Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in January 2011

A brief report of matters discussed at the most recent committee meeting. Many more items are reviewed on a regular basis but only significant changes or developments are reported here. Feedback on Society matters is welcomed on our online ‘Forum‘.

1. Contact with Arden Academy has been positive and opportunities for the Society to serve the school and vice versa have been suggested. Bill Bohanna continues to be the Society’s contact in this link. The meeting raised some further areas of possible beneficial contact, particularly our desire to foster a youth role within the Society. Arden Academy had invited the Society to comment on its new website and a suggestion was made in connection with information on governors.

2. Attempts to contact village photographic interests in connection with a proposed youth photographic competition for the Civic Day on 25 June had so far fallen on deaf ears; a further attempt will be made to encourage that interest. The Civic Day promoted nationally by our ‘representative body’ Civic Voice will actually be encompassed within the Society’s involvement in other planned village activity in 2011.

3. In the absence of any immediate names coming forward to lead a possible Village Plan, the Trustee Directors gladly accepted Andrew Marston’s offer to carry that flag, at least until and if someone else appropriate comes forward, possibly once the project has begun to find its feet and be embraced more widely within Knowle. It was noted that the current developments in ‘localism’ may actually lead to changes to the way in which Village Plans and Village Design Statements are perceived and received by local authorities.

4.Bill Bohanna reported that although were some areas of sensitivity and aspects of the Library Volunteers scheme still to be worked out, the 32 volunteers identified through the Society would shortly be placed before SMBC for training and deployment, probably on Saturday afternoons. This work would enable extended opening hours with limited services but would not impinge on the roles of existing library staff.

5. Community Services will submit a completed questionnaire (circulated earlier for Trustee Director comment) on the Local Transport Plan; the response will be neutral on wider issues such as the HST but will be specific in matters which are directly relevant to Knowle.

6. A legacy of 500 pounds from the estate of Mrs Hazzard (formerly of 44 Crabmill Close) was gratefully acknowledged. The testator has left secret instructions with her executors as to the type of item that might be purchased with that legacy. The Society will offer her executors some ideas that might be of benefit to the Society and possibly within the spirit of the legacy but it was recognised that the unknown terms of the will are a matter solely for the executors.

7. Material was being gathered in preparation for the Society’s submission to the Inspector in the matter of the proposed Jacobean Lane Moorings planning appeal.

8. Braggs’ Undertakers, whose planning application for their fascia had been rejected by SMBC (with Society support), was understood to be considering a revised application. The Society was pleased to note that the intention was to keep this new application appropriate to the Conservation Area.

9. Murco, whose planning application had also been rejected (with Society support) was reported to be planning changes of height, location and brightness in keeping with its position within the Conservation Area. This move was also welcomed by the Society.

10. The replacement of the present location of Carly’s (moving next to Lyons’ Butchers) with a Costa Coffee outlet and the use of pavement space for cafĂ© seating was discussed and generally it was felt that this development would be satisfactory with appropriate safeguards about openng hours in respect of the residents in the adjacent residential flats.

11. SMBC is to come back to the Society within one month on its request to consider the dangers of on-street parking on some bends of St Johns Close leading to Lodge Road.

12. The Knowle Green Community Project has received a much-appreciated 1000 pounds grant from Jaguar Land Rover through the good offices of SMBC. A grant of 3000 pounds has been applied for from the airport’s community fund, money which is raised through fines on airlines failing to meet noise criteria. The question of windbreaks to address the prevailing wind at the new facility was being put again to the architect and a solution was expected using sustainable materials. It is hoped that this will address genuine concerns of members and the public who have viewed the proposed design. The new shelter greatly increases the capacity for people waiting for buses, up to 16.

13. Knowle Football Club is proposing once again to apply for floodlighting at its ground which is within the Green Belt. The Trustee Directors expressed a wish to support this thriving club in principle if they propose a well-designed application (e.g. fittings that can be lowered when not in use and carefully directed light) and that appropriate restrictions on hours of use are applied.

14. It was agreed that if there were to be a revised application from Kimberley Developments then any publicity for future public meetings would use all means available but not a door-to-door leaflet drop as the Society’s position and role on this proposed development is now well-known and the considerable expense of so doing could be better directed and more cheaply to other media. Members are particularly advised to keep watching the Society’s website for developments.