About Michael Hill

Wreningham Parish Council Chair

A reminder that the consultation closes on 2nd August 2021 for the draft South Norfolk Village Clusters Housing Allocations Plan (VCHAP).

For Wreningham people to note:

  • Wreningham is in Cluster 48 with Ashwellthorpe and Fundenhall.
  • The map for the proposed sites is here
  • The consultation document which includes Wreningham sites is accessible here
  • Wreningham sites (see map above) assessments:

Further Explanation

The VCHAP is seeking to allocate sites for at least 1,200 new dwellings (over and above those that already have permission), distributed across 48 Village Clusters centred around the Primary Schools in South Norfolk. The preferred allocation sites are between 12 and 50 dwellings, reflecting the scale of the settlements which they will form a part of. As well as allocation sites, the draft VCHAP proposes some smaller amendments to Development Boundaries, to accommodate windfall developments of up to 11 dwellings, which are in addition to the 1,200 dwelling requirement.

Your views are sought on the choice of sites, including what specific criteria might need to be applied to the larger allocation sites.

The VCHAP sets out some suggestions for overarching policies which would apply to all housing proposals, whether they be on the allocations or the windfall sites. These are concerned with design quality, housing mix and common criteria, such as maximising the improving for walking/cycling, and your comments are also sought on these.

There is an opportunity to submit additional sites as part of the consultation. For those considering submitting sites, consider the Council’s Assessment Criteria when completing a site submission form.

The VCHAP sits alongside the Greater Norwich Local Plan, which you may already have commented on, and which will continue to set the strategic planning policies for South Norfolk and make both the housing allocations in larger settlements and also any non-housing allocations.

The consultation can be viewed at www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/vchap. Here you will find not only a link to the consultation document itself, plus a range of supporting documents that have been used to prepare the draft VCHAP, but also a virtual exhibition which may help answer some of your questions. As well as commenting on the main document, you may also wish to comment on the Interim Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulation Assessment documents.


Place Shaping Team: about the consultation 01508 533805, LP@s-norfolk.gov.uk, or via a webchat from 10am to 2pm on a Tuesday, or from 2pm to 6pm on a Thursday, throughout the consultation (see VCHAP webpage for details).

Paul Harris, Place Shaping Manager: 01508 533805 LP@s-norfolk.gov.uk

Please remember to submit any comments by 5pm on Monday 2 August 2021.

The Police have written to alert residents to courier fraud scam
A courier fraud scam is operating in Norfolk by suspects claiming to be police officers. The Police note a rise in incidents where cold-callers make efforts to defraud victims of money, often stating a need to withdraw large sums in connection with an investigation.

Officers are investigating an incident which happened on 6 July where a woman was conned out of £4,200. Following a cold-call from a man claiming to be a police officer, the victim went to her bank and withdrew the money, believing she was helping an investigation into counterfeit money. After withdrawing money, she returned home where a ‘courier’ collected the cash, and telephoned the victim later on to confirm it was counterfeit. Another attempt that day is also being investigated after a cold-call by someone claiming to be from Hertfordshire Police and were investigating a theft from the victim’s bank account. The man was asked to withdraw £9,000 to be collected the following day. The victim withdraw £2,000 and told a family member about the incident who immediately reported it to police. No money was handed over.

Detective Inspector Richard Weller, from Swaffham CID, urged people to make elderly or vulnerable relatives and neighbours aware of the scam: “Courier fraud is nothing new; suspects will often approach victims under the guise of a police officer, bank or government department, in an effort to win trust and encourage people to go along with the scam. They will often use a range of techniques and in these most recent incidents, cold callers claim to be police officers investigating bank account thefts and counterfeit money. These scammers can be really convincing, making the caller feel they are helping a genuine police investigation, compelling them to withdraw the money. Suspects will then arrange to collect the money from the victim.  More often than not, we’re talking large sums of cash into the thousands which is ultimately people’s savings and funds they rely on.”

“Police officers will never ask you to withdraw money, or send someone to collect money. Scammers target the elderly and I would urge people to make their family members, friends and neighbours aware of this scam and the warning signs.”  

