Held via video conference Wednesday 6th May, 2020 at 11.00
Councillors: Chris Barron, Bob Puzey
Non- council members: Andrew De La Haye (Chair), Leigh Russell, Bill Bloxsome (Consultant), Jon Stern
Members of the public – One
It was resolved not to invoke the video conferencing recording facility.
1. Apologies for absence – Simeon Cole
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation – There were no declarations of
3. Minutes – Andrew De La Haye queried the third item under 3.2. Following discussion the members of
the SG agreed that the Chair had taken an action to contact the Parish Clerk and seek clarification as
to whether the members of the Parish Council wished to have sight of the draft Stage 1 assessment
report before it was published on the NDP website. It was agreed that the third item should be
removed and the first item expanded to include this action. It was further resolved to adopt the
minutes of the meeting held on 28th April 2020 as a true and accurate record, subject to section 3.2
being amended to reflect the discussion.
4.1 Development and agreement of stage 2 site assessment criteria and weighting factors.
Bill Bloxsome delivered a presentation on his proposals for the stage 2 site assessment criteria, based
on Herefordshire Council’s Neighbourhood Planning Guidance Note 21. The SG considered each
section of the assessment process in turn.
In terms of the top level categories for the Stage 2 assessment it was agreed that highways had
figured highly in the public consultation and there was no problem with looking for the efficient use of
It was agreed that the detailed descriptions of each of the settlement areas were accurate. Bill
confirmed that the settlement classifications that he was using came directly from Herefordshire
Councils Landscape Character Assessment. The potential to designate sites adjacent to the Ross
Town boundary was discussed and Bill Bloxsome took an action to draft an email enquiry that the
Chair could send to Ross Town Council to consult over this possibility, as required by the NDP
Under nature conservation and designations the general categories were agreed as appropriate. It
was further agreed that Ancient Woodlands should be added to the list of conservation designations.
The list of services was agreed to cover all the aspects that had been raised during the public
consultation. Bill asked if the SG knew of any water supply or foul water drainage issues. Reference
was made to foul water issues in Walford and Howle Hill. Chris Barron agreed to forward copies of the
maps purchased by the SG from Welsh Water.
There was a short discussion about polluted land and it was noted that the Howle Hill settlement area
had a number of old quarry and open cast mining sites that had been used for landfill.
The SG agreed that having worked through each of the assessment categories they matched the
feedback from the public consultation sessions and therefore it was resolved to accept them as the
basis for the Stage 2 assessment process.
There were 3 items that the SG felt were not directly addressed by the assessment process. These
◦ Mitigating Climate Change
◦ Needs of the disabled
◦ Whether there was a need to equalise development across the hamlets
Bill Bloxsome agreed to look at these items and put forward proposals. He suggested that these were
issues that could best be considered under site design criteria which could follow on from the Stage 2
assessment. The SG agreed with this as a way forward.
The meeting then moved on to discuss how to weight the various assessment categories to enable Bill
Bloxsome to arrive at a recommended ranking order for the 11 remaining development sites.
It was agreed that a simple scoring system of High, Medium and Low would be sufficient to provide
the necessary differentiation between sites. Bill also confirmed that if any specific issues were
revealed during his physical site visits then they would be included in the ranking process.
The meeting then considered each section in turn, taking a vote on each item, with the following
(a) Flood issues High
(b) Highways Medium
(c) Land Use Low
(d) Landscape Character High
(e) Conservation Nature High
(f) Conservation Built Medium
(g) Services Water/Drainage High
(h) Services All Others Low
4.2 Define views worth preserving
Although some members of the SG had suggested views that might benefit from protection it was
agreed that a further attempt should be made to engage the parish in proposing additional notable
views. Bill Bloxsome agreed to provide a copy of some advertising material, used by another parish,
that was intended to try and promote community involvement in defining views that were worthy of
note for use within an NDP.
4.3 Agree local wildlife sites to be protected
Leigh was still reviewing the habitat and wildlife information provided by the HRBC. She hoped to
complete this task within the next few weeks. She had also passed a copy of the HRBC wildlife sites to
Chris for incorporation into the QGIS parish map.
5 Items for next meeting agenda
Stage 2 assessment update
Consideration of a draft outline NDP document
Consideration of any need for a further survey
6 Date and time of next meeting
19th May 2020 at 7.20pm, to be held by video and audio conference
The chair closed the meeting at 13.20