Ordinary Meeting Minutes 6/08/2012




Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 6 August at 7.30 pm in Penshurst Village Hall



1. PRESENT: Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), A Campbell, J Horsford, J O’Shea, B Townsend.


APOLOGIES: Cllrs Mrs D Broad, J Broadhead, S Frederick (These were approved)


2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 2 July 2012, having been circulated, were approved and signed by the Chairman.


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. NONE


Code of Conduct:
Decision on adoption of Code of Conduct, with relevant amendments. Copies of options available provided for members prior to meeting for perusal. Clerk and Cllr Campbell provided information on the new Code, Cllr Campbell had spoken with the Monitoring Officer at SDC to clarify issues relating to inclusion of partners/ spouses. Non compliance with the requirements of the new code would now become a criminal offence in relation to the disclosure of pecuniary interests which related to assets, for example, land/property in the parish; non pecuniary interests included membership of committees, charities etc. Copies of the forms completed by members would be made available both on the SDC website and the PC website for public access. There had been discussion involving the legal department at SDC regarding the inclusion of members’ signatures on the forms and clerk advised that signatures could be withheld from the documents being displayed on the websites. Clerk had circulated all current options available ie those provided by County, SDC, KALC, TWBC, LGA and had received comments from members on points for clarification. After discussion,


It was proposed and unanimously agreed that the Code of Conduct developed by SDC based on the DCLG, and including reference to the inclusion of partners/spouses for Non Pecuniary Interests in the same way as for Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, be adopted by the Parish Council. It was not considered necessary for Non Pecuniary Interests to be personalised to either the member or spouse/partner on the forms.


Members were reminded that the forms covering disclosable interest must be forwarded to the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of adoption of the code.




The culvert outside the Alms Houses on Rogues Hill was blocked again after the recent resurfacing work (Reported under Ref. 46449)
The brambles/hawthorn bushes were again overgrown and reducing the available width of the path between the bridges on Rogues Hill. (Letter forwarded)
A pothole was reported near No. 10 Glebelands (Reported Ref 46450) and the unacceptable standard of surfacing on the pavement between 10/16 Glebelands was raised again.  (Reported to Jim Latheron SDC, response/decision awaited)
Cllr Peter Lake confirmed he would be willing to fund a salt bin for Glebelands.
Information on bonfires was requested. (There are no bye laws relating specifically to bonfires, they can however be considered an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if felt to be causing a nuisance. If regularly being lit a diary should be kept and reported to the Environmental Health department at SDC for consideration for action to be taken. Parishioners are asked to act responsibility with consideration for neighbours and not have bonfires during the day when everyone may be outside taking advantage of the summer weather.)
The PC was thanked for getting the white line on Rogues Hill reinstated promptly
The area of land adjacent to 5 Glebelands required attention with grass and hedgecutting.    (SDC no longer responsible for area of land, clerk contacted WKHA, response regarding action awaited)


The overgrown hedges between Glebelands and the Primary School needed cutting back, clerk to write to home owners.   Cllr Horsford provided current information on maintenance requirements for hedges:  if the boundary of your property borders the footway then the full width of the footway/pavement must be available for use by pedestrians;  also there must be a minimum height clearance over the footway/pavement of 2.1 metres/7’0″ for any vegetation.   If your vegetation overhangs the road there must be a minimum height clearance of 5 metres/16’0″ and if your property is rural then vegetation should be 0.45 metres/1’6″ behind the edge of the road and all signs need to be kept clear of foliage for at least 20 metres.   (Letters forwarded)
Clerk to check with Highways Officer regarding recent request for hedge cutting to be undertaken on Speldhurst Road. (Report 46452 – Land search required to cover wider area than originally anticipated, highways undertaking same in order to instruct landowners to clear both sides of road)
Clerk to check with relevant department at SDC regarding rules relating to noise and parties. (If parties are considered to be a nuisance, ie a regular occurrence, noise levels unacceptable to surrounding area if party held in open, continuing into early hours of the morning, two options are available: SDC Environmental Health have powers to take action against noise nuisance ie equipment can be impounded if warnings not adhered to; the Sevenoaks District Community Safety Partnership has the power to act when anti social behaviour is affecting the lives of parishioners and has a Daily Tasking Unit that will take on this work.)






SE/12/01565: 5 Bottle House Cottages, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst: Demolition of existing rear single storey extension. Erection of new larger single storey rear extension. PC Support


SE/12/01427: Larkfield, Saints Hill, Penshurst: Erection of two storey front/side extension, rear extension over existing catslide. PC in support. Amended consultation received covering inclusion of demolition of porch, loft extension, creation of basement and changes to fenestration. No further comment to add to original submission.


SE/12/01378: 4 St. Peters Row, Fordcombe: Erection of rear garage extension and single storey with pitch roof continuation. PC Support


SE/12/01632: The Small Barn, Nunnery Lane, Penshurst: Variation of Condition 3 of SE/10/02163. Demolition of substantial existing single storey side addition to existing dwelling, replacing it with a two storey extension of reduced footprint. Erection of front extension to accommodate proposed stairwell. Removal of existing front porch to amendment to pitch roof design over side extension. PC Support


SE/12/00946: 1-8 Beckets Field, Penshurst: Demolition of garages and No. 6 Beckets Field, erection of 4 x 2 bed apartments and 2 x 2 bed houses. PC Submitted interim response:
The Parish Council are unfortunately unable at present to support this application as it does not comply with the necessary criteria, the main requirements being for the project


to meet an identified need for affordable housing
to have financial arrangements in place to meet the cost of the project


A number of other comments have been made by members in relation to the actual design plans, some of which are planning issues:


The site is not considered suitable to accommodate further dwellings and would result in over intensification of building
The height and proximity of the proposed dwellings would result in overlooking/loss of privacy and consequently result in issues of loss of daylight/overshadowing
There are already problems with regard to parking on the Glebelands estate generally and with the removal of the garages and subsequent requirement for the cars to be parked elsewhere this, together with the increase in traffic accessing Beckets Field, would be exacerbated. The space allowed for open parking/turning could be considered to be unrealistic and with the loss of garaging, current users would lose storage space for possessions/tools etc now stored.
The design of the proposed building is not in keeping with the surrounding area, in fact it would not blend with any other building in Penshurst.
Concerns have been raised over the funding of the project.
In view of the fact that Sevenoaks District Council have resolved to grant the planning permission for the Forge Field project the identified need for affordable housing has now been met.


