Ordinary Meeting Minutes 2/06/2014


Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 2 June 2014 at 7.45 pm in Penshurst Village Hall

1.            PRESENT:     Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), Mrs. D Broad, A Campbell, I Carson, S Frederick, J Horsford, J O’Shea, B Townsend.

In Attendance:    KCCllr C Pearman, SDCllr P Cooke, Peter Johnson (Almshouses/Neighbourhood Watch), Rob Sellings (Swaylands/Speedwatch).

APOLOGIES:    Cllr J Broadhead, Mr M Knowles (Co-optee)

2.         MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 6 May 2014, 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.   NONE

Cllr Mrs Broad registered a disclosable pecuniary interest in the final Planning Application item under Agenda No. 5  SE/14/01073:  Hartsland Farm, Walters Green Road, Penshurst.   Cllr Mrs Broad would not attend site meetings.

3.         OPEN SESSION

Clerk to check and report problems with trench outside Penshurst Village Hall
Pothole 50-100 yards towards Fordcombe on right hand side of road past Colliersland Bridge
30 MPH signs at Long Bridge obscured by overgrown vegetation, clerk to request land owner to clear
The Chairman of Friends of Penshurst Church recorded he had not seen the Chairman attend village events, Cllr Cass confirmed he had attended the fete, farmers’ market, Antiques Fair and carol concert but also attended events in Fordcombe.  Clerk confirmed she regularly provided information for the team producing the village magazine for inclusion (when space permitted) and also included any events she was informed of on the PC website.

4.        PLANNING


SE/14/01073:  Hartsland Farm, Walters Green Road, Penshurst:  Proposed farm works dwelling, farm office and garage.  Cllr Townsend requested this application be discussed at open meeting, Cllr Mrs Broad left the room.
The details of the application were explained by Cllr Townsend and members were advised that SDC would only approve planning if the financial feasibility of the operation could be proved to the satisfaction of specialists analysing such projects.   After discussion there were no objections to the application, a site visit would be held and, if everything was in order, a decision would then be taken with the support of the PC.

Site Visit:   Cllrs Cass, Campbell, Horsford and Townsend attended site on behalf of the PC, as agreed at the May meeting.  Those members not attending the site meeting had indicated at the May meeting that they would support the application should the attendees agree on this course of action after site inspection.   Clerk advised a parishioner had contacted her to advise that they would be submitting a letter of support for the application.

PC Response:    The members had been provided with the planning application documentation and after full discussion regarding the details it was agreed that the PC would support the application if the specialists providing the necessary supporting reports to SDC for this application consider it to be a viable, financially feasible farming proposal.

SE/14/00988:  1 Smarts Hill, Penshurst:  Erection of Single Storey Rear Extension.    We have concerns about the 50% rule even before considering the three ‘permanent’ sheds in close proximity to the building.   We also have concerns that the extension will deprive the next door neighbour of light.

SE/14/01040:  Bridge House, Rogues Hill, Penshurst:   Demolition of existing single story rear extension and construction of new rear extension, new steps with Iron railings. Alteration to fenestration.   PC Support

SE/14/01221:  Land North of Swaylands School Farm, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  The erection of a single dwelling and formation of associated driveway.   Corrected design – Access Statement showing corrected address at bottom of each page (more professional copy) validation, new application for 14/00615 & 616.    PC Support

SE/14/00325:  Alderwood House, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Amended proposal regarding proposed car port. PC Support

SE/14/00615/616LBC:  Swaylands School Farm, Erection of single storey extensions to existing building, creation of habitable room within roof space, alterations to existing garage and realignment of driveway to reduce existing hardstanding area.   00615 REFUSED, 00616LBC GRANTED
SE/14/00766:  Hill Corner Cottages, 1 The Lane, Spring Hill, Fordcombe:  Erection of greenhouse in garden (not attached to house)   GRANTED

Affordable Housing Judicial Review/Current Planning Permission awarded:   Cllr Carson had no further information on the Judicial Review in his role as Parish Council representative to BT.  SDC Planning Officer Andrew Byrne had contacted the PC, Beckets Trust and others regarding the current position of available sites for affordable housing, as far as the Chairman was aware this still indicated that Forge Field was the only site available for development.   Cllr Carson had provided a copy of a letter sent by John Harley (BT) to Andrew Byrne giving their opinion of the current situation and advising that they wished to continue providing housing for the area.  It was suggested that John Harley be invited to attend a PC meeting to provide information on the Becket Trust for members, Cllrs Paddy Cooke and Ivan Carson to liaise regarding invitation.

