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Friday 10 November 2017

Minutes of Residents' Association AGM 30th October 2017

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Burton Green Residents’ Association held on October 30th 2017 at the Village Hall

Rona welcomed everyone including parish councilor s and Greenway Trust representatives.

She explained her aim was to make presentations as brief as possible allowing time for discussion of issues of importance.

1 Apologies

Apologies had been received from Dianne Adams, Judi Hibberd, Adrian Hickinbottom, Cllr Skinner, Janet Stanworth, Diane Swindells and Paul Thornton

2 Minutes of the last meeting

"In the Warwick District Revised Plan, 425 houses were sited at the top of Westwood Heath Road with a health centre, shop and some community facilities." It appeared to Cllr. Taylor that there would be little affordable housing. Cllr Taylor wished it to be noted that “affordable” housing was a technical term and he felt the proposed housing was still not affordable to most people.

The minutes of the last Annual General Meeting of October 31st 2016 were then accepted.

Proposed: Chris Langton
Seconded: Jill Line

3 Matters Arising

HS2: Contact details had been published in the Bugle.

Speedwatch: PC Whitehouse would be asked about progress with new sites.

Any Other Business: Hickory’s Smokehouse would not be including the Peeping Tom name but retained the old sign within the premises.

Speed of traffic in Bockendon Lane had not been reduced.

All other matters arising were to be covered by agenda points.

4 Chair’s Report

A report had been circulated in advance as follows
This has been another very active year for the Residents’ Association, responding to residents’ concerns and organising a number of events and initiatives to support the community. 
Our Santa Sleigh evening last December was a huge success, raising £1000 for The Myton Hospices. We are very grateful to the Balsall Common Lions for working with us and we are already planning this year’s event which will take place on Friday December 22nd. We learnt a lot from last year and are planning some improvements including providing supper at the Village hall. 
The Residents’ Association acknowledged the very valuable contribution County Councillor John Whitehouse made to Burton Green over many years, by marking his retirement with a drinks reception at which he was presented with a picture of the Greenway. It was painted by local artist Margaret Cole and I know it now has pride of place in John’s lounge.
Lunches for the retired of Burton Green continue to be very popular. The food is always wonderful and amazing value. Everyone always has a good time and really appreciates the opportunity to get together.
The Jubilee Group worked very hard preparing for the Summer Event – a Rhythm and Blues evening at Long Meadow Farm on June 10th. Unfortunately the skies opened and it was rained off. However, we are very grateful to Henry’s R and B Band for putting on a free performance in the Village Hall on September 23rd. The Band soon got the Burton Green Boppers going and everyone really enjoyed the music. An event for children is being planned for next summer and the centenary of the 1918 Armistice is being marked by a theatre trip to see The War Horse on October 13th and an afternoon tea on November 10th. We also hope to have a Burton Green Beacon on this special Remembrance Weekend.
The Speedwatch Team has now been operating for five years and continues to have a real impact on moderating speed and raising awareness. This is an issue which residents consistently highlight as being of importance to them and in a recent Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group survey conducted at the Village Hall during the Produce Show, speeding and traffic was identified as a key negative factor in village life. So we are very grateful to the Team for turning out in all weathers and for their on- going commitment. Please consider joining the team; Pat Hehir would be delighted to hear from you (tel: 02476467022)
Maintaining our environment remains an important objective of the Residents’ Association. The plant tubs continue to make a really positive statement as we enter and leave Burton Green and the Jubilee Verge lifts everyone’s spirits as they drive past. Further bulb planting took place in October and we have had one “clean up” this year, with one still pending. The Cromwell Lane sign at the Hodgetts Lane junction has been renovated.
The on -going task of monitoring potholes and reporting them to  Solihull Metropolitan Borough and WCC has remained a priority and we are grateful for the swift response we receive from Peter Hallam of WCC Highways Department. Faulty street lighting has also been an issue we have had to raise.
A First Response first aid refresher session was organised in x with generous donations from participants being matched by the Residents’ Association to support this worthwhile organisation. We hope to organise these refresher courses annually.
The Bugle has continued to play a crucial role in keeping us all informed of village events. Thanks are due to Mary Webb and all the distribution team many of whom also collect our £3 subscriptions.
The challenges facing Burton Green seem to grow more daunting and complex; HS2, housing, the location of the new third phase road linking the A46 with the A452 all loom large. However our community spirit is undented, maintained by the contribution of so many residents; that is what makes Burton Green so special .Thanks to you all!

