Ordinary Meeting Minutes 5/12/2011

Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 5 December at 7.30pm in Fordcombe Village Hall

1. PRESENT: Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, J Broadhead, A Campbell, I Carson,

S Frederick, J Horsford, and J O’Shea

In attendance: SDC Cllr P Cooke, KCC Cllr P Lake, Mrs K Staff, Deputy Town Clerk, Edenbridge

There was one member of the Press and eight members of the public present.


Apologies for absence were received, noted, and accepted from Cllr B Townsend. As the Clerk was still unwell and unable to attend, it was

Resolved: in the temporary absence of Mrs Divall, under Standing Order 3a to employ Mrs Staff as Clerk to the Parish Council for the meeting, at the usual hourly rate for the Clerk’s post, plus travel expenses

2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 7 November to be approved

The minutes of the meeting on 7 November having been circulated, members

Resolved: that with three minor amendments the minutes should be signed by the Chairman as an accurate record of the meeting.

Declarations of interests 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

There were none.


In response to previous questions, the Chairman listed the 13 sites in the Parish which had been viewed by District councillor Cooke and councillors Cass and Carson accompanying District councillors Wood and Hill for their familiarisation and considered with Sevenoaks District Council against the criteria required for possible location of affordable housing.

There were no comments, statements, or questions, put to Council


SE/11/02778: 2 Rectory Cottages, High Street, Penshurst: Erection of part single and part two storey rear extension.

Members noted the current application was invalid without Certificate B, and a new application was being submitted.

SE/11/02955: Lane Cottage, The Lane, Fordcombe: Erection of first floor rear and first floor ground extensions with hipped gable roof, change of use of double garage and installation of window on side elevation.

No comment

SE/11/02726: Upper Bullingstone , Penshurst Road , Speldhurst: Demolition of property and erection of replacement.

Members made arrangements to visit the site during the week before commenting

Decisions noted:

SE/11/02955: Lane Cottage, The Lane, Fordcombe: Erection of first floor rear and first floor ground extensions with hipped gable roof, change of use of double garage and installation of window on side elevation. REFUSED

Appeals noted:

APPEAL ALLOWED: Planning Inspectorate Ref 2161703 Hamsell Farm Oast, Coopers Lane , Penshurst

APPEAL DISMISSED: Planning Inspectorate Ref 2161690 Smarts Hill House, Smarts Hill, Penshurst


4a. Speedwatch/Speed Indicator Sign:

Members noted there was no recent data recorded on the Speedwatch database, and no letters to drivers had resulted from past activity. As the police required three “watches” per week to be carried out at the same time of day and same location, it was suggested it may be better to focus on interactive signs, but there were three volunteers’ names to put forward for the Speedwatch scheme. Cllr Broadhead to report back at next meeting on progress with interactive sign/Speedwatch.

Cllr Lake reported that application had been made for the proposed new interactive sign in Penshurst, and it was awaiting approval from the KCC Cabinet member. It was noted that the speed indicator sign in Fordcombe had developed a display fault which required reporting.

4b. Footpaths/Pavements:

Members noted there was still no further information received regarding pavement repairs adjacent to 11-13 Glebelands, Penshurst.

It was reported that not all land-owners affected by the proposal for a permissive footpath inside the hedge line along the main road to Glebelands were keen on the idea, but it might be possible. Cllr Lake had £25,000 Members’ fund available which had to spread across communities in his whole ward, and at SDC there was £3,000 funds for community projects

Resolved: Cllr Frederick would pursue this issue, seeking costings for surfacing and stock fencing and surfacing along the proposed path

4c. Graffiti:

The anti graffiti kit had arrived, and it was passed to Mr I Streeter the lengthsman.

4d. Drive – Penshurst Road :

It was noted there was still no response to a request for ‘ Concealed Drive ’ sign which the Clerk had initiated.

4e. School Access:

Members noted Cllr Carson had drafted a letter, and the school had meanwhile also contacted the Council concerning pedestrian access for children attending Penshurst school, which could be affected by the outcome of the application for development on Forge Field. It was

Resolved: the Clerk would send a letter to the school covering both scenarios, whether Forge Field development proceeded, or not. Cllr Carson to redraft a letter and discuss with the Chairman.