Further advice includes:
Your bank or the police will NEVER ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone – never give these details to anybody. Neither the police nor the banks will send a courier to collect money from you. Always request Photo ID and if unsure call the police. If you’re asked to telephone a bank, then always do it on a different phone to the one you were contacted on. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ringtones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number. Ensure you can hear a dialling tone before calling police or use a friend or neighbour’s telephone instead. Do not rush into complying to the scammers demands / requests. If you have already given your bank details over the phone or handed your card details to a courier, call you bank straight away to cancel the card.

If anyone has received a similar type of telephone call or has any information about these incidents. Contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting Operation Radium.  Alternatively, Contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you believe a crime is in progress, always call 999. For further advice, head to the Action Fraud website: www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.
South Norfolk Engagement Officer, OCC Building 7, Gateway 11, OCC Wymondham, NR18 0WW Tel: 101 Ext 2951

David Kirk writes:


It is a few years since I last wrote about the nature of Broadband provision in this area. I hope now to provide an explanation of the changed context for current and prospective Broadband users in the village.

Broadband Services

The UK’s progress in moving businesses and domestic residences to Direct Fibre Broadband is speeding up. In practice this means fibre cables are being installed alongside the existing copper phone network. Eventually, when the country is fully “fibred”, the old copper cables will be removed.

In our area the copper cables are buried in a thin topsoil often sitting on impervious heavy clay. These cables are progressively failing from their frequent immersion in water due high water tables exacerbated by occasional flooding. Direct fibre, containing long, microscopic strands of glass, are much less affected by water and will make a big difference in the reliability of voice/data services.

The scale of the UK programme is massive in terms of work, costs and timescales. A handful of large telecoms providers, and many dozens of smaller ones, are all hard at work. Whilst there are minor details in the design of the component parts, their resulting equipment configurations generally carry out the same job as national / international standards ensure that each supplier’s systems can be fit for purpose.

So how may this impact our village?

It is really hard to make a prediction about what will happen in Wreningham. Because our existing Superfast service is better than in many surrounding areas, it is possible our village won’t benefit from the government’s “final 15%” subsidy (Boris’ £5bn fund!) to achieve up to 1GB transmission speeds. The government’s subsidy plan is based on an “Outside-In” concept – i.e. implementing new systems for those with (currently) the worst service, first! Wreningham may be more likely to require a “commercial” implementation – from either Openreach or others. The high cost of installing Direct Fibre in a small village such as ours might place us near the back of any queue; the larger telecoms organisations usually look for the bigger opportunities, first.

County Broadband

As I write this, Wreningham households are receiving attention from County Broadband. They wish to offer their direct fibre services to this village. This would be an extension to their other fibre systems already being installed across a significant number of villages in South Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire – funded by the “local” company, AVIVA. Should enough Wreningham households choose to take County Broadband fibre service, we might expect a village-wide installation. County Broadband typically leases the underground ducts and poles belonging to Openreach. As a result, the fibre implementation “on the ground”, from either company, would look very similar.

BT Broadband

This is the supplier for many in the village. Its services are provided over the Openreach infrastructure. Whether Openreach will upgrade their existing service at some point in the future – by replacing existing copper services with direct fibre – remains unknown. This may be the case for many years yet. It’s common for such plans to be a closely guarded commercial “secret”. However, the existing copper-based BT/Openreach service would still be available for those preferring to stay with their existing supplier(s).

Landline Telephones – any change there?

Whatever happens with direct fibre, our landline telephone services will change.

Despite those that describe landlines as old-fashioned the landline phone remains relevant to many people and to many situations. Mobile phones have not yet solved all the phone needs in rural (or indoor) environments even though they can connect to broadband WiFi (indoors) and new lower frequency mobile signals (outdoors).

Expect changes by 2025. From then the traditional landline telephone sockets will cease to function. Landline phones will connect to a broadband router instead, using a new socket or an adaptor. The changeover would probably be heralded by a media blitz so, nearer the time, no-one should be caught out – and most existing landline phones could continue to function. Newer generation phones will offer new and more versatile services – so additional benefits can result, too!

This alternative telephone technology is known as “VOIP” (Voice Over Internet Protocol). You don’t need to wait; should you wish, you could implement VOIP today using your existing broadband equipment. The voice quality can be superior, and the connection method can result in very cost-effective international calls.