Rona highlighted the key events during 2017

  • Credit must be given to the numerous people who contribute to the village in various ways. Members of the Parish Council deal with formalities and the Residents’ Association takes responsibility for such activities as the Santa sleigh, lunches for the retired, environmental planting, the Jubilee group, the Bugle and the Speedwatch team. There have been two recent volunteers to the latter but more are needed so that three people can be present at each session, as required. 
  • The Jubilee verge represents community involvement and contributions.
  • Many people had chosen to be in our community and there is much appreciation of the strength of our community.

5 Treasurer’s Report

Dianne was unavailable but had submitted a report which was available.

In Dianne’s absence Peter Tacon explained there was a balance of £3675.79 which included donations of £500 from Severn Trent and £200 from Western Power after disruption to services.  Thanks were given to Mary Webb for chasing these donations.

There were no questions.

Rona thanked Peter for inspecting the accounts.

6 Election of Independent Examiner 

Peter Tacon again agreed to act as Independent Examiner.
Proposed:  Chris Langton
Seconded: Pat Hehir
Unanimously agreed.

7 Election of Committee members

Janet Hickinbottom, as Joint Secretary, conducted this agenda item.

The constitution required that the officers and three committee members should stand down.  All the officers, Rona Taylor, Mary Webb, Janet Hickinbottom and Judi Hibberd and Dianne Adams were re-elected
Proposed: Deirdre Vernon
Seconded Helen Hehir
Unanimously agreed.

Three committee members also stood down and agreed to be re-elected:
Andy Gibbs, Trish Hancock, Hilary Cox
Proposed: Ray Watkin
Seconded: Betty Woodward
Unanimously agreed.

Diane Swindells was standing down and was not seeking re-election.  Rona thanked Diane for her contribution.

Paddy Deeley was nominated as a new committee member.
Proposed: Alison Fielding
Seconded: Betty Woodward
Unanimously agreed.

8 Discussion of key Burton Green issues

Neighbourhood Plan

Ray Watkin explained the process of setting out principles and objectives to help with planning and development within the village. The Neighbourhood Plan would cover the area within the old parish boundaries – not including Warwick University.

A steering group had been established but more volunteers were welcome. The local community was to be involved at all times as the Neighbourhood Plan needed to represent the wishes of residents. It was important to capture all opinions to be truly representative.

Public participation was encouraged at steering group meetings, for example on November 13th.  A survey was started at the Produce Show and there had been a drop in event on September 29th which attracted 42 people. As 12 of those were not Burton Green residents, the views of only 30 residents had been captured. The survey had been extended to groups within the village such as the choir, attendees at the Retired of Burton Green lunch, and the wine club. In this way the number of responses had increased to 113.

Ray explained some of the statistics that had been gathered. For example, 93% of respondents valued the sense of community and the people involved.
 41% cited the importance of the Village Hall and its activities. 25% mentioned the village school and another 25% the Greenway. The environment, open spaces and footpaths were important to 86%.

Considering negative aspects, 63% were concerned about traffic and speeding vehicles; 52% with HS2; 21% mentioned poor public transport, especially in Red Lane; 15% indicated a lack of amenities; and 14% commented on detrimental parking habits in the village.

A strapline had been sought for the Neighbourhood Plan.  The initial suggestion had been “Growing Burton Green” but following consultation this had been changed to “Keeping Burton Green.”

