PENSHURST PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Ordinary meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 5 July 2010 at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe Village Hall.
1. PRESENT: Cllr R Sellings (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, A Campbell, M Gilbert, Mrs A Hill, R Horsford, C Viccars
APOLOGIES: Cllrs S Frederick, D Geal, these were approved. SDCllr P Cooke
2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 7 June, 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
3. MATTERS ARISING:
a. Fordcombe Hospital Bus Stop: Further information awaited after Speldhurst Clerk’s approach to new highway inspector with regard to possibility of hard standing being provided. Cllr Horsford advised that the landowner was not prepared to accept legal liability for the provision of a hardstanding.
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.
a. Swaylands: Cllr Sellings advised that apartments should be finished at the end of the month and were still selling. Landscaping not complete, next phase scheduled to commence during July.
b. Kent County Councillor: Cllr Lake stated the recent grass cutting undertaken was already overgrown but had not been completed to a high standard, members advised a request had been submitted for funding for this work to be allocated to the parish in order that they could undertake the work themselves. Cllr Lake was still discussing the provision of an interactive speed sign for Penshurst, reasons given for non supply were lack of access to electrical supply and overhanging trees preventing solar panels working. He would ensure that the siting of the Fordcombe unit was discussed with the parish prior to work commencing. Cllr Lake asked if potholes had been reported, he would be asking highways to return to the parish. He had been dealing with appeals for places in Penshurst Primary School as there were none available, Cllr Sellings asked if Fordcombe Primary School had been offered as an alternative if space was available. The Environment Agency had offered to attend parish meetings in Penshurst, Leigh, Chiddingstone and Edenbridge area to advise members on the proposals regarding flood storage in relation to the Medway strategy, it was anticipated that the Leigh barrier would be raised by one metre, no residential properties would be affected. Design work would commence in 2011 and there would be extensive public consultation. Cllr Lake noted that the work at Long Bridge had been completed and agreed with members that signage for single line traffic and a white line was needed.
c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: No report
d. KALC: No report
e. Alms Houses: Cllr Mrs Hill advised that Peter Johnson was obtaining estimates for work required in the near future.
f. Proposed Affordable Housing/Medical Centre Project: Clerk had collated answers for questions received regarding the Forge Field project, copies were circulated at the meeting, she had been advised by Bill Hughes that the surgery had approached the estate with regard to provision of a new surgery, the project was therefore in response to this request.
Verge/Swathe Mowing Funding: Email forwarded to Sue Ireland requesting Roger Manning be approached with regard to distribution of funds to parishes for those wishing to carry out work themselves. No response received at date of meeting.
Longbridge: Work completed.
River Medway Bridleway Bridge: Completion anticipated by August. A site meeting had been held that morning and it was hoped the work would be completed as scheduled.
Road Surface – Fordcombe: Reported to Sue Ireland, no further information available.
Interactive Road Signs: Report regarding future of Interactive Speed Signs received and circulated with agenda to councillors together with information on Site Selection Criteria.
Penshurst Churchyard: Response awaited from Nicky Biddall (PROW) on work completed in Penshurst churchyard. Slippery surface also reported, will be inspected at same time. Clerk had obtained information on possible ramps to be used to aid wheelchair access. It was agreed that a budget of £100 be set for a suitable ramp, Cllr Gilbert and clerk to liaise to obtain unit as soon as possible.
Potholes: Poundsbridge Lane, Speldhurst: Sent to utility/ Third Party for action on 10 February, Sue Ireland advised this had been forwarded to East Sussex County Council to deal with on 11 February – Ref: 4494. No further developments, clerk to check why ESCC had been involved in the issue. Clerk reported further potholes at the end of The Lane where the tree had recently been removed together with one outside Cleave House in Fordcombe. (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 16 June.
Footpath Signs: Information on date of repairs awaited from Nicky Biddall for missing footpath sign from Spring Hill/Manor Drive area and damaged footpath sign adjacent to Daneby Hall, The Lane. Sign on Spring Hill replaced.
