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Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – November 2020

Melton Playing Fields
In order to keep the field in good condition we have spent some money on the grassed areas.

The lower field was becoming very weedy and patchy following the dry spell that occurred after the new seed was sown.  It has been treated with a broadleaf fertiliser which makes the weeds ‘overgrow’ and die.

In November all the grassed areas will be quadraplayed – the ground will be brushed, rolled, slit and brushed which will help to improve the condition of the field  – helping to reduce compaction and assist the percolation of surface water.  The slitting action cuts through the turf and the root zone leaving a thin slit on the surface and minimal surface disturbance. These slits encourage strong, healthy root growth of the grass plants, improving tolerance to drought conditions and promoting more rapid recovery after the damage caused by the adverse weather conditions.

Hedge cutting will take place later in the month, hopefully on the 19th and 20th November. We have liaised with the site manager at Lynton Homes to ensure that the road is kept free of their contractors’ cars on the 20th November when the roadside hedge will be cut.

The grass cutting will be carried out monthly from the 19th November, in line with our contract, returning to fortnightly in March 2021.

We have agreed a contractor to carry out the verge clearance along Melton Road. we are awaiting a date for this to be carried out.

You didn’t know looking after a bit of grass could be so involved did you?

There has been a person playing golf on the playing field. This is highly dangerous and is not allowed and we are on the lookout for the person concerned.  We are checking the CCTV but if you see anyone playing golf then please leave a message with the office on 01394 382224 giving details, time & date etc.

Overhanging trees on Wilford Bridge Road
MPC raised the issue of overhanging vegetation and trees along Wilford Bridge Road where the Electricity sub-station is forcing pedestrians to walk on the grass verge. This was raised with Highways and within a week the trees and vegetation had been cut back.

Grants 2020/2021
This financial year is quite a challenge for us but we still hope to give some grant money to worthy local causes.  MPC is hoping to run a small grants programme later this year and a decision will be made by Full Council on the 18th November. If you want to contact the Clerk for an application form, one will be sent if the grant programme has been agreed.  You will also be able to apply online at www.melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk

 

Speed Indicator Display

Speed Indicator Device
SID installed on Woods Lane by Phil Donoghue

Well after all this time the speed indicator has arrived and has been fitted in Woods Lane.  The traffic has definitely slowed so it seems to be effective already.  There are six locations that we can fit it in Melton so we will be moving it around from time to time.

 

We have got the version which collects data on traffic volumes and speeds etc.  This data will be invaluable when dealing with Highways so we can demonstrate the genuine volumes of traffic rather than using estimates.

The device had some initial teething troubles but I think it is working OK now.  It appears to be having the desired effect in slowing down traffic in Woods Lane.  We have now configured it to give the happy/grumpy face and the speed alternately.

 

Sizewell C

I thought I would put a good bit in about Sizewell C as it is such an important thing for us all in East Suffolk and will affect us for years ahead if the building goes ahead. Melton PC has spent a lot of time trying to put the best case for Melton.  I am very grateful in particular to Cllrs Bill Banks & Nigel Brown who have done much of the work.

The Council has made its formal submission for the “Pre-Examination” stage of the planning process and is now registered as an “interested party” on the Planning Inspectorate website, giving us the opportunity to put our case forward at the next stage of the planning process.

Our overall view is unchanged from previous stages of the planning process  –  we believe the community dis-benefits of Sizewell C far outweigh the opportunities for investment and any legacy benefits accruing from its construction.  Our submission (below) can also be viewed on the Council’s website at: https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/sizewell-c/

 SZC – RELEVANT REPRESENTATION BY MELTON PARISH COUNCIL (MPC)

 The following summarises Melton Parish Council’s (MPC’s) main points/issues.  Crucially, Melton does not want its already significant traffic congestion to be exacerbated by SZC – supporting evidence

 MPC’s major concerns are:

  1. The current A12 is inadequate to cope with additional traffic generated by the new energy projects at Friston and Sizewell.  EDF’s plans for improving the A12 do not solve the problem.  Our supporting evidence contains suggestions for road improvements on the A12 and A1152 (paragraphs 17 to 19).
  2. The Friston and SZC energy projects will also lead to an explosion of rat-running through Martlesham, Woodbridge and Melton when drivers seek alternative north-south routes that avoid the A12 or the Southern P&R (supporting evidence paragraphs 13 to 15)
  3. We note the proposal to locate the Southern Park & Ride north east of Wickham Market and insist that the Stage 2 consultation option for it to be located adjacent to the Woods Lane(A1152) roundabout with the A12 remains off the table (supporting evidence paragraph 12).
  4. We welcome the decision to use rail and sea transport to reduce the number of HGV journeys.  We urge that more be done to maximise rail freight over road transport, as the levels of proposed HGV movements are still too high for Suffolk’s limited road network. 
  5. Sizewell night-time goods trains (speed-limited to 10mph) through Melton will cause noise disturbance. Melton homes likely to be adversely impacted should now be identified and appropriate mitigation measures secured as part of any consent.
  6. SZC will need 2-3m litres of freshwater daily, from an area of low rainfall where the frequency and severity of drought will worsen with climate change. We are concerned this will impact adversely on agricultural and domestic supplies and cause ecological problems in the region.
  7. It is inappropriate to install new pylons for SZC in an AONB.  This invasive approach was avoided in the 1980s for SZB, as it should be in the 21st century for SZC. We suspect this is a cost saving measure, not an unsolvable technical problem – and it should be reversed.
  8. We believe the community dis-benefits of SZC outweigh the benefits.  This mirrors MPC’s view following its community consultation event in March 2019.  The community will incur severe dis-benefits to transport, the environment and pollution, tourism, accommodation and community safety.  While the economic benefits to the supply chain and jobs are welcome, in the latter case they fall short of expectations. For new jobs, only a small proportion of the higher graded, senior, posts will go to local people.
  9. SZC strategies for delivering benefits and mitigating dis-benefits appear to have good governance arrangements.  But there is still much uncertainty.  Will all partner organisations sign-up to the strategies?  Will SZC put in sufficient investment?  There are huge risks to Suffolk’s £2bn tourism industry. SZC’s large transient workforce will inevitably place strain on existing housing and community infrastructure.