Tree Surgery:
SE/14/01590:  The Old Laundry, The Lane, Fordcombe:  Reduce Oak tree by 25% or 5-6 metres (WTPO)

SE/14/01248:  1 Moat Cottages, Doubleton Lane, Penshurst:   Fell leylandii and Norway Spruce


a.         Long Bridge Project:    KCCllr Pearman confirmed in his May report that it was hoped this project would commence during the summer months, Cllr Pearman and clerk to check current position.

b.         Swaylands:   SDC are continuing to chase Alexandre Boyes, the Managing Agents, to comply with the opening of the gardens under the Section 106 (1) (a, b, c or d).

c.         Gas Supply:  Clerk had supplied maps to Mr Norman Furnell plus the list of areas possibly interested in considering the supply of gas.   Mr Furnell would be marking a map to provide the necessary information to obtain an idea of costs for the introduction of gas to the village.

d.         Rectory Hedge:  Cllr Cass advised that the rector has a letter from the diocese advising they have complied with highways requirements, the rector would endeavour to obtain a copy of the letter for the PC.

6.         REPORTS:

a.     Kent County Councillor Clive Pearman:

The meeting of the full County Council on the 15th of the month was marked by a number of papers which took forward the Transformation Project, that change in the ethos of the County Council and taking it forward towards becoming a strategic commissioning authority.  The first paper ‘drew a line’ under the previous county-wide initiative, begun in 2010 and characterised by the title ‘Bold Steps’ and which addressed a number of subject areas such as Kent Themes, Residents, Education, Transport, Health, Business and the Economy, Employment and Skills, Tackling Disadvantage, Support for the Vulnerable, Housing, the Environment and, finally, Social Enterprise, Community and Voluntary Groups.

One point of note was that the subject-area entitled ‘Bold Steps for Aviation’, with its advocacy of a second runway at Gatwick, a contentious issue for the communities of West Kent, was not included in the peer review as this particular ‘Bold Steps’ has not and never did have any policy legitimacy, being nothing other than having the status of a ‘discussion document’!

The meeting addressed the Transformation Project under the heading ‘Facing the Challenge: Phase 1 Service Review and Market Engagement’, probably best described as “getting ready for implementation” and has addressed a number of County Council services which have been individually subjected to a scrutiny of market engagement and service review to determine how best to provide those services in the future in order to secure ‘best service provision for best price.’  The following services have been subjected to this process: Community and Learning Skills, Kent Scientific Services, Libraries, Residential Care Homes, the Contact Centre, EduKent Services, Legal Services, Human Resources, ICT, Finance, Property and, finally, External and Internal Communications.   The review has so far identified that these services could meet the required criterion for future provision by creating a Local Authority Trading Company (LATCo), or a Joint Venture Partnership (JV), or an Alternative Business Structure (ABS), or by establishing a Trust or, finally, by adopting a more commercial internal model.

There are preferred models from the above list of future service delivery for each of the above 12 services which have thus far been subject to review.  The next stage of the process, will be to undertake an appraisal of the various options in order to fully and comprehensively scrutinise the potential options, to assess their viability, identify the preferred option and work up an outline business case for each one.

Changes have been made to the fault reporting tool for Highways, Transportation and Waste Directorate to cut costs and improve the service.  There are now facilities to provide photographic options when reporting faults such as potholes and including streetlights, salt bins and bollards.

