Village News Archive

A By-election was held in the Parish of North Runcton
on 8th March 2018
To fill a Councillor vacancy in the North Runcton Ward.
The election result can be found here


A well-attended and enjoyable evening – with a great quiz prepared by Nick Malby. Thanks Nick – and to the team of Amanda, Kerry, Rachel, Sam, Rick and Anna for organising the wine and cheese. Along with the raffle we raised £370 for the VMP – which will go towards running costs and paying off the loan we borrowed to do the renovation last year.

Everyone agreed it was a good community gathering – and we definitely plan to make the quiz an annual event. But it was agreed we need more community events like this – whether it be quizzes, talks, music or other ideas. What else would people like to attend? Would any one like to organise an event? Please get in touch with Rachel if you have ideas.


Busy End to 2017

In all the rush towards Christmas, bringing the website up to date fell off the bottom of the ‘to-do list’ – so belatedly – here is some news!

Bulb planting: In October we continued our plan to create an annual North Runcton spring delight by planting another 2,000 daffodil bulbs. This year we planted them along the wide verges adjacent Rectory Lane. We also cleared some overgrown laurel and bramble – which should have uncovered snowdrops that were already planted along there. Thanks to the dedicated volunteers who turned up. We plan to do it again next year.
And don’t forget – come springtime – do send any good photographs to us. If we get enough good ones we might have a competition! Here is one from last year.

VMP officially re-opened: On 25th November the VMP was officially reopened after its £120,000 renovation. The Borough Mayor attended and unveiled a ‘blue plaque’ for this important community building – which although not nationally listed, is now identified in the Neighbourhood Plan as a ‘Site of Local Heritage Interest’.

The renovation has been a significant project for the Parish Council – and there are too many people to thank for all the fundraising and other contributions. However – special thanks must go to Ian Bix Associates (for design and planning assistance), Bespoke Norfolk (our builders – who delivered the project on time and in budget), and WREN, the Norfolk Community Foundation and Greenyard Frozen for generous financial support.
(In line with the Parish Councils freedom of information policy, a statement of the accounts for this project has been published at the Finance section of this website).
… and North Runcton Art Gallery and Museum: And on 25th November the Mayor also opened what we are claiming is the ‘smallest Art Gallery and Museum in Norfolk’! Having purchased our village phone box, we have decided to use it for display purposes. The North Runcton Art Group have offered to maintain a rolling display of Artwork and there will also be a revolving exhibition about some of our Parish history. Do make sure you visit – but remember it’s a one-in/one-out policy!


Many thanks to everyone who came to our quiz night in January – we raised £366.86 for the VMP.  We hope to organise another one later in the year.

Don’t forget the last of our winter talks will take place on Thursday 19th March as part of the ‘Wildlife in Common’ project, starting at 7:45pm at the VMP
Conserving the Wash & North Norfolk Coast
by Adele Powell – Wash and North Norfolk Marine Partnership
– click here for more information.


Did you know there is a mobile library which stops in our area?  This is an excellent service and details of the timetable can be found here.


North Runcton and West Winch Neighbourhood Plan

It’s a yes!
Further to the referendum held on Thursday 28th September 2017, we are pleased to announce residents have voted to support the Neighbourhood Plan.

Asked the question ‘Do you want the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk to use the Neighbourhood Plan for North Runcton and West Winch to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area’, 90.53% of voters answered ‘yes’.

This is a very clear response and the Parish Councils wish to thank everyone who took the time to vote. The number of votes cast was 686, which represents a 25.05% turnout.

The Neighbourhood Plan will now become an adopted BCKLWN planning document and will be used in determining future planning applications in the parishes of North Runcton and West Winch.
Although the process has been hard work and has taken five years and hundreds of hours to produce, the real work starts now! The Parish Councils will need to ensure the policies are upheld when planning applications are being considered, and all residents should review the document when preparing an application – or when preparing an objection to an application.
We will maintain a Neighbourhood Plan section on the Parish Council websites and will update these to reflect issues that arise.
Thank You (29/09/17)

