Minutes of the LVRA monthly meeting Monday 12th November 2018

David Rhodes

Association Meeting: 20.00 hrs. on Monday, 12 November 2018 at the Top Club

: Karen Hawden (Chair), David Hempsall (Secretary),Bob Nicholas (Footpaths Officer), Darryl Nugent (Treasurer), David Rhodes (Social Media & Liaison officer); Richard Ball, Cllr Alyson Barnes, Derrick Bartlett-Smith, Ian Booth, Ann Corkin, David Corkin, John Dawson, Cllr David Foxcroft, Steve Glenholmes, Marie Hargreaves, Ken Iveson, Lewis Pearson, Frank Pilkington, David Pilling, Jean Pilling, Jim Riley, Denise Smith, Eric Walton and Bett Watson.

Apologies: Rosalyn Lord, Barbara Walton.

1.        Opening Remarks – Apologies – Thanks

1.1 Karen opened the meeting.

1.2 Attendees confirmed their receipt of the Agenda and Minutes.

1.3 Apologies were taken.

2.        Minutes of previous Meeting: 08 October 2018

2.1 Eric proposed and Bett seconded acceptance of the Minutes.

2.2 These were AGREEDnem. con.

3.        Matters Arising

3.1 Draft Local Plan – Minutes of 10 September 2018: open discussion

3.1.1 Alyson asked to address remarks made by the Secretary in his report to the preceding AGM.

3.1.2 The proposal to build on land to the south of Commercial Street had arrived late before the council.

3.1.3 New government guidance emphasised a preference for building on brown- as opposed to greenfield sites.

3.1.4 In Rossendale, brownfield had been very largely re-developed and additional funding for remediation was required if remaining brownfield sites were to be brought into play.

3.1.5 She agreed with the Secretary that consultation with residents had been inadequate; whilst consultation was ongoing, the point at issue was a valid one to be raised with the Planning Inspector in due course.

3.1.6 Alyson confirmed that all 310 letters received from the association’s patch would go to the Planning Inspector.

3.1.7 Alyson felt strongly that RBC was constrained by central government’s regulations: greater local discretion was needed.

3.1.8 Derrick asked if it was possible to link brown- and greenfield developments, directing a developer to develop one of each as a pre-condition of planning approval; Alyson said this was not possible as councils were being squeezed by central government, residents and developers.

3.1.9 Ken said the issue was understood as Broadleys appeared to be the only likely brownfield site.

3.1.10 Admitting to listening to The Archers(!), Alyson said that planners were now very adept at establishing the viability of particular sites: she had agreed to a meeting with developers at which she would advise that nothing would happen until the Local Plan – in whatever form – was adopted.

3.1.11 Ian expressed amusement that both Alyson and David Foxcroft both admitted to being fans of The Archers.

3.1.12 Denise asked Bob to elaborate on his proposal to re-site development, as had been sent to RBC as part of the LVRA’s collective submission.

3.1.13 Bob outlined his proposals to re-locate development to the east side of the Burnley Road, effectively extending Badgercote to Swinshaw Lane.

3.1.14 Ken and Marie objected, citing the traffic on Goodshaw Lane as “awful”.

3.1.15 Bob said his suggestion would be to alter priorities on the road in favour of farmers and pedestrians as operated on Guernsey.

3.1.16 Darryl intervened to say that sight should not be lost of the principle: that any building north of Crawshawbooth would have a deleterious effect on infrastructure.

3.1.17 As a resident on the east side of the Burnley Road, David P was tired of being told that there should be no development on the west side.

3.1.18 Ken thought that what was proposed for Commercial Street would be invisible from the Burnley Road and would make little or no impact on the visual amenity.

3.1.19 Darryl replied that the issue was not one of view but of the physical impact on infrastructure of additional housing on the scale being contemplated.

3.1.20 Alyson agreed: like everyone else, she was looking for the silver bullet but it was changes to regulation by central government which had driven the planners to re-visit the Commercial Street proposal; the planners were currently collating the comments received; having development imposed rather than negotiated within the borough was the worst possible option.

3.1.21 Derrick asked about what might be required of developers to support local infrastructure: Alyson said developers would be required to produce a masterplan to deal with infrastructure – such as a gyratory traffic system for Rawtenstall – which would involve working with RBC.

3.1.22 She added that the current exercise revealed chronic under-investment in the borough over many years; citing one developer who had built 20-30 houses over a 5 year period, she said the adoption and implementation of a masterplan would help optimise development.

3.1.23 David R said one of the proposed sites lay immediately behind his home; residents’ resources in countering proposals were very limited; he reiterated the point of principle, long maintained by the LVRA and – to date – supported by RBC, that opening up just one site on the west of Burnley Road would lead to wholesale – and unwelcome – development as the west side had so much open space.