With regard to outstanding highway projects from the 2013/14 financial year there is some good news.   The missing stretch of pavement in the High Street in Edenbridge is now scheduled to start on 11 June and projected to take two weeks to complete.    The Long Bridge project in Penshurst is now scheduled to take place during the summer holidays as the project requires the road to be closed whilst the work is undertaken, at this point in time it is not know when the work will actually start or how long it will take, but it has been agreed that it will create fewer problems for local residents, the primary school and businesses by undertaking the required work during the holiday period.  Work on the drains and gullies at Stick Hill (Edenbridge) and Cinder Hill Lane (Leigh) has been allocated but, as yet, no start date has been set.

Finally, I am sure that whilst all Town and Parish Councillors in the division are aware of the work which is being put in to aviation matters, you might not be that aware of any progress being achieved as, after all, efforts to prevent the second runway from being constructed at Gatwick, or to stop night flights, both remain objectives yet to be achieved.  Yet real and significant progress there has been, which testifies to the hard work of Edenbridge Town Council over the past 3 years and, more recently, with the added weight of the support from the Parish Councils comprising HWPCAAG.  The principles of reasonable, factual and objective submissions, which have and must continue to underpin all submissions and correspondence on these matters, have been welcomed by the small number of  key organisations to whom the material has either been directed or ‘found its way to’!

If you care to read the latest publication of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which came out a few days ago and entitled ‘Managing Aviation Noise’, a check-list will confirm that virtually every issue which we have been pushing for has found its way in to the publication, making it hard for any and all airports to ignore the points which the CAA is making.  This publication does, in turn, build upon the Department of Transport’s (DfT) draft Guidelines for Airport Consultative Committees, and although neither the CAA document nor the DfT guidelines are statutory instruments, they will represent a powerful weapon which Gatwick Airport will have to comply with if it wants to put itself into a good position for future consideration with regard to expansion.  So we have to keep the pressure on and continue to use the good offices of our stalwart MP, the Rt. Hon. Sir John Stanley, who has been hugely instrumental, on our behalf, in helping to shape the CAA and DfT publications.

Meeting Notes:  Cllr Pearman attended the meeting and reiterated information provided in his report including the procedures now being undertaken to deal with potholes, funding had been provided by the government which must be spent on potholes only within a specified time.   There were huge changes being made to ensure that services were increased but costs would be cut, including the use of more local contractors to carry out work.   Cllr Pearman was checking with Julian Cook regarding execution of the Long Bridge project.   A parishioner requested that more use be made of local knowledge when highway crews were working in the parishes to save both time and money.

b.    Sevenoaks District Councillor Paddy Cooke:

Cllr Cooke advised that Andrew Byrne’s letter regarding Forge Field had prompted further requests for local information.
Local resident to provide copy of letter forwarded to Nicola Clinch for Cllr Cooke, a meeting had been requested with the officer.
The SDC AGM had discussed again the position with regard to the issue of funding for Town and Parish Councils from Government.   Three options had been discussed:
·         The same funding passed to Town/Parish councils this year as in 2013/14 less 24% reduction imposed on SDC.   Proposal failed.
·         Alternative amount allocated to Town/Parish councils.   Proposal failed.
·         No funding to Town/Parish councils.   Resolved.
A consultation document relating to gypsy and traveler provision had been forwarded to the Chairman, of two sites which might affect Penshurst ie 7 Acre site and Romany Way, both in Edenbridge, only the 7 Acre site had a temporary licence and was still available.
Cllr Cooke advised that the GAL Executive had attended the Chiddingstone AGM, members were not impressed with the presentation.   Members were reminded of the Public Meeting at TWBC scheduled for 17 June and the need to book in for the event.
Cllr Cooke had attended a scrutiny panel in Sevenoaks and raised his concerns relating to rural matters. The County Rural Advisory Group (CRAG) chaired by a Mr Bax was mentioned and Cllr Cooke would provide contact details for the clerk.   Cllr Cooke suggested inviting him to a future meeting to give an overview of the type of support being delivered to rural communities.