Community responses had resulted in the following themes in order of priority:

1. Greenway/footpaths
2. Green space/ landscape
3. Community/leisure facilities 4. School/Education
5. Character of the Parish
6. Housing
7. Roads
8. Public transport

Ray said there would be some funds available and if a surplus existed, residents’ views on how best to spend it would be sought. Ideas already expressed had been the enhancement of the greenway after the construction of HS2; retention/creation of mature hedges; village sports facilities; a new play area on the cut and cover tunnel; traffic calming measures; improvement of transport links; and development of cycle lanes.

Ray explained that another widespread survey needed to be constructed and delivered in the New Year and there would be a prize draw for entrants to encourage participation. Ultimately, responses would be fed into the Neighbourhood Plan.

Q. What happens once the Plan is formulated?
Ray said recommendations would become reality because Warwick District Council uses the objectives in their own planning and development. The construction of new housing could not be halted because that was in the Local Plan but could be influenced by the evidence provided in the Neighbourhood Plan. There would be a Local Referendum, a final consultation process, a further draft and then Burton Green would decide whether or not to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan.

Q. What is the population of the parish?
 375 households but no-one knew the exact number of residents.

Rona thanked Ray and the steering group for all their hard work.

Village Hall Cheryl Wall

Cheryl reminded attendees that HS2 had agreed to build a replacement Village Hall at the top of Red Lane. After 18 months of negotiation, HS2 had accepted the architects’ plans which would now be submitted for planning permission, hopefully in November. The final details about landscaping were being sorted with advice from WCC and guidance from Arden Landscapes. Native species of trees would be used including oak, field maple, wild cherry, crab apple, walnut, mulberry, rowan, pear, lime and mature hedging. Heritage fruit varieties would be chosen.  There would be a car park larger than the existing one (about 40 spaces) and this needed to be secure.  Advice was being taken from Warwickshire Police about a secure barrier.

HS2 were planning to demolish the current hall in the summer of 2019 so the building of the replacement needed to begin in Spring 2018.

Consideration was being given to noise with regard to the neighbours and to hall users such as yoga classes so triple or acoustic glass was preferred.

Again, taking neighbours into consideration, it was not intended to hold weddings or large events.

Drainage was a matter that had taken time to agree and it was hoped the hall would be connected to the main sewer. This was to be included in the recommendations with the plan.

Once planning permission had been agreed, it would be a busy time putting work out to tender.  Several committees had been established to include, for example, electrical and technical matters; the kitchen; and business planning. Inevitably, with a bigger hall maintenance cost would increase and so it would be important to attract more income.

Residents’ views would be sought along the way and fundraising would be necessary.

Q. Who would own the ground?
The trustees of the Hall. The Village Hall would occupy 2.2 acres of the field which comprises about two thirds of the field.

Q. Will the car park be available for users of the Greeenway?
There will be a security barrier so that only hall users should use the car park.  It might be that the site of the old hall would be made available by HS2 for Greenway users
Q. What about outdoor lighting?
This would be low level and would not stay on overnight.

Q. What about the rest of the field?
This was to remain in HS2 ownership until the railway was operational. No future ownership had yet been agreed.

Thanks were extended to Cheryl and the Village Hall trustees.

Plans for phase three road and its impact on Burton Green Cllr Alan Marshall

Cllr Marshall gave a comprehensive review of his understanding of the situation with regard to developments of the A46 link road. He had already included an article in the recent edition of the Bugle and said little had changed since then. The following takes extracts from the report he presented. He wished to emphasise that much of the speculation about future possible routes was his own personal view.

