Ordinary Meeting Minutes 1/07/2013


Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 1st July 2013 at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe Village Hall

1.            PRESENT:   Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, J Broadhead (Part), A Campbell, I Carson, S Frederick (Part), J Horsford, J O’Shea, B Townsend.    (Cllrs Broadhead and Frederick had advised late arrival and apologised on arrival)


2.         MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 3 June 2013 having been circulated, were approved and signed by the Chairman.

Declarations of interests in agenda items
If a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest in an item of business this must be declared at the start of the meeting, unless dispensation has been granted.  The member may not participate in any discussion, vote or discharge any function related to that business.
Non-pecuniary interests may be declared at this point if not already registered.  Members with a non-pecuniary interest may speak on the subject if members of the public can do so but may not vote.
The following interests were registered in SE/13/01590:  Land SW of Forge Garage, High Street, Penshurst under Item 4 – Planning

Cllr J Broadhead             – Prejudicial interest, owning property opposite the application site
Cllr S Frederick              – Prejudicial interest, being tenant farmer of the application site

Chairman asked if Cllrs O’Shea or Carson, or their spouses, were members of the Forge Field Society which appeared to now
be running the KPG website.   Cllr Carson advised neither he nor his wife belonged to the organisation, Cllr O’Shea advised
he was not a member but was unaware if his wife was a member.

3.         OPEN SESSION
Clerk was asked to report problems with the road surface approaching the Warren, the overhanging hedge on the BT site (Reported to Open Reach Ref: 4509578), and an overgrown shrub/tree at the back of Petresfield property obstructing the lane.
Clerk to request hedges outside 3 Rogues Hill Cottages and The Quarry on Rogues Hill be cut back as they were obstructing larger vehicles using the road which necessitate them moving on to the wrong side of the road.
Clerk confirmed the agenda for the meeting had been placed on the main Parish Council Noticeboard at Penshurst within the legal time limit, it was also placed on the PC website.
The new changes contained in the latest planning application relating to Forge Field were queried.
Mr M Gilbert reported that he had contacted the insurance company with regard to the damage to the church wall, an estimate had been provided by Alan Ashby.   The assessor had visited site and advised a cost of £2.5K would be needed for the work.   Mr Gilbert emphasised that a qualified craftsman would be needed to carry out the work to the sand stone wall.   A further quote was being sought from John Flitcher of East Kent which Mr Gilbert would request sight of.  It was noted the wall was Grade II Listed.
Mr R Rees provided information regarding the agreement made on awarding of costs for the Judicial Review and advised each party would be limited to £10K costs.   (Mr Rees subsequently advised Chairman after meeting had been adjourned that he had made a mistake with regard to this information and would provide the correct version for inclusion in the minutes.  Clerk checked issue with SDC and was advised that a Protective Costs Order had been issued by the court setting a maximum figure for costs at £30K for SDC and £5K for Mr Rees and Mr M Barraud (The Claimants) applying for the Judicial Review.   The case would now go for a preliminary hearing in order for a judge to consider the merit, or otherwise, of the application prior to going to the High Court.)

4.        PLANNING


SE/13/01565:  Orchard Mews, Nunnery Lane, Penshurst:  Proposed replacement garden building.   PC Support
SE/13/01566:  Garden Cottage, Poundsbridge Lane, Penshurst:  Erection of a stable block and ‘grasscrete’ access track and change of use of the land for the keeping of horses.    PC Support
SE/13/01590:  Land SW of Forge Garage, High Street, Penshurst:  Erection of Six Affordable Dwellings with associated access and landscaping works.    SDC confirm extension to response time to 17 July 2013.   In view of the fact that difficulty had been experienced by members accessing the SDC website it was agreed everyone would email Cllr Cass with their comments by Friday 5 July in order that members had the weekend to consider their decision on responding to SDC taking other members’ comments into account.    Cllr Cooke provided information on the differences between the latest planning application submitted by WKHA and the previous applications, he would provide email details for the clerk to circulate with the minutes.    PC to submit comments during week commencing 8 July 2013.