c.    KALC:     No meeting

d.    Alms Houses:
No decision had been made on allocation of the current vacant property.   The problem of the dampness was still being dealt with, the necessary treatment meant the unit would need to be left empty for approximately two to three weeks and this would impact on finding alternative housing for any resident.
A letter had been sent to Penshurst Estate drawing attention to the condition of the access road used by the Enterprise Centre, the Almshouse residents, Elliots Farm, The Retreat and others living on Rogues Hill.   There were concerns that should an ambulance be required for an unwell resident, accessing this service would be extremely difficult for a sick person.

e.    Neighbourhood Watch:

There were no crime reports for Fordcombe but tools were stolen from an outbuilding of a property along Penshurst Road, also a red Yamaha 125 Motor Cycle (W394 WGC) being stolen from Coopers Lane.

f.      Speedwatch:

Mr Loring reported that a session had been held at the bottom of Glebelands for 1hr 40mins when a motorist was seen overtaking a car, leaving the village, doing 52 MPH towards Glebelands.   Arrangements were being made to set up the Speedwatch unit at The Glebe and Chafford Lane.

Current Data 30 May 2013 – 30 May 2014:
2085 vehicles recorded, total of 292 letters issued:  173 for 2nd detection, 43 for 3rd, 17 for 4th, 8 for 5th, 3 for 6th, 1 for 7th and 1 for 8th plus 46 for excessive speed which is calculated at limit plus 50%.   The number of Speedwatches carried out during this period is 68.

g.     Gatwick Airport:


Further period of consultation on proposed changes to airspace around Gatwick, information received below which includes details provided by Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Gatwick Airport Ltd:

As you know, GAL and NATS recently consulted on significant changes to the airspace above and around Gatwick Airport as part of the London Airspace Change programme. That consultation was the first stage in a wider programme of proposed changes to deliver the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), which will be legally required to come into effect in 2020.  Since the close of that consultation GAL and NATS have been analysing all the feedback received using it to develop revised arrival and departure routes. In line with guidance from the Civil Aviation Authority, GAL is required to consult again on any impacts resulting from the proposed route development that were not considered as part of the original consultation.
This second round of consultation, being led by GAL, is on the changes in noise contours; changes to or new noise preferential routes; and rotating respite options.  GAL is specifically seeking feedback from affected communities and other interested parties on the impacts and on the following design options;
•   Options for Runway26 departure routes and associated Noise Preferential Routes (NPRs) for flights heading to the west and south (replacing current Runway26 SFD, BOGNA, SAM, KENET and HARDY departure routes) – this includes options for realignment and options for respite
•   Realignment of the Runway08 departures initially heading to the east (replacing current Runway 08 LAM, CLN and DVR routes)
•   Night-time respite options for arrivals from the south and east to Runway26 and from the south and west to Runway08
•   General re-centring, shortening and narrowing of existing NPRs and their associated swathes to take account of changes to flight path concentration as a result of the switch to Performance Based Navigation (PBN) routes implemented in November 2013.
Full details of the consultation may be found on the Gatwick Airport website at the link: www.gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation
(ii)           Note from Michael Knowles:
Plan circulated to councillors showing that Penshurst and Chiddingstone are right at the central apex of new airspace highway. They say they have taken note on the views on historic houses and gardens but we see that two of the most important listed buildings in Kent – Penshurst Place and Chiddingstone Castle  – join with Hever in being in the front line of Gatwick’s destructive forces.

