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Minutes of the Meeting of Thornhaugh Parish Council held on 15th March 2021 via Zoom

Chris Smith (Chairman)
Louise Molesworth (Vice Chairman)
Ashleigh Kewney
Martin Lewis
Adrian Rodgers

Alan Frost, Hannah Joyce (Members of the Public)
Peter Slinger, Prospective Green Party Candidate for the Ward Elections
Deirdre McCumiskey (Clerk)

There were no apologies for absence.

There were no Declarations of Interest.

It was noted that bird scarers are very loud and are in close proximity to Russell Hill towards the A47. Peter Sharpley has taken remedial action and looked at the relative sites for the bird scarers. He has confirmed that they should not be there much longer as the oilseed rape is almost beyond the point when the bird scarers are needed. Under NFU recommendations, the bird scarers should be managed appropriately in terms of disturbance to residents and other sensitive areas, and should not go off before sunrise or after sunset.

There were no police representatives present. No-one present had heard of any reported crimes but it was reported that chalk marks had been seen outside houses in Stibbington indicated that a dog lives at the house presumably indicating the potential for dog theft.

5. MINUTES of the Meeting of Thornhaugh Parish Council held on 18th January 2021 were reviewed and approved with the Amendment to Minute 7 (viii) should have read “Property adjacent to 16 Meadow Lane, Stone boundary wall. We have received confirmation that this is allowable under planning department discretion. They have decided that no further enforcement action is required since it is not considered as causing significant harm or not in the public interest to do so”. The Retrospective Planning Permission related to the change to the driveway into 16 Meadow Lane.
Proposed by:- Ashleigh Kewney
Seconded by:- Louise Molesworth


i) Shell Garage – Light Pollution and Planting
The Chairman reported that 60 m of Leylandii have been planted between the village and Shell Garage on the A1 (planted w/c 8th March 2021) so hopefully there will be some benefit within a couple of years at the longest, based upon the rate that Leylandii grow. Instructions have been given to the Shell Garage Manager to ensure they thrive this time, unlike the previous planting that was undertaken in 2019.

ii) Footpaths
Near the exit from Wansford Underpass
The Chairman confirmed that Public Access was via a “set-aside” arrangement normally agreed between the landowner and Natural England. Once the set-aside period has come to an end, the arrangement ends and the land reverts to private access This particular set-aside ended in 2012. Therefore, this is not a designated Footpath.
Alongside the Chicken Farm
Now that all consultation and appeal periods have passed, this is now awaiting a final opening and signage which is being co-ordinated by the Footpaths Officer. Thanks were expressed to Martin Witherington and the others involved for his persistence in getting this re-opened.

iii) Defibrillator
The Chairman reported that confirmation has been received that the Parish Council can install the unit into the Church Porch. Updated quotes have been received and the installation will be arranged this is hopefully by May 2021. It was noted that signage will have to be considered and erected. Thank you to all those residents who generously donated to enable the Parish Council to obtain this life-saving piece of equipment for Thornhaugh.

iv) February Newsletter – Response to Communication Methods
The Chairman reported that three residents had stated they prefer to retain hard copy and the Clerk reported that four residents had stated they prefer to receive e-mails. It was noted that e-mail lists would be subject to GDPR requirements. The Thornhaugh Parish Council policy is on the website and would always be adhered to. It was felt that there was not a large enough response to make and change and residents are encouraged to contact the Clerk to the Parish Council to confirm their preference.


i) Planning Application 19/01889 Change of use from an agricultural field and woodland to form an adventure play scheme including erection of indoor play and visitor amenity barn, a supporting toilet and changing block, staff welfare facilities, outdoor play equipment and car park at Land off Sutton Heath Road, Southorpe – Objections – Awaiting Decision

ii) Planning Application 20/00733 Erection of new play area within existing leisure site at Sacrewell Farm, Thornhaugh – No Objections – Awaiting Decision

iii) Planning Application 20/01547 Proposed loft conversion with front and rear dormers, a new front porch and ground floor alterations at Alkenray, Meadow Lane, Thornhaugh – No Objections – Approved

iv) Planning Application 20/01680 Variation of condition C1 and C2 (to revise the order of approved phasing and allow the storage of Hi-pod containers) pursuant to planning permission 17/00726/WCMM at Thornhaugh Landfill Site, Leicester Road, Thornhaugh – No Objections – Awaiting Decision

v) Planning Application 20/01688 Discharge of conditions C1 (3 years), C2 (Cross section drawings), C3 (Stoneworks), C5 (Ventilation gap), C6 (Timber Permission), C7 (Ventilation details), C8 (Building regulations), C9 (Re-used Ironmongery), C10 (Removal method) and C11 (Plans) of Listed Building Consent 18/01779/LBC at The Old Dairy, Home Farm, Leicester Road, Thornhaugh – No Objections – Awaiting Decision

vi) Planning Application 21/00109 Proposed extension to the existing warehouse to form office facilities at Riverford Organic Vegetables, Sacrewell Lodge Farm, Great North Road – No Objections


i) NALC Land Ownership Survey – the Chairman had completed this with a blank response as the Parish Council does not own land in the village.

