Ordinary Meeting Minutes 2/12/2013


Minutes of the Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 2 December 2013 at 7.45 pm 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, B Townsend


2.         MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 4 November 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.     NONE

3.         OPEN SESSION
Clerk was advised the edging kerb on the corner of the junction of Penshurst High Street and Penshurst Road had been smashed again.  Clerk to ask if material other than plastic can be used for the next repair.
Clerk had again received complaints about continuing tree/shrub clearance work and driveway installation at the PORC site; these combined activities had been impacting on the road during heavy rains when loosened soil and debris was washed into the roadway.   Cllr Cooke had discussed the issue with the Enforcement Officer who confirmed planning permission was in existence for the entrances, although these were some years old.  The Enforcement Officer would be visiting the site and had passed on the complaints regarding perpetual bonfires to the Environmental Health department.
Clerk to request yellow lines near Old Post Office in Penshurst be renewed.
Clerk to ask if extension to the speed limit of 30MPH would be possible from Salmans Lane to Doubleton Lane.
Mr Johnson advised the Coach Road bridge eastern wall was subject to water flow and was slightly undermined, leading to settlement and a movement crack in the parapet wall of 10mm.   Vertical movement beneath the wall was approximately ¾ mm and therefore did not require attention at the present time.

4.        PLANNING

SE/13/03097:  Woodlands, Sandfield Road, Penshurst:   Erection of single storey extension to rear of existing garage in conjunction with conversion of the existing garage into living accommodation and alterations to fenestration.  PC Response:  After discussion with the planning officer the PC support this application on the grounds of perceived very special circumstances and, bearing in mind the suggestion of permitted development in the proposed manner results in a less obtrusive build.
SE/13/03002:  1 Meads View, Fordcombe Road, Fordcombe:  Demolition of garage & erection of a single storey side extension, plus general alterations.  PC Response:  The applicant informed us the plans are incomplete as they do not show her required stone finish to brick wall edges and around windows to match existing build.  When this is resolved the PC support the application.
SE/13/02609:  Hamsell Farm, Coopers Lane, Penshurst:  Replace existing windows with double glazed units of similar design.   PC Support

SE/13/01779:  7 Stone Row, Spring Hill, Fordcombe:  Erection of shed at end of garden (retrospective).  REFUSED

Tree Surgery:
SE/13/03303:  The Old Rectory, High Street, Penshurst:  Various works to trees.  Cllr Cass had discussed this with the Tree Officer as the applicant wished to retain the tree if he thought it to be safe.

Affordable Housing Judicial Review/Current Planning Permission awarded:   Clerk approached by Winckworth Sherwood, Solicitors acting for Martin Barraud for copies of correspondence between the PC, including councillors and officers and all or any of: SDC, Penshurst Estate, Rural Housing Enabler or any other organisation in connection with the exercise to identify suitable sites to meet the affordable housing need in the Parish of Penshurst, identified in the Housing Needs Survey dated January 2009.  Cllr Cooke to check with SDC legal department and advise clerk.

Telephone Mast:  PORC  –  Telefónica (O2) Site 34158 Penhurst – Proposed Upgrade


a.         Fordcombe Noticeboard: Work completed to high standard, clerk settled account to be reimbursed by PC.

b.         School pedestrian route.    Clerk to approach parent to discuss options.

c.         Swaylands:  Clerk advised by Enforcement Office that she had spoken with Alexandre Boyes, the managing agents.  They had a meeting with National Garden Scheme two weeks previously and were now awaiting information from NGS regarding any outstanding requirements.  Ms Boyes had been asked to chase NGS for a response.

d.         Gas Supply:  At date of meeting over thirty residents had registered an interest in a gas supply in Penshurst, Cllr O’Shea to promote option of gas in Penshurst, he also confirmed that it would be an option the Alms Houses could consider

e.         Fordcombe Church Wall:   Cllr Cass confirmed the wall had been completed, the standard of work had been good.

f.          Rectory Hedge:  Clerk ordered bollards for use by lengthsman when working in the area.   Messrs. Loring and Sellings advised that the Rectory residents had no objection to the hedge being reduced, an officer at the diocese had prevented the work from being undertaken.   Site meeting suggested with diocese to discuss issue further, confirmation of date awaited from rector.

g.         Hever Triathlon:  Clerk contacted organisers to request issue of speeding cyclists using Grove Road during the race be addressed due to danger to parishioners,    Response received from Brian Adcock, Managing Director of Castle Triathlon Series confirmed they had also identified potential areas of concern to the organisers.   Their officer, Rich Houghton was responsible for the traffic management and he expressed a wish to work with the PC to find a solution.

