Ordinary Meeting Minutes 3/02/2014


Minutes of the Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 3 February 2014 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    In attendance Cllr P Cooke,  Co-opted Members:  Mr M Knowles (Gatwick), Mr R Sellings (Speedwatch & Swaylands), Mr P Johnson (Alms Houses & Neighbourhood Watch),


2.         MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 2 December 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 – Items raised were listed in the Agenda

4.        PLANNING

SE/13/03381:  Doubleton Farm House, Doubleton Lane, Penshurst:  Construction of a hard surfaced tennis court within the grounds.  PC Support
SE/13/03002:  1 Meads View, Fordcombe Road, Fordcombe:  Demolition of garage & erection of a single storey side extension, plus general alterations.    Application treated as withdrawn.
SE/13/03759:  1 Meads View, Fordcombe Road, Fordcombe:  Demolition of garage & erection of a single storey side extension, plus general alterations.   PC Support
SE/13/03743:  Culver House, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Proposed internal alterations to provide a ground floor WC and a first floor bathroom and replacement of two white upvc windows in timber at first floor.   PC Support
SE/13/03826/7LBC:  Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Re-surfacing of parking forecourt to Swaylands House.   PC Support.
SE/14/00012:  Cell Site 34158 PORC, Grove Road, Penshurst:  Proposed site upgrade to remove existing 20m pole and replace with 20m Jupiter S Range pole on existing root foundation.  One equipment cabinet to be removed and replaced by RBS6102 cabinet (1300 x 700x 1450mm) within wood panel fenced compound.   PC Support
SE/14/00224:  Bowens Farm, Poundsbridge Lane, Poundsbridge, Penshurst:  Construction of barn

SE/13/03097:  Woodlands, Sandfield Road, Penshurst:  Erection of a single storey extension to rear of existing garage in conjunction with conversion of the existing garage into living accommodation and alterations to fenestration.   GRANTED
SE/13/02609LBC:  Hamsell Farm, Coopers Lane, Penshurst:  Replace existing windows with double glazed units of similar design.   GRANTED
SE/13/03381:  Doubleton Farm House, Doubleton Lane, Penshurst:  Construction of hard surfaced tennis court within grounds.  GRANTED

Tree Surgery:
SE/13/03503:  Redleaf, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Various work to trees
SE/13/03510:  The Orangery, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Fell No. 1 Oak tree.
SE/13/03584:  Oak House, High Street, Penshurst:   Various works to trees
All under TPOs and left to Sevenoaks Tree Officer
Affordable Housing Judicial Review/Current Planning Permission awarded:    Judicial Review deferred by court due to level of documentation required for consideration, now scheduled for 24/25 March 2014.


a.Long Bridge Project.    Cllr Cass gave a resume of the original request submitted by the PC, the multi crash damage to the old wooden fencing prompted the PC to approach highways regarding the possibility of white lining/single file traffic on Long Bridge to improve the safety for pedestrians using the route to walk to the village and indeed also generally benefit motor traffic. A meeting was held on site with Steven Noad (Highways Officer) to discuss options of re-siting signage to aid this in the most cost effective way, this meeting also considered a slight realignment of the fence giving the opportunity for a ‘safety pavement’ for walkers.  A meeting was held with Clive Pearman, KCC Member, and the possibility of assistance with funding for the project was made.   Subsequently various options were considered by Highways including provision of a taxi service for access to the school, this would not, however, benefit the parish generally but could be provided from revenue funding rather than capital reserves.       The Chairman had spoken further to Clive Pearman to put forward the PC’s wishes regarding the project and a plan, provided by Highways, had been forwarded showing new signage they felt would improve safety at the bridge, but will not cater for one-way traffic.   The reason for not reducing the bridge to one way traffic was given as a safety one, the visibility from the approaches being affected by the vegetation growth at the side of the road.   Clerk advised the Highways Officer that this could be removed, as discussed at the original meeting with Steven Noad and also at the Clive Pearman meeting, so that the area from the Penshurst end of the bridge around the inside of the bend travelling towards Penshurst could be completely cleared providing visibility throughout this stretch of road.   Clerk was then advised by Highways that if this was done it would encourage drivers to speed due to the fact they were able to see the road ahead. The current plans were considered to be the most cost effective option available.  Highways continue to be responsible for replacing the damaged fencing, it was noted that this had originally been erected by highways specifically to enable clear visibility for drivers on approaching and leaving the bridge.   Cllr Cass advised that a further site meeting was planned with Clive Pearman and Julian Cook after Mr Cook had responded to Mr Pearman with answers to questions and suggestions he had posed.   Parishioners attending registered their support for the project requested by the PC.  Speedwatch team would liaise with Guy Rollinson regarding setting up further speed checks in area of bridge to assess situation.

