Minutes of the LVRA Meeting: 19.00 hrs. on Monday 11 September 2017 at the Top Club
Present: Karen Hawden (Chair), David Hempsall (Secretary), Darryl Nugent (Treasurer), Bob Nicholas (Footpaths Officer), David Rhodes (Liaison and Social Media Officer); Barbara Ashworth, Julian Ashworth, Marian Bent, Cllr Alyson Barnes, David Cairns, Ian Cardy, John Clegg, Maggie Clegg, John Clements, Ann Corkin, David Corkin, John Cronshaw, Jessica Dougherty, Susan Dunn, Andrew Ellis, Martine Entwistle, Nick Entwistle, Steve Forsythe, Steve Glenholmes, Rosie Haworth, Michael Howard, Bill Lord, Rosalyn Lord, Lewis Pearson, Harry Sidebottom, Claire Smith, Alan Walker, Barbara Walton, Eric Walton, Bett Watson and Chris Whiting.
Apologies: John Dawson, Cllr David Foxcroft, Roger Fulton, Marie Hargreaves, Ken Iveson, David Pilling, Jean Pilling and Sandra Simpson.
In attendance: Adrian Smith (Principal Planner, Rossendale Borough Council [RBC]).
1. Opening Remarks – Apologies – Thanks
1.1 Karen welcomed all those attending.
1.2 Apologies were taken.
2. Minutes of Last Meeting, 14 August 2017
2.1 Eric proposed and Bob seconded acceptance of the Minutes.
2.2 The Minutes were taken as a true record, nem. con..
3. Presentation on the Proposed Local Plan for Rossendale
3.1 A presentation was made by Adrian Smith (Principal Planner, RBC).
3.2 Screenshots of Adrian’s presentation and noted commentary are shown as Annex 2.
3.3 A Question & Answer session ensued:
3.3.1 Eric said no schools had been mentioned: Adrian said that an approach had been made to Lancashire County Council [LCC]; one meeting had taken place and a second was scheduled for 12 September; RBC and LCC were aware of school capacity issues (which were pretty well universal); LCC plans on the basis of catchment areas; developers are generally asked to contribute towards increasing school capacity; discussions with LCC would be ongoing.
3.3.2 Eric queried the availability of parking in Crawshawbooth: Adrian acknowledged the issue and said planners were open to suggestions, such as the proposal to demolish the long-closed public conveniences.
3.3.3 Bett drew attention to Adrian’s suggestion that Crawshawbooth had been identified for development as both a centre of retail and a conservation area, suggesting a potential conflict: Adrian replied that identification as a conservation area involved designation as an area of historical significance involving not just listed buildings; such a designation would involve applying for planning permission in the event of external alterations being planned; retail development needed to be seen in a specific, local plan context: whereas Rawtenstall was seen as a Tier 1 area of development, Bacup and Haslingden would be seen as Tier 2; Crawshawbooth would be seen as Tier 3 so that, for example, opening a Spar-type shop would be seen as appropriate (as opposed to, say, a massive Asda).
3.3.4 Susan D asked about the sort of input local people could make: Adrian said that ideas of both inclusion and exclusion would be welcomed down to street level; he urged residents to comment using the RBC website response form.
3.3.5 Chris asked if designation as a conservation area would involve the removal of pre-existing shutters to commercial buildings: Adrian said this would be a matter of negotiation as whilst there was a provision, there would be no element of retrospective action.
3.3.6 David C asked about retail in Crawshawbooth and issues of parking: Adrian reiterated the need for better provision.
3.3.7 Susan D felt that developers would be interested only in profit, not social need, and that addressing infrastructure issues was vital: Adrian concurred, adding that developers were most interested in developments of 100+ houses; in any project involving 10 houses (or more), RBC required provision of an element of affordable housing (affordable being variously interpreted to include, for example, specialised, half rent + half buy, et al.); he said RBC had had to factor in what he termed “suppressed need” (e.g. youngsters compelled to reside with parents, sites constructed to accommodate older people); as regards infrastructure, RBC was talking to LCC about schools, roads, doctors and dentists; research suggested physical capacity amongst doctors and dentists existed, so what was needed was upgraded funding.
3.3.8 Susan wondered about bringing redundant housing back into use: Adrian said work on this was in progress but units brought back into use could not count towards achieving RBC’s targets.
3.3.9 In answer to Eric, Adrian said the former hospital site would yield 135 dwellings of which 40 remained to be built.
