• Town Council opposes planning application on The Moor

    Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 21:10

    By now we have probably got over all the excitement of the local elections. There were only eight candidates standing for the 12 vacancies for councillors on the Town Council so all candidates were returned unopposed.

    In the district council elections, Stuart Beadle was elected as the new district councillor for the Reepham Ward and we are looking forward to working closely with him on behalf of the community.

    We would like to express our appreciation to the outgoing district councillor, Graham Everett, for all the outstanding work he has done on behalf of our community over the last few years and we wish him well for the future.

    We would also like to commend all those residents who voted in the local elections. A total of more than 900 votes were cast which, for a small community like Reepham, was a high turnout, even by general election standards.

    Annual Town Meeting

    The Annual Town Meeting held on 8 May was an informal forum well attended by local residents, who had the opportunity to meet their newly elected councillors and discuss any matters concerning them and the community. The chairman, Cllr Les Paterson, also took the opportunity to outline the achievements of the Town Council over the past 12 months.

    In particular, he drew attention to the support the Council was able to provide for local community groups by making grants ranging from £180 to £1,500 to groups including the Reepham Archive, the Bircham Centre, Mini-Scrapbox, the Festival of Light and the annual food and music festivals, and by arranging the necessary closures of the Market Place and providing road barriers and signs.

    Attention was also drawn to the work the Council is doing, in conjunction with Broadland District Council and the Reepham Town Team, to alleviate parking problems in the town centre by re-designating the Station Road car park for short-stay parking and promoting the use of Stimpson’s Piece for long-term parking, together with a campaign encouraging people to walk in to the town centre rather than add to the congestion.

    The chairman also expressed his appreciation to town clerk, Jo Boxall, and finance officer, Sally Gill, for their advice and support and to all councillors, both past and present, for their hard work on behalf of the community over the past 12 months.

    The chairman also reminded everybody that there are still vacancies for councillors and that the Town Council welcomes applications from anybody who would like to serve the community on a voluntary basis.

    Being a councillor involves attending about a dozen meetings, normally lasting around an hour, a year and as much time as you feel you are able to devote to Council business.

    Annual Town Council meeting

    The first item on the agenda for the Annual Town Council meeting, also on 8 May, was the election of the chair and Les Paterson was elected unanimously. The Council then resumed its normal routine business.

    Councillors considered five planning applications, one of which generated a significant number of comments from members of the public at the beginning of the meeting. This application is for outline planning permission to build a single-storey dwelling on Monastery Field on The Moor.

    Having considered comments made by members of the public, councillors expressed their concerns about the development within the conservation area outside the settlement limit and the impact it would have on nearby listed buildings. It was agreed that the Council would register its objection to the application.

    Future events

    • Wednesday 12 June: Reepham Town Council meeting, followed by Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting
    • Wednesday 3 July: Town Hall Management Committee meeting
    • Wednesday 10 July: Reepham Town Council meeting, followed by Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, starting at 7.30 pm unless otherwise advertised.

    Local residents, businesses and organisations and other members of the public are welcome to attend to raise issues and make their views known to councillors at the beginning of every meeting.

    Contact: Reepham Town Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email

  • Residents can have their say at annual town meeting

    Monday, April 15, 2019 - 18:46

    Every year Reepham Town Council holds an annual town meeting where local residents and others who have an interest in the well-being of the town and parish of Reepham and of its residents have the opportunity to meet councillors and to discuss matters of common interest in an informal setting.

    This year’s town meeting will be held at 7 pm on Wednesday 8 May in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, and will be followed by the annual town council meeting when the new town councillors will take office and the chairman and vice-chairman will be elected.

    Members of the public are encouraged to come to these meetings, to raise any concerns they may have and to find out how the town council conducts the business of supporting our community.

    Local elections on 2 May

    2019 is an election year for district, town and parish councillors and elections are being held on Thursday 2 May.

    In Reepham polling is taking place in the Bircham Centre, Market Place, from 7 am until 10 pm, and we are looking forward to a large representative turnout.

    Because there were only eight candidates standing for election for the 12 vacancies on the Town Council, the nominated candidates have been elected uncontested. However, the election for our Broadland District councillor will continue to take place.

    The town councillors elected uncontested are: Sarah Fisher, Mark Lester, Jools Line, Paul Mitchell, Les Paterson, Matthew Steel Robert Taylor and Anne Woollett, who will take office at the Annual Town Council Meeting to be held on Wednesday 8 May.

