Held via video conference
Thursday 4th June, 2020 at 19.30
Councillors: Chris Barron, Simeon Cole, Bob Puzey
Non- council members: Andrew De La Haye (Chair), Leigh Russell, Bill Bloxsome (Consultant), Jon Stern
There were no members of the public present
1. Apologies for absence – there were no apologies
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation – Simeon Cole in respect of any
matter connected with potential development sites WAL006 & WAL007
3. Minutes – In respect of the minutes of the meeting held on 27th May 2020 it was noted that Chris
Barron’s name had been misspelt and that Simeon Cole had declared an interest in any matter
connected with sites 6 & 7. With these corrections the minutes were agreed as a true and accurate
Andrew De La Haye proposed that as there were now 2 different types of Steering Group meeting,
one dealing with Project Management and the other with Document Content review, then the minute
title should reflect the type of meeting being recorded. He also proposed that the review and approval
of minutes should be considered at the next chronological meeting of the SG. All members of the SG
agreed that this was a sensible approach.
4.1 Review of outline NDP document
The SG continued the review of the first draft of the NDP document produced by Bill Bloxsome.
The review recommenced at Section 6 Infrastructure.
Policy WALF11: Highway Design Requirements It was agreed that sub-sections a-e were all OK as
drafted. Andrew De La Haye pointed out that the second reference to cyclists in sub-section f was
duplication. In sub-section h Bill explained that Travel Plans could include support for local bus
services and provision for walking to school, such measures to be facilitated by developers. Leigh
Russell queried whether the public would fully understand sub-section h and it was agreed that Bill
would add a few further words of explanation. Jon Stern raised the provision of electric vehicle
charging points at village halls. Bill suggested that as this was not directly a planning issue it was
something that might be included in Appendix 1. Subject to the noted changes the policy was
Policy WALF12: Traffic Measures within the Parish Agreed as drafted.
Policy WALF13: Protection and Enhancement of Community Facilities and Businesses serving the
Local Community There was some discussion about the list of existing facilities and businesses. Jon
Stern felt that as the list was likely to change during the life of the NDP it was impossible to include a
definitive inventory. Bill advised that examiners tend to insist that NDPs include a list of the current
facilities and it was agreed that whilst not ideal the list, as drafted, should be retained. There was
further discussion about a playing field that Bill had noted, on the OS map, adjacent to the Roman
Way estate but within the Walford Parish boundary. Simeon Cole believed that that playing field was in
active use and was owned by Herefordshire Council. It was agreed that Andrew De La Haye would
contact Herefordshire Council to confirm whether it was a Council asset and needed to be included in
the list of Community Facilities. There was also discussion about whether sub-section d should include
‘fully’ under ‘accessible’ but the majority of the SG agreed that it was appropriate in this instance.
Policy WALF14: Contributions to Community Facilities Agreed as drafted. Simeon Cole asked
whether Section 106 funds could be use to upgrade the footways between Walford and Ross. Bill
explained that whilst Section 106 moneys cannot be used for this purpose there was more latitude in
terms of the CIL and if that were adopted then it might be possible, in the future.
Policy WALF15: High Speed Broadband and Telecommunications Agreed as drafted.
Andrew De La Haye noted that Para 7.1 had some unfinished sentences. Bill explained that the
paragraph was unfinished as it depended on the site assessment activity.
Policy WALF16: Design and Appearance In respect of sub-section h Leigh Russell enquired as to
whether the SG knew what the local housing needs were. Bill explained that he had used the
Herefordshire Council Ross Housing Market Area housing assessment in drafting this policy as there
were no specific figures available at a parish level. He had included these figures in Table 1 (para 7.2).
The policy was agreed as drafted.
There was some discussion about what evidence existed in terms of the housing needs of the elderly
mentioned in para 7.2. The SG agreed that the responses to the parish questionnaire and the
consultation events were probably the best sources of local information on this topic.
It was noted that Policies WALF17-22 were not yet ready for review as they depended on the outcome
of the Phase 2 Development Sites assessment.
There was discussion about the proposal, in Policy WALF17, to support limited proposals ‘for assisted
or supported living for elderly people will be permitted outside of Walford and Coughton settlement
boundary provided the site has reasonable access to facilities within the village’.It was agreed that this
should form part of Policy WALF17 for the draft NDP and to review it again after the public
consultation on the Plan.
Section 8 Supporting and Encouraging Business Bill explained that Section 8 was based on the Core
Strategy policies for businesses as the SG had not identified and Walford specific needs in this area.
The SG agreed that Paras 8.1 to 8.6 reflected the local needs as they were currently understood.
Policy WALF23: Use of rural buildings Bob Puzey asked what restricted the number of rural buildings
that could be converted into work premises or holiday lets. Bill advised that, in planning terms, it was
only local infrastructure and landscape issues that would be normally be considered in determining the
number and size of such conversions. He felt that it was unlikely that the NDP could contain a policy
that could limit conversions for other reasons. The policy was agreed as drafted.
Policy WALF24: Poly-tunnel Proposals Leigh Russell queried why sub-section c only mentioned the 3
Core Strategy settlements and not all parts of the parish as Poly-tunnels could affect them all. Bill
explained that sub-section b was intended to deal with the landscape in general and that c dealt with
the settings of the 3 settlements designated for development. After some discussion it was agreed
that Bill would reword the sub-sections to differentiate more between countryside and any settlements.
Section 9 Delivering the Plan Agreed as drafted.
Appendix 1:Enabling Associated Measures Leigh Russell asked whether there was an option to
increase protection for locally designated wildlife and habitat sites through Enabling Measures. Bill felt
that it would be difficult to do this using the existing wildlife and habitat data as it was unlikely to meet
the current standards for information capture. The Parish Council would probably have to fund new
habitat survey work and it would require landowner co-operation. It was agreed to add designated
sites into sub-section g.
Jon Stern asked that a specific item be added to the list to allow for the installation of public electric
vehicle charging points. This was agreed.
Parish projects Bill explained that this was a list of possible projects that the Parish Council might wish
to sponsor over the lifetime of the NDP. AT this stage it was just an example of projects that might be
considered, based on information that he had collected in putting together the draft NDP. Andrew De
La Haye agreed to put the list to the Parish Council for their consideration.
5 Items for next meeting agenda
Review & QA of Appendix 2
Update on the sections still to be completed
Review the evidence base supporting the NDP draft
Review of email comments received by the Clerk & Chair
6 Date and time of next meeting
Wednesday 17th June 2020 at 7.30pm, to be held by video and audio conference
The chair closed the meeting at 21.28