Interestingly, Suffolk County Council has stated it cannot support EDF Energy’s plans for Sizewell C in their current form, citing environmental concerns, the lack of mitigation for known problems and EDF Energy’s proposed transport strategy (predominantly lorry-based) and in the council’s view, it is unsustainable.

East Suffolk Council has stated that it recognises the positives to the scheme in relation to the local economy and skills.  It will continue to work pro-actively with EDF, the government and all stakeholders to get the best possible outcome for East Suffolk in terms of mitigation for the many concerns identified by local communities.

The next phase of the Sizewell C planning process is called the “Examination Stage”.  Here the Examining Authority has a maximum of 6 months to carry out the examination.  Interested Parties will be invited to provide more details of their views in writing. The Examining Authority will also ask written questions. Hearings may be held.  All documents received by the Planning Inspectorate will be published on the project page of its website.

We are certainly not alone with our objections. I received a nice email from Alison Downes at the Stop Sizewell C campaign group who advises me that “An incredible 63 Town and Parish councils registered as an interested party in the Sizewell C planning process.”

According to the Stop Sizewell C Campaign, 23 Towns and Parishes have let it be known that they do not support EDF’s proposals, consider the application should be turned down, or oppose the project entirely. Mapping these communities shows a strong correlation with the A12 and surrounding area, but communities further away registered too.

Of course the traffic on the A12 is one of the main issues that face us in Melton.

As before, Melton Parish Council will continue to play its part in the future stages of the Sizewell C planning process.

2012 Roundel on Melton Village Sign

Close up of 2012 Roundel
A closeup – you can see the flame effect on the torch

Simon Benton from SBD Ltd. has repaired the vandalised 2012 roundel.  He has coloured the ‘flame’ backing in his workshop using a heat treatment process and as it is made from stainless steel now so will last indefinitely.  He has done a fantastic job.

The two parts are pop riveted and epoxy bonded together so shouldn’t suffer from the same type of vandalism again.  He made no charge for his time, the only cost we incurred was the material for the backing which came to £30.  I think it looks amazing; thank you Simon.

 

Simon and Alan with the 2012 Roundel
Simon Benton & Cllr Alan Porter with the newly refurbished 2012 roundel
2012 Roundel
The newly rebuilt 2012 roundel has been refitted to the village sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAND DIVESTMENT FROM EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL (ESC)
You may recall my messages earlier this year about the agreement to transfer 21 pieces of land from East Suffolk Council to the Parish Council, namely:

1. Fayrefield Road Area of land between railway line and river
2. Open space in Riverview Melton
3. Land adjacent to 5 St Friars Court
4. Land adjacent to 20 Friars Court
5. Sports Ground, Hall Farm Road
6. Public Open Space Hall Farm Road
7. Public Open Space in Winifred Fison Close
8. Public open space in Saxon Way
9. Public open space between 1&3 Coppice Close
10. Public open spaces Area 1 Love Lane
11. Public open spaces Area 2 Love Lane
12. Land to rear of Saxon Way
13. Land corner Coppice & Saxon Way
14. Public Open space in Beresford Drive North
15. Land Area 3 to South Beresford Drive
16. Land Area 1 to South Beresford Drive
17. Public Open Space adjacent 31 Bury Hill
18. Public Open Space adjacent 19 Bury Hill
19. Public Open Space between 19, 21, 31 & 33 Bury Hill
20. Public Open Space between 25, 29, 37 & 43 Bury Hill
21. Land north of Bury Hill

All has been quiet for quite a while because COVID and other factors have delayed finalisation of the legal formalities but the lawyers now tell us that contracts should be exchanged soon.  ESC is promoting similar land transfers to Parish Councils across East Suffolk.  ESC’s aim is to achieve ongoing savings to its budget and strengthen third-tier service delivery.  ESC recognises that Parish and Town Councils are often best placed to deliver these services on behalf of their local community and also believes that transferring responsibility for assets not only helps to generate pride in a local area, but often secures a service that might otherwise have been at risk.  ESC are giving us a grant of £5,000 towards the conveyancing and legal costs.

The land divestment has been welcomed by Melton residents as it will allow MPC to protect and improve these green spaces, which have been rather neglected till now.

On completion of legal formalities, the land transfer will be phased with about half of the land parcels coming to MPC in this financial year (2020/21) and the other half will coming over in 2021/22.

Pavilion Project
There is a dedicated page for the pavilion project on the website at :-

https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/recreation/pavilion-project/

After public consultation it has been decided that the Pavilion at the Melton Road Playing Field should be rebuilt, hopefully incorporating public toilets. At the meeting of Full Council on 16th September 2020, an initial sketch and floor plan of the proposed new pavilion from the architect was discussed.  It is on the website.

New Councillors
Following appeals for new councillors we have two enthusiastic volunteers wanting to join and they should be co-opted at the Full Council meeting in November.

I must say that I am very proud to lead a council where as soon as a vacancy appears I have people queuing up wishing to be a part of it.  That is one of the things that makes Melton a special place to live that people want to get involved and do their bit for the good of the community.

It’s a strange thing, I start off each month wondering what I shall write about and before I know it I have produced this article.  As I am not constrained by space in a magazine and the publication is online only, I can let it grow longer than usual.  People can browse at their leisure.