Ordinary Meeting Minutes 6/07/2009


Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 6 July 2009 at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe Village Hall
1.            PRESENT: Cllrs C Viccars (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, A Campbell, D Geal, M Gilbert, R Horsford, R Sellings
2.            APOLOGIES:   Cllr Mrs Hill.   This was approved
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.
Cllr D Geal recorded a prejudicial interest under Planning – Item 7 – Eureka, Fordcombe Road, Fordcombe.
3.            MATTERS ARISING:
a.            Fordcombe Hospital Bus Stop:    Confirmation received from Spire Hospital that approach made to Speldhurst Parish Council in support of a hard standing at the bus stop to improve safety for passengers. Parishioners experiencing difficulties were also encouraged to write to Speldhurst Council to support the provision of a hardstanding at the bus stop.   It was noted a bus driver had also expressed concerns over the safety of the site.
b.         Public Toilets:    Investigation into costs for maintenance of public toilets and options available to continue with facility in parish was being undertaken.   Detailed costs had been received from Richard Wilson of SDC which included £1,343 for electricity for 08/09, £690 for water and sewerage and £500 for repairs.   Clerk was checking the reason for the apparent high cost of electricity.   Members discussed the possibility of offering a payment for the 2010/11 year towards the costs of the toilets in order to provide extra time to investigate the best options available to provide such a facility.   SDCllr Cooke would speak with Alison Cooke and Richard Wilson and SDC to obtain further information.
c.            Penshurst Bus Shelter Roof: Cllr Geal advised minor adjustments required, work scheduled to be carried out.                               
d.         Fallen Tree: Cllr Sellings advised members that a limb of a fallen poplar tree was lying in the river, Penshurst Place were aware.   He had been advised of another fallen tree, possibly an oak, nearer to Long Bridge, he would check and report back to council.
4.            REPORTS:
a.            Swaylands:    Cllr Sellings confirmed funds were now in place to finalise the building and landscaping of the development.   The Lodge could be available to rent to the residents for them to install a site manager.   There would be a sales drive in September.
b.         Kent County Councillor:   KCCllr Lake confirmed he had a £10K fund available to spend on parish projects in addition to £25K for highways projects; this would be split between the seven local parishes.   PC to advise Cllr Lake of any projects they wished considered. He was meeting with Nick Chard, new head of highways and would raise the issue of parishes managing their own budgets for village work.   It was felt that this work could be undertaken more efficiently locally in view of the high level of on costs incurred by the various levels of management involved in the placement of contracts by county.   It was considered that the recent damage as a result of an accident at Long Bridge would not have occurred had the parish request for the introduction of white lining during the last two years been actioned.   Meetings had been held with designers and contractors but no date for the repair work had been set. The PC had met with Alan Riley and James Hopkins regarding the unacceptable standard of verge cutting and arrangements had been made to redo the areas, Cllr Gilbert had been asked to provide a further map for James Hopkins so that the contractor could be made aware exactly which areas he should be doing.
Members were of the opinion that if the contractors did not complete the work to a suitable standard the PC would instruct its own contractor to do the work, it was noted that for many years Ken Simmons had carried out this work locally to an exceptionally high standard, his standard of workmanship was sorely missed.
c.            Sevenoaks District Councillor:  SDCllr Cooke had discussed a recent planning application with the applicant’s agent which had been refused, this despite the PC response indicating they considered the applicant had addressed issues raised previously in relation to the property.   Malcolm Appleby was now dealing with the yellow lines issue and it was hoped a meeting could be held to discuss this on site, it was highly unlikely that the decision would be reversed however.   Cllr Cooke would email information provided by the Democratic Services Team regarding access to the cabinet to deal with important or emergency issues.
d.         KALC:     No report
e.         Community Officer :     (Please Note:   Advice received subsequent to meeting of attempted theft of vehicle in Fordcombe, suspicious person reported in Penshurst and vehicle fire in Fordcombe.   Two mountain bicycles had been stolen from the PORC site.)
5.            HIGHWAYS: 
Annual Highways Meeting:    Verge Mowing item discussed under Kent County Councillor Report.   Clerk to request meeting with first preference 6 August and second as 4 August, both at 9.30 am at Fordcombe Village Hall.
Clerk to arrange for weed control specialist to contact Mr Streeter regarding treatment required in Penshurst.
6.            PLANNING:
SE/09/01009: Penshurst Off Road Cycling, Grove Road, Penshurst:   Retrospective installation of a dish on an existing mast.   (Previous approval for a 20m telegraph pole supporting 2 No. 2G antennas and associated equipment under ref: SE/07/00173/FUL). No Comment
SE/09/01141: Godfrey House, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst: Continuing use of the land as C3, domestic curtilage of ‘Godfreys’.
SE/09/01184: The Spotted Dog, Smarts Hill, Penshurst: Retrospective change of use application for the community farm shop on The Spotted Dog pub site.   No Comment
SE/09/01213: 2 Rectory Cottages, High Street, Penshurst:   Construction of timber shed.    The PC consider the design of this application to be unsuitable and inappropriate development in this setting.          
