Assessment (see later) would be an important evidential element. Discussion will ensue about addressing Helen’s points

and seeking further guidance from her. Her sample policies and objectives will be useful

Two information points were provided to the meeting, following an email from Helen Metcalfe.

1/ Lubrizol’s site is not classified as business-only by AVBC, because it would not be regarded as a suitable business site if the company ever decided to leave. Despite this being highly unlikely, it raised a question for the Neighbourhood Plan about suitable protection from a potential house-builder.

2/ Her conversation with Rachael Coates at AVBC on the question of showing boundaries again raised the thorny question of designating development sites. See her email below;

If you want to define the settlement framework boundary (which would provide clarity and surety about the location and extent of development) then it needs to include one or 2 potential sites within the boundary. She does not want it tightly drawn. This approach requires you to be prepared to ask the community where development could occur over the next 15 years. The inspector in the 2006 local plan examination supported this approach but AVBC did not have the capacity to do this for all the settlements. The advantage of this approach is that you are taking control of where growth could take place. The disadvantage is that if this approach is not supported the community could vote no at referendum. I think the issue is how you communicate with your parishioners on this matter. If they understand that otherwise they may get a bit of infill anyway but it might be in places that they do not want it, then this approach could appeal, you are doing just what a NP should; using local knowledge to identify sites that are more palatable to local people.

‘Adjacent to boundary’ policy wording is not an approach that would be supported by AVBC.



Martin Angold confirmed that, from the original grant sum of £6,300, expenditure was £2,500, leaving a balance of £3,800.

The Housing Needs Assessment was currently being estimated as £2,500 approx. This would not leave sufficient to ensure Helen Metcalfe’s continued involvement. As such, further funding is being sought from ‘Awards for All’. Another possibility is ‘Locality’ but this won’t be available until April 1st 2015.

Midlands Rural Housing.

Martin Angold reported that Kevin, Michael and himself had had a meeting with Alison Clamp from the above, earlier that day. It had been very productive and the recommendation to the meeting was that they should be employed to carry out a full Housing Needs Assessment survey. The original cost estimate was being looked at by Alison with a view to reducing this.

The ‘four months’ time frame had already been reduced and the agreed dates were now.

Pre November 14th - Alison Clamp to produce draft letter, draft questionnaire for approval. On approval, all this to be printed by her organisation.

November 14th - all material available.

Letter will be from Hazelwood Parish Council, with a hand written, personal salutation, hand signed by Martin Angold. Business Reply envelope will be used.


Envelopes will be labelled from the address list held.

Collation and hand delivery by the Steering Group team.

November 21st

All envelopes ‘posted’. This gives two weekends and a normal week for completion. Letter will seek responses by Monday December 1st.

January 2015

Midlands Rural Housing to produce analysis by the month end.

The meeting approved sanctioning Midlands Rural Housing. It was also agreed that the draft covering letter and draft questionnaire would be discussed at the next Steering Group meeting on Thursday November 13th (see below)


Next Open Evening.

This had been determined as Friday November 28th, in line with Memorial Hall availability. The meeting felt that Friday was not a good night. After discussion it will be now Thursday November 27th, in place of the scheduled Parish Council meeting, as per agreement with Martin Angold. Chairman thanked Martin for this important accommodation


The programme for the evening will be drafted and circulated to allow full group involvement.

Visual impact assessment

The example exercise prepared by Mike Wood had been seen by Rachael Coates of AVBC. Her response, offering up various references which would be used by AVBC, was thought to be helpful. Mike Wood believed these were comparable to those used by him.

Heathcote planning application.

An outline planning application to AVBC on a plot at the corner of Over Lane and Lumb Lane was raised. Chairman, again, made the point that the application could only be noted by the Steering Group at the moment and any comment would be down to the Parish Council. In this regard, clarity on some aspects of the application will be sought; with the Parish Council, nevertheless, setting their comments against the background of the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

Next meetings

Thursday November 13th @ 7.0pm Hazelwood Church (courtesy of David Railton)

Thursday January 15th @ 7.00pm Memorial Hall

Thursday February 12th @ 7.00pm Memorial Hall