Minutes published: Meeting of the Stone Neighbourhood Plan directors held on Wednesday 27th May 2015


Minutes of the Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan Directors Meeting held on Wednesday 27 May 2015, 7.30pm at The Boardroom, Stone Pavilion, Hayes Road, Stone DA9 9DS

DIRECTORS PRESENT: J Bassett, G Johnson, J Mote, C Olney, C Pearce, J Schofield, W Sexton, J Thilman, J Thomas, P Winchester and V Winchester

IN ATTENDANCE: E Mote – Council Coordinator for Stone Parish Council

Apologies for absence were received from J Burrell, K Kelly, K Reynolds and S Thredgle.

No declarations of interest were received.

The minutes were approved by the committee.

There were no matters arising from the previous minutes.

(a) To review amended Terms of Reference and resolve adoption
Director membership was clarified by JT and the committee resolved to adopt the Terms of Reference as outlined.

The Chairman requested that future apologies for absence are directed, in advance, via JT at the parish offices. The meeting was in agreement with this suggestion.

(b) To appoint an Equality & Diversity Advocate
CP volunteered for the role of Equality & Diversity Advocate with Directors approving the appointment.

(c) To receive an update regarding formal Neighbourhood Area Designation by Dartford Borough Council
Borough Officers have confirmed they are scheduling Cabinet discussion at the July meeting regarding a formal decision on designating the appropriate Neighbourhood Area. JT informed the meeting that, after discussion, whilst Bluewater are in full support of the Plan, the Bluewater complex would not likely form part of the designated neighbourhood area. It is also likely that business sections of Crossways may be excluded as appropriate. JT has reiterated to DBC that the intention of the plan would not be to exclude any areas, which may result in new parish residents, or where there is opportunity to influence infrastructure delivery or local amenities.

(d) To agree communication protocol with DBC Planning Officers
Members deemed it necessary to establish a main point of contact between the Neighbourhood Plan directors and DBC Planning Officers. The meeting decided that JT should be the key person for referral of any Director enquiries to the planning officers.

(a) To receive Director updates regarding initial review into key areas:
i. Transport & Infrastructure
J Burrell and WS reported the following issues as potential principal areas to focus on as part of the NP:

Local parking: in particular Stone Crossing and at newer developments in the area. The sub-group proposed the possibility of installation of lockable bike racks for commuters to leave bicycles and personal effects securely; ahead of development of any new school at Stone Pit II, it would be beneficial to ensure inclusion of pick-up/drop-off points plus adequate staff/teacher parking to prevent adverse effect compounding local roads.

Infrastructure: with pressure on local resources due to an increased population, it was felt that precedence should be given to schools, doctor’s surgeries and local amenities.

Investment in Health: given the obesity rates and general health indices for the local area, it was proposed that communication with London Paramount and other relevant agencies should be made in the future to ascertain schemes/initiatives that could assist with improving these figures.

ii. Parks and Open Spaces
GJ & CO had produced a database of parks and open spaces in the local area, with details of facilities and provision at teach site. Members were also provided with current local policy for Open Space Requirements and proposed green space within new development sites. GJ and CO will continue to build up key data on specific areas to create a comprehensive open space guide and report their findings in due course.

iii. Housing & Development
J Bassett and JM identified that the initial public survey results did not seem to reflect the position of some of the younger members of the community with potentially limited feasibility of future home ownership. It was considered that those who feel they would find it financially difficult to ever afford a new home may not have had the same level of motivation to respond to the survey and attempts should be made to access such demographics to establish the challenges of finding accommodation when finance is a real issue.

The meeting agreed that there is a definite requirement for affordable homes falling in line with local income levels for residents. It was proposed there might be some benefit to liaising with developers ahead of construction with a view to looking at possible ways of providing discounts to eligible local residents. It may also be beneficial to broach the suggestion of developers providing social or affordable housing directly to the parish council rather than to housing associations to ensure a parish link is prioritised.

(b) To discuss and resolve the basis for inclusion of key themes/objectives
Key themes identified and resolved were:
 Investment in health and well being
 Local parking provision including at amenities such as station and schools
 Parks and Open Spaces

(c) To review project plan and resolve necessary actions
It was suggested that sub-groups continue research into individual topics in order to progress key areas further from emerging evidence and data.

21:14 GJ left the meeting.

It was noted that the current project plan proposes a relatively tight timeframe and that this aspiration must be considered when progressing activities or suggesting policy ideas. The current estimated timeframe for plan adoption is end of 2016, for which submission of a final draft plan must have taken place by approximately April 2016 to be achievable. The Chairman and JT reported they would discuss project plan requirements on an on-going basis to maintain momentum and update directors in advance of each meeting of any required deadlines for necessary activities.

(d) To resolve content for Stone Fete Exhibition from key areas identified
It was felt that a strong presence at the Fete was essential In order to invoke the required credibility around the intentions of the plan and to raise the necessary awareness and impart the required level of information to local residents. Directors agreed expenditure for an exhibition trailer that would accommodate the needs of the activity on the day and provide a space where residents could access information and respond to survey questions. To this end, the group requested council consideration of the release of reserve budgets to fund fete activities, pending the outcome of a subsequent funding application. Delivery of a personal invitation to each household was felt to be the most appropriate mechanism to raise awareness and encourage attendance at the Neighbourhood Plan stand.

In order to concentrate efforts for fete activities, a sub-group was formed comprising: J Bassett; JM; JS and JT. The sub-group agreed to meet on Tuesday 2nd June to formulate necessary actions and report back to directors at the June meeting.


(a) To review amended Communications Strategy and resolve adoption
In light of time constraints at this lengthy meeting, the Chairman deferred this item to the next meeting.

(b) To receive an update regarding the Neighbourhood Plan website and mapping page
JT provided directors with a visual of the interactive mapping page with relevant sites indicated by colour coding. JT explained that website users would be able to firstly roll-over a site to determine its name, and then by clicking on a specific site, would be able to access historic, current and potential activity information. While the interactive map is under development, it was hoped that a soft version of the website will be up and running imminently to enable forum use by director.

(c) To discuss and resolve activities to promote awareness of the Stone NDP website
It was felt that any personal invitation to Stone Fete should also include website details to encourage visits. Use of social media such as FB, Twitter, Streetlife and local forums would also be beneficial for promotion of the site.

16/05/15NP: FINANCE

(a) To discuss proposed plan activities requiring funding
WS and JT will produce a report for NP directors taking into account the request to be made to Stone Parish Council for release of reserve budget monies.
(c) To resolve funding requirements for inclusion in new funding application
WS, Finance Co-ordinator will meet with JT to discuss items for inclusion and report details at the next meeting.

There were no items proposed for inclusion.

There being no further business The Chairman closed the meeting at 10:00pm.



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