Note that direct fibre systems would either provide, or be capable of integrating, these VOIP capabilities.

For those who don’t currently use broadband, it’s likely that simpler interface boxes will be provided by the phone companies to provide a similar solution.

David Kirk

Lotus have written to local residents about tomorrow, Tuesday, 6 July 2021. For them, this is a very important day as they unveil the new Lotus Emira, a mid-engined, premium sports car. This will be built in a new factory at Hethel – part of a £100 million investment in Lotus’ UK operations.

They invite you to find out more and to watch the world premier of the Lotus Emira, broadcast live from Hethel online at www.lotuscars.com and on the Lotus YouTube and Facebook channels from 7.30pm on Tuesday 6 July.

The event is largely outdoors and will be attended by around 200 media, VIPs and special guests. Lotus has consulted local council and independent health and safety advisers and is following careful safety protocols put in place across the site to ensure that the event is safe to go ahead as planned.

As this is a world premier of a new Lotus, there will be some noise from the proceedings, primarily some unveiling music and from a handful of Lotus road cars and one classic Lotus F1 car being driven on the track for a short time.

Note that there filming this evening (Monday) until around 9:00pm and tomorrow afternoon for the “dress rehearsal” prior the main event. The main activities will be finished between 9:00 pm and 9:30 pm.

If you have any questions contact Alastair Florance, Group PR Manager, Group Lotus:

aflorance@lotuscars.com / 01953 608462

Reference: 2021/1175
Applicant: Mrs Jill Maidment
Location: Willys Croft Church Road
Proposal: Removal of the existing rear entrance/lobby and replace with single storey rear extension
Application Type: Householder

Reference: 2021/1176
Proposal: Removal of the existing rear entrance/lobby and replace with single storey rear extension. Replacement of 4 No. window units. Installation of solar PV panels to detached garage/storage outbuilding
Application Type: Listed Building Consent

Please return comments for either/both applications by 16 July 2021.

on-line: via Comment tab on-line
email: planning@s-norfolk.gov.uk
post: SNC, South Norfolk House, Cygnet Court, Long Stratton NR15 2XE

Reference: 2021/1033
Applicant: Mr V Long
Location: Agricultural Buildings at Fir Grove Hethel Road, Wreningham
Proposal: Conversion and extension of 2 No. barns to 2 No. dwellings and erection of new garaging, demolition of agricultural shed and erection of 1 No. dwelling and associated works
Application Type: Full Planning Permission

Please return comments to South Norfolk Council by 12 June 2021
on-line: via Comment tab on-line
email: planning@s-norfolk.gov.uk
post: SNC, South Norfolk House, Cygnet Court, Long Stratton NR15 2XE

Copies of the submitted plans can be viewed on-line here.

The Chances project supports individuals in Norfolk actively seeking employment, together with those distant and disengaged from the jobs market. Chances is completely free and voluntary. They work with people who are:

• Aged 18 or over

• Unemployed for one day or more

• Living in the Norfolk area

• Have the legal right to live and work in the UK

• Motivated and looking to make positive life changes.

One can self-refer here: https://tinyurl.com/s4b434ew

Contact: Rosie Winn, Advocate (South Norfolk) – Chances

Mobile: 07867 229667 | Switchboard: 01603 614474 ; Email: rosie.winn@voluntarynorfolk.org.uk

Alastair Florance writes from Lotus: “I will send an update email about the exciting developments at Lotus’ HQ but in the meantime, here is the Hethel Track Calendar 2021:

As you can see, activities such as the Lotus Driving Academy (LDA) and the Customer Driving Experiences are not planned to restart until July 2021. We are also hosting the GreenPower event at Hethel (https://www.greenpower.co.uk/) where young people are encouraged, through science, technology, engineering and maths to design, build and race an electric car.

This Sunday (25 April 2021), the Lotus Motor Club (LMC) will be hosting one of its twice yearly “Sprints” on the Track from 09:00 to 17:30 and the same noise limits and testing will be in force as in previous events. However, in previous years the LMC has invited spectators to watch the competition, but due to strict Covid 19 compliance procedures, this unfortunately will not be possible this year.

As always, should you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.”


aflorance@lotuscars.com / 01953 608462 / Hethel, Norwich, Norfolk, NR14 8EZ, England