Ordinary Meeting Minutes 3/03/2014


Minutes of the Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 3 March 2014 at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe Village Hall

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

In attendance:  Mr R Sellings (Speedwatch & Swaylands) Mr P Johnson (Alms Houses & Neighbourhood Watch)

APOLOGIES:    Cllrs J Broadhead, I Carson, SDCllr P Cooke (Late notification via text/email), Mr M Knowles

2.         MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 3 February 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

3.         OPEN SESSION

A request in the current Penshurst News for donations towards the work of the Forge Field Society against the planning applications relating to Forge Field was raised and members were asked whether they were aware of the names of Society members as payments had been directed to their legal team.   It was noted the PC were only aware of two members of the Society: M Barraud and R Rees.
Clerk to check what directional signage would be available, together with siting, for drivers approaching the T junction from Leigh to give information on routes to Bidborough, Fordcombe etc.

4.        PLANNING


SE/14/00224:  Bowens Farm, Poundsbridge Lane, Poundsbridge, Penshurst:  Construction of barn. PC Support
SE/14/00222:  Yew Tree Cottage, The Lane, Fordcombe:  Proposed single storey extension to replace existing single storey lean-to extension.   PC Support
SE/14/00325:  Alderwood House, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Proposed car port to replace existing out building.

SE/13/03759:  1 Meads View, Fordcombe Road, Fordcombe:  Demolition of garage and erection of a single storey side extension, plus general alterations.    GRANTED
SE/13/03826/7LBC:  Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Re-surfacing of parking forecourt to Swaylands House.  GRANTED
SE/13/03743:  Culver House, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Proposed internal alterations to provide ground floor WC and a first floor bathroom and replacement of two white upvc windows in timber at first floor.   GRANTED

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

Affordable Housing Judicial Review/Current Planning Permission awarded:    Judicial Review deferred by court until 24/25 March 2014.


a.         Long Bridge Project:    Recent speed checks had confirmed the danger to pedestrians using this route to the village and it was considered essential the vegetation from the bridge towards Penshurst was removed to aid visibility and give pedestrians an escape route if needed.   407 vehicles had been recorded between 7.30 – 8.45 am during the check.
The Chairman confirmed that the proposal was supported by both the SDC councillor and the KCC councillor who were aware that the original wooden fencing was installed by Highways to provide visibility for drivers, unfortunately recent poor weather and its impact on the roads had meant this project was in abeyance.

b.         Swaylands:  Clerk contacted SDC regarding Garden Scheme, further approach made by Nicola Clinch to Managing Agents to settle issue within two months.

c.         Gas Supply:  Total of nearly 60 residents advised clerk of interest, level of interest awaited from The Glebe.  Clerk to forward final details to Mr Furnell when information received from Glebe residents.

d.         Rectory Hedge:   No site meeting arranged to date.

e.         Hever Triathlon:  Mr Adcock, Managing Director – Castle Triathlon Series – confirmed the triathlon was scheduled for September 2014 and was anticipated to be the best supported yet.   It was agreed that advance information would be provided in order that parishioners would be fully aware of timing and routes to be used, local noticeboards, businesses and parish magazines to be approached to carry information.   Cllr Mrs Broad would advise homeowners in Grove Road of plans, extra traffic marshals would be employed to aid safety.   Details of temporary traffic order relating to race route to be made available when approved.   Letter drafted by Mr Adcock and agreed with Cllr Mrs Board and clerk for distribution to residents of Grove Road.   Grove Road residents affected by the Triathlon would be given complimentary tickets for Hever Castle.