The second phase of the London Airspace Consultation has been announced by Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) and follows on from the wider London Airspace Consultation which closed in January this year. This second consultation runs for 12 weeks closing on Friday 15 August and can be viewed online at: www.gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation – feedback can be given directly on the website. Relevant Members of Parliament, Parish Councils and Local Authorities will also be written to. Gatwick is also engaging directly with some affected communities and is willing to arrange briefing sessions with other communities upon request.
The primary purpose of the first London Airspace Consultation was to gather views on the proposals to change the way in which aircraft are vectored on landing and take-off. Currently, which is most important for Penshurst and Fordcombe residents, aircraft arriving on the long low flight path for RWY26 at Gatwick Airport are vectored across a broad swathe from the stacking areas which give us respite throughout the day. The National Air Traffic Service (NATS) and Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) are seeking to alter this so that aircraft arrivals assemble at a new so-called Point Merge area to the south of us from where they will join a single flight path to the west of Hever before the final approach to the airport. At that time NATS AND GALs were unwilling to divulge this information. The Parish Council was most concerned that irrespective of where this single dedicated flight path would be positioned it would cause severe noise nuisance and a disturbance to the quality of life for those being overflown continuously. It would give disturbance to schools and affect major tourist attractions such as historic houses and gardens which could impact on local economies and would be generally detrimental to the outdoor benefits of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, such as the High Weald. Night flights would have even greater effect on country based communities where the ambient noise level is far lower than in towns and cities. A single respite path was suggested in the initial consultation, though not firmly proposed, and no mention was made of any compensation for those who would be most affected. The Council dealt with these issues in its response.

We now see from the published flight path maps in the second phase of this consultation procedure that Fordcombe and Penshurst are right in the epicentre of this proposed so-called airspace highway and the council will once again engage with all the relevant authorities including MPs, neighbouring parish, town and borough councils to formulate an appropriate response and will report back in detail at the next council meeting. We would hope from that time that all members of our community will join with us in making their individual response in a matter that could seriously impact on the quality of life for us all.

For further information please view:   www.gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation  and then seek out from the web page View the consultation documents and submit your feedback. Once you have this page open select Maps 32-39 and then particularly Maps 34 & 35

7.         HIGHWAYS:

Reported Faults Update:

83586:  Entrance to The Lane, Fordcombe:  damaged grating cover reported for repair/replacement. Site inspection indicates rebuilding required.
93431:  Blocked drains from Chafford Lane towards Walters Green.  Gully scheduled for cleaning.
93433:  30 MPH sign between the two bridges at the bottom of Rogues Hill rotted, classified as non urgent, passed to contractors for completion in mid July.
93436:  Drains still blocked on New Road past Burzes Cottages, site attended, further work required.
98386:  No Through Road Sign:  Entrance to Glebelands on 2188 Fordcombe Road requires repainting, work completed.
98388:  Penshurst Village Sign:  at Glebelands Entrance on 2188 bent, enquiry attended, work completed.
97389:  40 MPH Sign:  Near The Grove junction on 2188 towards Fordcombe, broken off at base.  Works being programmed
106462: Pothole:  On carriageway to Leigh near Redleaf kennels and Keepers.   Works completed.
74659: Pothole: Bradley Road, nearest property Pilbeams.  Site inspected, further work required.

Please Note:   Any signs that are leaning but still visible and considered safe will be deferred for repair until funding is available.   Only signs required to support speeding issues or of a safety nature will be repaired until further notice.  Items in abeyance: 92566, 97389, 98395, 91196.

8.                     FINANCE:

The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:

Mr I Streeter                                                                  Lengthsman                                           £89.00
Equipment                                             £17.00
RIP Cleaning Services                                                                 Dog Waste Removal                               £63.36
Penshurst Place                                                                          Warren Allotment Rental             £7.50

a.   Swathe & Visibility Cutting:  Confirmation received that KCC would be providing £3,964.65 (£49.18 less than previous year) towards costs of village mowing.   Information circulated to councillors, no objections raised, clerk actioned.
Some areas of work had not been carried out to the standard attained during 2013, clerk to be advised in order that contractor could be contacted, area from Rogues Hill to Post Office Corner, work stopped half way along Broad Lane and Chafford Lane could have been cut back harder.  (Broad Lane has now been completed)

b.  Fordcombe Churchyard Tree Surgery:  Provisional date for work to be completed was 14 June as long as there were no village events taking place on that day.  Cllr Townsend to liaise with the contractor to finalise arrangements.

c.     Air Ambulance – Kent Surrey & Sussex:   Request for donation of £250 towards running costs of service,
members were very supportive of this organization which had also served the parish, it was agreed to make the donation, clerk to list for next meeting.

d.    Long Bridge Land Clearance:  A quotation had been received covering the clearance of vegetation from the river
bridge to the oak tree, burning the fencing on site plus the installation of post and rail fencing.  In view of the proposed timing of the work at Long Bridge by highways it was decided this issue would be held in abeyance until members were advised of the full plans.