    We still need four additional councillors to reach our full complement of 12 and would welcome expressions of interest from anybody who would like to support our community and be a part of the decision-making process.

    Car parking

    The Town Council has been working closely with Broadland District Council and Norfolk County Council to alleviate parking problems in the town centre.

    The Town Council has agreed in principle to re-designate the Station Road car park as a short-stay car park and offer the car park at Stimpson’s Piece for long-stay parking.

    Subject to funding being available, the necessary signage will be installed, hopefully in the near future.

    The use of Stimpson’s Piece for additional parking was demonstrated forcibly during the recent road resurfacing of the Townsend Corner crossroads and Station Road when the car park was closed and local people, particularly those working in the town centre, used the long-term, off-road parking available at Reepham’s recreation ground.

    In support of the use of Stimpson’s Piece car park for long-stay parking we are also proposing a “Park & Stride” scheme to encourage people to park away from the town centre and walk in, emphasising the health benefits of the additional exercise and the reduction of air pollution within the town centre.

    Mobile phone coverage

    Following a recent unfortunate emergency in the town centre, it has become obvious that, in the event of an accident or emergency, the mobile phone coverage in the Market Place and nearby public buildings is not reliable and cannot be relied upon to summon assistance.

    The Town Council is again working with our partners at the District and County Councils and with other interested groups to improve mobile phone signal coverage in the town.

    Town Hall entrance

    The new entrance lobby has now been completed and will be a large improvement on the former entrance. Users are now able to access the Town Hall direct from the lobby rather than through the rather poorly lit and uninviting former entrance. It also means the hall now has a dedicated furniture store.

    Future events

    • Wednesday 1 May: Town Hall Management Committee Annual General Meeting
    • Wednesday 8 May: Annual Town Meeting, 7 pm, followed by Annual Reepham Town Council Meeting and Stimpson’s Piece Charity Trustee Annual General Meeting
    • Wednesday 12 June: Reepham Town Council meeting, followed by Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, starting at 7.30 pm unless otherwise advertised.

    Local residents, businesses and organisations and other members of the public are welcome to attend to raise issues and make their views known to councillors at the beginning of every meeting.

    Contact: Reepham Town Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email

  • District and town council elections on 2 May

    Friday, March 15, 2019 - 17:19

    With all the political upheaval in the country at the moment it is easy to forget that there will be local council elections on 2 May, when your district and town councillors will be standing down and have the opportunity to stand for re-election.

    We welcome expressions of interest from anybody who is considering standing for election to either, or both, your district or town councils, but time is running short.

    Being part of the election process for national and local government, there are strict criteria for eligibility and a strict timetable for the election process.

    The most important criteria for standing for election to the Town Council are that the candidate must be on the electoral register and they must either be resident in the parish (or very close to it) or have a business in the parish.

    The timetable for the approaching elections is:

    • Candidate nomination papers must be delivered to Broadland District Council between 20 March and no later than 4 pm on 3 April.
    • The deadline for applications to register to vote at these elections is 12 April.
    • The deadline for new postal votes, postal proxy applications and for changes to existing postal votes is no later than 5 pm on 15 April.

    If anybody has any queries or would like advice on the electoral process, please do not hesitate to contact either our town clerk, Jo Boxall (01603 873355 or email) or Election Services at Broadland District Council (01603 430483 or email).

    Particularly at this time of political instability at the national level with the threats (or promises, depending on your point of view) of a general election or even another referendum, it is important that everybody makes sure they are included on the electoral register.

    This is particularly important for young people who have recently turned 18 or are approaching 18. We strongly advise all young people to ensure they are registered to vote.

    Town Hall entrance lobby

    The new entrance lobby to the Town Hall is currently under construction and is due for completion soon. This means the building will now have a proper, dedicated, entrance rather than the former entrance through what was, in effect, a storeroom.

    As a result, we now have a dedicated storeroom providing a safe and secure environment for the furniture available for use within the hall.

    We would like express our appreciation to all members, past and present, of the Town Hall Management Committee who have overseen the project and raised the necessary funding from income raised from hirings.

    The committee comprises representatives of the regular hiring groups and councillors representing the Town Council, the owners of the Town Hall, with the intention of promoting the use of the hall and improving it to meet changing circumstances.