North Runcton and West Winch
Neighbourhood Plan
The document has been approved to go to referendum!
Neighbourhood Plan Referendum – 28-09-2017
Don’t forget to vote!
If you want to borrow a hard copy of the referendum version of the Neighbourhood Plan document – please contact Rick Morrish (56 Common Lane, Tel No 01553 840284) and arrange to pick one up. He has two spare copies.
Our independent planning examiner, Deborah McCann, has recommended that our Neighbourhood Plan, subject to some modifications, meets the ‘Basic Conditions’ required and is suitable to proceed to referendum.
The Plan was endorsed to go to referendum by the Borough Council cabinet at the beginning of August. Now all residents in the parishes of North Runcton and West Winch will be given the opportunity to vote to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan on Thursday 28th September 2017.
The examiner recommended modifications (mostly minor) to 16 policies and deletion of one policy. (The deleted policy was our attempt to list the contributions that developers should make to the community. She concluded that this was not strictly ‘land use policy’ and that we could only retain it in the Neighbourhood Plan as an ‘aspiration’ – not a planning policy).
On the whole, we are very happy with the examination outcome and were pleased to see that she has upheld a number of policies that had been queried by other stakeholders.
You can see the examiner’s report on our Neighbourhood Plan pages on this website. You can also see more explanation about what the Neighbourhood Plan is, why the Parish Council’s think it is so important, and why you should make sure that you vote in the upcoming referendum!
Also see the Frequently Asked Questions page – which may help you to better understand some key issues.
Remember – if you have any particular queries about the Neighbourhood Plan which are not explained on our website, please feel free to email Rachel our Parish Clerk, or ring Rick Morrish – Parish Council Chairman.
You can also read more about the Neighbourhood Plan on the Borough Council website – click here.
Alternatively if you have particular questions, please email [email protected], or telephone 01553 616200.
Thank You
It has been noted in the Parish that there has been dog waste bags left on paths and in hedges. There are a number of dog waste bins located in the village, please click on the link below for further information and maps.
Please ensure you are a responsible dog owner and clear up after your pet. Thank you