6.         REPORTS:

a.         Kent County Councillor:

·         KCC budget for 2014/15 set including 1.99% increase, proposals available for consultation until 24 March 2014 on: consultations.kent.gov.uk
·         SDC Development Control Committee had approved Sainsbury’s application to construct a store in Station Road, Edenbridge but had refused Tesco’s application to open a new and larger store in the town.  A new Waitrose store will be opening on 13 March on the old Co-operative site.

b.         Sevenoaks District Councillor:     SDCllr Cooke subsequently submitted a report for members:
He had attended a meeting with the Becketts Trust, the organisation now has a new Chairman who wished to include a Trustee appointed from Fordcombe.
Community Fund money was still available.
SDC had reported that if the Government advised councils of the precise financial allocation made in their grants for Parish Councils, this would be passed on, to date no definitive figure had been provided.

c.                     KALC:     No report

d.         Alms Houses:    Mr Johnson reported that the wet weather experienced in recent months had resulted in a greater number of complaints from the residents relating to damp.  A meeting was held on 26 February attended by three Trustees and representatives of a specialist firm to discuss the dampness problem. A subsequent inspection of the building revealed a more serious problem that previously thought, work will be carried out to protect the structure from ingress of moisture.

e.         Neighbourhood Watch:   Mr Johnson reported that although recent police reports indicated no crime in Penshurst or Fordcombe there had been thefts of heating oil from two nearby villages, residents were reminded to be aware of this.  Two phone calls had been received from ladies, one in Penshurst and one in Fordcombe advising of someone trying to enter the property late at night and the other  witnessing someone looking through her bedroom window.   Mr Johnson would speak to the local police about these incidents.

f.                     Speedwatch:    The current log of vehicles checked was a total of 1587:  128 letters for second detection were sent, 35 for third; 13 for fourth, 7 for fifth, one for sixth with an excessive speed number of 33.   Current members of the team were disappointed previous trained volunteers did not become involved in the current work of the Speedwatch Team.  Clerk to contact Kelly at SDC and log a request for a police visit to check speeding.   (Emailed 4 March 2014)

g.         Gatwick Airport:    The High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group was formed in 2013 due to the common need to campaign against excessive aircraft noise, low flying aircraft, night flights and the threat of a second runway at Gatwick Airport.   The group consists of local residents and representatives from Chiddingstone, Hever, Leigh and Penshurst Parish Councils, and these Parish Councils have passed resolutions to allow the High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group to respond to consultations and to campaign on behalf of their communities.   As a whole, the High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group represents a population of 5,902, and an electorate of 4,650 across the four parishes.

Report provided for Penshurst and Fordcombe magazines.   GACC Response to Appraisal Framework Consultation, supported by Penshurst PC, submitted to Airports Commission via email and hard copy on 12 February, also circulated to PC members and members of High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group.   Copies of letters written by Sir John Stanley to London Airspace Consultation and London Airspace Commission supporting Penshurst PC’s response received.   Copy of Sir John’s personal response to the Secretary of State for Transport also received supporting the points raised in the High Weald Parish Councils’ Aviation Action Group’s Response.   Sir John also registered his gratitude for the additional response contained in the letter of the PC Chairman, John Cass.

Michael Knowles provided an update on:
·         The importance of membership of Gatwick Airport Conservation Campaign (GACC) in view of GATCOM’s bias towards commercial interests.   The recent formation of High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group provided strength with other parishes to the collective and individual submissions.
·         Greg Clark MP (Tunbridge Wells) had drawn the high pitched airframe whine on the Airbus A319/320’s to the attention of Robert Goodwill MP, Minister of Transport. He confirmed his department’s Aircraft Noise Management Advisory Committee would consider the issue to assess expedition of a solution.
·         Ms Carolyn McCall, CEO of Easyjet (largest operators of Airbus A319/320) advised they would consider the merits of any modification available.   This was not acceptable, Lufthansa had already worked with Airbus to retrofit modifications to all its aircraft.
·         A full page assessment in the Sunday Times supported the Parish Councils stance in response to the London Airspace Consultation on the failure of ANCON Leq57dBa noise modelling contours around Gatwick Airport (and elsewhere) had been fully vindicated.

Further response to Airports Commission Appraisal Framework Consultation forwarded by due date, Penshurst PC supporting document presented and agreed by the High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group.

Chairman suggested part of the Annual Parish Assembly be given over to provision of information regarding the current proposals and computer options to register complaints regarding noise etc of aircraft, it was hoped Michael Knowles might be available to assist with this.

7.         HIGHWAYS:

Reported Faults Update:

91196:  Laying water reported on road opposite Poundsbridge Lane junction with Penshurst Road.   Problems caused by water flowing from Penshurst Estate land on to roadway.     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.    Issue shown as under investigation as of 22.1.14.
83586:  Entrance to The Lane, Fordcombe:  damaged grating cover reported for repair/replacement, Inspection required, logged at 14 November.
17226725:  Pothole – Grove Road.   Website indicates work completed 6 February
90494:  Blocked Drains:  Colliersland Bridge to Water Works/Sandfield Road junction.  Works completed as of 17 January.
90495:  Blocked Drains:  Junction of Chafford Lane/Broad Lane. Works completed as of 17 January
90796:  Broken Bend sign: Outside Saint’s Hill House. Work being programmed as of 20 January
91538:  Multiple Potholes Broad Lane towards parish boundary – works completed 24 January
91769:  Blocked Drain:  Spring Hill junction with the top entrance of Fordcombe Manor Drive, works completed 27 January.
17140998:  Blocked Drain:   Junction of St Peter’s Row and Chafford Lane.   Work carried out but further problems now being experienced at the entrance to the Caravan Park, reported again.
92557:  Signpost leaning and one arm bent:  Junction Nunnery Lane with Sandfield Road near Nunnery Cottage, under investigation as of 30 January
92558:   Priority Sign Leaning:  Junction Sandfield Road and Colliers Land Bridge B2188, under investigation as of 30 January
92561:  Speed Sign Leaning:  Chafford Lane junction with Broad Lane TN3 OSH, under investigation as of 30 January
92565:  Speed Sign Leaning and Twisted:  Chafford Bridge, under investigation as of 30 January
92566:  Signpost Missing:  Bradley Road junction with Chafford Lane, under investigation as of 30 January
93431:  Blocked drains from Chafford Lane towards Walters Green.  Gully scheduled to be cleared as of 4 February
17226726:  Bus Stop junction of Fordcombe Road/Glebelands – blocked drain. Work being programmed as of 6 February
93433:  30 MPH sign between the two bridges at the bottom of Rogues Hill rotted, under investigation as of 4 February
93434:  Damage to Colliersland Bridge – Highways advised clerk that the bridge had originally been damaged in December due to accident, further damage at same point identified, works to repair will be scheduled.
93436:  Drains still blocked on New Road past Burzes Cottages, under investigation as of 4 February
93440: Drain blocked opposite Keymer Court, works being programmed as of 4 February
17226490:   Reported to Highways, now transferred to Network UK Ref: CALL513239-0 – Road washed away opposite Thatched Cottage, Grove Road.   Repairs completed.
95880:   New Road Blocked Drain, under investigation as of 17 February
97389:  Signage (Penshurst) reported:  Fordcombe Road at junction with Grove Road: directional sign giving three way directs – twisted; right turn triangle and 40 MPH both tilted; bottom of Saints Hill – 40MPH tilted over; 30MPH near Spotted Dog as approached from Saints Hill – twisted; Leigh Road before junction to Penshurst Station, Little Brown Jug – 40MPH twisted;
Poundsbridge Lane from Rogues Hill – national speed limit twisted with 40mph on back;  Bidborough Ridge dropping down into Penshurst along the Swaylands curtilage – Road Narrows sign twisted, then 2 x 30MPH signs readable but damaged on their edges;  bottom of Rogues Hill between the river and the Backwater – 30mph fallen in hedge.   Enquiry under investigation as of 26 February.
98371:  Bradley Road/Walters Green Road/Chafford Bridge:  Multiple potholes
98374:  Poundsbridge Lane/Bowen Farm:  Pothole
98377:  Opposite No. 1 Brooklands Close, Spring Hill:  Dislodge manhole cover due to excessive water
97255: Poundsbridge Cottages/Pitcher House:   Multiple potholes
17438924: Spring Hill – Opposite Brooklands:  Road collapse, approach made to Allan Gibbons for information, Chairman advised of situation to discuss with resident.  Initial collapse appeared to be as a result of loss of root ball, kerb still retaining water at present time.
98380:  Information Sign:  Request for directional sign on road from Leigh towards junction with the Fordcombe/ Bidborough road area
98395:  Sign Opposite Salmans Lane:  30MPH sign leaning over
98386:  No Through Road Sign:  Entrance to Glebelands on 2188 Fordcombe Road requires repainting
98388:  Penshurst Village Sign:  at Glebelands Entrance on 2188 bent
97389:  40 MPH Sign:  Near The Grove junction on 2188 towards Fordcombe, broken off at base.

