Minutes of the Alburgh Parish Council meeting held on Thursday, 5th November 2020 at 7.30pm by video conferencing.


Parish Councillors present:

Mr. Soanes: Chairman, Mrs. Gedge: Vice chair, Mr. Denny, Mrs. Stewart, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Gladden-Fenn

Also attending:  Jackie Ellis: Clerk, Chris Brown: District Councillor, Brendon Bernard: District Councillor, 8 members of the public


  1. Welcome by the Chairman

Mr. Soanes welcomed everyone to the meeting


  1. To receive apologies for absence – None


  1. To receive declarations of interest in items on the agenda – None


  1. To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 1st October 2020

These were signed by Mr. Soanes as a correct record


  1. Open Forum for Public Participation: an opportunity to hear from members of the public

A resident reported problems with speeding on Station Road, mainly from wagons biomass harvesting.  He asked if the speed limit could be reduced as it is currently 60mph where there is a dangerous bend.  It was explained that the parish council has tried on numerous occasions before to get the speed limit reduced to 30mph but we do not meet the criteria for this.  It was agreed that we would ask if we could get the speed limit reduced to 40mph.


It was also asked if some signs could be reported to Highways which will be done;

  • The Sign to the Church reads 1.25 miles and should be 0.25
  • Clintergate sign is in the ditch and Low Ditch Road sign is covered by brambles/hedging and cannot be read
  • Burnt Oak Lane is facing the wrong way


  1. To receive updates on Playing Field Issues and to discuss the Play Area Safety Report

Mrs. Davis did inspection and all was in good order.

The Play Area Safety Inspection has taken place.  The report came back showing nothing high risk.  The Zip wire decking boards need replacing.  Mr. Soanes will organise this.  There were a few minor things such as caps needing replacing and Mr. Denny will look at these.

Parts of the new hedging on the new allotment area need replacing.  It was agreed that Mr. Denny will organise this.


  1. To discuss renewal of the lease on the village hall as requested by Councillor Davis

Mrs Davis reminded the parish council that the lease runs out in November 2021.  She will forward a copy of the original lease for councillors to look at.


  1. To discuss and receive comments on the new road layout for driving through Harleston

A resident asked if this could be discussed as she had concerns about the new road layout.  Chris Brown our district councillor said that all changes are temporary and that there will be consultations before anything is decided.  He will let us know if any further information becomes available.


  1. Update on Homersfield picnic site repairs

Mr. Denny has not heard anything more from the River Waveney Trust about the repairs.


  1. To receive an update on the village pond as requested by Councillor Gedge

Mrs. Gedge has met a conservation officer from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust for some advice on how best to look after the pond. Herself and Richard Gedge have removed up to half the vegetation and rushes and cut back the hanging branches. The rest of the pond would best be left until the summer.  Decisions on what to do will be left until then.



  1. To receive reports from District and County Councillors

Margaret Stone our County Councillor was not with us tonight but she sends regular reports to keep us updated.


Chris Brown our District Councillor reported on the following:

  • Coronavirus impact and recovery – The council’s attention has been on helping businesses and the local community to recover from the lockdown. Given the new lockdown commencing this week, the Council will be concentrating on providing the various Government support to business and individuals.  There is still a hardship fund available for those residents in particular financial difficulties.  The Early Help Hub is coordinating support and should be the first point of contact for residents.  The Council’s leisure centres will be closing this week.
  • The Council’s budgeting process for 2021/22 is now underway.
  • Recycling Initiatives and Waste Depot – The Council has an aspiration to reach 60% recycling rate by 2025, from the current 43% (2019/20).
  • Housing Offer and Social Housing Allocations Policy – The Councils new housing allocations policy, being more focused on the needs of clients, is making progress and is due to come before the full council in December so that it can be implemented in 2021.
  • Members Ward Fund – the annual members grant fund is available for new projects up to the end of December. Maximum is £1,000 per councillor in total for the year.



  1. Update on Planning applications received since last meeting: To discuss planning application 2020/1754 for Mill Farm, Mill Road, Alburgh. This is open to public discussions.


Applications received:

  • Ref: 2020/1754, 2020/1755 Mill Farm, Mill Road, Alburgh.  Change of use from agricultural to storage and light industrial.

This application came to us on the 2nd October, 2020 after our October meeting and comments were due in on the 23rd October, before our November meeting.  Parish councillors recommendation to South Norfolk Council was to support this application by a majority.  Many residents objected to this application and it was agreed that we would get an extension on the comments date which SNC granted so that it could be discussed tonight. 

An elected speaker for the residents of the village presented a summary of their objections which has been circulated to all parish councillors before the meeting.  (A copy of this will be kept on file with the minutes and can be obtained from the clerk if anyone wishes).  After listening to the objections and also additional points raised concerning the National Environment Team and that Mill Road is a cycle route and used for recreation, Mr. Soanes asked parish councillors for their thoughts again.  The majority; 4:2 still supported this application. It was agreed that we would attach some conditions – limitations to working hours, limitations on heavy vehicle movements and concerns about the speed limit in the immediate vicinity.

Chris Brown, District Councillor after listening to discussions said that he would talk to the planning officer and call in the application so it is discussed with the planning committee.


Decisions made:

Ref:  2020/1265, Kings Acre Farm, The Street, Alburgh, Norfolk.  Change of use from car workshop to craft workshop, primarily hand building bespoke shepherd’s huts, and fitting and servicing of automatic gates and shutters for local farms and businesses.  Approval with Conditions.


  1. Payments to be made since last meeting and record money received

Clerk salary £183.90, allowance £26.00

HMRC Paye £113.40

Norfolk Parish Training and Support, half year subscription £30.00

David Bracey Play Safety Inspection £108.00

PFK Little John for external audit £240.00

Alburgh Village Hall, hire of hall for 2019 £325.00



Donations as follows:

Leonard Cheshire £40.00

East Anglian Air Ambulance £40.00

Norfolk Accident Rescue Service £40.00

Nelsons Journey £40.00

Hedgehog Rescue £20.00

Norfolk Age UK £20.00

Annual donation to the upkeep of the Churchyard £850.00 from Parish Land Account


  1. Next Meeting

This will be held on Thursday, 7th January 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom in line with Covid 19 regulations.


Items for next agenda:  Budget setting for 2021/22


  1. Close of Meeting

Mr. Soanes thanked everyone for coming and closed the meeting at 8.40pm.




Mr. Soanes, Chairman – 7th January, 2021.