Dog Etiquette

A huge thank you to everyone who came and supported our quiz night.
It was a great success and we have added £465 to our fundraising total!
Click here to see a gallery of photos
More events are planned for the coming months, a race night and gin tasting evening – more details to follow soon …
Look out for our Amphibians!
The warm weather has got our toads, frogs and newts on the move!
Please be careful when driving along Common Lane – and especially over the common at night.
The migration normally takes about a fortnight – but if the weather turns colder again that may prolong the activity.
Thank you!
(Posted 23/02/2017)
The Parish Council has been successful in obtaining a grant from WREN for £50,000 for the refurbishment work to the VMP! This now brings us half way to our target amount of £100,000. More fundraising events are planned, see below for details of the quiz.
You can also make donations at the Parish Council’s crowdfunding page, by following the link;
Fire at Manor Farm
Advice to residents has been issued by the Borough Council
please see link here
For the latest information, please click here
North Runcton and West Winch
Neighbourhood Plan
The document has now been submitted!
The proposed Neighbourhood Plan has now been submitted. The Borough Council will begin a consultation period on 19th December 2016 and this will last until 13th February 2017.
The Borough council notice states:
North Runcton Parish Council and West Winch Parish Council have submitted a proposed Neighbourhood Development Plan. This is now being published for comment during the period 19th December to 5pm 13th February 2017. Any interested person may send comment to the Borough Council during this period.
The comments received will be used to help an independent examiner and the Borough Council to decide whether the proposed neighbourhood plan meets the statutory tests, and can therefore proceed towards a local referendum on whether it should come into force.
The proposed neighbourhood development plan covers the whole of both North Runcton and West Winch Parish’s, and the period until 2026. If it is judged to meet the statutory tests and successfully passes a local referendum it will become part of the development plan for the area (alongside the Borough Council’s Local Plan), and be used to guide development in the area and determine applications for planning permission.
The proposed neighbourhood plan (and accompanying Consultation Statement and Basic Conditions Statement), may be viewed on the Borough Council’s website at and, during office hours, at the Borough Council’s office in King’s Lynn.
Comments and other representations about the proposed neighbourhood plan must be made in writing to the Borough Council, and received by 5pm on Monday 13th February 2017. They may be submitted via the Council’s on-line consultation portal at, by email to [email protected] , or by post to the address to Planning Policy Team, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, King’s Court, Chapel Lane, King’s Lynn, PE30 1EX.
Representations may include a request to be notified of the Borough Council’s eventual decision whether the proposed neighbourhood plan is brought into force (Regulation 19 stage), and if so when.
Should you have any queries about the above please email [email protected], or telephone 01553 616200.
Please note you can see all the submitted Neighbourhood Plan documents on this Parish Website within the Neighbourhood Plan sections.
You can also find more explanation about what the Neighbourhood Plan is, why the Parish councils think it is so important, and why we think residents should support it. Also see the Frequently Asked Questions page – which may help you to better understand the process.
Remember – if you have any particular queries about the Neighbourhood Plan which are not explained on our website, please feel free to email Rachel our Parish Clerk, or ring Rick Morrish – Parish Council Chairman.
Thank You
The VMP fundraising campaign has begun!
Thanks to all those who attended the launch party to kick off our fundraising for the Village Meeting Place renovation works – which we hope to begin in the summer of 2017.
Many thanks to the Fenland Ukuleles who entertained us, the mulled wine all got drunk and we raised £200. Lynn News covered the event and we unveiled our fundraising totalisers! Since then we have had two generous pledges to immediately push our total over the £1,000 mark.
The VMP is an important community asset – but no significant money has been invested in it since the community took on the school in the 1980s – more than 30 years ago. We need to make sure the building can continue to give the community service for the next 30 years.
We have set a target of raising £100,000. We have applied for a grant and we are looking for other sources of funding – but we will need to raise money in the community.
We therefore need as many residents as possible to contribute to raising this money.
What can you do to help?
Could you do a sponsored event?
Would you like to mark an event or remember a friend by making a donation in their name?
We are proposing to have a plaque to record anyone who makes a donation of £250 or more.
Please help us with this important project!
For more details please contact our Clerk to the Council – Rachel Curtis email: [email protected] or tel: 01553 673043
Public Phone Box – New Road
At the PC meeting on 8th November, North Runcton Parish Council agreed to buy the telephone box that stands at the corner of the Cricket Club car park on New Road. British Telecom are implementing new policy to remove phone boxes that are not used. Our phone box had had no calls in the previous 12 months. Communities have been offered the choice of purchasing the kiosks, although the phone will be cut off and removed.
The Parish Council feel that the phone box has heritage value. It has been noted that other communities have converted phone kiosks for many other uses including mini-lending libraries and local museums. Either might be appropriate for North Runcton. Responsibility for cleaning and future maintenance of the phone box will fall on the community. Any new use will also need to be managed – and there may be initial costs in setting this up (eg shelving or display boards).
Do you support this Parish Council decision? Do you have ideas for how the phone box might be used in future – or do you support one of the ideas above? Would you be willing to assist with future maintenance and cleaning of the phone box so that it is kept in good condition?
Bulb Planting for a Spring Spectacular
Big thanks to all those who turned out to plant bulbs on 15th October. We got them all planted by lunchtime, everyone seemed to have fun and Lynn News came to take a photograph!
Special thanks To Mr and Mrs Randall and Mr Yallop (who generously contributed to the cost of bulbs) – and all those people who brought extra bulbs to plant.
We hope this might become an annual event and that we can plant up other areas in the parish in future years. And don’t forget when the flowers are out in the spring we are planning an Easter event as a fundraiser for the Church repairs fund. Details to be confirmed!
Proposed Improvements to the Village Meeting Place (VMP)
The Village Meeting Place was first converted from school to community building more than 30 years ago. Very little money has been spent on the building since and wear and tear is showing. In addition there is an increasing damp problem and we have had several minor roof leaks in the last year. We believe the main roof has not been re-felted since the building was a school.
The VMP is well used and well liked. Even if new development elsewhere in the parish delivers new community facilities in coming years, it is anticipated that the VMP will remain an important community facility for residents. It is presently the home of the Buttercups play group, the Art Club, Rainbows (Brownies) and several other regular clubs. It is used for Parish Council meetings, various church events and is the ward polling station.
The Parish Council have reviewed access considerations for the building and have recently had an independent access audit. Although the VMP is a Victorian building and obviously wasn’t designed to consider modern access requirements – we feel we have a duty to seek to bring the building up to standard wherever possible. This along with other improvements to the building fabric will we hope ensure that the VMP can remain an important facility at the heart of the community for many years to come.
Plans and Timetable
The Parish Council has worked with a local architect to come up with a series of alterations and improvements that can help to modernise the building whilst retaining its character and charm. We have consulted regular users and residents who have attended recent parish meetings in developing the proposals.
We expect the proposed works will have to be delivered in two phases – probably in the 2017 and 2018 summer periods. This is partly to allow for a six week summer work window but also to allow us to plan the funding stream. We are presently applying for a grant to assist with the proposed Phase 1 works. If the grant application is successful we would hope to commence the works in July 2017.
Phase 1:
Enlarge entrance lobby, improve access with raised floor and create new storage space.
Construct ramped access to building defined pedestrian and parking area.
Re-roof main halls including new roof insulation and rooflights.
New heating to main rooms
Improvements to electrical and plumbing, external drainage and yard access.
Phase 2:
Access improvements to toilets, kitchen and rear fire access to yard
New kitchen including extractor and double sink.
Revised toilet for DDA compliance
New flat roof to kitchen/toilet area with improved insulation and ventilation.
Electrical and plumbing improvements.
Plan Click here for a plan of the project.
If we are successful with grant applications we presently believe we will be able to fund the Phase 1 works using Parish Council reserve funds. However we also need to fundraise. Would you be willing to make a contribution to these important works? The Parish Council will consider commissioning a plaque to commemorate any benefactors who have made a noteworthy donation to the proposed improvement works.
Please contact Rachel Curtis our clerk, or speak to a Parish Councillor if you would be willing to make a donation for this project.
The Tea Party to (belatedly) celebrate the Queen’s birthday took place on 16th July at the Village Meeting Place. The event was attended by over 30 parishioners and a great time was had by all.