8.                     FINANCE:

The following accounts were submitted and approved for payment:

Mr I Streeter                                                      Lengthsman                                                       £89.00
Mrs E Divall                                                       Administration Honorarium                                  £3000.00
Pallet Handling Penshurst Ltd                              Gate Repairs, Play Area                                      £139.20
RIP Cleaning Services                                         Dog Waste Removal                                           £57.60
Information Commissioner’s Office                       Data protection registration renewal                    £35.00

a.         Verge/Visibility Splay Cutting 2014 Season:   Junction of Sandfield Road/B2188 towards Spring Hill included on list for cutting during season.

b.         Penshurst Churchyard  –  Fallen Trees:  Clerk, Tree Surgeon and Ben Thomas liaising regarding work required to remove two fallen trees.  Access route discussed, tree surgeon attended site on 24 February to finalise work requirements and decide on method of work due to poor ground conditions to aid vehicle movement to clear debris.   Ben Thomas provided closer access for removal of felled trees when ground conditions permit.   Verbal permission received by clerk from SDC Tree Officer, Harry Walker, for removal of fallen yew/branches lost as result of storm.   Initial tree felling and stacking to await removal from site costs estimated at £360, removal from site £360.   Clerk to arrange.

c.         Flagpole – Penshurst Village Hall Site:   Information circulated to members for discussion on costs towards replacement flag pole.  Records indicated that the PC was not responsible for the provision or maintenance of the flagpole but, in view of the fact that this was the centenary of the First World War and the 75th Anniversary of the Second World War it was felt an appropriate time to provide funding for the project.   If purchased the flagpole would become the responsibility of the Village Hall for future maintenance.   Cllr O’Shea to check with Village Hall Committee regarding PC’s suggestion.

d.         Parish Family Fun Day:  Day confirmed for Friday 8 August (2.30 – 5.30pm) at Cricket Ground, Fordcombe.  Village Hall to be available for those attending, families welcome to bring picnics.  VAWK (Voluntary Action West Kent) also attending on day to provide further activities for the families attending.

e.         Weed Treatment Fordcombe:   Quotation received from Complete Weed Control for weed treatment in Fordcombe.   No increase in cost on previous year ie £150 per application, clerk authorised to confirm two treatments.


a.    Sir John Stanley MP:  Request for information on any action considered necessary to improve flood protection for Penshurst.   Comments received from councillors forwarded to Sir John.   Copies of letters forwarded by Sir John to Rt Hon Owen Patterson – Secretary of State for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury – Chairman of Environment Agency requesting information on specific action they will be taking to improve flood protection in area recently affected by flooding in Kent.   There was still a possibility of further work to the Leigh Barrier and/or facilities to hold flood water in suitable catchment areas.

b.    SDC:  Information regarding Sevenoaks District FREE new airAlert service, an automated service available to residents living in the district who suffer from COPD, asthma or other conditions which can be worsened by air pollution.    No cost to register with www.airalert.info with automatic alerts being sent to voice message or email when air quality is poor.

10.                   ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

a.    Defibrillator:  Chairman to check current situation with regard to Fordcombe unit.

Meeting concluded at 8.50 pm                                                     Next Meeting:   7 April 2014 –   Penshurst
14 April 2014 – Annual Parish Assembly                                                                                                                                                  Penshurst