Longparish Parish Council

The November meeting was well attended, mainly by people wishing to discuss affordable housing. I therefore decided to hold an open forum before the meeting. I’m sorry that it was not advertised in last Hill & Valley or on the agenda. The authors of a flyer urging people concerned about affordable housing to attend had not advised me in advance. I will ensure that there is another open forum, with proper notice, early in the New Year.

Minutes of meetings are on the village website www.longparish.org.uk.

Planning

It turned out that the outbuildings at The Cottage were not beyond repair and the application to demolish them has been withdrawn.

The council objected to

The council had no objection to

Housing

The Housing Group is one of the groups taking forward the ideas in the Parish Plan. The Parish Council adopted the Plan last year after extensive consultation with the village in which around 70% of parishioners took part. The chair of the group, Mike Johnson, began by explaining the role of the group as set out in the parish plan

He was concerned that a flyer had been circulated without reference to the Housing Group or the Parish Council which included inaccurate information about the scale of the development the group proposed and about the mix of affordable and commercial housing.

The group is recommending to the village the benefits of a mixed development of 12 affordable homes and 6 open market homes.

Questions showed that there was particular concern that a modest development of this sort would open the floodgates to large-scale development in the village. Mike gave categorical assurances that this was not the case and offered to arrange for a TVBC planner to be available for future consultation.

The view was expressed that the response rate to the housing needs survey was not high enough to justify proceeding further and that the questions might have been biased. Mike advised that the survey was independently carried out by Community Action Hampshire and that the group had not been consulted on the questions. CAH considered the response rate was good for a survey of this sort. The survey confirmed the need identified by two previous surveys and the extensive Parish Plan consultations.

Over the next few months the group will be organising a series of consultation activities. Those attending were urged to take part and Mike offered the authors of the flyer the opportunity to make their views known as part of these future events.

Village Hall

The Council considered that it was unlikely that the new community hall will replace the village hall and concluded that the village hall will be needed for the foreseeable future.

The village hall needs expenditure of two kinds:

The Village Hall Committee had been considering the matter and was consulting users on what they felt were the priorities.

The Council resolved to give financial support to the village hall committee so they can commission a professional report of what is needed and costed proposals for repairs and improvements. This will enable the Council to give proper consideration to allocation of the Village Hall Fund and provide evidence in support of applications for grants.

Open Spaces

Andy Smith has kindly volunteered to keep the paintwork of the skate ramp in good order.

Joy riders have been do-nutting on the football field. If this behaviour continues then the council will bring in the police to put a stop to it.

Footpaths

Would the horse riders who have been using footpath 14 between North Acre and Sugar Lane please stop. It is not a bridleway and the surface has been carefully maintained so people with buggies can use it to get to school.

Communications

The new Village Directory was distributed with the November edition of Hill & Valley. Thanks go to Mary Jo Darrah for compiling it. If you didn’t get one or need another copy please contact her on 720320.

Finance

The accounts for the year to 31 March 2006 have been approved by the auditor. There is a copy on the village website if you’d like to see them.

The next Council meeting is at 7.30 on Monday 11th December in the Village Hall committee room. Meetings are public and all parishioners are welcome to come and can speak by invitation.

Jeremy Barber Chairman. Tel 720459

email jeremy.barber@longparish.org.uk