Witherley Parish Council

Serving the people of Atterton, Fenny Drayton, Ratcliffe Culey and Witherley

October Update

The NDP Steering Group met on Monday 8th October to construct the Survey/Questionnaire which will be coming through your doors in a few weeks' time. For those of you who would rather fill it in online there will be a link to SurveyMonkey where you can find it. Please only fill in one of them.

There will also be surveys for your children and teenagers to complete, and we really do want you all to do it. While it would be foolish to promise that every wish of each resident can be fulfilled, we do need to know the general concensus about various topics and how you would like this Parish to look and feel to live in, in the future. From your answers we shall be able to write the actual Plan, which when ratified, becomes a legally binding document, and thereafter, has to be taken in to account by the Local Authority. This is your Parish. Help us keep it as you would want it.

In the meantime, we must crack on with the questions!

September Update

The Steering Group met on Monday 3rd September at Witherley Church.

Our application for a grant for £4,300 from Locality to help us progress and pay for our consultant, has been accepted and will be managed by the Parish Council. All expenditure must be recorded.

Gary Kirk, our consultant, took us through a "Visioning Exercise" which he had produced from the Group's individual findings about the Parish so far, from the Neighbourhood and Stakeholder meetings. This was a very useful exercise as it will help us to devise the Questionnaire which will go out to all households later this Autumn.

The recent publicity about MIRA building a new test track on part of the registered Battlefield Site was discussed; it also falls within the Parish. We shall write to The Battlefield Trust to find out more information about the boundaries of the Battlefield Site and how it could affect us.

Since we were set up last September, General Data Protection Regulations have come in, and we shall check with the Rural Community Council where we stand on the use of people's email addresses.

The next meeting will be on October 8th and will be devoted to constructing the Questionnaire.

July Update

The Steering Group met in July after interviewing three consultants who could help us in formulating the Plan. We decided to appoint Gary Kirk of YourLocal. His company has already worked on 50 NDPs, many in Leicestershire. He will help us apply for grants for the Plan, and keep us on track!

It was noted that HSL Land had offered co-operation with the NDP Steering Group.

We met again in August to introduce Gary Kirk to the Group, and his advice and experience was very worthwhile.

The Chairman had spoken to Wildlife and Habitat expert David Nicholls to see if he could work with us possibly in the new year and he had agreed.

A very constructive meeting had been held in Atterton to discuss the lack of superfast broadband. Representatives from BT Openreach and Superfast Leicestershire attended, as did Kevin Morrell, Borough Councillor, and Ivan Old, County Councillor. It became clear that because there are so few residents in Atterton, connecting the box which was installed some time ago, to the Witherley box, a distance of 2.4 km, would cost £140,000, making Atterton the most expensive place to connect in Leicestershire! By the end of the afternoon, several ways of accommodating this cost, and also different ways in which the hamlet could be connected had been discussed and were taken away.

NEWSFLASH! Since the last NDP meeting, Superfast Leicestershire has confirmed that a new route to connect Atterton to superfast broadband has been agreed with Openreach and, all being well, they'll be ready to go by the end of the year. RESULT!

The next meeting will be held on Monday September 3rd at 7.30 in Witherley Church.

June Update

The Steering Group met on June 11th. All eight members were present with Jhanvi Shukla from the Rural Communities Council. A report was given on the Neighbourhood Planning Networking Event held at County Hall on the 22nd May, at which a presentation had been given by the Centre for Sustainable Energy in relation to housing building, improving biodiversity and protecting public spaces. The conclusion was that because of increasing legislation for improved sustainability, any neighbourhood plan which did not include ideas for renewable energy would be out of date very quickly.

It was agreed that a Wildife and Habitat survey needed to be carried out, and we gave approval to the appointment of a habitat surveyor. The best time to do this is in the Spring, so this might have to be carried over to next year.

It had been agreed that, like other NDP groups, we shall need a consultant's help, and interviews with three different companies have been arranged to take place before the end of June. There was much discussion about what questions needed to be asked and it was agreed that an interview grid with scoring would be produced.

The next meeting will be held on Monday July 2nd at 7.30, venue to be announced.

May Update

The Witherley Parish NDP held a meeting on Monday 14th May in Witherley church.

Helen Bullivant and Dave Wilkins had been to the consultation event held at MIRA on April 24th. MIRA was announcing the building of the largest development and testing track in Europe for autonomous cars. 50% of the track comes within the Parish boundary and abuts the Fenn Lane. The Construction traffic will go through the entrance from there, not the A5. They have been thorough in their searches including the environmental one on the land they will use. All earth excavated will stay on site to build bunds for noise restriction and security. It goes for Planning Approval in August; they aim to have the track finished by December 2019. Full details are available on the Borough Council's website.

Wildlife Survey: Leicestershire and Rutland Record Centre carried out a survey in 2012, but Witherley Parish was not well covered. We shall try to work with the Borough Council to access surveys they must have done for their new Local Plan.

We shall ask the three Planning Consultants already identified to help us write our plan, to present to us within the next six weeks so that an appointment can be made.

There is a website called NatureSpot Recording the Wildlife of Leicestershire and Rutland, www.naturespot.org.uk which allows anyone to record sightings of animals, birds, rare flowers, fungi and plants. The information is collated by the aforementioned Record Centre and adds to the wildlife knowledge of where you live. It is also very easy to use. It was suggested that we could approach the school and all children in the area to get involved. This would develop their knowledge and appreciation of where they live, but also everyone can contribute to the website if they are interested.

