Draft Minutes of the Conservation meeting of
2014-07-22 at 19:00 in “The Stocks”

[Written by JP on 2014-09-23, for acceptance at the meeting of that date]

[As usual, letters refer to standing items, and numbers new items, in the agenda of the same date, which will shortly appear at conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com/minutes. ]

A. Chair: Ian Deans (ID) chaired this meeting.

B. Attendance: RT, ID, LS, BS, MM, AM, KM, SP, JP

C. Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were approved for placing on the web site.

Z. Date of the next meeting

As in previous years, we decided to take the holiday month of August off, so our next meeting will be on Sept 23rd (I.e. fourth Tuesday), at 7 o'clock in the Stocks.

1. Archiving Group

JP said that Ecclesfield Parish Council were now re-advertising their part time “project coordinator” job. Anyone interested in applying for the job should see the Parish Council Web site. Members noted that Bradfield have a strong archive, which might form an example for us [ http://www.bradfieldarchives.co.uk/ ].

2. Joint Survey

JP said that our application to Sheffield City Council for a “Ward Pot” grant had been successful, but that we had only been offered about one third of the amount asked for. By cutting the number of reply paid envelopes from 3,000 to 1,000, changing from colour to black and white, deleting the volunteer fair and Google Adwords, and making some other changes, we could just about manage the project. It was therefore decided that we should accept the grant offer. However, it was agreed that in accepting the grant, JP should make the above reductions in our commitment clear, and only accept the grant moneys if these reductions were acceptable to Sheffield City Council. Of course, if other funding sources were found, then we might be able to put the deleted elements back. We needed the Joint Survey and Recruitment Drive to find additional historical material, members and contributors to the Conservation Group. Viridor grants were mentioned as a possibility [ http://www.viridor-credits.co.uk/apply-for-funding/ ]. The Parish Council was also mentioned, but of course we need them to finance the leaflet re-printing.

3. Storage

Our need for storage space was discussed. Storage was needed for our Gazebo, for our existing historical material, and for any additional material uncovered by the Joint Survey and recruitment drive [ If anyone has any further ideas on the storage problem, let me or ID know - JP].

4. Grenoside

Dates for a possible visit to Grenoside Reading Room and Grenoside Community Centre were discussed. The idea of visiting both on the same day appealed to members. Key people mentioned were Mr George Clark, who manages the archive in the Grenoside Community Centre, and Councillor Alan Hooper for the reading room. JP said he could round robin email everybody if a date could be arranged.

5. Bank Interest

MM told us that she had not yet heard back from the bank [I think she and Ian were trying to get some interest on our bank account - JP.]

6. Gala

MM told us that SH was prepared to provide a sheet of questions to form a quiz which we could use at Ecclesfield Gala. JP arranged with AM, that he could pick up the Conservation Gazebo. Members would be needed to help erect the Gazebo and to help administer the quiz. JP would bring the gazebo down to the Park at about 10:00. However, anybody wanting to help would need to find the Conservation Gazebo, however, this should be fairly easy to do, since there should be a board listing positions by the Morrisons entrance to the Park, and the bright red gazebo should be very visible anyway.

7. East and West Ecclesfield Public Meeting

The East and West Ecclesfield Public Meeting scheduled for 7th August was discussed. [This meeting has since been postponed to Thursday 25th September. It is scheduled for 7pm in Chapeltown Library – JP]

8. Conservation Area

One of the things brought up by members was advertising in the Conservation Area. Members were not against any particular business, and did not want to stop anybody advertising. However, they did want to raise the issue. Different members described current advertising in the Conservation Area as “very very bright”, as “very brash”, and as “the wrong colour”.

9.Local Plan

ID told us that Sheffield City Council were putting together their next local plan. They had a mailing list and had contacted Developers and land owners in a call for sites, saying “we are inviting you to submit suitable sites for 12 to 15 years”. This ID said was a rather concerning development. The resulting list could include sites which are within a green belt. In effect they are asking people to help them identify land for housing, although sites suggested do need to be within your ownership or control. The result will be a Sheffield Local Plan that will guide extensions for the city 15 - 20 years. They will assess all suggested sites. Sites within the green belt will be assessed within the green belt review. The result will inform following work such as the local plan. ID said that there was huge pressure to designate land for significant additional housing. We need to be as vigilant as possible about what may or may not be done on sites which are next to the village. However, there is, ID said, no way of accessing the information that is exchanged between the land agents and the City Council. RT: referred to what is at the moment farm land around the village, and ID replied that the Council were in the hands of Eric Pickles [Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon. Eric Pickles MP - JP].

x. Planning Applications

All the new planning applications listed in the Agenda were considered. There were questions about the proposed two houses behind 135 Church Street, and a suggestion that we make sure that the Council know that we are thinking of proposing that the “Ecclesfield Conservation Area” be extended in this direction . [Not done, but the planning application has now been withdrawn (for the second time) – JP]

There was also a further discussion of the proposed motorway service station at Smithy Wood, and in particular of the new, more detailed design and access statement. The proposers had tried to address some of the objections raised by the very many submissions opposing the development. However our objections were mostly on matters of principle which have not been covered by the additional detail.

AM said that it sounds as if they had listened to what people had said and they are saying that the damage will be less than people expect.

ID said that this was challenged by Natural England when they looked at this, and the Forestry Commission said there would be damage to the ancient woodland. If a new wood was set up by transplanting trees, it would not be likely to be successful. Essentially we did not want development in an ancient woodland.

RT: referred to the 733 objections currently on the Council's planning website.

ID said that there were no public notices up referring to the amended proposals, and wondered if they were going to go through a new consultation process on the basis of the amended application. He said he would do what he could in the time available.