Draft Minutes of the Conservation meeting of 2013-09-16 at 19:30 in the Black ­Bull

[The last amendment was on 2013-10-20. As usual letters in square brackets refer to standing items, and numbers new items, in the corresponding Agenda].

[a] Chair: We were fortunate that Ian Deans (ID)  managed to fly back from his holiday (in the early hours of that morning) and was available to chair this meeting.

[b] Attendance: ID, RT, KF, KM, JP, SP, BS, LS, PB, MM, JH, and CT [ https://twitter.com/ColinDTaylor ] signed in to the meeting. A total of 36 people now receive emailed agendas and minutes.

Apologies were received from Mel Jones, who did however, send us a copy of his most detailed, “History of Smithy Wood”, including comments on the proposals for an M1 J35 motorway service station. See “x. Planning Applications” below. In case anybody wants to help, I shall repeat here that Professor Jones had a prior appointment on that day, trying to get off the ground, a project to “dredge and interpret the old pond near Thorncliffe Rows”.

We also received an offer from Dr. Ian Rotherham who, although he could not come to this meeting, did offer to come and talk to us about the proposed Smithy Wood Service Station, as well as perhaps “HS2/Regional development”. Dr. Rotherham sent us several useful links ( See www.conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com ). He also asked us to circulate an invitation to his meeting with Sheffield Green Party on URBAN TREE DESTRUCTION on Wednesday 9th October  at 7:15 in the Garden Room, St. Mary’s Community Centre, Bramall Lane (http://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/invitation-to-a-meeting-urban-tree-destruction-the-need-for-action-now/ ).

We also received an offer from the Woodland Trust to attend one of our meetings.

Ongoing matters, or "things still to be done" 

[z] Next meeting. Rather than continue the experiment with our recent venue, the meeting decided to move back to The Stocks. The next meeting will therefore be in The Stocks on Monday 21st October at 7:30 pm.

[2] JP reported that the Ecclesfield Village Archive now has an “offsite” back-up. A copy of the complete archive had been uploaded to a Microsoft Skydrive account which Ecclesfield Parish Council has provided to all the Archive groups in the district. If at any time anything happens to our copies, then we can just download a new one from the “cloud”. The Ecclesfield Village Archive can therefore offer people in the village a way to preserve old photographs and other material, which has a realistic chance of surviving longer than even well-preserved original photographs.

In addition, JP reported that the Heritage Lottery Fund bid by the Ecclesfield District Archive for lottery funding had passed the first phase of the application procedure, and the final-phase application was being prepared. If granted, we are hoping that we will be able to go out and find more material to archive, and add searchable text. [If anybody wants to offer material, or help in building the website, please contact ].

[4] As RT reminded us at the last meeting, we have the opportunity to propose extensions to the boundaries of Ecclesfield Conservation Area. RT said that he was concerned about Ecclesfield Dam suffering neglect or being sold and filled in. [Ecclesfield Dam is a scheduled monument http://risk.english-heritage.org.uk/register.aspx?id=4393&rt=0&pn=1&st=a&ctype=all&crit=ecclesfield, but is listed as “vulnerable” to “scrub and tree growth”].

The expected sale of Rollem’s Old Mill was also mentioned [ http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/business-news/rollem-on-to-next-phase-of-plan-for-old-hq-1-5931874 ] , as were some of the terraces on Cross Hill [E.g. Providence Terrace, 124 Cross Hill, dated 1880.], both of which are outside the existing Ecclesfield Conservation Area.

The views of the land owners was recognized as crucial. However, it was thought that the owner of Town End Farm might agree to the recognition of its historic importance. A walk around the area was suggested but it was decided that people were familiar with most of the sites and we did not need to do this. Instead JP agreed to provide an A3 printout of the Conservation area for the next meeting.

[5] With regard to the new boundary marker / planter, JH reported that he had researched the ownership of the verges around the junction of “The Common” and St. Mary’s Lane. He found that the North Side [The side adjacent to Morningside Cattery I think - JP] was subject to Sheffield City Council’s PFI agreement with Amey. The South side however, was privately owned. ID suggested that we meet up with Amey on site and find a safe, visible, location. We also need to give St. Mary’s Trust, who are financing the planter, a report on progress.

[6] ID said that [as agreed at the last meeting], he had reported the boundary marker on Green Lane to AMEY, who were keen to help and realized its importance. They agreed to look at it when they had finished the nearby railings on the bridge over the stream. AMEY might be prepared to issue a joint press release with us on its refurbishment.

[y] MM reminded us about the Village Christmas tree outside Ecclesfield Church. JH was organizing this, and estimated it would cost £300. As per last year, RT was asked to request a contribution from Ecclesfield Parish Council of £150.

[y] Our Christmas tree at the Christmas Tree Festival in St. Mary’s Church is to be a joint one with the Bloom and Dusters Groups. Each group is contributing £10. Everybody who wants to help prepare the tree is asked to go to The Stocks at 19:00 on 22nd October [The festival itself is on 13th, 14th 15th, with setting up on 12th December].

[y] CT also told us that we should hear this week, what Ecclesfield City Council are proposing to do with respect to Ecclesfield Library [As subsequently announced on https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries/library-review/proposals.html, this is in serious danger of complete closure ].

[y] JP told the meeting about a consultation on proposals to allow owners of some buildings to change their use without having to seek planning permission. [ See https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/greater-flexibilities-for-change-of-use and “Complete a response form” before 15th October to comment ]

Completed matters or "things we have now done"

[c] Minutes and Matters arising therefrom: The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted for publication but with amended wording.  [The resulting minute is now viewable at... conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com/minutes  - JP]

[1] Our contact list was updated. If anybody wants to supply further details at any time, they are very welcome to do so.

[3] MM updated us as to the state of our bank account. RT signed the documents to enable the old bank account to be closed, and the balance transferred to our new bank account.

[x] Planning applications were discussed, starting with the proposed motorway service station on what remains of Smithy Wood. ID, [who had attended the proposer’s exhibition at Ecclesfield School, and received a copy of the very detailed “History of Smithy Wood”, from Professor Mel Jones] said that this was an ancient woodland traceable back to 1600, and which still had a remnant of that wildlife. There was a detailed discussion, with members questioning the need for a service station, the value of the jobs that such a service station would create, and the suitability of the site. There was also some concern about effects on the safety of the Junction 35 roundabout, in view of the traffic expected to be generated by the coal reclamation on nearby Hesley Wood, This culminated in the meeting agreeing that ID should respond by submitting a list of reasons for the proposers to consider other options [To see what we submitted, go to conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com and click on the Conservation Group’s response].

Copies of other planning applications were printed out and distributed at the meeting, but the meeting did not register comments on any of them.

[y] LS and BS brought some historic photographs to the meeting, and very kindly lent them to us for scanning. [Now on conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com ]

[y] CT told us that his petition to reduce the speed limit outside Ecclesfield School had been successful, and the limit would be reduced [ https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/dms/scc/management/corporate-communications/documents/government-politics-admin/petitions/Petitions-Log-May-2013-onwards/Petitions%20Log%20May%202013%20onwards.doc ]

 [z] JP said that going through emails received prior to the meeting, he found that the Group had received an email from Australia asking about their “Sayles” and “Burkinshaw” ancestors. It was agreed that at least “Burkinshaw” was an Ecclesfield name, and we should try and help [reply sent – JP].