Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – April 2021

Sizewell C (SZC)

The Examining Authority’s (ExA) Preliminary Meeting for its “examination in public” of EDF’s planning application for SZC is scheduled for 23 March 2021.  A second Preliminary Meeting, if required, is scheduled for 14 April 2021.

The purpose of the Preliminary Meeting is to enable views to be put to the ExA about the way in which the application is to be examined.  The Preliminary Meeting is not an opportunity for Interested Parties to put forward their views about what they like or don’t like about the application. The merits or concerns about the application will only be considered once the Examination starts, which is after the Preliminary Meeting has closed.

The ExA is under a duty to complete the Examination of the application by the end of the period of 6 months beginning with the day after the close of the Preliminary Meeting (Thursday 14 October 2021).

A recommendation by the ExA to the Secretary of State will be issued within 3 months of the examination closing. The Secretary of State then has a further 3 months to issue a decision on the proposal.

Up-to-date information about the project and the Examination can be obtained from the project page on the National Infrastructure Planning website (NI website) from which copies of all Examination Documents can be accessed by the public:

https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/the-sizewell[1]c-project/?ipcsection=overview

Parish Council Website
We will be updating the website in the next few months. The new layout will improve accessibility and functionality. Hopefully it will be easy to navigate and find the information you need.

Support for Local Food Project
The Finance Committee (FERM) agreed financial support up to a maximum of £350 towards the costs of printing leaflets for distribution in Melton.

Signage for divested parcels of land
FERM agreed to:

  • Place signs on the more significant areas of land only e.g. the woodland adjacent to Burkes Wood, Hall Farm Road etc.
  • Ask the Council’s arboriculturalist for advice as to where signs might most usefully be placed
  • Put a map of all the Council’s land holdings on the website

Speed Indicator Device (SID)
The SID is currently located on Woods Lane and is working well and, from personal observation, it does encourage drivers to obey the 30mph speed limit on that road.  However due to traffic volumes we have decided to purchase a second SID with a solar panel which will be sited at Woods Lane and use the existing one for the other five sites we have in Melton.

Tennis Court Fencing
The tennis court fencing was replaced at the end of March. As a result, we had to temporarily close the car park from the 23rd to 30th March.

We have been wanting to do this for a long time as it has become quite tatty and numerous holes have been cut in it by various nefarious individuals.  The new fencing is much tougher and will look great.  The tennis courts have been very popular over the last year and it’s great to reinvest in this well used facility.

Burness Parish Rooms
Thanks to Colin Birkbeck, the Burness Parish Rooms have been made Covid-19 compliant with the necessary hand sanitizers and a one way system in place for entering and leaving. It has also had a new boiler installed and with the adjustments made to make it Covid-19 compliant, it is looking forward to greeting its usual customers once again when the rules allowed.

Playing Field Car Park
The car park is well used but the surface is in poor condition, it has been in need of resurfacing for many years.  We are taking the opportunity to square off the corners to get a few extra spaces without losing play space.  There will be a disabled designated parking space and the spaces will be properly marked out.  We are hoping the work can start soon.

Oak tree protected with rope ring

The Old Oak Tree
Our tree warden, Martin Wilks, and his band of volunteers were at the playing field in Burkes Wood recently. They placed a protective ring around the old oak tree at the entrance to the woods (from the playing field). I think it looks very good and makes the tree look even grander. We’ve had good feedback already.

Community Events
We have two dates for your diary. Firstly on Monday 5th July 2021 it is the NHS Thank You Day and various events are planned in Melton.  Watch this space for more details.

We are also planning on holding the Melton Village fete on Saturday 4th June 2022 which will coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee long weekend – so save the date.

Annual Parish Meeting
This is usually a lovely event where I give a summary of the year and future plans are revealed.  We normally have some guest speakers and a few refreshments.  Of course, this year it will be a Zoom meeting but it will still go ahead on Wednesday 28th April.  The winner of the annual Melton Award will be announced.  Spoiler alert – this year there is more than one winner!

Land Divestment
After months of patiently waiting for the legalities to progress, I am pleased to say that the land divestment has now completed for all 21 pieces of land from East Suffolk Council.  The fact that one piece of land was actually on the land registry as two complicated matters further.  In order to ensure that we know what we have to manage, we have had a tree survey done for all of the land that we now own including existing assets.   We will be producing a schedule of maintenance to ensure public safety and the health of the trees.

 

 

 

Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – March 2021

England Coast Path
Melton Parish Council has submitted a response to the consultation on the Felixstowe to Bawdsey stretch of the England Coast Path, which runs through Melton along the river wall.
Whilst Melton PC supports the improved coastal access represented by this plan, Councillors are concerned about the increasingly heavy use of the coastal path through Melton and the impact on sensitive, designated sites.

Deben Monitoring Post
We have agreed with the Deben Estuary Partnership to site a monitoring post on the river here in Melton. We will take photographs regularly and they will be uploaded to the D.E.P. Facebook page. The team will be able to keep a close eye on how the coastline is changing and whether there is any need for more interventions to protect the saltmarsh, an important habitat.