3.1.24 In response to David R’s reporting one developer who was suggesting that the urban boundary be altered to accommodate his previously rejected scheme, Ken said it was possible to get the urban boundary restored as had happened in Goodshaw.

3.1.25 Alyson said that so far as the developer cited was concerned, the land to which he was referring would be subject to protection as non-allocated land.

3.1.26 Ian wondered if, to meet the requirements of local people, RBC had any powers to specify which types of housing – he suggested linked housing – should be built; there was no need for more 4- and 5-bedroom houses in Rossendale as local salary scales meant that such homes were beyond the pockets of local people.

3.1.27 Alyson aid that the type of housing was a matter for individual planning processes.

3.1.28 Karen wondered about children’s play areas: Alyson said that there was a requirement of 1:12, usually linked to the nearest available play area; there was a need for investment in the 48 play areas in the locality.

3.1.29 Denise raised the issue of speeding along Goodshaw Lane and a past attempt to have LCC install speed humps; she had been told that it required 4 fatalities for the suggestion to be considered; David P thought the potholes should provide a sufficient incentive for drivers to slow down; Alyson confirmed that the principles Denise had summarised applied and that speed bumps were unlikely to be installed on existing roads but would be in new estates.

3.1.30 Karen reminded the meeting that a car had been written off on Burnley road on Bonfire Night.

3.1.31 Richard advised that developers had been unable to sell expensive housing built in the Ribble Valley; David H reminded the meeting that Ribble Valley had failed to submit a Local Plan and had had building imposed upon it, so it was important Rossendale should not suffer the same fate.

3.1.32 Anne and David thought that LCC’s declining to put 20 mph signs on Commercial Street because traffic calming measures – i.e. speed humps – were already in place was risible; Derrick agreed and David F said it was sad that neither Goodshaw Lane nor Commercial Street met the criteria for 20 mph signage.

3.1.33 Derrick reminded the meeting that the principal reason for the association’s establishment in 2009 was to prevent development west of the Burnley Road; the 578 questionnaires returned from across the patch had made this perfectly clear as no one wanted ribbon development from the village towards Burnley.

3.1.34 Denise thought 310 responses disappointing and Ken said he was aware of folk who claimed either to know nothing of the Local Plan or not to have seen the LVRA’s literature: he suspected that many LVRA leaflets had been binned, unread; as he had delivered to the Goodshaw estate himself, Darryl said that there could be no truth in the assertion that literature had not been delivered.

3.1.35 David R felt that inertia was an issue; none the less, Darryl was pleased that over 100 residents had taken the trouble to write individually, in addition to the 198 pro-forma responses he’d delivered to Futures Park.

3.1.36 Karen initiated discussion on what constituted affordable housing.

3.1.37 Alyson aid there was no fixed percentage figure; in answer to Bett, she said that the criterion might take in market price, half to buy and half to rent; housing associations would have access.

3.1.38 David R said that in certain parts of the UK – such as Wales and Devon – councils were able to compel developers to prioritise sales to local residents.

3.1.39 Karen closed what had been a very wide-ranging discussion at this point.

4.        Reports
4.1      Chairman

Karen had nothing further to add.

4.2      Secretary

4.2.1 David said that central government regulation – which he had before him – showed very clearly that RBC had failed to consult residents as was its statutory duty.

4.2.2 He raised issues from the meeting of 8 October which couldn’t be addressed then as those in a position to respond had been unable to attend; those involved agreed to take matters in hand.

4.3      Treasurer/Chairman LVAA

Darryl reported that funds at bank stood at £4,425.49.

4.4      Footpaths Officer

4.4.1 Bob’s Report is shown as Annex 1.

4.4.2 Focussing on Bob’s comments on CAST, Denise asked what was the situation as regards St John’s.

4.4.3 Bob said that adding the church to the CASTY list hadn’t proved worthwhile, the situation surrounding the building being too complicated.

4.4.4 Richard reported on communication with the Church Commissioners; Historic England – formerly English Heritage – had the building on its “AT Risk” register; he had spoken to Tamsin Cook at Historic England in Manchester who, on 29 October, had advised that the commissioners had to hand no bids for the building.

4.4.45 Richard wondered whether the local authority could proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order but Alyson advised that CPOs applied only when all other routes had been exhausted; she appreciated being brought up-to-date and would enquire of the commissioners.

4.5      Social Media & Liaison Officer

David R had nothing to add to his report to the AGM.

4.6 LVEG

4.6.1 Steve reported that when established three years ago, LVEG had had to become a formally constituted group to attract grants: hence it had a constitution and formally appointed officers.