9.                   CORRESPONDENCE:

a.    Sir John Stanley, MP:  Copy letter from Tom Denton – Head of Sustainability at Gatwick Airport Ltd advising that the data received from the consultation which closed on 21 January was being analysed and that on the 23 May a second phase, much smaller consultation would commence engaging with communities affected by any changes in noise contours as a result of the proposed route changes and operation of any respite options.  Consultation will run for 12 weeks and is available on www.gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation
b.    SDC:  Local Plan: Gypsy and traveller site options and statement of community involvement consultation.
c.    S.E. Water:  Information relating to final installation work of water main in Langton Green area.  Public exhibition being held on 19 June from 3.30 – 6.45pm in Palmer Room, Langton Green Village Hall to provide information for those interested.
d.   Sir John Stanley, MP: Copy letter from Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport advising all airport consultative committees have been asked to review their terms of reference/constitution and their membership to ensure both consistency with the Guidelines and that they are representative of current context of the airport.
e.   Sir John Stanley, MP:  Copy letter from Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport advising the government would announce shortly a new regime on Night Flying Restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted to commence from October 2014.
f.   Sir John Stanley, MP:  Parliamentary Question and Answser received from the DEFRA Minister Dan Rogerson.  Sir John asked if Parish and Town Councils were eligible to apply for flood and coastal erosion rrisk management grant-in–aid.   Reply:  Defra flood and coastal erosion risk management grant-in-aid is only available to a risk management authority, as defined by section 6(13) of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.  If a Parish or Town Council wish to progress a flood management scheme they should contact the lead local flood authority for the area.

10.                   ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

a.    Public Toilet Site:  It was reported rubbish had been dumped at the site, clerk to advise Penshurst Estate.

b.    Fordcombe Play Area:

·         Clerk to check on date of visiting fair at Leigh
·         Cllr Townsend to check with Colin Viccars regarding completion of outfield mowing and advise clerk if this had not been carried out, clerk also to check on mowing of play area.  (Outfield mowing would be completed during the week, play area as soon as possible, it was confirmed the play area was on the list and should have been cleared)
·         Willow Tunnel:  This would need to be trimmed during Autumn

c.      Penshurst Flagpole:  Cllr O’Shea reported that the new flagpole had been installed.

d.     Crows:  Cllr O’Shea reported on problems with crows tearing rubbish sacks residents were leaving out for collection.  He would place an article in the local magazine asking parishioners to put sacks out in the morning in an attempt to prevent this.

e.     SDC Chairman:  Jill Davidson has approached Cllr Cass regarding a visit to the parish, options discussed were Penshurst Flower Show, Fordcombe Fete and the Penshurst Christmas Fair.

f.     Coach Road Bridge over the Eden:
The bridge had been inspected again by Mr Johnson on 1 June, no movement of the bridge components had taken place for some months, consequently the size of the crack in the upstream parapet had not increased.  The ties between the north abutment walls passing beneath the road had also prevented any further movement of the upstream and downstream sections of the abutment moving apart, despite a huge eight axle lorry negotiating the bridge.

g.    Defibrillator:  Mr Gilbert asked for information on the siting of the defibrillator.  Clerk to check with other PCs regarding this issue.  (Halstead and Knockholt PCs confirmed they had units, one attached to the telephone box which the PC had purchased some time previously, the Halstead unit would be placed outside their parish room which had the benefit of a porch and a security light.  The units were operated by an initial 999 call to obtain the code number for release.)

Meeting concluded 9.45 pm                                                   Next Meeting 7 July 2014 – Fordcombe

2014 Meetings:
Penshurst:    4 August, 6 October, 1 December
Fordcombe:  7 July, 1 September, and 3 November.
Meetings at Penshurst commence at 7.45 pm and at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe.