Ordinary Meeting Minutes 2/08/2010

Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 2 August 2010 at 7.30 in Penshurst Village Hall
1. PRESENT: Cllrs R Sellings (Chairman); A Campbell, Mrs D Broad, M Gilbert, Mrs A Hill, R Horsford, C Viccars.
APOLOGIES: Cllrs S Frederick & D Geal, these were approved. KCCllr P Lake, SDCllr P Cooke
2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 5 July having been circulated were approved and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest in Agenda Items
If a Member has a prejudicial interest, this should be declared at the start of the meeting.
Personal interests may be declared at this point or alternatively can be declared at the time when the specific item is being discussed, if a Member wishes to speak on an item in which s/he has a personal interest. NONE
a. Fordcombe Hospital Bus Stop: No further information received from Speldhurst Clerk who was awaiting a visit of the highway inspector.
b. Saltbins: Application submitted for provision of salt bins at Glebelands, Smarts Hill, New Road/Nashes Lane and Chafford Lane areas. Ref: 12968 – website indicates enquiry being processed, Sue Ireland contacted to advise.
a. Allotments: Clerk circulated information to allotment holders regarding possible parking arrangements, use of water hose for allotments only and proposed rental increase. Clerk was subsequently advised that due to one local resident having moved, parking problems had improved therefore issue to be monitored. Quote received for provision of gate to be placed on file.
a. Swaylands: Five units in the apartment block and three in the main house were still available, contractors expected to leave site by Easter 2011. Landscaping was still being completed.
b. Kent County Councillor: Cllr Lake advised clerk he had asked the Environment Agency to attend an autumn PC meeting and had requested information regarding any funds the PC may be entitled to if verge/swathe mowing was undertaken by the parish. Chairman stated that if rivers were still kept clear as previously the incidence of flooding would be lessened.
c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: No report
d. KALC: No report
e. Alms Houses: Estimates still being sought for various work required including damp treatment.
f. Proposed Affordable Housing/Medical Centre Project: Members had been advised at the Steering Group meeting that the estate had withdrawn the offer of the surgery, toilets and car parking. The estate was aware of the opposition to the Forge Field site and the current possible disbanding of PCTs which would impact financially on the proposed surgery. The affordable housing on the Forge Field site was the only option on offer.
Verge/Swathe Mowing Funding: James Hopkins and Robin Hadley, Landscape Managers for Jacobs and Kent Highways requested meeting regarding swathe cutting with the clerk and Cllrs Sellings and Gilbert, date options provided 23, 24, 25 & 26 August in the afternoon. Clerk to be advised of preferred dates.
Long Bridge: Clerk had provided the email received from Aziz Jiwaji, KHS Transport & Development Engineer, regarding the PC’s request for white lining to indicate narrow bridge.
It was noted that the engineer advised that the ‘road narrows both sides’ and ‘double bend’ signs needed highlighting. The ‘road narrows on both sides’ sign well in advance of the bend was too low and therefore not in line of sight.In view of lack of accidents and damage to bridge KHS recommends only enhancing existing warning signs of hazard ahead and monitoring traffic movement over the bridge for improvements in the future. Cllr Sellings to provide traffic statistics for highways engineer.
River Medway Bridleway Bridge: Further underwater inspection undertaken by Jacobs. Discarded sign found to be causing damage, underwater repairs scheduled for completion upon Environment Agency approval, expected in seven to ten days. Resurfacing of bridge to be carried out at later date.
Road Surface – Fordcombe: Reported to Sue Ireland, no further information available.
Interactive Road Signs: No further information available with regard to this issue.
Penshurst Churchyard: Nicky Biddall (PROW) had discussed renewal of tarmac pathway with contractor, access to complete work would be afforded via kissing gate area. Slippery surface reported, only option available to remove bricks and replace with tarmac but as this was conservation area, it was doubtful the work would be approved. It would also be costly and therefore no time span could be given for completion. Clerk and Cllr Gilbert liaising with regard to ramp to aid wheelchair access, it was agreed aluminium ramp would be preferred.
Potholes: Poundsbridge Lane, Penshurst: Pothole reported again for action, reference No. 14212 website indicates matter being actioned by officer, further potholes at the end of The Lane where the tree had recently been removed together with one outside Cleave House in Fordcombe reported. (Ref. No. 17703417). Work instructions issued 9 June.
Drainage: Drain cover surrounds had recently been repaired between the bridges on Rogues Hill, these now collected water during heavy rain. Reported under Ref. 12593 – Website indicated matter being processed on 30 July.
Footpath Signs: Repairs to sign adjacent to Daneby Hall, The Lane anticipated during September work schedule.