6.         REPORTS:

a.         Kent County Councillor:    No report

b.         Sevenoaks District Councillor:      Cllr Cooke apologised for his absence from recent meetings, this had been due to his housing relocation problems.   He advised members that the Community Fund was still available for any projects that would benefit the community.  Police Commissioner Anne Barnes had requested public support for an increase in police funding to maintain manning levels, Cllr Cooke provided link for on line poll on office@annebarneskentpcc.co.uk.    He also advised that there would be a £60m government funding cut next year and possibly £20m from 20154/16.     Defra’s Guide to Community Rights was available on www.rsnonline.org.uk  Cllr Cooke confirmed the polytunnels had all been removed within the agreed time limit.

c.                     KALC:    Cllr Broadhead had attended the AGM, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Anne Barnes had reported on the reduction in funding and the impact this would have on manning levels with an anticipated reduction in officers of 20%.  The support of the public for an increase in the policing precept was requested to prevent this happening.  Mobile police stations needed support or the facility would be withdrawn, it was felt beneficial to encourage these units to work with Neighbourhood Watch teams to maximise their value to the communities.  Police would be wearing video cameras for both their own protection of that of the public.    Information provided at the meeting on the reduction in the Fire and Rescue Service manning levels confirmed this had been due to the reduction of fires by 50% and road accidents by 25% over the last ten years.   Members attending were informed that KALC did not oppose any the possible development or airport facilities in the Thames Estuary.

d.         Alms Houses:    Mr Johnson reported it was intended to hold a meeting of the Trustees early in the New Year to discuss the method of refurbishing the bedsitter residences.  All units were now occupied.

e.         Neighbourhood Watch:    Mr Johnson advised eight reports had been received during November, only one relating to Penshurst and the theft of a large dolls’ house from the garden of a property on Smarts Hill

f.                     Speedwatch:    Clerk had requested police attend site for an official speed check, police had made two visits to parish.   Mr Johnson reported on an accident on Rogues Hill involving a cyclist travelling at speed skidding on mud, this had necessitated the attendance of the Air Ambulance.  Members were advised cyclists could not be charged with speeding offences.   The work of the Penshurst Speed Watch team had been praised by Guy Rollinson and members had been asked to attend a training meeting at SDC to encourage other parishes to undertake the work.

Up to date figures supplied by Cllr Campbell:  30 May – 30 November – 1409 vehicles recorded.  118 letters issued for second detection, 32 for third, 13 for fourth, 7 for fifth and 30 for excessive speed.

g.         Gatwick Airport:  Cllr Cass reported on his attendance at the recent inter parish meeting and introduced Michael Knowles who had accompanied him. A further meeting to discuss aircraft flying height and noise, London Airspace Consultation, the Airbus 320 design problem, night flights, sound monitoring and protection of the AONB was scheduled for 10 December.  A presentation was given by Messrs Barclay and Byng from GACC which has 100 district and parish council members.  They lobby on behalf of their members and produce briefing papers to aid councils make representations on their own behalf.  Major proposed changes include alterations to flight paths and the point merge issue plus the new runway proposals.

Cllr Cass invited Mr Knowles to address the meeting.   Mr Knowles advised members that if Gatwick was permitted a further runway this would dramatically change the way of life in West Kent and East Sussex who already experienced 250,000 aircraft movements a year, the largest number for any single runway airport in the world.   Phase 2 of the public consultation process, the only redress available to those wishing to register their opinion, should be available shortly for comment.  Support for the PC could be gained from supportive local town and borough councils, other local parishes, Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) and Aircraft Noise Management Group (ANMG) formed after a meeting with Greg Clarke.   Julia Soyke, Speldhurst Parish Council had provided an article for the Penshurst and Fordcombe Magazines.

There was a further consultation procedure which could affect the way of life locally, health and values of properties in the area; a response to this was required by the 21 January 2014.   This was the London Airspace Consultation which was looking at the use of runways of the five London Airport and how their use could be maximised.   Arrival aircraft are currently stacked well to the south at a height of 7000-9000 feet then tactically vectored across a broad swathe from Cowden and Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells crossing to the east and west plus occasionally to the north to allow relief to everyone.   The suggested Point Merge they wish to adopt will allow planes to be drawn off for touchdown along a long arc and the approach will be on a single flight path possibly from 7000 feet.

There has been a marked increase with an extremely noisy jet emitting a high pitched whine.  This is the Airbus A319/320, after persistent approaches to the air travel industry the CAA finally conceded and confirmed in October that the noise problem was caused by air frame noise around filler caps on the wings.  Requests for modifications to be carried out have been made.

Cllr Cass felt it would be advantageous for the PC to become proactive and proposed joining the GACC organisation, this would involve a cost of £10 for email membership, this was unanimously agreed.
Cllr Cass further proposed that Michael Knowles be co-opted to the PC for his in depth knowledge of the subject, this was also unanimously agreed.

7.         HIGHWAYS:

b.                     Reported Faults Update:

62231/62226:  Laying water reported on road opposite Poundsbridge Lane junction with Penshurst Road.     Flooding on road from Meadow Wood towards Barden Road reported again.   Both issues passed to Alistair Coleman to deal with, programming of work required, plans to channel water into cleared ditches/pond area to alleviate problems on road with laying water/ice.   Website indicates work completed, issue to be monitored.
83612:   Culvert outside Alms House, Rogues Hill/Bridge House/Quarry House – work had been carried out but was again full of leaves.
76262: Fordcombe Road between Glebelands and The Warren .   Further inspection of area necessary, report awaited.
79863:  Chafford Lane:  Exact location provided for highways, work carried out.
76264:  Walters Green Road:   Notes indicate site has been inspected and 700 x 700 chevron to be installed.
80349:  Chafford Lane/St. Peter’s Row:   Drainage system blocked, website indicates work completed on 7 August, work not carried out.   Exact location of gulley provided by clerk, job listed as resolved.
Paving – Penshurst High Street:     Final reinstatement of temporary repairs after metre installation by SE Water had been undertaken but the standard was poor; clerk reported issue to Highways who confirmed they are chasing Water Company to action defective work request submitted.
Road Sign:  Request for road sign at top of Smarts Hill to indicate Coldharbour Road chased with SDC on 9 October, supply of sign still awaited.
79772:  Lilac Cottage, Penshurst:  Blocked drain, site being investigated.
80221: Penshurst T Junction – Penshurst Road/High Street:  Request for reintroduction of worn white lining, clerk advised work completed.     Entrance to The Lane, Fordcombe:  damaged grating cover reported for repair/replacement.
84285:  Pothole at junction of Penshurst Road and High Street, clerk advised work completed as of 22 November 2013.
Road Signs:   Cllr Campbell to check Fordcombe and Cllr Carson to check Penshurst for damaged, missing signs for clerk to report to Highways.

8.                     FINANCE:

The following accounts were submitted and approved for payment:

Mr I Streeter                                                      Lengthsman                                                       £178.00
RIP Cleaning Services                                         Dog Waste Removal                                           £57.60
Home Start – South West Kent                            Family Support Organisation                                £100.00
Mrs E Divall                                                       Administrative Costs                                           £1027.20
Noticeboard, keys and bollards                            £340.24

a. Precept 2014/15:   Confirmation of precept sum.   Clerk tabled the revised precept calculations for consideration, these were in accordance with the requests made at the November meeting, it was unanimously agreed the clerk advise SDC that Penshurst had set their precept at £27,273 for the year 2014/15.

Members had received the quotation for the Gangmowing contract for 2014, this had increased 2.5% on the previous year, this was considered to be value for money and clerk was asked to action the contract for a further year.

9.                     CORRESPONDENCE:

a.         SDC:   Notification of review of polling stations for election purposes, currently village halls in Fordcombe and Penshurst have been used and SDC appears to wish to continue with this option.

b.         Anonymous:   Letter received from resident regarding unacceptable behaviour of neighbour, clerk advised by other parties approached that issue was being investigated.

c.         SDC:  Local Plan – Submission of allocations and development management plan.  Information on examination process available on Planning Inspectorate website:  www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk

10.                   ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

a. 2014 Meetings:  Provisional Dates:   Penshurst:  3 February, 7 April, 14 April (Annual Parish Assembly), 2 June, 4 August, 6 October, 1 December   Fordcombe:  3 March, 6 May, 7 July, 1 September, and 3 November.
Meetings at Penshurst commence at 7.45 pm and at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe.

b. Minute Book:  Cllr O’Shea provided a key for the padlock for the cupboard where the PC minute books had been placed.   Cllr Campbell, clerk and Mr Sellings packed these for Cllr Campbell to catalogue prior to being taken to Maidstone archives.

c. Christmas Fair Notices:  These had been placed at junctions and corners where drivers would normally slow down but could also be a safety hazard, especially at areas like Long Bridge.   Cllr Campbell to speak with Mrs Woolman who was organising the event.

Meeting concluded at 9pm                                                                 Next Meeting 3 February 2014 – Penshurst