    The committee welcomes local residents who would be prepared to join them in running the hall and perhaps suggesting changes or alterations that might make the building more attractive to local residents or users.

    Metal detectorists on Stimpson’s Piece

    The trustees have received reports of metal detectors being used in Stimpson’s Piece to locate and dig up metal objects.

    This public area is dedicated to the people of Reepham for their leisure and recreation, and is used by various sporting groups and others on a frequent basis.

    The trustees have an obligation to ensure a safe environment for all users and are particularly concerned that digging up the surface of the park could present a danger to members of the public.

    Under the circumstances, the trustees feel that metal detecting of this nature on Stimpson’s Piece is potentially dangerous and should be discouraged.

    Future events

    • Wednesday 10 April: Reepham Town Council meeting, followed by Stimpson’s Piece Charity trustee meeting
    • Wednesday 1 May: Town Hall Management Committee annual general meeting
    • Wednesday 8 May: Annual Town Meeting, 7 pm, followed by Reepham Town Council meeting, followed by Stimpson’s Piece Charity Trustee meeting

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, starting at 7.30 pm unless otherwise advertised.

    Local residents, businesses and organisations and other members of the public are welcome to attend to raise issues and make their views known to councillors at the beginning of every meeting.

    Contact: Reepham Town Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email

  • Interested in standing for your local council?

    Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 17:39

    Elections for town and parish councils will be held on Thursday 2 May. Our present town councillors will be standing down and will have the opportunity to stand for re-election.

    It is also the time when anybody who wishes to stand for election can be nominated. More importantly, local residents will have the opportunity to elect a council of their choice and influence the direction they would like to see Reepham take over the next four years.

    Unfortunately, being part of the election process for national and local government, there are strict criteria for eligibility and a strict timetable for the election process.

    The most important criterion is that they must be registered to vote at elections. We strongly recommend that everybody ensures they are included on the electoral register.

    To assist anybody who may wish to be nominated for election, who is not yet on the electoral register or who may wish to register for a postal or proxy vote, the following is important:

    • The deadline for applications to register to vote at these elections is 12 April.
    • Candidate nomination papers must be delivered to Broadland District Council between 20 March and 4 pm on 3 April.
    • The deadline for new postal votes, postal proxy applications and changes to existing postal votes is 5 pm on 15 April.

     

    If anybody has any queries, please do not hesitate to contact our town clerk, Jo Boxall, who can provide nomination forms for anyone who wishes to put themselves forward for election to Reepham Town Council, either by email or telephone 01603 430483, or contact Election Services at Broadland District Council.

    A nomination pack and full timetable can also be downloaded from the Town Council website.

    Car parking

    Car parking in Reepham has been a source of complaint for some considerable time and the Town Council, together with Broadland District Council and the Reepham Town Team, has been looking for possible solutions.

    We are currently investigating the possibility of using the car park at Stimpson’s Piece for long-stay parking and designating the Station Road facility as a short-stay car park.

    We have agreed in principle to new signage directing visitors to the two car parks, subject to funding being available.

    Fly tipping in Station Road car park

    We have had several instances recently of fly tipping around the recycling bins in the car park. These bins only cater for a limited range of items, including glass bottles and jars, clothing and paper.

    All other waste material should be disposed of in your normal household collection or at your nearest waste recycling centre, either in East Dereham or at Mayton Wood between Buxton and Horstead.

    If you notice any fly-tipped material, or anybody fly tipping, please contact Broadland District Council, which will deal with the problem.

    Future events

    • 6 March: Town Hall Management Committee meeting
    • 13 March: Reepham Town Council meeting, followed by Stimpson’s Piece Charity Trustee meeting
    • 10 April: Reepham Town Council meeting, followed by Stimpson’s Piece Charity Trustee meeting

     

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, starting at 7.30 pm unless otherwise advertised.

    Local residents, businesses and organisations and other members of the public are welcome to attend and to make their views known to councillors at the beginning of every meeting.

    Contact: Reepham Town Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email: clerk@reephamtowncouncil.org.uk

  • Tommy statue to be sited in the ‘Pound’

    Monday, January 21, 2019 - 19:53

    The Town Council has been offered a “Tommy” memorial statue to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I and it was agreed at its last meeting that the offer would be accepted.

    Possible sites for it to be displayed were considered, including the Whitwell Road cemetery, the “Pound” at the eastern end of the Market Place and the garden at the rear of the Bircham Centre.