The new A46 Link Road is a significant objective in West Midlands regional transport strategy. The scheme is included in the new West Midlands Combined Authority’s 2026 Delivery Plan for Transport, which the Authority has now approved, and its importance was also referred to in the report of the government’s Planning Inspector when he recently approved Warwick District’s Local Plan.
It is perhaps worth noting that the WMCA’s Delivery Plan for Transport is the responsibility of Mike Waters, who was previously head of transportation at Coventry City Council and it is Coventry CC which is leading development of the Link Road project, in conjunction with Warwickshire CC and Solihull MBC.
It is also worth noting that Mike Waters has been replaced at Coventry CC by James Llewellyn as Interim Head of Transportation and Innovation. Mr Llewellyn has been seconded from to this role from his position as Technical Director of WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff's Birmingham office …. Also Mr Llewellyn not only has responsibility for the A46 Link Road but also for the what is known as the Coventry South Package (i.e., the massive expansion, mainly of JLR, across the A45 around Coventry Airport) and also for the associated Very Light Rail project, which proposes battery-powered trams, developed by the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University, running from Coventry railway station down the Kenilworth Road to Warwick University; from the University to Coventry South, via a proposed new Parkway station on the Kenilworth-Coventry railway line and the major housing development proposed at Kings Hill; AND along, or alongside, the A46 Link Road from Warwick University to the HS2 Interchange and UK Central, the NEC and Birmingham Airport. Mr Llewellyn had explained that if the new road comprised only stages 1 and 2 (the section from A46 at Stoneleigh to Westwood Heath), planning would be pretty straightforward. Cllr Marshall felt it was then likely to go north up Stoneleigh Road as far as Kings Hill Lane, where a junction would provide a link into the proposed Kings Hill development. The new road would then continue north west across open country to serve the site of the proposed Coventry South Parkway station (on the Coventry side of HS2, on the Leamington-Coventry rail line) before crossing the A429 Kenilworth-Coventry road and then skirt Cryfield Grange, near to which there could be a junction with a spur road connecting to Leighfield Road and Gibbet Hill Road to give access to the University and Arts Centre. 
Alternatively (or as well as) there could be a spur further along the new road nearer Westwood Heath to join with Scarman Road/Gibbet Hill Road and give access to the University where the huge new building for the Warwick Manufacturing Group is being built at present.
The new road would then continue towards Westwood Heath Road, probably between the two sites either side of Bockendon Road that are currently proposed for significant future housing.
However, the road planning process has been complicated by the prospect of continuing the Link Road north-westwards towards the HS2 Interchange (at Bickenhill) and the adjoining UK Central scheme proposed by Solihull MBC.
Whilst it is clear that a wide number of route options have been or are being looked at -- taking account of land and properties that would have to be acquired, disruption that would be caused, and the costs -- and that a route via Eastern Green was the least probable (because of overall distance to reach UK Central) -- it has seemed to Cllr Marshall that a likely preference would be to continue the phase 3 route along Westwood Heath Road (where there is space for road widening) and across a new junction with Cromwell Lane. This might then continue towards and across Nailcote Lane and Hodgetts Lane, crossing the West Coast Main Line railway above Beechwood Tunnel, then going across Truggist Lane, Baulk Lane and Lavender Hall Lane. A possible end point, where the new road could join the A452, would be the roundabout at the junction with Bradnocks Marsh Lane -- although an alternative, to avoid crossing HS2, would be to continue the new road on the east side of HS2 to join the A452 at the junction with Cornets End Lane and Hampton Lane. Nor is it clear whether the new road should be a single or dual carriageway -- and with few or many intersections?
Of course, there are alternatives for the way the new road could pass by, or through, Burton Green and one that has clearly caught a lot of attention recently is it being constructed adjacent to the eastern boundary of HS2.  This could be achieved by taking phase 3 of the new road from the vicinity of Cryfield Grange along Cryfield Grange Road over Crackley Lane to pick up the HS2 alignment, passing under Cromwell Lane and along Hodgetts Lane to pick up the route I described earlier going between Berkswell and Ballsall Common towards the A452.   James Llewellyn had responded: “I can well appreciate that residents are very concerned about the continuing uncertainties . . .  With those concerns in mind, rest assured that we are progressing the Route Options Technical Study as quickly as possible and we hope to be in a position to finalize the route options report by the end of November.”
We are planning a pubic consultation on the route option(s) in the spring of 2018.
In the more immediate future, we are proposing to undertake consultation on strategic options for improving transport infrastructure to the south of Coventry. However, this ‘issues and options’ consultation will not identify any specific option for the A46 Link Road.
I must reiterate that HS2 Ltd were completely wrong to provide any views on the preferred route option and I have expressed my displeasure to them.  Furthermore, I am concerned about the apparent statements made by Arup at a recent LEP meeting.  Again, if such a statement was made it was incorrect.
No decision on the route has been made and it is no business of HS2 Ltd, Arup or anyone else to claim otherwise.
All such speculation is very unhelpful and only adds to the uncertainty you have referred to."
Finally, Cllr Marshall urged residents to put pressure on our county council representative to ensure residents and the parish council are consulted as quickly as possible. Rona thanked Cllr Marshall for such a thorough explanation and for all the research he had undertaken.