Quiet Lanes Consultation
You may have noticed the green Quiet Lanes signs on some roads in other local parishes and now Melton has nominated two roads for this scheme. Once a route has been designated as a Quiet Lane, it means that walkers, cyclists and equestrian users take priority over motorised vehicles. The two roads we have selected as suitable are Lodge Farm Lane and St Audrys Lane. Both have been well used by walkers during the recent Lockdowns. Taken together they form an arc between Yarmouth Road and Saddlemakers Lane and connect to several footpaths, making a circular route round the village. The cost of the new signs will be covered by grants available to councils supporting the scheme. All residents are invited to give their feedback by emailing the parish council office by 30th April. We will be delivering leaflets to surrounding houses soon.

Traffic levels in Melton
We have been raising concerns to Suffolk County Council about the volume of traffic in Melton. Despite the pandemic, traffic volumes remain similar to previous years which infers that once the pandemic is over traffic volumes will be even higher. It is a difficult situation compounded by HGV traffic to and from the Bentwaters, the state of the ‘kinked’ level crossing and the addition of the container site near Riduna Park. It appears that the traffic volume around Bentwaters is nearing its maximum permitted capacity. A group of parish councils has got together and is lobbying Suffolk County Council to take some action.

Last year Suffolk County Council instigated a review of lorry routing in Suffolk. This review comprises two parts; the first is a technical review looking at changes to the network for example the capacity of bridges, the location of new residential and business development and a review of all existing weight restrictions in the county; the second part is a community consultation which will commence in June this year. The community review will provide parish and town councils the opportunity to provide evidence of concerns about HGV movements and routing in their area. The team will then consider this alongside the technical review and propose recommendations for changes to the lorry route network and identify any other changes that might be needed to address issues. This county-wide approach is essential, as there is a need to consider the impact of implementing a change in one area/community on those communities that would then take the HGV traffic, to avoid just moving the problem. This will be a very difficult task however, and it is important that the local issues are understood. They say they understand and empathise with the concerns we have relating to HGV traffic in Melton Parish, but it is important that these are considered across a wide area. In advance of the community review they would like to offer a meeting with us to discuss our concerns. So let’s see what happens.

Grants
We advertised as far as we could for applications for small grants.
Two applications were received by the due date and both have been paid
• Melton primary School (contribution of £500 towards the cost of Covid-19 related expenditure of c£5k)
• Patients Participation Group at Framfield House Surgery (contribution of £158.99 to cover 100% cost of a portable ECG machine).

Tennis Court Fencing
The tennis courts are a well-used facility in Melton, but the fencing has been deteriorating over the years and this has been made worse by some miscreants cutting holes in the fencing. We have continually been patching it up but now consider total replacement is the way to go.

Recreation Committee, at its meeting on 6 January 2021, considered quotes for replacing the existing tennis court chain link fencing. Three companies were originally approached to quote for replacing the existing chain link with more robust, vandal resistant panel fencing. Funding is being sought from the PlayPot, which is held by East Suffolk Council.

Recreation Committee considered the quotes and felt that the level of detail and the specification contained in one quote made it the preferred option. The decision has been agreed by East Suffolk Council and will be funded by the PlayPot. The PlayPot funds were put in place before Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced. So no cost for this project comes from our own funds. This project should be taking place in March and hopefully will be finished in time for when restrictions are lifted and tennis is allowed again.

Melton Road Crossings Consultation
Melton Parish Council has carried out several consultations with Melton residents on how money received from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should be spent. The request for road crossings along Melton Road, to enable safer passage across the road and to help reduce speeding, has received much public support. We hope to have two crossing points installed.

Three areas were identified as being natural crossing points: Melton Playing Fields/Melton Produce, The Spar/John Grose Garage and New Quay Lane/Turnpike Lane.

Working closely with Highways, two locations have been suggested that combine a useful crossing point with the least loss of parking spaces along Melton Road. The crossings will be island refuges in the middle of the road. Full details can also be seen here: www.melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/melton-road-crossings/

If you have any questions or feedback about these proposed crossings please contact the Parish office before the 15th March 2021. Leaflets have been distributed to residences along Melton Road/Melton Hill and adjoining roads.

Pavilion Replacement Project
Following the recent consultation period, here is a summary of the main concerns raised and the answers given.

  • Footprint – the new building will be no bigger than the current footprint.
  • Parish Room – It is not a new Parish room or village hall. It is emphatically not designed for meetings but for informal events linked to and used as an adjunct to outside space.
  • Loss of facilities – The only ‘facility’ that will be lost is changing rooms. However the current ones are not used and nor are they needed. The new Pavilion will bring additional facilities – a public WC that is fully accessible, flexible community space, better storage, better shelter for users of the park and playing fields and the ability to have a pop-up café.
  • Loss of green space – the path will be slightly widened, and the car park squared off which will result in a very small loss of green space.
  • Risk of vandalism – brick and HardiePlank are as vandal resistant as possible but no building is entirely resistant. Roller shutters and CCTV will be installed. We will work with the police to design out crime as far as possible. The externally accessible toilet will be open at set times.
  • Environmental considerations – solar panels, water reuse are being considered.

A big thankyou to all those Melton residents who took the time and trouble to give their feedback. At the Full Council meeting on the 17th February it was decided that the colour scheme for the pavilion will be a mix of grey and red.

Snowy Weather
The bad weather came as a bit of a blow on top of all the other problems we all face, having said that here’s a photo to gladden the heart. Thanks also to the Melton Good Neighbour Scheme who helped clear ice and snow for some residents.

Burkes Wood in the snow

A lovely shot of Burkes Wood