3.3.10 Adrian went on to say that the methodology of calculating housing need/provision was still under development by central government; Alyson added that RBC’s current thinking was pitched at a level where it was hoped that the formula/methodology, once finalised, would result in fewer houses being required than RBC was currently contemplating; Adrian confirmed that RBC was taking an optimistic view by pitching its figures for building at the bottom end of the projected range
3.3.11 Claire picked up on the problems with brownfield sites identified by Adrian in his presentation: Adrian confirmed that Broadleys had been allocated, adding that it involved some of the problems – contamination, flood risk – affecting other brownfield sites but the developer was willing to take such issues on board; many sites (such as in Bacup) were difficult to make viable; the market for apartments in Rossendale was very small (when compared with, say, Greater Manchester); one source of grants for remediation was the Housing & Communities Agency with which RBC was already in contact.
3.4 There being no further questions, Karen thanked Adrian warmly both for staging the roadshow which had preceded the LVRA meeting and for his excellent presentation. [Adrian left the meeting at this point.]
4. Matters Arising
45.5 3 dwellings west of the Bowling Green Commercial Street [Planning Application No. 2016/0636] > 2 dwellings [Planning Application No. 2017/0389]: there was nothing further to report.
4.2.4 Limey Leader: the 16-page Leader had been distributed, generating some feedback.
4.6 Loveclough Park
4.6.1 Steve G said that the project was still overrunning as there had been a number of snagging issues.
4.6.2 These included some concreting, flagging and clearance.
5.6.3 There was a particular problem of puddling on the tennis courts where rainwater simply rested on the tarmac surface; the contractor would be re-visiting the site to consider drainage.
5. Colebrand: Alyson confirmed that whilst the Health & Safety Executive had established contact, there was nothing to report on planning issues.
6. Folly Clough: Bob advised that a meeting of interested parties was scheduled for the following week, on which he expected to report to the October meeting of the LVRA.
5.1.1 Karen reported her receipt of a card from Steve Forsythe expressing is appreciation of the LVRA’s support for his planning application. [This Steve supplemented with an extraordinarily generous contribution to association funds which officers gratefully acknowledge.]
5.1.2 Karen reported receipt of an email from a resident expressing appreciation for work done to improve Loveclough Park.
5.1.3 She had also received an email describing the recovery from the park of a First World War Service medal: it was AGREED that the Chair would relay contact details to the Secretary with a view to producing a newspaper article; ACTION by the Chair > Secretary.
5.2.1 David reported on the bowling green submission and production of the Limey Leader (thanking Darryl and fellow distributors for their efforts).
5.2.2 He asked that fund-raising – and a commitment to running events – be put on the next meeting’s agenda; whilst the Leader will have made a small surplus, if the LVRA is to support community projects like the defibrillator, then funds need to be increased substantially.
5.2.3 Suggestions were made, including £5.00 entries for a £30.00 prize dependent upon the Lotto bonus ball, applications for grants (to which David H was opposed, given the demands on grant-awarders by any number of worthy causes), the re-introduction of the subscription (which, Darryl pointed out, brought in only very small sums), and £1.00 contributions in an ashtray (or suitable).
5.2.4 It was AGREED to put the issue on the Agenda; ACTION by the Secretary who reiterated the need for folk to commit to running activities.
5.3 Treasurer/Chairman LVAA
5.3.1 Darryl reported banked funds standing as they had in the previous month at £3,337.29 with £165.00 in cash and £120.00 immediately to hand for advertising in the Leader.
5.3.2 On allotments, quotations to extend the car-park to facilitate manoeuvring were awaited, and flagging the site of the community facility was the next item on the LVAA’s agenda.
5.4 Footpaths Officer
5.4.1 Bob’s report is shown in full as Annex 1.
5.5 Social Media & Liaison Officer
5.5.1 David R reported Facebook 643 and Twitter 121.
5.5.2 Two issues which had caught attention were items on (1) Civic Pride/LVEG with over 1,000 hits, and (2) parking issues with 816.
5.5.3 David R had relayed to officers a Facebook post about parking behind the parade of shops in Crawshawbooth, causing inconvenience to local residents, including those in sheltered accommodation.
5.5.4 Work on the website was now in hand.
5.5.5 Having video’d Adrian Smith’s presentation, David R hoped the sound quality would be good enough for online posting.
5.6.1 Steve G had previously advised of developments at Loveclough Park (cf. Item 4.6, supra).
5.6.2 The third-Sunday-in-the-month clean up would take place on 17 September; details to be announced once all involved were back in circulation.
6. Toxic burning
6.1 Nick Entwistle (New Barn) reported that he had received a letter from RBC in July.
6.2 He confirmed that two fires had been set, pallets only being burnt on both occasions.
6.3 The meeting was pleased to receive clarification of the matter.
7. Any Other Business
7.1 Responses to RBC consultation
7.1.1 In response to questions about LVRA’s making a group response, Darryl said that group responses – no matter how many signatories were involved – counted as only one response.