The question of the time taken to commence the building was raised, WKHA having already received approval for two applications prior to the current one, it was reported that the last approved application was the subject of a Judicial Review and would take time whilst being processed through the courts.   The PC have been unable to find the timescale involved in this procedure, as we understand have the SDC.
The following information was provided by Cllr Paddy Cooke regarding the changes in the current planning application:
·         The introduction (P3) identifies a series of reports that accompany the statement and application, namely the Ecological Desk Study and Habitat Survey, the Flood Risk Assessment, the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, and a series of detailed Assessments of Significance attached as Appendix 1 to the statement, taking into account the impact of the development upon the conservation area and surrounding listed buildings.·         Section 2 (P4) identifies the location of the site within the Green Belt and AONB, the Penshurst Conservation Area, and lists a number of listed buildings within proximity to the development site.
·         Section 2.3.2 recognises that the SE Plan no longer forms part of the development plan
·         Section 2.3.7 recognises that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has replaced  former government planning policy statements and guidance.
·         Section 2.3.29 – 2.3.57 sets out in detail the relevant advice contained within the NPPF
·         Section 2.4 recognises the planning history of the site relating to the permission granted under SE/11/02258. It confirms that the current  application is identical to that which was approved.
·         Section 3.7 clarifies the location of Star House, The Forge and Leicester Square
·         Section 3.12 refers to the additional assessment of views and vistas contained within the Landscape Visual Impact Assessment.
·         Section 4.6.2 states that the size of the dwellings responds to the defined need for housing in the village, as set out in the Housing Needs Survey
·         Section 4.7 now explains the relationship between the proposed development and the listed buildings at Star House and the Forge
·         Section 4.11.3 now refers to plans to relocated the BT phone box
·         Section 5.9 refers to the application that was refused at Beckets Field
·         Sections 5.13-5.17 give reasons why the provision of 6 units  is appropriate
·         Section 5.26 sets out the provision now contained within the NPPF that limited affordable housing can be excluded from the definition of inappropriate development within the green belt
·         Appendix 1 (Assessments of Significance) contains the most changes to the statement. This appendix now includes heritage statements relating to the listed buildings at  Star House, The Residence of Mrs Barrows, Kirkwood Garden shop,  Longford, The Birches, Colquhoun House, The Cottage, the Church of St John the Baptist, as well as the heritage statements submitted previously for the Forge and the Penshurst Conservation Area.

SE/13/01835:  Saints Hill House, Saints Hill, Penshurst:   Demolition of timber/brick garages.  Erection of single storey side extension with glazed link passage from main house to new gymnasium and three bay garage.   Coach House South elevation fenestration alteration.
SE/13/01630/631LBC:  Hamsell Farm, Coopers Lane, Penshurst:   Replace existing windows with double glazed units of similar design.    (Advice received from SDC that this application no longer valid and therefore currently not under consideration)

13/01203LBC/01190:  Abbotsmerry Barn, Salmans Lane, Penshurst:   Closure of family room north external door at ground floor level/creation of private equestrian sand school/ménage.   GRANTED
12/02184:  St John the Baptist Church, Rogues Hill, Penshurst:   Single storey extension to north wall of tower, improve existing drainage and adjust paving levels to south.   GRANTED
13/01141:  Polbream, Saints Hill, Penshurst:  Erection single storey side/rear (western elevation) extension with mezzanine floor and basement; single storey rear extension, balcony to first floor to rear elevation, porch to front elevation, conversion of roof space into habitable space with roof lights to front and rear elevations.  APPLICATION TREATED AS WITHDRAWN.


a.                     Fordcombe Noticeboard:   Cllr Cass had obtained a quote for a replacement board of £500, to be provided in wood.   Clerk to approach alternative contractor recommended by parishioner to provide price for refurbishment or replacement of unit.

b.                     School pedestrian route.      Cllr Cass confirmed he had walked the route with Cllr Mrs Broad and Ben Thomas of the Estate.     Information was still awaited from Allan Gibbons regarding a site meeting to discuss the siting of the replacement fence.    It was not thought feasible to provide a footpath due to the lower level of surfacing in the field but if the fence could be move to provide an slightly wider verge for pedestrians to use in an emergency this might help.     Clerk to check if date of site meeting had been arranged (Ref. 70667.)