Doubleton Lane: Cats eyes appeared to be proud of the road after recent installation when resurfacing had finished. Reported under Ref: 12594 – Website indicated request being processed on 10 June.
Footpath Provision to Doubleton Lane: Clerk checking for previous emails regarding this proposal. Clerk to approach Mr Millet regarding possibility of having hedge cut back.
Road Signage: Clerk reported ‘Bend’ sign still missing from pole on Coldharbour Lane, Ref: 12595 – Website indicates inspection undertaken by Officer on 24 June 2010.
New Item: Road surface cracking by Nashes Lane towards Saints Hill, it appears the road is collapsing down the bank therefore opening a gap in the centre of the road, clerk to report.
Points raised by parishioners with regard to the Forge Field project:
Registration for housing need was a difficult process, a strong emphasis on the length of time potential tenants had lived in the village was considered extremely important and should attract high points on the assessment criteria to provide an advantage in the selection process. The PC had made this their paramount concern. S.106 Agreement would need to be developed at the same time as the planning application and would form part of the submission. The PC were entitled to withdraw their support for the project if the criteria was unacceptable.
The possibility of adopting the allocation criteria utilised by the Beckett Trust was suggested.
The size of accommodation was important, three bedroom properties would be needed for young growing families.
It was suggested Cllr Mrs Broad discuss possibility of remodelling internal areas of Village Hall to provide suitable facilities for upgraded services for doctors’ surgery. The funding issue would need to be addressed, it was felt that the Village Hall would be able to obtain a loan to finance a project which would in turn generate income if their current funds were insufficient to meet the costs involved.
The distinction between the area of land on which the bank/toilets/cobblers was situated and the adjacent field in relation to the English Heritage agreement was noted, KPG members recorded that the commercial lease on the property was held by SDC.
Clerk felt one of the most important aspects of the procedure was to assess accurately the level of objection to the project.
PC had previously been asked to speak directly to Lord de L’isle to advise him of the level of opposition to the scheme, members had consequently reported at the previous Steering Group meeting on the parish response for Bill Hughes to convey this to Lord de L’isle. A parishioner again asked the PC to speak directly to Lord de L’isle, it was suggested that the parishioner contact him to advise him personally of his objections.
A building consultant had advised KPG members that site work would be required if the scheme went ahead to minimise flooding risk, this would necessitate the height of the houses being raised above level indicated at exhibition.
Clerk confirmed pink questionnaires available in the doctors’ surgery were in response to a request from Warders’ patients to respond to the project. The pink forms were irrelevant in the analysis of the yellow questionnaires which had been circulated by SDC on behalf of the Steering Group as they had been kept separate.
KPG members confirmed they had been unable to distribute questionnaires in the short time available to everyone in Penshurst, Fordcombe had not been included in the circulation. They would be able to provide post code information on deliveries. KPG members had not had access to electoral rolls to facilitate delivery.
It was felt that just because one site had been offered for the project, the PC were not required to take the option.
Information obtained after publication of minutes of the earlier Steering Group meetings indicated that the timing of the project was crucial and that March 2010 was the target date for commencement of work in order that current funding available could be obtained otherwise the project would fail. It was considered this was the only reason the Forge Field site was being offered.
Members of KPG were asked to take into consideration the lack of affordable accommodation for the young people in the parish who could not afford the high prices of housing in the villages.
There was a very limited availability of accommodation for young families at reasonable costs.
Young couples had attended the exhibition showing the plans for Forge Field and had consequently been thrilled at the prospect of having housing in their village.
The older generation wanted to keep their families around them and be able to watch their grandchildren grow up in the village.
The planned housing had many supporters and was not universally opposed which was the impression being given.
The young families were desperate for housing in the village and thought the project was fantastic.