    Although both the cemetery, which contains war graves, and the Bircham Centre, which was used as a hospital during the First World War, would be suitable, it was agreed that the Pound should be chosen as a more obviously visible location in front of the church and on the approach to the existing war memorials in the church.

    The Council intends to liaise with local representatives of the British Legion regarding the erection of the statue.

    Retirement complex/convenience store at former station site

    A planning application for the creation of a retirement complex accessed from Stony Lane and a convenience store and office block facing Cawston Road has been approved.

    While the Town Council supports development of the brownfield site, serious reservations concerning the size of the proposed buildings and the loss of trees and hedgerows were expressed.

    In response to these objections the design was amended to reduce the height of the care home buildings and clarify other issues that had been raised.

    However, councillors were still concerned about the access to the care home complex from Stony Lane, the loss of mature trees on the site and the scale of development that was not in keeping with the surroundings, and comments to that effect were made to Broadland District Council.

    The application was called in by Reepham District Councillor Graham Everett for consideration by the full Planning Committee at its meeting on 9 January.

    The concerns of the Town Council were raised in person at the meeting by Cllr Paul Mitchell, supported by Cllr Mark Lester, acting in a personal capacity as a local resident, and others.

    After some discussion, the Planning Committee agreed by a majority decision to approve the application. It is anticipated that work will commence later this year.

    Proposed convenience store in School Road

    Following the closure of the former Reepham Motors workshop on School Road some years ago there have been a number of proposals for the redevelopment of the site.

    The latest proposal was for the demolition of the existing building and the construction of a convenience store. This would have been set back from School Road, allowing for limited customer parking in front, and for the existing footpath to be extended towards the Townsend Corner crossroads.

    Following public meetings to discuss the application the Town Council agreed to object to the proposal, principally on the grounds that it would create a road safety hazard caused by vehicles entering and leaving the store and that there would not be adequate provision for delivery vehicles to load or unload.

    Other objections concerning the size of the building on a relatively small site, the impact it would have on adjacent dwellings and that it would not be in keeping with the local area were also made.

    Broadland District Council supported the Town Council and rejected the application. The developer appealed against the decision, the appeal being held before a government planning inspector who supported Broadland’s decision principally on the road safety and traffic concerns raised, with the result that the appeal was rejected.

    Future events

    Wednesday 13 February: Town Council meeting followed by Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting
    Wednesday 6 March: Town Hall Management Committee meeting
    Wednesday 13 March: Town Council meeting followed by Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, commencing at 7.30 pm, unless otherwise advertised.

    Local residents and members of the public are welcome to attend and to make their views known to councillors at the beginning of every meeting.

    Contact: Reepham Town Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email: clerk@reephamtowncouncil.org.uk

  • Election in May for 12 town councillors

    Friday, December 14, 2018 - 17:15

    2019 is an important year in which electors have the opportunity to choose their representatives in local town and parish council elections. Elections will be held in May when the existing town councillors will either stand down or stand for re-election.

    Anybody who meets the criteria for standing for election – living in or within four miles of the parish or having a business in the parish – is entitled to put their name forward to be placed on the ballot paper.

    Beyond the basic requirement to attend council meetings on a regular basis, there is no commitment to remain a councillor any longer than the incumbent feels able to.

    Reepham Town Council has had vacancies for councillors for some considerable time and welcomes expressions of interest from local residents who may wish to join, especially between now and May.

    Before May, a list of candidates will be published and an election held if there are more candidates than vacancies.

    In the event that there are fewer than 12 candidates (the number of councillors required) then all the candidates will be appointed without a ballot.

    If anybody wishes to serve the community, either by joining now or standing for election in May, please do not hesitate to come along to the meetings to see how business is conducted, or speak to the Town Clerk, Jo Boxall, or any councillor.

    Festival of Light

    The annual Festival of Light was held in the Market Place on 6 December and, as usual, was enjoyed by all who attended. Thanks to all the volunteers who worked hard, both in organising the event and in supporting the festival on the day.

    The Town Council was pleased to arrange the closure of the Market Place and provide other, less obvious support.

    Tommy statue offered

    Following on from the recent commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War, Reepham Town Council has been offered a “There But Not There” statue, also better known as the “Tommy statue”, as a memorial to the fallen from the Reepham district.

    The offer will be discussed at the next Town Council meeting in January and we would like comments and suggestions from residents as to where they might like to see the statue displayed if a suitable location can be found.

