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Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – July 2021

We held our first council meeting face to face at the end of May, this was a meeting of the Recreation Committee.  I must admit it makes a refreshing change from all those Zoom meetings.  The meetings flow better and better ideas arise, I was suddenly inspired to suggest we buy & fit some owl boxes in the woods, I don’t think this would have arisen on a Zoom meeting.

Keeping dogs under control
We have received a complaint about out of control dogs in the recreation ground and requesting the compulsory use of leads on dogs in the park.  Whilst we understand the reason for this request, the vast majority of dogs are well behaved off the lead, the owners control their pets and collect and correctly dispose of their dog waste.

It would be impossible to enforce the rule as we have no warden or power to police anybody who would not conform.  We just hope that pet owners behave responsibly and anybody seeing such behaviour should try to avoid any confrontation with the owner as it is doubtful they read these columns or would adhere to any rules.

Planning application – 55 houses on site adjacent to St Andrews Place
At a recent East Suffolk Planning Committee meeting, District Councillors voted to delegate approval for  outline planning permission to build 55 houses over 5 years on land adjacent to St Andrews Place to their Head of Planning and Coastal Management subject to compliance by the developer with numerous conditions.  This was despite Melton Parish Council raising an objection along with many residents, having been promised by the developer that access would be via Riduna Park and not through the St Andrews estate.

A small band of residents challenged the decision and have been successful in getting East Suffolk District Council to agree to take the decision back to the Planning Committee.

Melton Parish Council continues to oppose the decision to allow vehicle access to the proposed new estate via St Andrews Place. We believe that by allowing significant additional traffic to pass through the narrow streets, it will risk the safety of residents and children and adversely affect their quality of life.

Local residents can continue to object to this proposal by emailing or writing a letter to the East Suffolk Planning team (contact details are on their website) even if you have written before. The more people who object, the more chance of getting the decision changed.

SIZEWELL C (SZC)
In May, such was Melton Parish Council’s (MPC) concern about SZC’s night train proposal to run up to eight overnight freight trains through Melton, at average intervals of 49 minutes, that our volunteers leafleted all 2,100 households in the parish to inform residents of what was being planned and invite them to complete an on-line survey where they could have their say.

We received 247 responses to the survey; equivalent to 12% of households and a good rate of return for such a consultation exercise.  Many thanks to all those who responded to the survey and, of course, to our volunteers.

A strong message coming back from residents was that as much construction material as possible should be moved by sea.  On the specific survey question of the movement of freight by train:

  • nearly two-thirds of respondents were opposed to overnight trains;
  • there was majority support for freight to be moved by train in daytime on an East Suffolk Line with upgraded capacity (dual-tracked between Melton and Saxmundham).

If SZC were to receive planning permission on the basis of its current proposals, there would be a stark difference between Melton’s preferred modes of transport and the modes to be used by EDF:

  • Melton’s two top preferences for the movement of construction material are by Sea and by Day Trains. At the moment, EDF plans to move only 10 to 30% of freight volumes by these combined modes 
  • The two modes of transport that Melton supports least – Night Trains and Road – would, under current plans, be used by EDF to move between 70 to 90% of freight volumes.

A SZC transport strategy that majored on Night Trains and Road would be an outcome unacceptable to most Melton residents and also, we suspect, to residents of other nearby communities.

MPC has included the above findings within the written evidence we have submitted to the Planning Inspectors for the SZC project (this can be viewed on our website – www.melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/sizewell-c/).

The Queen’s Green Canopy, QGC
The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a unique, UK-wide, tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, by inviting people to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee.” Everyone from individuals to Scout and Girl Guiding groups, villages, towns, cities, counties, schools and corporates will be encouraged to plant trees from October 2021 when the tree planting season begins, through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022.

Melton Parish council is already active and dedicated to planting new trees and protecting existing trees as valuable local, and planetary, assets. The QGC will encourage everyone to learn more about the best way to plant trees so that they survive and flourish for years to come. Trees and hedgerows must be planted with care, at the right time of year, in the right place and with species that are not prone to prevailing tree diseases. The QGC initiative will encourage planting during the official planting season, October to March, to optimise the chance of trees surviving and flourishing. The countdown to planting season began at the launch on 17 May. People are encouraged to use this summer to plan their Jubilee tree planting projects and be ready for October.

Melton Parish already has ‘Melton Tree crew’ – a small team of local volunteers dedicated to care and propagation of trees. We will need to recruit a new network of “Tree-frienders” – taking on watering and other caring aspects that allow planted saplings to become established and self-sustaining. Volunteers will find it’s a two-way thing, when it comes to tree care you get back at least as much as you give. But no-one will be asked to take on more than they can manage

One important aspect of “Tree-friending” is simply to notice where, in your neighbourhood, you would like to see trees planted. Have conversations locally to encourage support (the opposite of NIMBY’ism) and then apply to MPC for your project to be considered for a free tree-planting service.

Call to action: Your queen and country, your parish, and the planetary ecology need us – call MPC

NHS Thank you day in Melton on Monday 5th July 2021
We had hoped that members of the public would be able to participate, however Melton Parish Council regrets that due to Covid restrictions on outdoor events extended to the 19th July, it will not be possible for the public to attend either of these events on this occasion.

At 8pm the bells at both Melton churches will be rung and everyone is invited to stand on their doorstep and clap for the NHS, Carers and all frontline workers.

Please note the car park will be closed in the morning, between 8.30am and 11.30am, for these two ceremonies taking place.

Bike racks & car park barrier
The new barrier has been fitted around the car park. We have decided to fit a couple of upside down U shaped cycle racks to be fitted near to the car park but in view of the CCTV.  If these are well used we may fit more and fit some near to the new pavilion.

Notice Boards
Despite the internet people do still look at our notice boards, we are buying two more.  One to be fitted in St Andrew’s Place and another in Old Maltings Approach.

Melton Road Crossings – Update – June 2021
Further to the consultation that was carried out by Melton Parish Council earlier this year, Highways were asked to look at an alternative crossing point on Melton Road. This was because some residents were unhappy at the loss of on-road parking.

The alternative location that has been identified is closer to the Coach and Horses and will provide a safer crossing point for those coming from the school and/or Dock Lane. Double yellow lines would be introduced for the length of the crossing markings.  Further information can be found at https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/melton-road-crossings/

Bracken clearance in the woods by Explorers
A group of Explorers affiliated with 1st Woodbridge Scouts cleared two areas of bracken in the newly acquired areas of the woods in preparation for tree planting in the autumn (which could form part of the Queen’s Canopy project).

Alan Porter

Chair – Melton Parish Council