NP Meeting, 10 February 2018, Parish Rooms

Attendees:  Tim Sheppard (TS); Jennie Jordan (JJ) and Chris White (CW).

Apologies:  Richard Furlonger (RF) and Barbara Campbell (BC).


Village Questionnaire

    A discussion took place in relation to the Village Questionnaire responses. A clear majority of Parishioners expressed the view that the amount of housing development in the Parish is already about right.  Other clear responses include support for extending the pavements towards the Haymarket and the Lavenham Road; placing weight on the quality of agricultural land affected by any proposed development outside the settlement boundary and concern about dog fouling and vehicle speeding, albeit the latter was not reflected in all the responses to questions about potential traffic calming measures. Consideration to be given to consulting with Monks Eleigh and Chelsworth in relation to traffic proposals for Lavenham, which might affect the volume of flow through the Villages. To check where those Villages are in relation to any Neighbourhood Plans. In advance of the Questionnaire results analysis to be provided by Ian Poole (IP) on 3 March 2018, TS to ask Ian Poole to provide details of the matrix charts to be circulated to Parish Council (PC) members for information only at this stage.


In relation to future consultation workshops with Parishioners, it was agreed that there needed to be sessions dealing with housing development; highways/traffic and the Character Appraisal, at least.

Character Appraisal

JJ confirmed that Paul Sargeant is able to help with photographic input. In addition, it was agreed that a photographic competition should be run among Parishioners, perhaps with 2 separate age groups: under 16 and over, with a prize for the winner in each category and the resulting photographs to be used as part of the Character Appraisal (CA) document and/or  in the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) itself. JJ to draft the competition documents/wording. A discussion took place in respect of how to alert Parishioners to the competition. One way forward would be a leaflet drop but perhaps in conjunction with other notifications (such as workshops) and not as the sole item. The proposed competition wording to be circulated in advance of and agreed at meeting of NP Committee on 4 March 2018, along with the method of notification. TS to check the materials held on the ‘Parish Online’ website and to circulate the access information among PC and NP members.


The boxes which form part of the PAL character appraisal template are to be used to complete the CA assessment, informed by the PAL guidance notes and the corresponding dialogue box in the Oxfordshire/Historic England template. The assessors are to walk the 6 character areas identified (below) and to walk the roads/any public footpaths which have a view into the character area being assessed. Assessors are to consider whether there any greens spaces should be included, as per paragraph 77 of the NPPF (handout with IP materials from last meeting), along with any important views that exist into and out of the area. At the end of the assessment(s) an overview section needs to be completed, setting out a summary of the character area at issue, along with an appraisal (necessarily more subjective) of the sense of place experienced by passing through the character area. The 6 character areas identified, 1-6,  are as follows:

Area 1 – also known as Nob End, from Wood Hall to the end of the Village at the Haymarket;

Area 2 – Grove Avenue and the Playing Fields, along with the bungalows fronting the Road either side of the entrance to Grove Avenue itself;

Area 3 – The Core of the Village, from Heathfield House and the houses opposite, to the entrance to Wade Crescent and the end of the group of older  dwellings opposite in the Street, and the south-eastern boundary of the Church and the Priory in Church Road;

Area 4 – from the entrance to Wade Crescent and the end of the group of older houses opposite, to the end of the Village towards Sudbury;

Area 5 – From the south-eastern boundary of the Church and the Priory to the end of Church Road towards Edwardstone;

Area 6 – The outlying hamlets, including Bells Drift etc.

In terms of who will undertake the assessment of which Area, it was agreed that assessors would not appraise their own character area. The split is as follows:

Area 1 - JJ/BC;

Area 2 - CW/RF;

Area 3 - JJ/TS;

Area 4 - RF/BC;

Area 5 - BC/JJ;

Area 6 - CW/TS.

    The assessments are to be completed by the 4 March 2018 meeting of the NP Committee. By that time each pair of assessors should have liaised and tried to agree the detail/wording in relation to each of characteristic of the character areas assessed by them. Where there is no agreement on a particular characteristic e.g. streetscape, or views, these can be discussed,/resolved at the meeting on 4 March 2018. Thereafter the completed results will be sent to IP to be drafted into a formal CA, which will form part of the NP evidence base. CW/JJ and TS to try to create a single template document to use for the appraisals in Word. This should be circulated ASAP, so everyone uses the same document and to ensure consistency.   It was agreed to confirm the meeting with IP pencilled in for 3 March 2018. That will be the next meeting of the NP Committee, followed by the meeting to be held of 4 March 2018.



12 February 2018.