    Parking strategy

    As an integral part of a strategy to alleviate parking problems in Reepham, the town council and trustees of Stimpson’s Piece have offered the use of the car park at Stimpson’s Piece as a possible long-stay car park, with the existing Station Road car park being designated as short stay.

    However, the issue of the lack of lighting at Stimpson’s Piece has been raised as a potential problem, especially for those working in the town and who would have to leave or collect their vehicles during the hours of darkness.

    Councillors and trustees have provisionally agreed to allow additional lighting to be installed, subject to agreement on funding of the installation and long-term maintenance being made available.

    At this stage, no firm proposals have been made, but councillors would appreciate comments from residents on suggestions to make more use of the Stimpson’s Piece car park.

    Future events

    Wednesday 9 January: Town Council meeting and Stimpson’s Piece trustee meeting

    Wednesday 13 February: Town Council meeting and Stimpson’s Piece trustee meeting

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, commencing at 7.30 pm, unless otherwise advertised.

    Members of the public are welcome to attend and to make their views known to councillors at the beginning of every meeting.

    Contact: Reepham Town Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email

  • Planning issues dominate November Council meeting

    Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 21:04

    The Town Council meeting held on 14 November was well attended by members of the public, many of whom expressed their views on the proposed nursing and retirement home complex on the former station site on Cawston Road.

    Having heard comments from the public, councillors discussed the amended proposals put forward by the developer. While it was accepted that the reduction in height of the nursing home had gone some way to meeting objections raised earlier, it was still felt the siting of such a large building immediately opposite existing properties on Stony Lane would not be in keeping with the immediate area

    Additional information on the Broadland District Council local plan requiring vehicle access to the site from Cawston Road only, and not from Stony Lane, was also presented to councillors.

    After a lengthy discussion it was agreed that the Town Council still supported development of the site, subject to issues concerning the siting of the large nursing home, vehicle access to the site and arrangements for disposing of foul and surface water being addressed, in addition to those issues raised in our comments made on the initial planning application.

    This planning application has now been referred back to Broadland District Council for its decision.

    GNLP additional sites

    Councillors also discussed proposals for additional land to be considered for development under the Greater Norwich Local Plan. The two parcels include land between Cawston Road and Wood Dalling Road, to the rear of the existing properties to the north of Cawston Road, and off Orchard Lane, between Orchard Lane and Marriott’s Way. Councillors agreed to oppose both proposals.

    In the case of the land off Cawston Road it had been agreed at a previous consultation that the site is not suitable because of its distance from local services and amenities, and that it is unlikely to encourage walking and cycling to the town centre and the schools.

    It was also pointed out that, because the site is likely to be crossed by the Vattenfall offshore wind farm cable corridor, it is unlikely any work could be undertaken within a reasonable period, if at all.

    With regard to the Orchard Lane proposal it was agreed that the road is unsuitable for additional traffic in connection with housing development and that there is no suitable safe pedestrian or cycle route between the site and the town centre.

    Stimpson’s Piece donation

    Local business FunForce organised Halloween festivities and a trail around the town for our younger children this year and from the proceeds raised has offered to fund the provision of a new picnic table for Stimpson’s Piece.

    Councillors gratefully accepted this offer and agreed to purchase two matching picnic tables to replace the life-expired tables presently there.

    We would like to express our appreciation to Graham Andrew of FunForce for his kind gesture and for all the effort he puts in on behalf of the people, and particularly the children, of Reepham.

    New councillor co-opted

    Councillors had the pleasure of co-opting another councillor, Hayden Key, at our November meeting. He had been a councillor a few years ago and was, at that time, one of the youngest councillors in Norfolk and possibly in the UK.

    We still have vacancies for three councillors and if you are interested in serving the community, please do not hesitate to contact the Town Clerk, Jo Boxall.

    Town Hall film shows suspended

    The monthly Friday evening film shows will be suspended after the next showing at the beginning of December. We are looking for somebody with an interest in film to take over running these events. All the equipment is provided and support will be given.

    We would like to express our appreciation to Caitriona Boal for all the work she has done in providing these entertainments.

    It only remains to wish everybody a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year and we look forward to working on your behalf in 2019.

    Future events

    Town Council meeting: Wednesday 12 December 2018 and Wednesday 9 January 2019

    Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting: Wednesday 12 December 2018 and Wednesday 9 January 2019.

