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NOTICE OF TWO VACANCIES

 IN THE OFFICE OF COUNCILLOR

Notice is hereby given that there are two vacancies on Caston Parish Council.  The vacancies occurred following the recent Parish Council elections and the Council is now able to fill the vacancies by co-option.

APPLICATION SHOULD BE MADE IN WRITING TO THE CLERK TO THE COUNCIL, AND DELIVERED OR POSTED TO Mrs J C Blackman, Westcroft, Watton Road, Ashill, Norfolk, IP26 or by email to parish.clerk@castonparishcouncil.gov.uk by NO LATER THAN 31 May 2019

Applicants are asked to give brief reasons for offering their services to the Council.

Any elector interested in applying is welcome to contact the Clerk for further details.  The successful applicant will be chosen following consideration by the Parish Council.

Applicants should note that Councillors are expected to attend regular monthly meetings usually on the first Monday of the month, and any additional meetings as may be arranged, and to represent the electors of Caston in raising and discussing those issues of interest and concern on which the Parish Council is empowered to act.  Applicants should also note that membership of the Council is open to electors who are citizens of any state in the European Union or of the Commonwealth and

  • Whose residence is in Castonor within three miles of Caston, or
  • Whose principal place of work is in Caston, and
  • Who is not disqualified (by reason of a criminal record, bankruptcy or involvement in corrupt practices).

For further information, please contact the Clerk to the Council.

 

Jo Blackman

Clerk to the Council

 

Telephone: 01760 447484

 

Email: parish.clerk@castonparishcouncil.gov.uk

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Caston – A View to the Future

by Brian Brooker - 15:17 on 21 February 2016

Caston – A View to the Future

In response to the Breckland Local Plan dated December 2015, Caston parish council consulted with parishioners in the village and a meeting was held to seek the views of Caston Parishioners on the way in which they would wish to see their village shaped in future.

Caston Village

The village of Caston is a traditional Norfolk rural village of some 480 souls.  Historically it was a village providing housing for the farm workers who worked on the two main local farms, Church Farm and Chase Farm, but also on several smaller farms.  At that time the village was serviced by a baker, small shop with post office, a wheelwright for cart and trap repairs and a blacksmith facility.  There were three public houses.

Over the years with the modernisation and mechanisation of the farms Caston has gradually changed its shape.  In recent years the village has changed to providing domestic housing for commuting workers to surrounding towns and in later years has become predominantly occupied by folk retiring from other parts of the country who have occupied newly built up-market houses priced beyond the incomes of established local inhabitants.

Nowadays the village is essentially one comprising of some farm workers and their families, retired owner occupiers, residents of folk working in surrounding towns and involved in a daily commute and a few internet based businesses which serve clients from all over the world.  However the poor coverage of a Broadband internet service greatly restricts businesses of this nature.  We await further information, promised in March,  regarding the date of any improvement.   Community buildings consist of a well used village hall, a public house and an historic parish church.  There is no shopping facility and the nearest post office is in the village of Rocklands, some 2.5 miles distant.

The only regular public transport at this time is a service bus which operates between Thetford and Watton and passes through the village four time a day during the week with no service at weekends.  This service is currently supported by Norfolk County Council.  There is also a Flexi-Bus service.

Breckland Local Plan – December 2015  Consultation

Caston Parish Council circulated parishioners advising that the Breckland Plan was now available for consultation.  The plans were made available at the regular Friday community coffee morning and were available for scrutiny and comments at the Caston Parish Council meeting held on 3rd February 2016.  Much interest was shown by parishioners who were present and comments received.

It was explained that the areas of land shown in blue on the Caston map on page 166 of the document, Part 2, was land for which an interest in use for building had been expressed, not that it had been approved nor denied for building.  Many parishioners were concerned that it may be implied that these areas were agreeable to the community for future development.  There is great opposition to building on several of these areas which could be construed as backfilling developments and the parishioners are greatly opposed to such development.

Currently Breckland Planning has approved the building of 17 new dwellings within the village of which nine are executive type houses.  While these dwellings have yet to be completed, this figure represents an increase of just under 10% of the current housing stock.

Consideration must be given to the lack of support infrastructure and poor public transport when considering planning applications.

The Future Shape of Caston Village

The parishioners are keen to ensure that the nature of Caston as a Norfolk rural village is generally unchanged and the street scene is maintained.

There is no desire for shopping or similar businesses to be established within the village.

All development should be essentially linear and the establishment of estate housing and backfill developments would be fiercely opposed.  A small growth in housing stock through individual houses on individual plots is envisaged provided the current street scene is generally maintained.

The nearest service centres for medical and dental services are situated in Watton and Attleborough some four and eight miles distant respectively.  As no adequate transport services exist it must be assumed that all housing increase must result in an increase in traffic movement and volume on already crowded local roads. 

Recent surveys have concluded that there is no requirement for social housing within the village and this is also supported by there being no public service or transport to support social needs.

Summary

Caston residents wish to see their village largely unchanged and that any development and growth should be carried out in a way that maintains the character of the village.

Comment from Henry.J.D.Prince at 17:22 on 21 February 2016.
The Breckland Local Plan runs counter to the views of most, if not all, the residents in the village. The obvious lack of adequate infrastructure (Medical,schools,public transport, broadband) to support a large increase in population would be the most significant factor in forcing a re-think to this current plan.
Comment from Dunnett at 21:57 on 21 February 2016.
Caston should be kept as the lovely rural village it is and not be over developed and have housing estates built. Change is inevitable and some suitable development is acceptable, smaller affordable houses being built as in-fill but certainly not back-fill. The lack of conveniences is part of the village life we choose. My family has lived here for generations and seen many changes and it would be devastating to see our village spoiled forever.

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