b.         Swaylands:  No further information available on access for NGS scheme at date of meeting.

c.         Gas Supply:  Nearly fifty residents had registered an interest in a gas supply in Penshurst with the clerk, Cllr O’Shea had been advised by a further nine residents of their interest, making a total of nearly 60.   The number required to generate an assessment to provide costing to bring the gas supply from Swaylands into the village was between 80 – 100.    Mr Johnson advised that there was a meeting due for Glebe residents during the month, he would raise the issue at the meeting to gauge any interest.

d.         Rectory Hedge:  Mr Sellings advised that the Rector had contacted the diocese who had commented they saw no problem with the hedge.   A site meeting was to be arranged to discuss the matter further, Cllr Cass to attend.

6.         REPORTS:

a.         Kent County Councillor:    Resume of report emailed by Cllr Clive Pearman:

·         KCC response to National Air Traffic consultation now reflects the views of the community in accordance with the submissions made as a result of the combined pressure which the parishes within this division, joining with others in neighbouring division, are now applying in the field of aviation.
·         Flooding problems experienced over the last 4/6 weeks have prompted county to engage in discussions of measures to assist any future problems, ie rest centres; the clearance of debris from highways and byways and subsequent road repairs required.   Problems caused by inconsiderate drivers travelling at too high a speed for the conditions caused further misery for homeowners continually affected by the bow waves generated by their vehicles.
·         The budget for the ensuing year will be decided on the 13 February with the Transformation Project coming into being in April.
·         In view of the impact of the recent weather damage current project supported by Cllr Pearman may be delayed.  Seemingly simple options to solve problems can become more involved when legal, technical and procedural initiatives outside KCC control come to bear.   Of necessity the final solutions of such projects will need to be negotiated ones.

b.         Sevenoaks District Councillor:    Cllr Cooke had requested SDC keep himself and the PC informed of any developments regarding the Judicial Review.  A planning application for a barn at Bowens Farm had been submitted to SDC.  Cllr Cooke would be providing information to those residents affected on the provision and availability of sand bags in the event of further flooding.   He advised members that funding was available via the Prince’s Fund for specifically rural projects during March and April.

c.                     KALC:    The recent meeting had been cancelled, no information was available on the date of the next meeting.

d.         Alms Houses:  A meeting of Trustees would discuss work to be addressed on residences without separate bed and living rooms.  Recent wet weather had drawn attention to the age of the property and its construction and consequent need for waterproofing, a problem which would receive Trustees immediate attention.  Trustees were due to invite residents to a meeting in order that any problems they may have with their accommodation may be raised.

e.         Neighbourhood Watch:    Mr Johnson reported on a widespread email/letter scam addressed personally to residents intimating a relation had died and they had been left a bequest which could be released on payment of a sum of money.   A further scam purported to be from the Ministry of Justice provided a similar option for recipients to pay out a sum of £200 to obtain a cheque for £3K.   Residents were reminded that they should not become involved in these fraudulent offers.    Two sheds were broken into in the parish, one had an alarm and nothing was taken, the other was entered but nothing was reported stolen.

f.                     Speedwatch:     Bidborough approached for possible purchase of their SID unit, in view of the fact that they were still using the unit in the centre of the village they preferred not to sell the unit.

g.         Gatwick Airport:   Chairman and Michael Knowles had attended meetings covering the submission of the response to London Air Space Consultation and our response sent to meet the 21 January deadline. The GACC response to the Night Noise Consultation had been selected as our response with additions regarding the unmodified Airbus being submitted as it is felt these aircraft have a particular impact on our parishioners.    Our responses are copied to: Londonairspaceconsultation@Ipsos-MORI.com, Sir John Stanley MP, Michael Fallon MP, Greg Clark MP, Clive Pearman KCC Councillor, P Cooke, SDC Councillor, GACC and members of the local High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group.
Responses had been submitted by the due dates for both consultations from the PC.    Mr Knowles provided his report for members and advised that each member of the community could make direct representation to Gatwick Airport if they were disturbed by aircraft noise.   If it is at a particular time of day and they wish to complain with specific details these can be found for Laptop and PC users at http://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/aircraft-noise/ or, just search Gatwick Noise.   If members click on the right hand side box labelled Flight Tracker a flight map will show all aircraft movements at Gatwick airport 20 minutes behind real time.   Any aircraft can be selected with the cursor and its track, flight number, height and other details will be revealed.  Complaints can be made by returning to the original web page with a box labelled Noise Enquiry.  Noise Enquiry is also available for Ipad users but an App has to be used to monitor flight paths.   If Gatwick Airport receive no complaints of aircraft noise nuisance this could be used in statistics against the community’s best interests.

h.         Coach Road Bridge:  Mr Johnson had inspected the bridge during the morning and the cracks in the parapet subject to rotational settlement were measured.  The width was between 8-10 millimetres, the same as the previous reading.  The wall appears to be stable at the present time.

7.         HIGHWAYS:

a.                     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.   These issues have been reported again under 91196 for an update on the situation, issue shown as under investigation as of 22.1.14.
76262: Fordcombe Road between Glebelands and The Warren .   Website indicates work completed, resident advised nothing appears to have been done, the drain was still overflowing.
Paving – Penshurst High Street:     Work to reinstate paving stones correctly had been undertaken, at present work considered acceptable.
79772:  Lilac Cottage, Penshurst:  Blocked drain, website indicates work completed.
Entrance to The Lane, Fordcombe:  damaged grating cover reported for repair/replacement, Highways Steward advised work would be carried out.
Road Signs:   Cllr Campbell to check Fordcombe and Cllr Carson to check Penshurst for damaged, missing signs for clerk to report to Highways.
85604:  Broken edge of kerb on corner of High Street/Penshurst Road outside Village Hall reported, website indicates work completed 9 December.
Yellow Lines – Old Post Office Penshurst:  Report to SDC on 9 December.   Advice received from Andy Bracey of SDC that yellow lining was not carried out in winter time, this would be put on the list for completion in Spring 2014.
85609:  Extension to 30MPH Speed Limit from Doubleton Lane to Salmans Lane requested.   Advice received from Charles Ogoh of highways that no funding is available for this project.
327070:  SDC.   Fly tipping (2) plus car wheel in Grove Road reported, should be actioned within 10 days.
88664:  Pothole – Grove Road.   Website indicates work completed 7 January.
89100:  Potholes – Railways Bridge on road from Leigh to Penshurst. Website indicates work completed 9 January.
90490:  Blocked Drains:  New Road near Burzes Cottages.  Works completed.
90494:  Blocked Drains:  Colliersland Bridge to Water Works/Sandfield Road junction.  Works being programmed as of 17.1.14
90495:  Blocked Drains:  Junction of Chafford Lane/Broad Lane. Works being programmed as of 17.1.14
90796:  Broken Bend sign: Outside Saint’s Hill House. Work being programmed as of 20.1.14
91537:  Multiple Potholes The Lane, Fordcombe – works completed as of 24.1.14
91538:  Multiple Potholes Broad Lane towards parish boundary – works being programmed as of 24.1.14

The following items have been reported and are listed as under investigation:
91769:  Blocked Drain:  Spring Hill junction with the top entrance of Fordcombe Manor Drive.
92011:  Blocked Drain:   Junction of St Peter’s Row and Chafford Lane
92557:  Signpost leaning and one arm bent:  Junction Nunnery Lane with Sandfield Road near Nunnery Cottage
92558:   Priority Sign Leaning:  Junction Sandfield Road and Colliers Land Bridge B2188
92561:  Speed Sign Leaning:  Chafford Lane junction with Broad Lane TN3 OSH
92565:  Speed Sign Leaning and Twisted:  Chafford Bridge
92566:  Signpost Missing:  Bradley Road junction with Chafford Lane
Damaged and missing signage details for Penshurst are awaited from Cllr Carson

Further items to report:
Blocked drains from Chafford Lane towards Walters Green – 93431
30 MPH sign between the two bridges at the bottom of Rogues Hill rotted – 93433
Damage to Colliersland Bridge – 93434
Drains still blocked on New Road passed Burzes Cottages – 93436
Drain blocked opposite Keymer Court – 93440
Road washed away opposite Thatched Cottage, Grove Road – (Kent Highways Ref: 17226490; transferred to Network UK Ref: CALL513239-0)

8.                     FINANCE:

The following accounts were submitted and approved for payment:

Mr I Streeter                                                      Lengthsman                                                       £89.00
RIP Cleaning Services                                         Dog Waste Removal                                           £130.20
Oast & Oak Services                                           Churchyard Yew Tree Hedgecutting                     £125.00
KALC                                                                New PC Handbook                                             £39.99
Commercial Services Trading Ltd             Village/Play Area Mowing                                    £632.15
(£240 charge to Village Hall for perimeter mowing of cricket ground)
Fordcombe Village Hall                                       Hall Hire                                                            £6.00
Chiddingstone Parish Council                               Swathe and Visibility Contract 2013                      £301.52

a.         Verge/Visibility Splay Cutting 2014 Season:   Map provided for members to add any additional work considered necessary, clerk to request junction of Sandfield Road/B2188 towards Spring Hill be included.   PC costs for work completed during 2013 cutting season totalled £301.52.

b.         Bulk Freighter:  Clerk confirmed information regarding the bulk freighter attendance had been provided for both village magazines and notices had been placed in the noticeboards in both Penshurst and Fordcombe.   The dates scheduled for 2014 were 1 March, 7 June, 11 October.

c.         Quarterly Accounts:  Clerk provided quarterly accounts for members, these were noted.

d.         Penshurst Churchyard  –  Fallen Tree:  Clerk reported that a tree had fallen in the churchyard at Penshurst, she had attended site and photographs had been taken.   A highly recommended tree surgeon had attended site on Saturday and would be providing an estimate to carry out the work.  Clerk had contacted Ben Thomas to arrange access to carry out the work.   The diocese had been informed.  A check to be made on the other trees in the churchyard to ascertain whether any others required immediate attention.

e.         Community Funding:   Information from Cllr O’Shea provided for members regarding possible projects that might obtain funding from SDC eg Penshurst Village Hall Disabled Toilets; secure entry system for Penshurst Alms House, WW1 commemorations.   Possibility of funding from Prince’s Fund for rural projects also considered.


a.         KCC:   Information regarding Public Consultation on the Pre-Submission Document Draft of Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan, available on http://kent.limehouse.co.uk/portal/mwcs/pre-submission

b.         Home Start:  Letter of thanks:  ‘We are all so touched and grateful for the size of the donation you were able to give us, thank you very much indeed’.   The money would be put to good use to assist those families who really needed it.

c.         Eden Centre:  Information on meeting regarding possible plans for River Eden Catchment Plan Event.

10.                   ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

a.         Defibrillator:  Cllr Townsend confirmed the funding for the defibrillator for Fordcombe Village Hall had been received.   A decision was to be made on the safest and most suitable site to keep unit.

b.         Forge Field:  Cllr Mrs Broad recorded that, despite the heaviest rain since records were kept, the flooding in Forge Field would not have affected the proposed affordable housing as had originally been suggested by those opposing the planned development.

c.         Penshurst Village Hall:  Cllr O’Shea advised that plans to enlarge the GP Surgery were in hand, the Pre-School was undersubscribed, double doors were planned from the main hall to the garden and an odour from the PADS cupboard was to be investigated.

d.         Trees:  Cllr Horsford noted that many trees had fallen into local roads during recent storms, these having been removed by the district/county councils.   Clerk confirmed that landowners were responsible for removal of trees which were affecting roads/pathways but highways were responsible for maintaining through routes.

Meeting concluded 9.20 pm                                                                           Next Meeting 3 March 2014