Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 7 November at 7.30pm in Penshurst Village Hall
1. PRESENT: Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, J Broadhead, A Campbell, I Carson, S. Frederick, J. Horsford, J O’Shea, and B Townsend
In attendance: SDC Cllr P Cooke
KCC Cllr P Lake
Mrs K Staff, Deputy Town Clerk, Edenbridge
There was one member of the Press and 112 members of the public present.
2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 3 October to be approved
The minutes of the meeting on 3 October having been circulated, members
Resolved: that the minutes should be signed by the Chairman as an accurate record of the meeting.
Declarations of interests in agenda items
The following interests were declared in Planning Application SE/11/02258
Cllr J Broadhead – Prejudicial interest, having property for sale opposite the application site
Cllr S Frederick – Prejudicial interest, being tenant farmer of the application site
Cllr J O’Shea – Personal interest, being a former member of Keep Penshurst Green
Cllr I Carson – Personal interest, being a former member of Keep Penshurst Green
Apologies were given from the Clerk Mrs Evelyn Divall for her absence due to ill health.
2.a Formal employment of Kathy Staff as Clerk to the Parish Council for the meeting
In the temporary absence of Mrs Divall, members under Standing Order 3a
Resolved: to employ Mrs Staff as Clerk to the Parish Council for the meeting, at the usual hourly rate for the Clerk’s post, plus travel expenses
2.b Formal extension of the Open Session
In light of the numbers of public present wishing to participate, members
Resolved: to extend the length of the Open Session to one hour prior to commencement of the business of the meeting, to provide opportunity for parishioners to record comments on Planning Application SE/11/02258 for Affordable Housing
The Chairman stated that previous Open Sessions had led to recorded dissatisfaction after the event, culminating in two members of the public making allegations of misconduct against a former councillor and current councillor Dianne Broad. These were made to SDC and details of the allegations were not known to either the PC or to the two accused councillors. It was understood that SDC did not intend to pursue the complaint.
To avoid a repetition of these matters the Chairman said the meeting would follow closely council’s Standing Orders(SOs), all comments and queries should be addressed through the Chair, and if necessary he would direct speaking order.
He reminded the meeting that photographing and electronic recording of proceedings was not permitted, and pointed out that under SOs a question asked from the floor did not have to lead to a debate or an answer. He reminded those present that full documentation and all details of Planning Application SE/11/02258 had been displayed five times in Penshurst Village Hall and Fordcombe Village Hall the previous week, and thus he hoped all were familiar with the application in detail.
The Chairman said that after the Parish Council had made its decision it would be passed to SDC as Planning Authority for consideration – he understood that it would be unlikely to be reviewed by SDC until Jan 2012.
He pointed out that District Councillor Paddy Cooke, was present and would answer appropriate questions.
The Open Session then commenced:
Council received comments, statements, and questions related to Planning Application SE/11/02258 for Affordable Housing, on the following issues:
· the potential rental to be charged and its affordability for those in need of housing
· the number of units proposed, compared with the formula applicable to the identified need for 11 units
· the Council’s understanding of views in the village
· why alternative sites in Fordcombe were not being considered
· Forge Field was the wrong site
· the status of the lease on the proposed site
· the % rate of return on the community surveys
· the affect of the development on traffic movements in the vicinity
· whether the proposed development met the “exceptional” criteria to be permitted on the intended site
· the need for a financial appraisal to demonstrate the proposal would meet the stated need
· whether its visual impact would be less harmful than the benefit provided
· the number of people opposing the scheme who did not need affordable housing
· general agreement that affordable housing was needed, but not on the proposed site
· the last line of the draft s106 agreement relating to occupancy, which would allow eligible non-local people if there was no local or neighbouring parish need
· the suitability of the Bottle House field
· compulsory purchase of alternative sites from Lord de Lisle
· the possibility of re-locating the road through the village to the south of the proposed site,
to manage traffic movements at reduced speed
Closing the session, the Chairman invited the District and County members to comment. Cllr Cooke emphasised that the draft s106 agreement was open to change, and urged every person present to write to the Planning Authority with their views, for or against the proposed development. Cllr Lake being familiar with building of affordable housing in several villages suggested consideration be given to the proposed location at the edge of a flood plain, and matters of drainage, Highways issues, and heating systems.
Cllr Campbell declared a personal interest in Planning Application SE/11/02258, having family members living near the site.
Cllrs Broadhead and Frederick left the room
SE/11/00815: Highfield House, The Lane, Fordcombe: Proposed tennis court; size 34m x 17m surrounded by 2.75m high chain link fence. Surface material green colour macadam.
SE/11/02258: Land SW of Forge Garage, High St., Penshurst : Erection of six affordable dwellings with associated access and landscaping
Members supported the application with conditions as follows:
The proposed s106 agreement must be applied allocating units to local people.
The quantity of parking to be reviewed as there are insufficient spaces.
Kent Highways to review the traffic management issues, especially related to roadside parking at the primary school arrival and departure times, and parking restrictions to be considered.
Officers should check the depth of the foundations in relation to the adjacent Flood Level.
Cllrs Broadhead and Frederick rejoined the meeting
SE/11/02543: Clifton Chaffford Lane, Fordcombe: demolition of existing garage and erection of replacement garage.
SE/11/02600: Quaintways, High Street, Penshurst: Change of use of ground floor Class A3 use to residential with alterations and internal works.
SE/11/00910: Smarts Hill House, Smarts Hill, Penshurst: Construction of new pool house.
SE/11/01198: Hamsell Farm Oast, Coopers Lane, Penshurst: Demolition of existing outbuilding, to be replaced and re-sited with a single storey oak frame outbuilding for storage and garage.
Members noted SE/11/02632: 11 Latymers, Penshurst: Various works to trees.
4. MATTERS ARISING:
4a. Speedwatch/Speed Indicator Sign:
Members noted there had been no progress, but a meeting with the local police officer was imminent.
There had been no further information received regarding pavement repairs adjacent to 11- 13 Glebelands, Penshurst. It was
Resolved: to pursue this issue, along with the need for a footpath to Glebelands along the main road, Cllr Frederick to contact Penshurst Estate regarding the possibility of a permissive path inside the hedgeline.
4c. Salt Bins:
Highways confirmed that they would not fill parish owned bins, permission must be sought if placed on Highway land.
The Clerk was obtaining anti graffiti kit.
4e. Bulk Refuse Freighter:
Members noted the Clerk had arranged for the bulk refuse lorry to visit both Fordcombe and Penshurst on the 10 December, final dates, times and sites advised to village magazines.
4f. Drive – Penshurst Road:
The Clerk had initiated a request for ‘Concealed Drive’ sign – response awaited.
4g. School Access:
Members noted there had been no progress on pedestrian access for children attending Penshurst school, and
Resolved: Cllr Carson to pursue this item