Salmans Farm Polytunnel Site: The issue of continuous running of the water pump and the consequent noise was raised, Cllr Sellings would approach Adam Shorter with regard to this. It was possible the planning approval meant that the reduced timing of the pump would commence in 2011 when the area of polytunnelling was reduced, although Adam Shorter had advised Cllr Sellings he would replace the unit with a quieter one. The offer of reduced timing from the applicant had not been included in the planning permission. There had been an error in the working hours permitted, this was being addressed by the planning officer. Concerns that once the current planning permission was spent the applicant would re-activate the areas considered workable in perpetuity were allayed as the permission indicated the current agreement negated the original one made. (SDC Planning obtained legal advice in respect of this situation and it was agreed that the current permission supersedes the previous one, therefore it would be impossible to revert to the previous agreement)
SE/10/01276: 10 Drummond Hall, Penshurst Road (Swaylands): Construction of small dormer window to serve en-suite bathroom. No Comment
SE/10/01547: Swaylands, Penshurst Road: Erection of new post and wire fence in grounds (retrospective) No Comment
SE/10/01332: Coldharbour Farm, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst: Installation of 12x6m swimming pool in garden. Existing outbuilding to be used as pump house. Erection of Alitex traditional glasshouse 4×2.6m in vegetable plot. No Comment
SE/10/00517: Land at Salmans Farm, Salmans Lane, Penshurst: Retrospective application for erection of temporary portable, multi-bay polythene tunnel structures for protection of fruit crops, together with proposed associated drainage works. GRANTED
SE/10/00840: Ivy Cottage, Poundsbridge Lane, Penshurst: Erection of detached garage. GRANTED
SE/10/00525: Godfrey House, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst: Demolition of garage, calving pen and goat house and erection of garden store/games room within the domestic curtilage of property. GRANTED
SE/10/00685: Horns Lodge, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst: Connect existing house at Horns Lodge to its existing utility room range by enclosing existing open loggia. Alterations to existing fenestration on the main house. GRANTED
SE/10/00761: Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Amendment to Section 106 Agreement dated 14/5/2003 attached to SE/02/01110/FULand as amended by subsequent permission SE/05/00872/FUL, SE/07/01750/FUL, SE/07/02079/FUL. WITHDRAWN
SE/10/01230: Chafford Rise, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe: Erection single storey rear extension. REFUSED
SE/10/01135: 4 The Glebe, Penshurst: Loft conversion with velux windows, gable window. GRANTED
a. Edenbridge Partnership: The Future of the Eden Valley Summer Festival Fortnight
b. Department for Communities and Local Government: Information on Gypsy and Traveller Policy
The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:
Mr I Streeter Lengthsman 78.00
SDC Public Toilet Costs Contribution 1,500.00
RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal 47.59
Audit Commission Annual Audit 158.63
Derek Baker Fordcombe Churchyard Mowing 720.00
David Wheeler Penshurst Churchyard Mowing 874.13
a. Annual Audit: Confirmation received from Audit Commission of completion of annual audit, no problems found with no issues being raised by External Auditor for action, accounts signed off by auditor. Notice and annual return displayed as required.
b. Quarterly Accounts: These had been circulated to members for their information, these were noted.
9. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
a. Allotments: Cllr Sellings and Campbell had attended site in response to a request by the clerk. Cllrs Sellings and Campbell to visit site with clerk to discuss options regarding parking. Clerk to write to advise allotments holders of situation plus request care be taken when water used on site. Fence to be reinstated.
b. Salmans Lane Bridge: Cllr Sellings advised this had been repaired, four metal rods having been fitted as promised by the landowner. The bridge would be monitored during coming months.
c. Mobile Home: Clerk to report appearance of mobile home in parish.
d. Play Equipment Project: Cllr Gilbert advised that the second stage submission was imminent and information relating to the VAT status of the PC was required in connection with their position as Accountable Body. Clerk to liaise with Cllrs Gilbert and Viccars regarding documentation required, a copy of the audited accounts of the PC would also be required. This was approved unanimously.
Meeting concluded 9.45 pm Next Meeting 2 August 2010 – Penshurst