Our next meeting will be on Monday June 11th.

April & May Update

The Witherley Parish NDP Steering Group held a meeting on Wednesday 11th April in Fenny Drayton Church.

John Preston and Jhanvi Shukla from the Rural Community Council conducted a workshop on the results from the Neighbourhood Drop-In Events and the Stakeholders' Meeting. It was a matter of concern that we need to engage the younger residents of the Parish from the Teens to 35 age group to come forward, and how we could do this. Talking to the Parish students in their schools was suggested and creating a special questionnaire for that age group, and also younger children.

The three most prominent issues to come out of those meetings were Housing, Transport and Heritage. We were given a planning document to help prioritise these and the other issues, Environment and Open Spaces, Facilities and Services, Renewable Energy, Employment and Business, Communication especially Broadband, Flooding, and Tourism and Recreation. Each member took an area each to begin researching to decide between what could be policy and what community action. This research will feed into the survey/questionnaire which will go to every household in the Parish. We hope to enlist volunteers to help with facts, figures and knowledge to be able to complete these very useful documents.

We are also exploring whether a specialist Wildlife and Botanical Survey would be of use to the final Neighbourhood Plan. We have plenty of work to do!

The next meeting will be held on Monday 14th May, venue to be confirmed.

February Update and Stakeholder Event

A meeting of the Witherley Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group was held on 7th February in Witherley Church. A report on the findings of November's three Drop-in Events was circulated by Jhanvi Shukla of the Rural Communities Council. 114 people from the three villages and Atterton had attended and had given their comments.

The top issue was Transport with 85 respondents whose comments included public transport, speeding, rat runs and the A5. Housing came next with 84 comments and a long list of issues, notably starter/affordable homes, infrastructure, houses for the elderly, keeping the character of the villages etc. No. 3 was Facilities and Services; 4 was Renewable Energy, 5 was History and Heritage, 6 Employment and Business, 7 Open Green Spaces, 8 Environment, 9 Communications, 10 Footpaths and Bridleways and 11 Flooding.

Next on the agenda was the Stakeholder event for invited guests, to be held on Tuesday February 27th in Witherley Parish Room. The invitations to this meeting have been sent out by the Rural Communities Council. If you have been invited, but have not yet replied, please do so as soon as possible to jshukla@ruralcc.org.uk . We need to know who is attending.

The results from the Stakeholder meeting and the Drop-in Events will inform a Survey of everyone in the Parish to follow on from this.

January 2018 Update

The Witherley Parish NDP Steering Group held their first meeting of the new year on Tuesday 9th January in Ratcliffe Culey Church.

The response to the Drop-in sessions was very good generally, particularly from Ratcliffe. There have been no results from those meetings yet from the Rural Community Council, which is compiling a report on the findings, but this will be pursued. Christmas has a lot to answer for!

The main focus of the meeting was to build as comprehensive a list of businesses and organisations in the Parish as possible which will be invited to the Stakeholders' Meeting in Witherley Parish Room on Tuesday 27th February. Invitations will go out shortly either by email or hand delivered. We do need to know whether you are coming, to book your place. If you do not receive one and you think you should be included please let us know on witherleyparishndp@gmail.com

The date of our next meeting will be announced on our Facebook page and website.

Drop In Sessions for Everyone!

The Witherley Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group is hosting Community Consultation Events on:

Friday 17th November, 3 pm - 7 pm at Witherley in the Football Club,

Thursday 23rd November 3 pm - 7 pm at Ratcliffe Culey in All Saints Church,

Saturday 25th November 10 am - 1 pm at Fenny Drayton, St Michael & All Angels' Church.

You are welcome at any of these events, regardless of where in the Parish you live.

This is your chance to help plan the future of where you live.

Witherley Drop In Session

The Neighbourhood Development Plan drop in session at Witherley Football Club.

Go to the Fenny Drayton or Ratcliffe Culey sessions to have your say!

We're Off!

The Witherley Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan (WPNDP) has begun. The Steering Group has been formed and is starting to chart the course for the future shape of the Parish.

The Plan will include, for example, policies on where and what type of development should happen in your neighbourhood, and its design; the type of housing, transport and access (including issues around roads, cycling, walking and access for disabled people); provision for businesses to set up or expand their premises; the protection and creation of open space; the development of leisure facilities and the protection of important buildings and historic assets.

The founding members of the Steering Group are:

Kay Conway (Witherley); David Wilkins (Ratcliffe Culey); Charlotte Ward-Lewis (Witherley); Derek Ridgway (Fenny Drayton); Cindy McDonnell (Witherley); Helen Bullivant (Ratcliffe Culey); Mark Simpson (Fenny Drayton); Laura Dyer (Ratcliffe Culey); Brian Conway (Witherley).

Roles and responsibilities are being finalised but already the members have elected Kay Conway as Chairman. However, we still need more help. We especially need some younger recruits to the Steering Group, as it's their future that's at stake too.

Contact Kay Conway on 01827 711 073 to find out what's involved.

THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO HELP SHAPE THE FUTURE OF WITHERLEY PARISH BY TELLING US WHAT YOU WANT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY. YOUR VIEWS MATTER!

Drop-in sessions are planned for

Witherley on Saturday 17th November;

Fenny Drayton on Thursday 23rd November and

Ratcliffe Culey on Saturday 25th November.

Times and venues to be confirmed but will be widely advertised, so please save the dates.

More updates too on the facebook page www.facebook.com/WPNDP