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HPC Meeting on 21st April 2020 – Update

Parish Council Update

Meeting of 21 April 2020

The Council held its monthly meeting using, for the first time, the Zoom Conference facility. The following summarises the main issues discussed and key decisions taken:

Parish Plan: An update and review of project implementation progress and funding deployment was undertaken, the first time since July 2019. This reflects the fact some projects have already been completed and that some, after further investigation, could be deleted .These works are being funded from monies arising from The Lassington Reach Sec 106 Planning Agreement. In order to bring greater clarity and certainty to the programme a revised schedule of projects with agreed funding allocations was agreed in the following priority order:

  • Overall budget, enhanced by a £20k inflation provision: £256,000
  • Oakridge Footway – Being project managed by TBC,route and specification finalised, planning consent and GCC Highways approval to be sought before competitive quotations secured:        £100,000
  • Lassington Wood Recreation Ground Improvements- Being project managed by TBC. Planning consent required, equipment specifications finalised: £55,000
  • Old School Modernisation –Contribution to more extensive scheme : £40,000
  • Support to Village Community Groups:- £2k grant allocations already approved and being made to Highnam Players, Highnam Heritage, and The Parochial Church Council to support their various projects: £6,000
  • Environmental Management Plan- Composite budget to fund a range of works around the village: £26,000
  • The Dell- Contribution to PCC managed project to landscape and generally improve the pathway to the Churchyard: £10,000

Total budget commitment:                                                                                     £237,000

Balance held in reserve for future small scale projects:                              £19,000


No expenditure will be committed at the moment to the following original projects in relation to:

  • Village Welcome Pack: – Already implemented.
  • Sports facilities on existing sites as these might be provided in other ways at some future date.
  • Community Café – Original funds available to fund feasibility study. May be provided in another way at some future date.
  • Mary Grove Improvement Works – Project deferred to 2021. May be funded from balance.

Other projects in relation to: Speed Monitoring initiative; Footpath management; and Feasibility study to investigate scope to improve public transport services will continue but do not require budgetary provision.

Neighbourhood Development Plan Review: The council’s Planning Group of Cllrs Coats, Tustin Smith and Welch together with expert input from David Ball and Nick Cook has prepared a draft suite of Policy Objectives designed to form the core of the revised Plan. A meeting with Tewkesbury Borough Council Planning Officers is being arranged to consider the extent to which this will comply with the Borough Local Plan and with national planning policies. This meeting will also consider the adoption of a common approach to address the recent Gladman residential and office development proposals on land to the west and south of the village.

Next month the Parish Council will give in depth consideration to the draft Plan following which provisional arrangements will be made to hold a series of public consultation events when current lockdown restrictions are lifted sufficiently to enable these to take place. In the meantime focused consultation with key stakeholders will continue. The council has commissioned MyNeighbourhoodPlanning, a specialist NDP project management consultancy practice, to help write the Plan and to coordinate all the various statutory stages required to steer the Plan forward to adoption next spring.

Coronavirus:  The council unanimously agreed, in its capacity as the representative voice of the community, to publicly express its gratitude on behalf of the whole village for all the work being done by The Covid -19 Group, Neighbourhood Watch, and The Church who are working hard to provide a wide range of practical support to those in need across the parish. Well done and thanks you so much for all your efforts; it is much appreciated by us all.