SE/09/01318: Eureka, Fordcombe Road, Fordcombe: Erection of two storey side extension and front porch
SE/09/01316:   Woodgate Manor, Swaylands, Penshurst: Alterations to third floor and roof design. No Comment
SE/09/01330: 1 Rectory Cottages, High Street, Penshurst: Enclose cart shed to form garden room. The PC do not consider the design of this application to be appropriate nor in keeping with the surrounding environment. 
SE/09/00644: 14 Swaylands, Penshurst: Demolition of existing brick wall and erection of timber screen.   GRANTED
SE/09/00665: Ivy Cottage, Poundsbridge Lane, Penshurst: Demolition of existing shed and erection of new garden shed.   GRANTED
SE/09/00711: The Oast, Spring Hill, Fordcombe: Erection of single storey side extension. REFUSED
SE/09/918: Penshurst C of E Primary School: Provision of hard standing area, trail and pathways, creation of a small turf mound.   GRANTED
SE/09/00780: The Bottle House, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst: Retrospective replacement of existing internal boiler with new efficient condensing boiler at rear of property, externally over kitchen.   REFUSED
SE/09/00849: Salmans Oast, Salmans Lane, Penshurst: Erection of extending link building and internal alterations.    GRANTED
SE/09/00928: Penshurst Winery, Grove Road, Penshurst: Minor external alteration to exiting approved planning application. Change of use from agricultural/commercial/residential to residential only.   GRANTED
SE/08/00973: Land at Salmans Farm, Salmans Lane, Penshurst:   Variation of condition 2 with regard to 8 tunnels at the eastern end of area 4. Variation to allow covers to be applied from 1 March instead of 1 June.   (No variation to other 18 tunnels at western end of area 4.)   WITHDRAWN
09/01252/WTCA: Higsons, High Street, Penshurst: Various works to trees adjacent to pavement areas.
7.            CORRESPONDENCE:
a.            Diocese of Rochester: Advice received that remedial work will commence to Penshurst Rectory boundary wall, ground investigation initially required followed by final works required.   Confirmation that enquiries being made with utility companies to obtain record drawings.
b.        NHS Kent Primary Care Agency: Notification that no appeals had been received against the decision to approve the pharmacy application by Mr D Singh and reject the application by Damian Ltd
c.         Kent Police Authority: Advice that summary of ‘Policing Kent 2009/12’ would be distributed to every household in Kent and Medway during July.   Also available on http://www.kent.police.uk & http://kentpa.kent.police.uk/Publications/Policing.
d.         SDC: Draft Statement of Licensing Policy for The Gaming Act 2005 – comments invited.
e.         High Weald AONB Unit: Management Plan 2004 – 2nd Edition 2009
f.          SDC:  Sustainable Community Plan 2010-2013 Workshop 28 July 2009.
g.         SDC:   Settlement Hierarchy Update, information requested on key local services and facilities. This was discussed and information updated, clerk to submit to SDC.
8.            FINANCE:
The following accounts were presented and approved for payment.       
Mr I Streeter                                          Lengthsman                                                        78.00
Mr D Wheeler                                        Churchyard Mowing                                         1428.77
RIP Cleaning Services                                    Dog Waste Removal                                      34.50
KCC                                                      Gangmowing                                                     130.81
Audit Commission                               Annual Audit 2008/09                                        155.25
Mrs E M Divall                                        Clerk salary June/July                                     550.00
a.         Audit:   Notification received that annual audit completed by Audit Commission for year end March 2009, the annual return having been submitted in accordance with the Commission’s requirements.     No issues raised by Audit Commission. Audit Completion notices posted in accordance with audit requirements.
b.            Quarterly Accounts:   Provided for members for information, these were noted.
c.            Churchyard Mowing:   Clerk reported Mr Wheeler had advised that due to family commitments he would like to reduce his contract with the PC for mowing, he was able to continue mowing Penshurst Churchyard but wished to relinquish the contract for Fordcombe Churchyard.   Clerk had obtained a further quotation for the work from another local contractor at a rate of £180 per month from March to October inclusive.   Members agreed this quotation for the balance of the season, clerk to arrange for contractor to contact voluntary group prior to commencing work to discuss exact requirements.
a.         Church Path Treatment:   This to be deferred until decision made about pavement treatment.
b.         Car Parking in Leicester Square: A councillor had been approached regarding parking of cars in Leicester Square, commercial vehicles in particular causing a problem.   Members were aware that a car carrying a disabled parishioner to choir practice was parked in the area to afford easier access to the church by wheelchair.    It was planned to replace overgrown annual flowers and vegetation in the vicinity with lavender.    Clerk to contact SDC regarding emptying of the litter bin which regularly overflowed.
c.            Poundsbridge Church: Clerk to report permanently laying water by gate since recent work undertaken adjacent to site by highways. (Reported under reference 16291738)
d.         Road Surface:   Clerk to report deep depression in road outside Church Cottage near the public house.   (Reported under reference 16291737)

Meeting concluded at 9.25 pm                                   Next Meeting 3 August 2009 – Penshurst