Held via video conference
Tuesday 19th May, 2020 at 19.20
Councillors: Chris Barron, Simeon Cole, Bob Puzey
Non- council members: Andrew De La Haye (Chair), Leigh Russell, Bill Bloxsome (Consultant), Jon Stern
Members of the public – One
1. Apologies for absence – Leigh Russell
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 – The minutes of the meeting held on 6th May 2020 were agreed as a true and accurate
4.1 Stage 2 site assessment criteria update
Bill Bloxsome had circulated a revised draft of the stage 2 assessment criteria incorporating the
changes agreed at the meeting of 6th May 2020.
Bob Puzey asked how the 3 assessment levels of High, Medium and Low would be used to arrive at a
site ranking. Bill responded that he intended to develop the details of the actual process as the
document evolved and that it would be better to discuss that process at that time.
Simeon Cole stated that he believed that the wrong flood zone maps had been used in the Stage 1
Andrew De La Haye requested that version control be added to the document. Bill explained that the
Stage 2 assessment paper would be combined with the Stage 1 report to form a single document and
that did contain full version control tracking.
Bill also reported that he had looked into the options for including facilities for the elderly and those
with impaired mobility as part of the assessment and had concluded that both Herefordshire Council
and the Independent Examiner would not accept this. He suggested that it might be possible to include
some statements on this topic in any site design guidelines.
It was observed that significant views could be added into the assessment as and when any were
The SG members resolved to approve the updated criteria.
4.2 Review of outline NDP document
Bill Bloxsome had circulated a 56 page first draft outline NDP document. He explained that he had
included as much information in the draft as he thought might be relevant but that the SG and Council
could always remove any sections or policies that they thought were unnecessary. At this stage the
review was to ensure that the structure and broad content matched with expectations and the results
of the recent public consultations.
Andrew commented that he expected the SG to be working on this document until the project reached
the start of Regulation 14.
It was agreed that the outline of the draft document contained all the sections that were expected.
It was agreed that the SG would work through the draft document section by section.
Section 1 Introduction The introduction was considered to be largely complete but that there was value
in adding the early stages of the project into the process diagram. Bill agreed to do this. In para 1.5
the missing date was June 2019.
Section 2 Background There was discussion about whether it would be possible to use local place
names for the settlements rather than the Core Strategy ones. It was agreed that both Howle Hill and
Bishopswood would be readily understood by parishioners but that Walford (Coughton) might be
confusing given that Bill had identified 3 distinct groupings of dwellings in the Walford area. It was
agreed to change Walford (Coughon) to Walford and Coughton. Bill agreed to look at ways of
conveying that Walford (Coughton) actually covered all 3 areas of existing development.
Jon Stern pointed out that some material from Section 2 also appeared elsewhere in the Plan. Bill
observed that it was too early in the development of the Plan to be certain where duplication might be
appropriate. As the document evolved it would be edited to make it consistent.
Section 3 Issues and Options It was agreed that this section reflected items that had been previously
discussed and had either been presented as part of the public consultation events or as a result of
Section 4 Vision, Objectives and Strategic Policies The introduction to Section 4 reiterated the
previously agreed Vision and Objectives. The SG then considered each draft policy in turn:
Policy WALF1: Promoting Sustainable Development Jon Stern felt that the content was quite difficult
to follow. Bill commented that some NDPs have such an introductory scene setting policy but as this
was just the first draft of the NDP it could easily be removed later.
Policy WALF2:Development Strategy It was noted that sites adjacent to the Ross Town boundary
might form part of the strategy following the Stage 2 site assessment.
Policy WALF3: Major Development Within the Wye Valley AONB Bill explained that major
development was not a matter of a specific number of houses. It was necessary to decide on criteria
which would imply major development and these might relate to strategic or landscape factors. This
policy could require further development. It was agreed that this policy reflected the opinions
expressed by parishioners.
Policy WALF4: Conserving the Landscape and Scenic Beauty of the Parish Agreed as appropriate.
Policy WALF5: Enhancement of the Natural Environment Agreed as appropriate.
Policy WALF6: Protecting Heritage Assets Concern was expressed as to whether this included the 3
war memorials. Bill cross-checked the list of heritage assets in Appendix 2 and confirmed that all 3
memorials were included (note: all 3 are Grade II listed). Agreed as appropriate.
Policy WALF7: Wastewater Drainage Jon Stern asked whether this policy could require developers to
extend the existing foul water sewer system along the B4234 towards Walford Village Hall and
sawmills. Andrew felt that the policy would not have that effect but that it would encourage developers
to connect to the existing mains sewer system where possible. It was observed that Welsh Water had
not declared any projects, in Walford parish, to extend the mains sewer system in their programme of
work between 2020 and 2025. It was also thought unlikely that they could put it into the 2025-2030
programme with an implementation date before 2031, which would be the end of the current Core
Policy WALF8: Protection from Flood Risk Agreed as appropriate.
Policy WALF9: Sustainable Design There was discussion about the possibility of requiring new
buildings to be Net Zero Carbon. Bill advised that it was not generally possible to mandate build
standards that went beyond current Building Regulations. There might be options to extend this within
specific design statements but that was beyond his current remit or capability. Jon Stern suggested
that WALF9 should be checked against the comments received in the public consultation. It was
agreed that Jon would undertake this review and report back. There was discussion about whether
the policy should be called Sustainable Design or Sustainable Construction. A majority of the SG
agreed that it should remain as Sustainable Design. It was also observed that PROWs should be
linked into Sustainable Design and Bill confirmed that this was covered as part of draft policy WALF11.
Policy WALF10: Renewable and Low Carbon Energy There was discussion about the size of
renewable energy schemes that this policy would support. It was agreed that the policy met the
wishes of the community, as expressed in both the parish questionnaire and the public consultation,
for individual small scale and community level schemes but not for commercial sized installations.
Due to time pressures it was agreed to consider the remaining policies at a subsequent meeting.
4.3 Need for a further parish survey
Jon Stern expressed his concern that the last NDP parish survey had been conducted in 2014 and
that the information was now quite old. Andrew De La Haye observed that he had contacted the NDP
Support Team at Herefordshire Council and asked for their view on the use of information from the
2014 survey and they had advised him that this was perfectly acceptable. Andrew then asked Bill if he
felt that there were any obvious deficiencies in the supporting evidence base which could be
addressed through a survey. Bill replied that at this point he felt that he had adequate information to
proceed and that the need for additional data would depend on the level of fine tuning required to
finalise the draft document.
It was therefore agreed that there was no need to consider a further survey at this time.
5 Items for next meeting agenda
Further consideration of the draft outline NDP document
6 Date and time of next meeting
4th June 2020 at 7.30pm, to be held by video and audio conference
The chair closed the meeting at 21.23