Housing. Cllr Archie Taylor

Cllr Taylor began by highlighting the success of Broadwells Wood where only one plot remained to be filled.

There were plans now for 90 houses to be built on the Burrow Hill Nursery site. Discounted prices would be offered to current Burton Green residents. The development would include a small playing field and a parking area for 16 vehicles. He hoped the housing would encourage more families with children to come to Burton Green.

He was more concerned with the impact on traffic of the proposed construction of 240 houses in Cromwell Lane and the problems of the Westwood Heath/Cromwell Lane junction.

He went on to explain the formation of the Keep Our Greenbelt Green (KOGG) group. With advice from a barrister the group had decided not to challenge WDC Local Plan but to proceed with a Judicial Review, initially writing to different local authorities asking them to review their housing numbers in relation to population forecasts. He said it had been proven that the statistics used had been flawed and in reality there was no demand for overspill from Coventry. The Inspector’s report was awaited.

The Cala homes development in Red Lane was fairly imminent. Crest Nicholson’s proposals for 425 houses in Westwood Heath Road had been delayed subject to sorting out the Cromwell Lane/Westwood Heath Road junction. Finally there were to be the 240 houses in Cromwell Lane near Tile Hill station

Cllr Taylor was thanked and he would be keeping a close watching brief on developments.

Police Matters. 

Unfortunately, there was no police representation. Rona reported that PC Whitehouse had attended a recent Retired of Burton Green lunch and reported that because of residents’ votes, Burton Green would receive increased patrols and the police would be monitoring the problem of parking on pavements. Any resident who encountered such a problem could send a photo of the offending vehicle to the police.

9 Any Other Business

  • Rona thanked Ross Mclean for the work he is carrying out on removing the ivy from the Air Raid Warden’s shelter in Red Lane.
  • A question was asked about the availability of high speed broadband in Red Lane. Cllr Gibbs said the CSW website indicated within 12 months of January 2-17 and said timescales elsewhere had been fairly accurate so he anticipated it would be available imminently.
  • Deirdre announced that the previously very successful Made in Burton Green event was to take place again on the summer of 2018 (mid June to the end of July) to include scarecrows along the Greenway. Volunteers to help with the planning were very welcome.
  • Hickory’s Smokehouse were holding a bonfire and fireworks event on Sunday November 5th.  Parking plans were in place.
  • Cllr Illingworth (who was thanked for attending having joined the meeting after another appointment) invited residents to the Royal British Legion Remembrance Day service at the war memorial in Kenilworth on Sunday November 12th. A representative of Burton Green Parish Council would lay a wreath.
  • Rona thanked residents for attending and for showing their support.

10. Date of Next Annual General Meeting

The next Annual General Meeting would be held on October 1st 2018 at the Village Hall.

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