4.6.2 The significant grant from Tesco removed the need for a formal structure, so the group would formally de-register and continue its operations under the same name but on an informal basis.

4.6.3 Steve advertised the forthcoming litter pick on Sunday, 18 November.

5. Poppies

5.1 Bob outlined how the poppies had been sourced and then installed.

5.2 In response to Denise, Bob said he would remove all poppies on the LVRA’s patch and store them for future use.

5.3 David R said that over £10,000 had been raised by the exercise.

5.4 Derrick had been impressed by the turn-out in the village on Remembrance Sunday and commended the performance of the Scout bugler; he AGREEDto write a letter of appreciation to the Scouts;ACTIONby Derrick.

5.5 Alyson concurred: events throughout the valley had been excellent and the turn-out in Crawshawbooth had been exceptional.

6. Any Other Business

6.1 Ian suggested that as Bob raised laughter each time he presented his report, an Evening with Bobwas a possibility: Bob demurred.

6.2 Frank drew attention to a local website suggesting that residents keep an eye on it; David R was more cautious, advising that the content was sometime inappropriate as incoming material was not filtered; Jim concurred as some of what appeared was overtly political.

6.3 David R said he had to hand a stack of business cards which he would bring to the next meeting; in the meantime, he encouraged residents to sign up to the weekly newsletter on https://rossendale.realtd.co.uk/.

6.4 Eric asked who was “in charge of” Goodshaw Lane, referring to leaves deposited by overhanging shrubbery; Alyson said remedial action would be taken.

6.5 Bett drew attention to two abandoned black rubbish sacks; casual fly tipping is becoming an issue.

6.6 David R commended the authorities who, in response to his reporting a defective roadside lamp, had remedied the fault within 24 hours.

6.7 Eric suggested an event along the lines of the CPA’s Fun Day as a fund raiser.

7. Next Meetings and Close

7.1 Karen thanked her fellow officers for their endeavours throughout the year.

7.2 She confirmed that provided the Top Club had no booking, the next meeting would take place at 20.00 hrs on Monday, 10 December; she would advise if the club was unable to host on this occasion.

7.3 Thereafter the now usual pattern of utilising the 2ndMonday of each month will continue, so that meetings in 2019 are expected to be held as follows: 14 January 2019; 11 February; 11 March; 8 April; 13 May; 10 June; 8 July; 12 August; 9 September; 14 October; 11 November (including AGM); 9 December.

7.4 The meeting closed at 21.30 hrs..

Annex 1 Footpaths Officer’s Report

This month has been fairly typical for me being involved in a number of various activities: first this month I have been out and about replacing some very weather beaten, damaged and missing signpost finger pointers along with way marker signs, making a lot of sign posts look the business once again. This had been on my list for some time.

This is also the first month since March that I have not sent in a Public Rights Of Way report to inform Lancashire County Council about any problems with footpaths which is good news. And I have also been in touch with LCC about some other footpath matters which seem to be, if not off the radar, only faint smudges at the edge and I hope that some progress may be made on them in the coming year.

Secondly in the past month I was invited by CAST (Community Assets Standing Tall) to be one of seven adjudicators helping to pick which nominations are to be put forward to the Heritage Asset List. Twenty four were put forward from throughout Rossendale although more are expected. Five assets from this area appeared on the list and two were rejected. The ones rejected were the Kippax mill chimney, and St John’s Church in Crawshawbooth. Kippax mill chimney was rejected as it has unfortunately very recently had an application to demolish it placed upon it. And St John’s Church was rejected mainly because of the complex situation surrounding the structure and it was decided that adding it to the asset list would make no difference.

Those included were Crawshawbooth Community Centre, the Spewing Duck at Goodshawfold, and Folly Clough Bridge. At the meeting there were a number of senior members of the CAST team and a representative from the council. There was a wide ranging discussion about Folly Clough Bridge and it was decided to see if initially the bridge could be heritage listed because of its (a) unique construction (b) its value to the local community and (c) this may help some way to get funding for the bridge’s repair. This is something that will be worked on in the coming year.

Thirdly on other matters that have engaged my time this month I have been helping with the production of the forthcoming Limey Leader. I would like to point out that our Secretary constantly asks for help in producing the LL and it often falls on deaf ears. This publication is a community publication and anyone can contribute with ideas: it is not some kind of private journal! All you need to do is ask! Or even better offer to contribute such as the simple job of visiting shops and businesses to get advertisements for the above so hopefully it can be produced at a profit.

And my last job this month was the organising and procurement of the LVRA poppies which had me making several journeys to Waterfoot and back chasing poppies which had been first been mysteriously misplaced and then later found in the boot of a car! And that, Members, is my report for this month.

Bob Nicholas