ii) Nicola Warnock, Census Engagement Manager, Census 2021 – the information contained in the e-mail has been put onto the Website and was referred to in the February issue of Living Villages.

iii) CAPALC Section 137 The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced that the appropriate sum for the purpose of section 137(4)(a) of the Local Government Act (the 1972 Act) for parish and town councils for 2121-22 is £8.41 per elector – noted.

iv) CAPALC Extending the Remote Meetings Regulations The Government is not currently planning to extend the remote meeting regulations beyond 7th May 2021 – noted.

v) Richard Astle Parish Nature Recovery Plans Next Steps Meeting – this had ben attended by Alan and Joan Frost.

vi) Various e-mails re Florence Kingaby nee Blenkiron – this lady who had completed a pioneering trans-Africa bike ride in 1935, had lived in a cottage at Sacrewell Farm. Sacrewell Farm has agreed to look into their archives to see what information they hold on her.

vii) Complaint regarding young people who are riding motorbikes in Mick George’s quarry – the Clerk has requested that the security of the site is checked over and she will chase this up.


i) Bank Signatories
This has been a real problem with numerous calls to the bank for assistance. Adrian Rogers stated he will complete the process to be able to view the bank accounts online as soon as possible.

ii) Statement and Bank Reconciliation at 28th February 2021 was reviewed and approved as presented.
Proposed by:- Louise Molesworth
Seconded by:- Chris Smith

iii) CAPALC Affiliation
It was agreed not to become a member of CAPALC for 2021-2022 because there had been no need to use CAPALC in the past.

iv) Annual Grants
It was agreed to keep donations to the same value as last year, in line with the decision to not seek an increase to the precept. Therefore, donations of £190 to Thornhaugh with Wansford PCC and £85 to Living Villages will be made.


i) Location of Future Meetings
It was noted that Government Guidelines (Covid Roadmap) confirm that indoor meetings of more than six people will not be permitted. The guidance allows for meetings outdoors to take place with thirty or less people. All Parish Council meetings are open to the public and the May meetings will comprise of the Annual Parish Meeting and Annual General Meeting, therefore unless the weather is good, the meeting will have to be held via Zoom.

ii) John Clare Nature Recovery Plan
Alan Frost gave the following Report:-
Thornhaugh Parish has been warmly welcomed by the Richard Astle, (Chair Langdyke Countryside Trust) and who is the leader of the John Clare Nature Recovery Plan. Many of the ‘experts’ and other people involved have also expressed their pleasure in our attendance and have offered their help and support. We had a Zoom Meeting with Richard Astle and two of these ‘experts’ (namely, Tony Cook – PECT, Laura Osbourne – Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northants Wildlife Trust) and as a result:
1. We have been made aware of the importance and significance of Thornhaugh Parish as a nature corridor between the John Clare Countryside landscape and the wider Rockingham Forest, and that we have a keys part to play in the geographic link between the two.
2. We have heard how valuable Thornhaugh Parish is in terms of the rich landscape and the diversity of sites and wildlife.
3. We have been put in touch with Suzie Hall of Bainton Parish who has offered to explain how they involved residents which we feel would be helpful in our putting together a recovery plan.
4. Laura has supplied a map showing the SSI’s in Thornhaugh Parish and the area around, and has agreed to have a walk around the Parish to point out potential projects, etc.
5. At the last Thornhaugh Parish Council Meeting, I mentioned the idea that Richard Astle raised of a couple of projects to get things moving and to encourage villagers to become involved, and at the Zoom Meeting several ideas were put forward and we are working with Richard Astle et al to define a couple and present them to the Parish Council.
6. We were put in touch with other interested parties (for example, Justin Tilley of Natural England) who are keen to help out and advise on the TPC Nature Recovery Plan.
7. One interesting fact that we discovered is that some of the ponds in Bedford Purlieus (which, as you know falls within the Thornhaugh Parish boundary) contain great crested newts!
8. Richard Astle was very pleased to hear that Peter Sharpley was interested in the project and had already confirmed some work being done on re-planting and setting aside land for conservation purposes. Peter will be talking with Joan and Alan to put some meat on the bones in terms of what has been done and what is planned and how it might relate to the project.


The Annual Parish Meeting followed by the Annual General Meeting of Thornhaugh Parish Council will take place at 7.00 pm on 17th May 2021. Venue to be confirmed but likely to be via Zoom. The Clerk will check whether the APM and AGM need to be face-to-face meetings or whether they can be held via Zoom.


There being no further business to discuss, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.20 pm.

SIGNED _________________________________ DATE 17/05/21