Church Farm Consultation by FW Properties
FW Properties attended the Parish Council meeting on 14th June, please see the Village News section for more information.
Plan 1 Plan 2
School Lane Easement
Survey Result
Further to a meeting held in October 2015, North Runcton Parish Council sought to give all residents in the Parish the opportunity to express their preference in regard to a proposed easement across a section of School Lane. The Parish Council concluded that undertaking a ‘survey’ of residents was a cheap, fair and efficient way to undertake this process.
At the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday 12th April 2016 the Clerk declared the result of the survey as follows;
197 responses were received (from residents aged 18 and over) representing 103 households within the parish. This can be expressed as 42% of households.
Of the 197 responses, 49 which is 25% were in favour of the Parish Council signing an easement relating to School Lane and 148 which is 75% were not in favour of signing it.
The Parish Council therefore agreed the following statement:
‘It is not the Parish Councils present intention to complete the easement and that if circumstances change, the Parish Council will first consult parishioners before making a decision on this matter’
Parish Poll Result
On 31st March 2016 a meeting was called by 6 registered government electors in the village to call for the Borough Council to administer a formal ‘Parish Poll’, the cost of which is expected to be met by the Parish Council. They are entitled to do this in accordance with their democratic right under the Local Government Act, 1972. At the meeting on the 12th April petitioners that were present agreed that the poll would not now appear to be necessary and that they would seek to cancel it. However BCKLWN have subsequently informed them that there is no provision to do this.
The Borough Council held a parish poll in the Village Meeting Place for electors in the North Runcton Ward and in the William Burt Centre for electors in the Hardwick Ward on 21st April 2016.
The question polled was;
‘Should North Runcton Parish Council sign a deed of easement for the SDA (or other owners) of the site East of The Green (also known as Runcton Hall Stables, 39 The Green, North Runcton)?’
The result was as follows:
134 votes were recorded
13 voted Yes and 121 voted No.
The consultation period for the ‘Pre-Submission’ version of the Neighbourhood Plan ended on 1st September 2015.
North Runcton and West Winch Parish Councils wish to thank everyone who attended the ‘drop-in’ sessions in August, or who submitted comments by post and email. Over 300 people visited the exhibition or sent in comments and the Neighbourhood Plan team have started to process the feedback.
It is an essential part of the Neighbourhood Plan process that local residents and stakeholders contribute to the plan and many of the comments made have been specific and very useful.
However, may of the responses suggest there is still much confusion about who is promoting development in the area. Many people have said things such as ‘We don’t agree with all this development – and therefore we don’t support the Neighbourhood Plan’.
West Winch and North Runcton Parish Councils are not promoting development. The development indicated in the Neighbourhood Plan is being promoted by the Borough Council, landowners and developers.
Much of the development is now supported by adopted Borough planning policy. The Borough Local Plan (presently being reviewed by a planning examiner) is likely, when adopted, to promote more development. However the Local Plan addresses the whole Borough of West Norfolk and King’s Lynn. The policies that guide development for a specific area are therefore ‘broad brush’ and have little detail to define how future development will turn out.
The policies we are developing in the Neighbourhood Plan are a way for local residents to say how the new development will be shaped and what it will look like.
It is a way to help protect things residents particularly like (e.g. green spaces, views, paths) and a way of making sure new development has things that benefit us all (play space, local shops, new services).
The Neighbourhood Plan is not permitted to ‘object’ to local planning policy, and therefore we cannot say ‘we don’t want all this development’. In planning terms that would make the Neighbourhood Plan ‘non-compliant’. However by having the Neighbourhood Plan in place, defining policies that are particularly relevant to West Winch and North Runcton, we have a better chance of getting development that we as residents can generally find acceptable.
Whilst many of us have strong reservations about the scale of development presently proposed in West Winch and North Runcton, the Parish Councils have committed to work together to try to get the best outcome for existing and future residents.
We feel strongly that having an adopted Neighbourhood Plan in place is an essential part of achieving that goal.
We therefore ask all residents to support the Neighbourhood Plan because without this document we feel we will have little opportunity to influence the plans that landowners and developers put forward in future.
What happens next?
(Refer also to the ‘What is a Neighbourhood Plan? page)
We will now take on board the comments we have received during the consultation, revise and finalise the Plan and then submit to the Borough Council.
The Borough Council are required to undertake a further 6 week period of consultation and then the plan will be examined by an independent planning examiner.
However – please note that the Borough Council Local Plan was due to be examined in July. The examination was adjourned as the planning inspector requested additional information. The Borough Council are proposing to alter their draft Local Plan – which is likely to affect proposals for West Winch and North Runcton and could require further public consultation. This may yet affect our Neighbourhood Plan – which could delay our work in finalising and submitting it to the Borough.
Updated 17-09-2015

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