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, commencing at 7.30 pm.

    Contact: Reepham Town Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email: clerk@reephamtowncouncil.org.uk

  • Two new town councillors co-opted

    Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 19:33

    At the September meeting, Reepham Town Council was inquorate, which meant it was on the verge of being unable to conduct any business. Fortunately, it was able to co-opt one new councillor, Robert Taylor, so the meeting could continue.

    At Town Council meeting held on 10 October, two more new councillors – Sarah Fisher and Mark Lester – were co-opted, which means there are now eight councillors out of a full complement of 12.

    The Town Council is still actively looking for more volunteers to join. If you live in the parish of Reepham or the immediate surrounding area, or have a business in Reepham, and you would like support the community by becoming a town councillor, please do not hesitate to contact the Town Clerk or any councillors for help or advice.

    Vattenfall windfarms

    At the October meeting, councillors and members of the public heard a presentation from Vattenfall on the current state of the proposed Norfolk Vanguard windfarm and the associated cable route that passes through Reepham.

    The proposal is now under consideration by the Planning Inspectorate, whose decision is expected late next year. Representations to the Inspectorate can still be made in person.

    Following representations made previously by Reepham Town Council, large goods and earthmoving vehicles will not be permitted to pass through the town – all movements will take place along the cable corridor.

    The Town Council was also briefed on the start of the statutory consultation period for the Norfolk Boreas offshore windfarm. It is intended that this project will use the same cable route and cable ducting installed for the Vanguard project.

    In that case the Boreas project will probably have little additional impact on Reepham, although it may have significant impacts elsewhere.

    Vattenfall will be holding a public consultation event in St Michael’s, Reepham, on 24 November from from 10 am – 3 pm. If you are unable to attend this event there are other events as advertised.

    Grants for local projects

    The Town Council has awarded a grant to local charity Mini-Scrapbox for the purchase of replacement die-cutting machinery.

    The Council does have funds available to support projects undertaken by local charities and community groups; further information can be obtained from the Town Clerk.

    Future events

    Wednesday 7 November: Town Hall Management Committee meeting
    Wednesday 14 November: Town Council and Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meetings
    All meetings to be held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, commencing at 7.30 pm. Members of the public are invited to attend.

    Saturday 24 November: Norfolk Boreas public consultation event, St Michael’s, Reepham, 10 am – 3 pm

    Contact: Reepham Town Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email: clerk@reephamtowncouncil.org.uk

     

  • Station yard proposal to go to Broadland Planning Committee

    Friday, October 5, 2018 - 12:21

    Because a high-profile planning application for the former station site on Station Road had been received, it was decided to hold an extraordinary meeting of Reepham Town Council on 1 August to give residents an opportunity to make their comments to local councillors.

    The application is for the building of a residential and nursing care complex, a small office block and a convenience store on the largely brownfield site previously occupied by the station goods yard and the station approach.

    A large number of local residents attended the meeting and expressed views ranging from support to opposition to the scheme.

    While it was recognised that the station area, being a brownfield site, is suitable for development, strong reservations were expressed about the size of buildings forming the nursing and care home parts of the development, which would be considerably taller and larger than the existing houses on Stony Lane immediately opposite.

    Concerns about the loss of trees and hedgerows on the site were registered, particularly as the hedgerow bordering Stony Lane would be removed along virtually the entire length of the site to enable the road to be widened.

    Reservations were also expressed about the impact the development would have on local services, in particular the doctors’ surgery, and on possible noise and light pollution from the care complex and convenience store.

    Having heard residents comments, councillors agreed that, while they supported the application in principle, they would like to see many of the areas of concern addressed by the developer, including: either a reduction in height of the care and nursing homes or their relocation to a more suitable part of the site; the impact on local services to be assessed; access to Marriott’s Way to be protected; the question of noise and light pollution from the development to be addressed; and protection for the existing businesses within the site.

    Subject to a sensitive reduction in the number of trees, councillors did not object to the removal of poor-quality trees and hedging.

    The Town Council’s comments were made to Broadland District Council and we understand that the application will be dealt with by the Planning Committee later this autumn, when local residents will be able to make their representations in person.

    New town councillor co-opted

    Owing to the small number of councillors available and the unavoidable absence of two councillors, we were in the position of being inquorate for the September meeting.

    While we had already received an application for co-option to the council, we would have been unable to proceed because of the small number of councillors present.

