Hazelwood Parish  Neighbourhood Plan
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Hazelwood Parish Neighbourhood Plan

Steering Group

Date; Thursday September 4th, 2014.

Venue; Memorial Hall, Hazelwood.

Present; Martin Angold, Barbara Angold, Mike Wood, Keith Walker, Irene & Bob Wrigley, Glen and Lesley Wall, Kay Reid, Michael Say, Kevin Eaton (Chairman).

Apologies; Judy Harris (post-meeting)

Minutes for August 7th

These were approved and signed by the Chairman..

Matters arising

The Final Questionnaire actions had all been carried out but the summary of figures and conclusions draft will be held over to the next meeting.

Coverage of the Fete and the group’s presence ( a paragraph requested by Robert Walker) was in the current Church magazine.

The disturbing presence of a  possible site for 90 houses  at Shottle Chapel cross roads, on an AVBC strategic plan, had been noted. Subsequent discussions with them confirmed that this was highly unlikely, to say the least.  As an expression of interest by a developer (possibly the Chatsworth Estate) AVBC were obliged to show it but have no interest or intentions in that particular location, at all.

Draft Objectives and policies. Version 2

Mike Wood had prepared this and ran through the key aspects. It was,  deliberately, a ‘minimalist’ approach in order to keep the document simple. It would undoubtedly be enhanced as part of the development process, particularly with supporting research figures.

In the ensuing discussion, the document was generally approved. Particular points were;

1/ The AVBC Supplementary Planning Guide has been withdrawn and Mike mentioned that this may have to be compensated for at a later stage.

2/ The group members all agreed the ‘Four Settlements’ proposition i.e. development possibilities in and adjacent to these but not in open countryside. This is the key ‘protection’ stratagem.

3/ Showing any rate of growth, as per Martin Angold’s suggestion  (annual % of current housing stock) or Idridghay ‘..same rate as the last 20 years…’) was not credible, in Mike’s view. These were arbitrary and not defendable versus researched possible needs.  

In view of the advanced nature of Idridghay’s document, it was agreed, nevertheless,  to contact them to ask how they support their stance, particularly as they have previously had their draft commented upon by a consultant. This question will also be directed to Helen Metcalfe.

4/ Need for a separate Biodiversity objective was not felt to be necessary.

5/ ‘Hazelwood houses for Hazelwood people’ remains an issue. AVBC provided details of  Midlands Rural Housing who could be well worth speaking to.

6/ Asked whether the policies, so far, would prevent a particularly unsuitable house being built, Mike believed they would give the Parish Council far more ‘teeth’ with which to lodge objections.

7/ AVBC are not identifying Hazelwood currently, as part of their strategic needs for housing, because of its lack of sustainability. Michael Say thought it ironic that the very lack of facilities gives the parish some strength against unwanted development. As such, he questioned, as Devil’s Advocate,  whether the Plan was inviting risk versus doing nothing.  He also put forward the point that this sort of question could also come up a future public meeting and the group needed to be prepared.

Bob Wrigley, too,  thought that asking the question was valid, given that the Plan puts ‘heads above the parapet’. In answer to a colleague saying that gaining parishioners’ approval was ‘an easy sell’, Bob did not necessarily accept this.

Michael Say stressed that in no way was he recommending stopping - merely seeking to reconfirm the positives. The threats were ever-present, the situation fluid and house-building pressures considerable at every level. AVBC’s Rachael Coates, herself, had agreed at a recent meeting, that whilst the Local Plan was incomplete, AVBC was under threat from a developer’s overt challenge, wherever that may be.

Martin Angold mentioned the news item he had circulated about the threat to Slad Valley in Stroud, as an example.

It was agreed that the group was not for turning!


a/ Details of Midlands Rural Housing to be forwarded to Keith Walker for him to appraise and contact.

b/ Michael Say to forward Mike’s paper to Helen Metcalfe for comment together with the full details of the Final Questionnaire exercise. The idea is to seek her views prior to a mooted Thursday October 2nd meeting. Assuming a positive response, this will strengthen the group’s plan to organise an Open Evening in November to bring parishioners up-to-date.

c/ Mike Wood to provide the settlements map on-line to Michael Say for onward despatch to Helen.

d/ Idridghay group will be contacted re: their housing policy and its ‘rate over the last 20 years’ statement.

Visual impact exercise.

The sample exercise was discussed . Mike Wood believed that this would be  an important part of the ‘protection’ process, in the future, particularly for the Parish Council. The purpose of the exercise was to establish a modus operandi that would be acceptable in any planning dialogue with AVBC.


The example will be sent by Mike to AVBC Chief Planning Officer, Derek Stafford, for comment.

Meeting with AVBC. September 1st.

Martin Angold, Kevin Eaton and Michael Say had recently provided an update to the group’s contact, Amie Taylor and colleague, Rachael Coates. It was useful. Although a lot of Neighbourhood Plan activity is ongoing, no plans are yet advanced to consultation stage. In this regard, it was established that Parish-level consultation and then with AVBC’s  Inspector, alone, will account for 12 weeks. That, plus other inevitable delays, will take around 6 months out of the next 12 months.  It simply confirmed the need for pressing on with all speed.

Midlands Rural Housing contact details provided (See previous note)

Steering Group v. Open Meetings.

Chairman expressed his concern about the need for clarity as regards the functions of the normal and extraordinary meetings. Whilst the group had always been welcoming to guests and will continue to be, it was important to differentiate situations which called for a level of confidentiality, to avoid rumour and misrepresentation.

For the future it was agreed that;

1/ Anyone invited to a normal meeting will have been made known to the Secretary, beforehand.

2/ Should anyone unexpectedly come to a normal meeting, they will be made welcome, as at present. If the agenda has a confidential item, this will be rearranged to be at the end of the meeting and the guest advised that that part of the meeting will be closed to the group members only.

3/ Extraordinary meetings will only be advised to and attended by Steering Group members.

Any other business

Details of the playing fields research findings, in full, had been sent to David Shaw, the Trust’s Deputy Chairman, at Kevin Eaton’s request.

Next meeting.

Provisionally agreed as Thursday Oct 2nd, Memorial Hall, following response from Helen Metcalfe.