7.1.2 He reiterated the encouragement given earlier by Adrian Smith to residents to utilise the online response form on the RBC website (cf. Item 3.3.4, supra).
7.2 Suspicious behaviour
7.2.1 Darryl reported an individual trying car doors: this had been reported to PCSO Ian Pickles and the constabulary was on the case.
7.2.2 Attendees reported front doors being tried in and around Goodshaw and at Harvey Longworth; all were urged to be vigilant.
7.2.3 David R would post the information which, almost instantly, would be accessed by over 1,000 people.
7.3 Vehicular and access issues
7.3.1 Karen reported access problems caused by cars parked erratically behind the Post Office and by bins abandoned in the middle of pavements at the top of Hamer Avenue.
7.3.2 Rosalyn drew attention to the caravan straddling the road near Kershaws which had been an issue for a couple of years; David C reiterated that the parking was illegal as the caravan was orientated the wrong way round; he reminded the meeting that residents to the west of the Burnley Road had had no bin collection because of the LCC weight restriction – still unsigned – on the Commercial Street/Loveclough Fold bridge, the appropriateness of which was now in serious doubt following the independent report into the weight-bearing characteristics of the bridge; Alyson AGREED to take the matter further; ACTION by Alyson.
7.3.4 Susan said the RNIB was undertaking a research exercise into parking, with its impacts on dog-walkers, prams, wheelchairs and the visually impaired; Alyson agreed that this was an issue in Crawshawbooth with both the road and pavements being constricted; the issue was one of thoughtless blocking by m torists.
7.3.5 David R said there needed to be enforcement; John C was concerned that problems would be exacerbated by further housing; Alyson concurred, adding that central government’s “one size fits all” approach was inappropriate to Rossendale where there were specific issues of topography, flood risk et al.; she was in contact with Jake Berry to push these issues so as to have any formula take account of local circumstances.
7.3.6 Alyson said a wholesale review of Rawtenstall’s parking strategy was under way; there had been no disc enforcement, so commuters left vehicles all day unchallenged; a review may include provision for paid parking; the old police and bus stations offered potential for additional car parking.
7.3.7 Claire was worried by the state of the roads in the borough; Ian agreed, adding his concern about the additional traffic caused by the recently opened MacDonald’s.
7.3.8 Alyson noted that, once again, the traffic lights travelling along the A682 Burnley Road through Rawtenstall were out of sequence.
8. Next Meetings and Close
8.1 20.00 hrs. on Monday, 9 October 2017 at the Top Club.
8.2 Thereafter meetings – following the now usual pattern of utilising the 2nd Monday of each month – will be as follows: 13 November, 11 December.
8.3 The meeting concluded at 20.16 hrs.
At the RBC roadshow preceding the LVRA meeting, a number of visitors asked for a map of the proposed Crawshawbooth conservation area. This is shown as Annex 3. For those wishing to download the map so as to be able to size it to suit, the file is attached to these Minutes as 110917 Minutes, Annex 3, CCA.png.
Annex 1 Footpath Officer’s Report
My report this month concentrates on this month’s footpath clean-up. The path in question is Footpath No113 which runs from the A682 in front of Abbeycroft care home to Goodshaw Lane. The work involved is to straighten the drunken signpost on the land adjacent to the A682, to fit two new gate returns springs and reseat one gate. The path bed does need tidying up but this is a secondary job that I will attend to. A hedge borders one side of the path which is badly in need of cutting back but it is not in our remit – the hedge is the responsibility of the land owner. I have contacted Lancashire County Council to see what can be done and I have been advised to contact the owners and ask them to cut back the hedge for the LVRA to prevent LCC serving a notice on them.
Alongside this the Loveclough/Goodshaw sign (which I’m sure members will have noticed has got a little grubby) will be cleaned up and chippings placed around the base to try and stop the splash back of soil that is occurring.
Weather permitting the work will take place between 10.00 and 12.00 am on both Saturday and Sunday the 23rd and 24th of this month. If the work is disrupted by weather it will be rolled over to either the following weekend or month.
And finally as I have stated in other reports I intend to finalise the Modification Order on St Mary’s Path in the coming month so please if you have any outstanding Evidence of Use forms could you please bring them or let someone bring the form for you to the next Meeting. If anyone still wants a form you can see me after tonight’s meeting or contact me by email. One of the great things about this particular Modification Order is that compared to the infamous footpath No4 it has so far been very straight forward and I hope that (barring any unforeseen circumstances) it will stay that way!
Annex 2 Local plan presentation to the LVRA, Monday 11 September 2017, by Adrian Smith, Principal Planner RBC