Doubleton Lane: Cats eyes appeared to be proud of the road after recent installation when resurfacing had finished. Reported under Ref: 12594 – Website indicated issue resolved with customer on 9 June, neither parishioner nor clerk were aware of any change in situation, clerk to contact Sue Ireland.
Footpath Provision to Doubleton Lane: In view of current economic climate funding for this work not seen as a priority.
Road Signage: Clerk reported ‘Bend’ sign still missing from pole on Coldharbour Lane, Ref: 12595 – work completed.
New Road: Road surface cracking by Nashes Lane towards Saints Hill, work undertaken to repair. Request for icy road sign submitted, response received from Laura Squires (Transport and Development) that in view of fact no accidents involving personal injury attributable to ice had been reported to the police during the previous three years, such a sign would not be suitable in this case. Clerk was also advised that the more signs drivers encounter the more difficulty they are likely to have assimilating information.
OPEN SESSION – Approximately 90 people attended the meeting and the opportunity was provided through an extended Open Session for comment on the Forge Field project. There was much repetition both within the meeting and previous PC meetings, as a result the following points are an indication of the views expressed:
The allocation criteria for the affordable housing had not been agreed
WKHA had advised at previous Steering Group meeting funding was still available for the affordable housing
Two further sites suggested (Grove Road & Rogues Hill) were not acceptable; one due to flooding and the other declined by the estate, the Hop Garden area suggested would not meet access criteria. Full details of previously considered sites were available on the website together with information on eligibility.
Fordcombe land listed on inspection information not financially feasible due to high purchase cost
There was no requirement to commence the project on site prior to April 2011
Possibility of building one or two houses on different sites to reduce impact of low cost, low quality housing
Forge Field unacceptable site for KPG members and others for affordable housing although they stated they supported the provision of affordable housing
Site design was expected to change in view of withdrawal of surgery, toilets and car parking
Proposed alteration by Environment Agency to flood control being investigated by estate architects
PC asked to guarantee 11 people on housing list would be awarded properties, this would not be possible as list confidential
Request for membership numbers of KPG unanswered, PC advised responses to questionnaire provided legal mandate to KPG
PC would not support project unless guaranteed homes would be allocated to local residents
PC had suggested Beckett Trust be involved in affordable housing, the estate had refused
In view of the fact that the estate was giving the land to the parish, rather than selling same, a unique S.106 could be drafted, members of KPG and others present were surprised the estate was not represented at PC meetings
PC asked to write to estate requesting bank site be used for affordable housing and Forge Field use withdrawn, member of KPG to draft letter expressing views and forward to Chairman in seven days for consideration by PC
Offer to KPG member to be co-opted to PC to seek alternative sites for affordable housing declined, no information provided regarding other site options.
PC aware of allocation to adjacent parishes if no residents require housing when property becomes empty
Project had been divisive in parish
PC requested to vote at the meeting against use of Forge Field for affordable housing, this was refused as members did not discount the use of the site for affordable housing
Warders did not instigate new surgery
Planning consent for social housing easier to obtain than for private housing
Affordable housing was needed in the parish
Planning Applications:
SE/10/01439: 10 & 11 Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Proposed alterations to internal layout and formation of new opening in existing party wall to join apartment number 10 and 11. No Comment
SE/10/01482: The Haven, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe: Erection of double open fronted oak framed garage.
Tree Surgery:
10/1983/WTCA: Fordcombe Village Cricket Ground, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe: Fell 6 Conifer trees. The PC understands that the felling of the trees is essential to facilitate the planned expansion and renewal of the current play area. New hedging plants would also be extended to fully screen the current sheds and container. In view of this the PC would support the application.
SE10/01276: 10 Drummond Hall, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Construction of small dormer window to serve en-suite bathroom. GRANTED
SE/10/01547: Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Erection of new post and wire fence in grounds (retrospective) GRANTED
a. SDC: Planning Enforcement advice.
b. Kent Fire & Rescue Service: Service Performance Plan 2010/11 – Information now available on website at www.kent.fire-uk.org.
c. SDC: Sevenoaks District Sustainable Community Action Plan – 2010-2013
The following accounts were presented and approved for payment.
Mr I Streeter Lengthsman 78.00
KCC Gangmowing 136.34
RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal 38.07
Fordcombe Village Hall Hall Hire Fee 18.00
a. Fordcombe Weed Treatment: It was agreed the next phase of weed control be authorised, Cllr Viccars to action.
a. Coldharbour Road: Sewage seeping from manhole cover
b. Village Hall Drain: Smell to be reported
c. Rectory Hedge: Work scheduled for 28/29 September, councillors to attend site