c.                    Grass cutting:   Landscape Services had been asked to include the play area and approach pathway in regular contract, plus quote sought for flail mowing surround of Fordcombe Cricket Ground.   Clerk advised the play area and path approach would be £50 per cut, the surround of the site would be £120 per cut.   Clerk to advise Village Hall Committee of costs involved in surround cuts for which they are liable, PC liable for play area cuts.   A local contractor was recommended to the clerk in connection with the play area maintenance and approach path, arrangements would be made for contact to be made.

d.                     Dog Fouling:   Clerk provided examples of posters available together with some information downloaded from the SDC website.   SDC Officer would attend site and erect up to date notices and was willing to take action against those permitting their dogs to foul when reported, fines up to £1000 could be imposed.    It was agreed a further dog bin be installed towards the end of the footpath, clerk to action.  (Metail Fido 50 Bin ordered, delivery 10/14 days)

e.                    Latymers:  Rubbish bins (public) required replacement due to age and condition.   Clerk to contact SDC regarding deterioration of bins which it was considered required replacement.

6.         REPORTS:

a.                     Kent County Councillor:   The previous KCC councillor had promised to provide a defibrillator for Fordcombe Village Hall, clerk advised that any funding available to previous member no longer available.   New councillor difficult to make arrangements to meet with, clerk discussed situation with Leigh clerk, Penshurst Chairman now discussing options with Leigh Chairman.   After Chairman’s discussion with Leigh Chairman duties and responsibilities of county members being checked with Paul Carter at Maidstone prior to further approach to new member.

b.                     Sevenoaks District Councillor:    Covered under Forge Field planning application.

c.                     KALC:     Meeting scheduled for July, Cllr Broadhead to copy clerk into email with details in order that Cllr Horsford can be advised of date and venue.

d.                     Alms Houses:   Mr Johnson reported that No. 6 was scheduled for refurbishment.  A  meeting of the trustees  was due to be held during the coming week when applicants for the vacancy would be considered as well as the timing of availability when completed.

e.                     Neighbourhood Watch:  Few items had been reported during June, a van in Penshurst High Street had been broken into as had a garage in Glebelands but nothing had been taken.   The chains on the childrens’ swings and zip wire at Fordcombe had been stolen again, replacements were being sourced.   White lines had appeared in Penshurst High Street but no one was aware of the reason for this.  The closure of the toilets had prompted complaints from visitors, cyclists and disabled people in particular.   Mr Johnson regretted the loss of the view from the village shop should the affordable houses be built on Forge Field

f.                                    Speedwatch:    Copies of details of new sites provided for Mr Sellings.   Unit ordered, collected by Mr Sellings.   There had been some confusion over the organisation of the Speedwatch checks, members were reminded they must wear the high visibility jackets whilst operating the equipment.   Anyone wishing to undertake speed checks was asked to liaise with Mr Sellings, who was now the co-ordinator, regarding use of the PC’s equipment.

7.         HIGHWAYS:

a.                     Penshurst Rectory Hedge:     Letter received from Rochester diocese advising the hedge would not be cut back as requested by the PC.   Members considered the safety of pedestrians was in jeopardy and the hedge should in fact be cut back to the wall and railings and not be permitted to protrude into the roadway.    Chairman had inspected the area and confirmed that at least 2’ had been lost and two lines previously painted by highways were visible under the overhang.   Clerk to write to highways and advise that the PC holds them, together with the diocese, responsible should there be any accidents as the hedging does not comply with the highway guidelines for maintenance.

b.                     Reported Faults Update:

Ref: 49299/49750:  Fordcombe Road junction with Glebelands – Website indicates work completed.
Ref: 62231:  Laying water reported on road opposite Poundsbridge Lane junction with Penshurst Road.  Confirmation more work required.
Ref: 53310:  Laying water reported between Petersfield and Birches on Fordcombe Road, passed to drainage engineer for action, problem still under investigation.
Ref: 62226:  Flooding on road from Meadow Wood towards Barden Road reported again, confirmation further work required.
Ref: 73726:  Pothole at Old Post Office:  Clerk reported for repair, highways advise this has been placed in the hands of the water board.   Repair carried out, unacceptable, reported again, work now being programmed.
Poundsbridge Church:  Bollards still under consideration, ditch opposite church now collapsed.
Penshurst School Access – Signage:      Information on signage and provision of white lining on Long Bridge still awaited from Steven Noad.
10212521 – Poundsbridge Manor and Swaylands:  Website indicates issue resolved.
Ref. 69819:  Cats eyes, New Road: Reported to highways, area investigated, further work required.
Ref. 71781:  Blocked Drains Rogues Hill:   Works completed 29 May.
Ref. 72233:  PORC:   Disintegration of road edging.   Works programmed for August.
Ref. 72341:  Chilcots – Chafford Lane-Broad Lane:   Multiple potholes reported, website indicates work completed 4 June.
Penshurst School Sign:  The original flashing school sign opposite The Birches had again become overgrown with branches, clerk had recently contacted landowner with a request to clear.
Old Rectory, Penshurst:   Hedging impacting on pavement, clerk contacted resident to request hedge be cut back.
Footpath outside 15/16 Glebelands:  Surface uneven, puddles forming, existing repair unsatisfactory, clerk reported to SDC, area being monitored prior to possible further work being undertaken.   Previous work undertaken had been with the aid of a whacker plate which had provided an uneven surface resulting in the current puddling problems.
New Road, Penshurst:   Overgrown area by layby reported to SDC for attention, confirmation received that SDC would arrange to cut back the hedging in August to enable Kent Highways to clear the paving.
Eden View, Penshurst Road:   Closed for one day on 29 July for installation of high friction surface.   Clerk to report road collapsing, photos provided by parishioner, also to query necessity for the high friction surface.
Ref. 74396:  Daneby Hall – Cleave House Potholes.

8.                     FINANCE:

The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:

I Streeter                                                          Lengthsman                                           £89.00
Unipar Services                                                  Speed Indicator Device                           £2334.00

a. Fun Day:   Clerk confirmed final arrangements had been made for the parish Fun Day, this would be held on Fordcombe Cricket Ground on 9 August 2013 between 2 and 5 pm.   There would be numerous activities including a Bouncy Castle and a group helping the children with Circus Skills and parents were reminded these were all FREE!.   Handbills would be delivered to both schools with details of the various Fun Days being held locally plus posters to draw attention to the events.

b. Play Equipment Chain Theft:  It was reported the swing and zip wire chains had been stolen again.   The local contractor was investigating options for replacement.   The possibility of covering the site with CCTV was discussed.

9.                     CORRESPONDENCE:

a.    Invicta Grammar School:   Invitation to submit response to consultation process via website:  www.invicta.kent.sch.uk to ‘Invicta in Sevenoaks’; email: clerktotrust@viat.org.uk or The Clerk to the Trust, Valley Invicta Academies’ Trust, Invicta Grammar School, Huntsman Lane, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5DS.
b.     South East Water:  Langton Green Water Mains Upgrade:  PC advised that Coopers Lane, Poundsbridge Hill and Penshurst Road may be affected with effect from 20 August over a three month period with temporary road closures.

10.                   ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

a.    Planes:  Comments were made regarding the apparent increase in aircraft noise recently.
b.    Swaylands:  Members were reminded that Swaylands were required to open the gardens to the public four times a year in accordance with the S.106 ruling.   Clerk to contact Alexander Boyes.
c.     Smarts Hill:  White lines around numerous potholes had now worn away, clerk asked to check with highways.
d.    Speed Sign – Glebelands:  Clerk asked to write to resident to arrange to have hedging cut back to prevent sign being obscured, this is vegetation at the back of River View.
e.     Footpath:   Clerk to request the area of footpath along the Hogger on the Wealden Way be cleared of vegetation.
f.     Potholes:   Daneby Hall – Cleave House, clerk to report again.
g.    Poundsbridge Hill:  There was a dead oak tree, members were advised this was not the PC’s responsibility but that of the landowner duty of care.
h.    40 MPH Sign – Bidborough Ridge:  Obscured by trees.
i.      Data Collection, Speed Signs:   Clerk to check how data could be made available for the signs in Fordcombe and Penshurst.   (Laura Squires at Highways contacted)

Meeting concluded 9.10 pm                                                                           Next Meeting 5 August 2013                                                                                                                                      Penshurst