Norton-juxta-Kempsey Parish News April 2021

Norton-juxta-Kempsey Parish update – April 21

Welcome to our first Parish update, which is being published on our website and emailed to our website subscribers.  We are planning to publish a monthly update in between our quarterly newsletters (which are published at the beginning of March, June, September and December).  If you would like to receive this update by email, please subscribe to our website: https://nortonjuxtakempseyparishcouncil.org/      

Those of you that follow the activities of the Parish Council (PC) will be aware that we were granted a substantial sum of money last year to replace the Parish Hall roof, install green energy, and create new meeting rooms and a village shop.  I’m pleased to inform you that the joint PC, Parish Hall Trustee Working Group has now completed the first two projects to time and cost.  The Hall is now fully solar powered, as is the Pre-School, and very shortly the Trustees will be able to sell energy back to the National Grid for the benefit of the future upkeep of the Hall.  Visitors to the Hall will also be able to charge their cars while visiting.  A video of the new roof and solar panels can be seen here https://youtu.be/VyqiJYwxUtw . The second phase of work, creating the new meeting rooms, commenced on 6 April and is expected to be completed by the end of May.  The village shop will be tackled in the autumn. 

With the first milestone towards the easing of lock down having taken place on 29 March, it was a real pleasure to be able re-open the Parish Hall MUGA and Tennis Courts for legitimate use.  Regrettably incidents of illegitimate use have damaged the surrounding fence with people climbing over it or squeezing under it, but I’m sure the actions of the minority can soon be repaired.  On a lighter note, the Worcester Sorcerers Baseball team are hoping to have a full calendar at the Parish Hall this season, with this currently due to commence on 6 June and if you want to watch it, or try a taster session, I’m sure they will welcome you wholeheartedly.    

A number of parishioners were disappointed by the loss of the regular Norton Connector service during lock-down, but I’m pleased to say that the regular service will be relaunched on Sunday 27 June, once all lock-down restrictions have hopefully been lifted.  The relaunch will take place at the Parish Hall with the Hall open for parishioners to view the improvements made during lock-down, at the same time as the Trustees intend to host a Family Picnic on the playing fields, with a BBQ and music.   

The Community Apiary project is moving along well.  The land (opposite and slightly to the left from the entrance to the Parish Hall) has now been visited by ecologists, members of Pershore bee-keeping society and Pershore Horticultural College, and hives will be introduced to the site in April/May.  The training for the thirteen local volunteers will hopefully commence shortly.  The hope is that once established we can get local schools involved and produce and sell our own honey.       

The Worcester Norton Community Interest Company (WNCIC) continues to seek a lease from Worcester Norton Sports Club Ltd (WNSC Ltd) to enable it to proceed with the new sports hall and changing rooms on the WNSC Ltd site, but the good news is that WNCIC has secured the funding from Wychavon District Council (WDC) to enable it to commence work once the lease has been agreed.  It is hoped that work should start in October this year.

The PC continues to receive planning applications for consultation and continues to oppose those outside of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) development boundary.  The PC is also providing comment and input to the SWDP Review.  If you wish to see more about the SWDP Review, please visit: https://www.swdevelopmentplan.org/swdp-review

Work on the South Worcester Urban Extension (SWUE) has now commenced following many years in the planning.  You will no doubt have seen preparation of the site adjacent to the Norton/St Peters roundabout and also the first houses under construction along Taylors Lane.  The SWUE forms part of the SWDP which was adopted in 2016, with further details available at:  https://www.swdevelopmentplan.org/swdp-2016

The draft Neighbourhood Plan (NP) is now approaching the stage of submission to WDC for review and comment. Thank you again to all who took the time to respond to the NP consultation questionnaire.  If you would like to find out more about our NP, please visit: https://nortonjuxtakempseyparishcouncil.org/norton-juxta-kempsey-parish-council-neigbourhood-plan/

The date for our Annual Parish Meeting is now confirmed as Wednesday 5 May.  The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom, commencing at 7.30pm.  Further details will follow nearer to the date and will be publicised on the Parish noticeboards, the Parish Council website www.nortonjuxtakempseyparishcouncil.org and the Parish Council Facebook Page www.facebook.com/NJKParishcouncil PC.  If you would like to find out more about activities within the Parish, or if you have any questions or feedback for the Parish Council, then we would be very pleased to see you there.

If you have any comments regarding what you would like to see in our subsequent monthly updates, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Cllr Kevin Fincher

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