    However, following consultation with Broadland District Council, it was agreed that we could commence the meeting with only three members and, when the new member had been co-opted, could continue business as normal, provided this process was announced at the beginning of the meeting; Robert Taylor was co-opted as a new town councillor.

    While we now have six councillors we are still short of our full complement of 12 and we continue to seek more volunteers who would like to serve the community.

    The duties of a town councillor are not onerous, the main requirement being to attend 11 meetings a year, held on the second Wednesday of every month (except August), and to respond to emails forwarded through the town clerk.

    Meetings usually take no longer than 90 minutes, often considerably less. Over and above this basic requirement, councillors may involve themselves in other aspects of the Council’s work that may be of particular interest to them or for which they may be suitably qualified.

    Future events

    Town Council and Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting: 10 October

    Town Hall Management Committee meeting: 7 November

    Town Council and Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting: 14 November

    All meetings to be held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, commencing at 7.30 pm.

  • Options to improve inadequate parking facilities

    Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 18:22

    Following concerns raised over a number years about car parking in Reepham, the problems were discussed in depth at a meeting on 3 July of the Town Team, an informal group consisting of representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the Town Council, the churches and local community groups, backed by Broadland District Council.

    As a consequence of changing employment and shopping patterns it was recognised that the existing parking facilities are becoming inadequate.

    The free Station Road car park has spaces for 58 vehicles, but is often full during the day, especially on weekdays.

    The Market Place, between Ollands Road and Townsend Corner, has space for 50-60 vehicles, many being limited to 90 minutes between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday. Although there is normally a steady turnover of vehicles, congestion can arise, especially during the Wednesday market period.

    Stimpson’s Piece recreation ground, located off Station Road, has around 50 spaces and offers free parking. Although the car park here has recently been resurfaced, concerns have been raised about the lack of lighting in the area.

    Currently, there is an absence of designated disabled parking in Reepham and minimal provision for bicycle parking. There is also no provision for parking/recharging electric vehicles in the town.

    Various options to improve the situation were discussed at the Town Team meeting, including “Park and Stride” – encouraging drivers to park outside the town centre and walk the last few metres, encouraging cycling to eliminate unnecessary car journeys, improving public transport, introducing car-share schemes particularly among people working in Reepham, improving signage to the existing car parks to encourage drivers to use an alternative site during peak periods, “walking buses” of junior age school children walking to school in groups under the supervision of parents, changes to current car parking restrictions and the introduction of car parking charges.

    During the discussion it became apparent that some of the options would be inappropriate for a small market town in a largely rural area. For example, it is unlikely that significant improvements could be made to public transport in the foreseeable future.

    Similarly, although there are signs that some people are commuting to Reepham by bicycle, it is unlikely that the numbers of cycling commuters will increase significantly.

    It was suggested that, in the short term, better information on car parking facilities in the town might be provided, including improved signage directing drivers, especially visitors, to the available car parks.

    It was also suggested that the Station Road car park might be designated a short-stay car park and that Stimpson’s Piece might be designated a long-stay car park.

    Inevitably, this will have to be a multi-agency project involving Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council, Reepham Town Council acting in its capacity as trustee of Stimpson’s Piece, and other local business and community groups.

    As a first step, a joint meeting to discuss the location of suitable signage will be held before any final decision is made.

    If anybody has any comments or suggestions regarding improving parking in Reepham, please contact any town councillor, the district or county councillor, or the town clerk.

    Town Council changes

    It is with regret that we recently received Janet and Michael Pender-Cudlip’s resignations from the Town Council. They have both been councillors since May 2015 and have been a considerable asset to the community and to the Council.

    In particular they have played a significant role in recording and protecting local rights of way, footpaths and Marriott’s Way. We would like to thank them for their service to the community and to the Council over the years.

    This means we now have two more vacancies on the Council and we welcome volunteers who would be prepared to donate a few hours every month to support our community.

    If you have concerns about car parking, proposals for large-scale developments or large-scale infrastructure changes that will take place in the near future, please contact any of town councillor or the town clerk.

    Future meetings

    The next scheduled meetings are:

    • Town Hall Management Committee – Wednesday 5 September;
    • Town Council – Wednesday 12 September, followed by Stimpson’s Piece trustee meeting.

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, commencing at 7.30 pm.

    Contact: Reepham Town Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email: clerk@reephamtowncouncil.org.uk

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