4f. Becket Trust

Members noted there was still no clarification on the role of a Council representative attending Trust meetings. Cllr Carson to pursue

4g. High Speed Broadband

Members noted there had been an enquiry from Speldhurst concerning Broadband speeds in the parish. Councillors were not aware of any residents having particular problems with this issue, and it was

Resolved: the Chairman would reply to this effect on behalf of the Council


5a. Swaylands:

Members noted there were concerns about water supply to some properties on the old Swaylands estate.

5b. Kent County Councillor:

Cllr Lake advised that the fight for improved road signage at Laundry Cottage continued.

Cuts of £75million had been identified and 1,500 employees had been given notice, with the possibility of more in the following year. KCC was trying to help young people to be employed, through apprenticeship schemes, and to get other people back to work. On the issue of Forge Field development, he was ensuring the Highways assessment was based on facts, and that the SDC Conservation Area appraisal was taken into consideration.

5c. Sevenoaks District Councillor:

Cllr Cooke announced that Sevenoaks’ refuse collection times would be unaffected by the Christmas holidays and would be made on the usual days of the week. Business rates on car parks had risen, and parking charges in Sevenoaks were being increased. These were in line with charges in other Districts, and past experience showed it would not deter shoppers. There may be some movement on the issue of dualling the A21 following the Government’s Autumn Statement including public works to be progressed. Regarding Forge Field, he urged people to check the Sevenoaks website for on-going additions to the planning consultation material.

5d. KALC:

Nothing to report

5e. Alms Houses:

Members noted attention to the timings of the boiler over the past six months, given the higher than normal autumn temperatures, had resulted in a saving of approx £800 on heating oil.

5f. Neighbourhood Watch:

Members noted the last crime reported in Penshurst was on September 30 when an electric fencing component was stolen – the last in Fordcombe was theft of red diesel on November 7. There was suspected vandalism in the form of field gates being left open across the parish, which allowed farm animals onto the roads. One garden invaded by 22 bullocks was badly damaged. Any suspicious activity should be reported to police by dialling 101. Police reported that almost 75% of Kent road accidents occur on country roads/lanes and not on the A roads. Drivers were asked to consider the road conditions present, rather than view the speed limit as a target.


Continuing concerns were noted about the ambiguous road signage on the B2176 associated with works on Poundsbridge Lane .


The following accounts were presented for payment:

Mr I Streeter Lengthsman £172.00

KCC Gangmowing £246.18

SDC Public Toilets rates £416.76

Goldservice Contract Cleaning Ltd Public Toilets contract £642.20

RIP Cleaning Dog Waste Removal £ 54.00

Oast and Oak Penshurst Churchyard mowing £1050.00

Resolved: to pay the accounts listed above

7a. Precept:

The Clerk not advised of any further projects other than those listed: Family Fun Day(£500), bulk refuse freighter (£300), fire chest for parish records (£1000), bus service (£200), and tree surgery in Fordcombe churchyard (£500). It was suggested that a sum of money be put aside for some type of village commemoration for the Jubilee next year

Resolved: to add an allowance of £2,500 to the original draft precept figure, resulting in a precept of £24,163 for 2012/13, and to re-allocate the mowing of Fordcombe churchyard to the contractor operating in Penshurst churchyard, at the current rates.


There was none


Members noted there was as usual no meeting in January, and wished to record their thanks for the great effort put into the success of the Penshurst Christmas Fair.

It was reported that signposts at the top of Smarts Hill were pointing in the wrong direction and needed correcting.

Cllr Campbell raised an article that had appeared in the Penshurst magazine signed by Cllrs Broadhead , Carson and O’Shea . The chairman asked to see it and said he had no concerns with the wording but pointed out any document published under the auspices of the Parish Council needs to be signed either by the clerk, the Responsible Officer, or on occasion himself. He requested that this protocol be followed.


Meeting closed at 8.29pm