Norton-juxta-Kempsey Parish News November 2021

Chairman’s Blog – Nov 21

Since I last wrote to you the parish has achieved a notable milestone which hopefully you all participated in; your vote in the referendum on 28 Oct gave the parish a Neighbourhood Plan! Having taken several years to create, by voting to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan the parish now has a much greater say in planning matters within the parish, with Wychavon District Council (WDC) having to refer to it as a material consideration before deciding on any planning matters. In effect, speculative planning applications will henceforth be more easily addressed, and hopefully in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan. Thank you to all those that exercised your democratic right to vote, whether in favour or not.

You will be aware of the South Worcester Development Plan Review (SWDP Review) which is planned to deliver 10,000 new houses between 2030 and 2041 in two phases on land either side of the B4084 adjacent to Worcestershire Parkway station, bounded by the M5 and Stoulton.  The public consultation was due to commence in February 2022, but this has recently been delayed until July 2022. There is now a Joint Parishes Group consisting of Norton-juxta-Kempsey, Stoulton, White Ladies Aston, Churchill, Whittington and Drakes Boughton Parish Councils, which intend to act in a co-ordinated manner to ensure the best result possible for the parishes that this development will affect. What is proposed will be adjacent to residents in Woodbury Lane and High Park, and the PC continue to track it closely, the intent being to hold a parish public briefing prior to the commencement of the public consultation next year

The Norton Connector continues to offer a full timetable and I’m pleased to say that numbers continue to increase as people become more confident to get out and about. Details of how to use it and the timetable can be found here:

Funded via a Community Legacy Grant (CLG) from WDC, The Connector is funded for another year at present, and we continue to seek other sources of funding for the future.

You may or may not know that several patches of land around Brockhill still remain in the hands of the developers who built the houses approximately 24 years ago. Thankfully the Parish Council (PC) has finally been able to enter negotiations with Persimmon Homes(the landowners), and we are hopeful that the land can be transferred to the PC. The land in question is the grassed area on the left as you enter Gazala Drive from Crookbarrow Road, the grassed area on the left as you enter Talavera Road from the Crookbarrow Road/Salamanca Drive roundabout and the two areas of grass on the Pershore bound bus stop side, near the garden centre roundabout. The latter is particularly important since this is where the statue will be installed once the land transfer has taken place. In each instance Persimmon will be undertaking remedial work before handing the land over. They will also be addressing sections of hedge on the right-hand side of Crookbarrow Road, from the Talavera Road/Crookbarrow Road/Salamanca Drive roundabout to Gazala Drive and then up towards the sweeping turn.  As with many matters relating to the Brockhill Village development, ownership and maintenance responsibilities are complex, and discussions with Persimmon have identified that some sections of hedge along the right-hand side of Crookbarrow Road (looking in the direction of Church Lane) remain under the ownership of Persimmon, despite their lack of maintenance of these areas over many years. The PC will receive a commuted sum from Persimmon to fund the maintenance of all these areas of green space approximatelythe next ten years.

Though good news regarding the unadopted areas of green space, the roundabout near to the garden centre remains unkempt. The PC has had sponsors lined up to cultivate it for some time, but it currently remains in limbo between County Council Highways and the PC regarding the size of sponsorship signs that WCC will allow once it has been sponsored. I remain confident (fingers crossed!) that it will be sponsored and renovated in time for the next growing season.

The Community Apiary now has two full hives and twelve trained beekeepers. At present the hives are on loan from a neighbouring beekeeping association, and we hope to introduce our own hives and bees in the new year. Griffiths, the civil engineers delivering Temeside Way, helped with the apiary ground preparation at zero cost and they have also now agreed to re-surface the bridleway to Stonehall common, also at zero cost. We are still tying down details with Kempsey Parish Council (within whose parish the bridleway sits) and County Council Public Rights of Way (who dictate the manner in which it is kept), but it is hoped that work will commence in the next month or so to deliver a much-improved bridleway linking Stonehall common and the Parish Hall. There is also an aspiration to create a community orchard and wildflower meadow just off the bridleway once accesses have been re-established, which may yet be part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative for her majesty’s Platinum Jubilee

The final phase of the Parish Hall Project (PHP), the delivery of a village shop, has now started in earnest, the aspiration being to deliver it by Easter 2022. Thank you for all who returned the shop consultation questionnaires, with comments being used to inform plans for the shop. Previous phases have delivered a new main roof, green energy and new meeting rooms, all funded by WDC CLG and New Homes Bonus (NHB).

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, though it’s understood that diverging aspirations of various parties continue to delay its realisation. WNCIC’s second fundraising event, supported by the resident clubs (shooting, cricket, and croquet), will be a Fireworks Night, taking place on Saturday 13 November commencing at 1730. Support from the community remains vital in order to demonstrate to grant giving organisations that this has community support and can generate some of its own funds. Fingers crossed for good weather and a full turnout, and if you must travel by car, please remember to park safely and considerately. Further practical advice will appear on FB in the next few days (insert link).

The parish has volunteers running the Parish Hall Coffee Shop, the community apiary, delivering The Sentry statue, running community events (e.g. Halloween and Fireworks), and acting as Trustees, Councillors and CIC Directors, but we can always do with more!  If anything in this makes you think that you would like to become involved, please contact us; it’s your parish and you can help make a difference.

Other Parish information can be found on the Parish noticeboards or the following sites:

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

Kevin Fincher



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