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Minutes of Core Group Meeting
13th Oct 2014
Present: Joan Clayton (Acting Chair), Diane & Trevor Kitto, Naomi Watts-Kitto, Mike Betteridge, Mervyn Clayton, Adam & Carol Bull, Peter Foulston, Mike McGrath (Chair of CAMplan).
1. Apologies for Absence
Martin Calvert, Adrian Coltman, Jenny Page and Geoff Holden.
2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 15th September 2014
Agreed as a true record.
3. Matters Arising
- New Nest Boxes
Martin has bought 6 new nest boxes costing £24 each as agreed at the last meeting. These should be woodpecker and squirrel proof and last for many years.
- BTCV Work
BTCV will be working in the woods on Audrey's Meadow for 3 days at a cost of £300 per day.
- No Pond Water
The Group are concerned that no water is flowing into the ponds.
- Fungus Foray
A Fungus Foray took place on Sunday Morning. It was a successful event, although there was a mix-up with the communication on where to meet.
- Cannabis in the Woods!
Some cannabis-growing equipment has been found in the woods. The police have been informed.
5. Action Mornings
- Saturday 20 September 2014
Work started on clearing Audrey's Meadow and there was litter picking. Around 17 volunteers took part on the day.
Future Action Mornings
Proposed dates and tasks (subject to change):
- Sunday 19 October 2014
Please meet on the carriageway near the lake, close to the entrance to the woods on Gledhow Valley Road opposite Gledhow Park Drive.
Activities to include bulb planting, meadow clearing and litter picking.
- Sunday 23 November 2014
- Sunday 14 December 2014
6. FGVW Christmas Cards
Wendy Jones-Blackett makes and sells Christmas Cards in Chapel Allerton and has offered to help the Group with some new cards. Cards are produced singularly so Naomi suggested using raffia or ribbon to bundle cards together. The Group chose 2 designs and agreed on wording so that it could go ahead in time for the Christmas Fairs and Farmers Markets leading up to Christmas.
7. Christmas Markets
The Group would like volunteers to run FGVW stalls at the following events:
Saturday 15th November - Oakwood Farmers Market
Sunday 30th November - Three Hulats Farmers Market
Saturday 6th December - Roundhay School Christmas Fair
The Group agreed that Adrian and Martin should do the Three Hulats event as they had been so successful last year. Joan also agreed to ask Dorothy when the St. Matthew's Christmas Fair was taking place.
8. Planning Application
The planning permission being sought to build houses adjacent to Gledhow Valley Woods on greenfield land along Gledhow Valley Road (Application 14/04524) generated a lot of interest and campaigning by various members of the Group. The deadline for comments has now passed and there was an article in the Yorkshire Evening Post on Monday 20th October featuring some of the Group and providing opinions from the Group and the Diocese who had submitted the application.
The Council received over 300 objections including some from consultancies. The drainage report highlighted numerous problems with building on the site and that the whole sewage system in the area would need strengthening as the sewage points converged where the proposed entrance to the housing estate would be.
Questions were also raised over who would conduct tree maintenance which would not be done by the Council. It stated the drainage scheme had not been outlined correctly and problems needed to be resolved before any development could start.
The planners also had to get evidence of community involvement in the decision making. A small article was found in the papers stating this had been done in March 2013 and consisted of a meeting attended by Planning Landscape, Highways, Design and Conservation Officers.
The meeting was attended by Mike McGrath who is Chair of CAMplan and he spent some time explaining to the Group what he had done and offering to co-ordinate future effort. He had spoken to Glen Allen and explained that this a formal application not a pre-planning application. Objectors will be told if the planners intend to appeal any decision. This is likely due to current Government policy to encourage more affordable housing, so it is important for all the local groups to join together. Appeals go to the inspector and there is no formal way to lobby so it is important to lobby other people who have influence.
Mike suggested writing to the Bishop on behalf of FGVW, GVCAG and CAMplan. He also suggested asking Bob Wolf a planning specialist involved and to use his expertise and to contact the Chief Planning Officer and arrange a meeting with representatives from all 3 groups.
He stressed it was important for the 3 groups to continue to keep an eye on what was happening with the application and procedures and to continue lobbying.
- Social Media
FGVW Twitter and Facebook followers have significantly increased during the planning application discussions.
- Park and Green Spaces Forum
Peter is due to attend the next Forum and agreed to raise the problems around the planning application and also explain about the woodland management program which is concerning some of the local community.
- Woodland Management
Beeches that were originally planted to create the woods are showing wear and tear and are too close together. A woodland management plan has been proposed by Leeds City Council Forrestry Department (in consultation and agreement with FGVW) to take down some trees, starting with the most damaged. This will increase biodiversity and also allow replanting for the next tree generation. All the trees were originally planted at the same time and will therefore die at the roughly same time so it is important to plant new trees now. The Group understand that some people will be upset by the felling of any trees, and GVCAG has raised concerns with the Group, but the Group believe this work is necessary for the future of the woodland and to increase general biodiversity.
10. Dates of Next Meetings
- Action Morning - Sun 19 Oct 2014
- Core Group Meeting - 17 Nov Aug 2014 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
- Action Morning - Sun 23 Nov 2014
- Core Group Meeting - Mon 8 Dec 2014 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
- Action Morning - Sun 14 Dec 2014