Overstrand Life - Janet's Diaries

April 1st - 15th 2018

Sunday 1st April 2018 – Overstrand Together Open Meeting and Easter

Thursday evening, we went to the Overstrand Together Open Meeting in The Barn at The White Horse. Despite the group holding a coffee morning early in March, to encourage villagers to find out more about the group and to record suggestions for projects or events in the village, it was still the same group of people who attended the meeting. There were however, a good number of suggestions generated at the coffee morning and these were distributed to those present, along with the steering group’s comments. The suggestions will be discussed at the next open meeting which will be on Saturday May 12th in the Belfry Centre for Music and Arts at 10.30 a.m.

So far this Easter weekend has been a bit of a washout. Apart from a couple of hours this afternoon when the clouds cleared and the sun shone, it has been damp and miserable. We took advantage of the sun and took Barney for a walk on the beach. We were not the only ones keen to make the most of the improved conditions. Walking in the Cromer direction, there was a steady flow of people and dogs in both directions. I took the opportunity to check on the deposits of palm oil at the back of the beach. There are still some chunks visible but good news, most of it has been covered by sand blown in on the winds. Hopefully once the season starts in earnest, it will all be covered. We saw a family coming back off the beach, with ‘dad’ carrying two carrier bags of rubbish they had picked up and the previous day, a lady was walking along the promenade from the east end carrying a large carrier of plastics. Were they spurred on to do this following the recent Blue Planet series on the television or the Government’s intention to make a compulsory deposit on each plastic bottle to encourage more to recycle responsibly or some other reason? Whatever the reason, this is an encouraging sight and although there are four of us who pick the beach when walking our dogs there is something to be said for the saying ‘the more the merrier’. Each tide can deposit more rubbish on the beach, so if it’s cleared it in the morning, there can be more again after the next high tide.

Moving on to the Parish Council meeting yesterday evening; with a full agenda this lasted two hours. There is quite a lot to mention here and with this in mind, I will just cover one item on the agenda and leave the rest for next time:-

Nicky Debbage from NNDC gave a short presentation covering Community Led Housing. This scheme takes into consideration the high price of housing in the area which has resulted in many locals not being able to afford to buy their own homes. The average cost of a home in Overstrand is £368,000 making it virtually impossible for first time buyers to get on the property ladder (local salaries are relatively low, make it very difficult for people and families to get mortgages). The number of second/holiday homes is thought to be the factor driving up house prices, not just in Overstrand but the length of this part of the Norfolk coastline. Nicky advised the meeting, 17% (97 properties) of homes in Overstrand fall into the second/holiday home category. There may well be more. If owners choose not to declare their property is a holiday home,

Monday 9th April 2018 – Parish Council Contd., Three Firsts and Seal Update

Firstly, more about the Parish Council meeting last Wednesday. Councillors expressed concerns over the time constraints imposed by NNDC on planning applications. This is following the change in rules last year which has reduced the period of time allowed for Parish Councils to make comments on individual applications. The date when an application is submitted to the District Council, has an effect as to whether there is sufficient time for it to be discussed at full Parish Council meetings or whether it has to be referred to the Parish Council’s Planning Committee. When referred, not all Parish Councillors are involved therefore those who are not present, don’t have the opportunity to express their views. An example was the planning application for four bungalows accessed from Cromer Road. This has now been passed by the District Council but still leaves some controversy over safety from the access road down the side of the school and onto Cromer Road. Fears were also expressed over the fate of the magnificent holm oak tree which it seems, could end up being felled, or at the very least, it will need some serious cutting back to facilitate access of building supplies to the area being developed.

During his report County Councillor, Ed Maxfield, mentioned the new waste charges. He told the meeting, he does not support them and asked to be informed of any instances of fly tipping, on both public and private land, which could be seen as a direct result of the charges. Another east Anglian County Council has introduced charges, which is going against the Government’s recommendations on this issue. This Council says there has been no increase in fly tipping but they only record rubbish dumped on public areas and not where most of it is dumped; on private land. The cost of clearing dumped rubbish falls on the District Council and private landowners and not to the County Council.

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