We understand a revised Design and Access Statement is still awaited; on receipt of this we would intend holding another site meeting. It is possible this will not be before your response date of 27 July and also as the PC is scheduled to meet on the 6 August 2012 we will forward any further information/comment available after those meetings.
Chairman confirmed that the PC were still very supportive of the provision of affordable housing and that there would be further need in the future. Chairman also reiterated, as in response to SDC above, that a further site meeting would be held when the PC were in receipt of complete documentation for the application.


SE/12/01761: 14 New Road, Penshurst, Tonbridge: Erection single storey porch extension. PC Support


SE/12/01782: Penshurst Place, Penshurst: Enlargement and improvement of woodland access off Penshurst road to facilitate HGV movements. Creation of turning and loading area upon open ground within woodland. Formation of hard track from loading area to cook pits woodlands. PC Support


SE/12/01913LBC: The Old Rectory, High Street, Penshurst: Installation of new hard landscaping scheme within curtilage of a listed building. PC Support.


SE/12/02005: Place Farm Barn, Penshurst Place, Penshurst: Erection of proposed kiosk/eating area.


SE/12/01973: Garden Cottage, Poundsbridge Lane, Penshurst: Erection of stable block and ancillary tractor shed and manure store. Construction of sand school and new access.




SE/12/00740: Palmers Cottage, The Lane, Fordcombe: Erection single storey side extension. GRANTED


SE/12/01347: 4 New Road, Penshurst: Retrospective application for two storey side and rear extension. Partial removal of outbuildings and erection of set of rear access steps. GRANTED


SE/12/01447: Bowens Cottage, Poundsbridge Lane, Penshurst: Demolition of outbuildings and construction of garage. GRANTED


Tree Surgery:


SE/12/01727: Gate Cottage, The Lane, Fordcombe: Fell 1 Oak Tree. No Comment




a. SDC Governance Review: All correspondence submitted to SDC (Mr Ian Bigwood) was being collated and prepared for the SDC Governance Meeting scheduled for 11 September for a decision on way forward to be made. Leigh Parish Council had submitted a request that the transfer suggested of parishioners on the village boundary to Penshurst be refused.


b. Broadband: No final decision made by Leigh PC regarding survey at date of preparation of agenda, matter in abeyance. Clerk had been advised the provision of the Infinity service in some areas had reduced interest in the current project.




a. Swaylands: No report


b. Kent County Councillor: Cllr Lake had submitted complaints to County relating to the road surface at the Swaylands/Poundsbridge Lane junction and asked that the contractors be recalled to carry out repairs at their own cost. Clerk to report problems with parked cars blocking the road adjacent to Poundsbridge Church (Reported under Ref: 46441). Cllr Lake had also complained about the poor standard of verge/grass cutting and clerk was asked to contact David Brazier at County Hall regarding the unacceptable and unsatisfactory service and also ask who was responsible for quality control of work and how could such standard be signed off. Cllr Lake was chasing the provision of the SID unit and the anti skid surface in Penshurst road. Members to advise clerk of particular areas of road requiring resurfacing, initial list includes Smarts Hill, Walters Green, Chafford Lane, Daneby Hall area of The Lane, Poundsbridge/Poundsbridge Lane; Cllr O‘Shea to advise Cllrs Broadhead and Carson, Cllr Cass to advise Cllr Frederick. Cllr Lake asked for support for the proposal to provide village caretaker gangs based on the old system of Lengthsmen to deal with small repairs to seats, signs, finger posts, fencing, blocked drains etc.


c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: Cllr Cooke confirmed the appeal had been heard relating to Quaintways Tea Rooms. (Decision due early September) He registered the apologies of SDC for the non arrival of the bulk freighter on the due date, although it had visited the following Saturday. Members were invited to comment on the Community Infrastructure Levy, Cllr Cooke advised that two levels of charge were being considered £75/sq m covering Edenbridge, Crockenhill, Farningham areas and £125/sq m for all other areas and would become applicable on developments of more than four properties. (Hyperlink emailed to members for access, final date for submission 8 August).


d. KALC: No report


e. Alms Houses: Cllr O’Shea advised concerns over security by one resident had been addressed. Contractors had been appointed to deal with the problems with the heating system, work to commence on 28 August. Work to solve the problem of wall dampness was also being discussed with contractors.


f. Neighbourhood Watch: Problems with cars ignoring the right of way sign applicable to the bridge on Rogues Hill were probably due to the fact that it was barely visible due to overgrown vegetation on approach to the bridge. (Reported Ref: 46458). A speed limit sign at Long Bridge was also obscured. (Reported Ref: 46459). The recent resurfacing work had resulted in problems of excess gravel being left on the road, one local car having had the screen cracked and also the speed indicator signs having been left for much longer than necessary. Wheel caps were stolen from a car parked in Penshurst High Street on 27 July and there had been three cases of field gates being left open releasing cattle on to the road. Parishioners were asked to contact local farmers if such occurrences were witnessed. Penshurst Angling Club would be providing a gate lock to minimise unauthorised access.




a. Penshurst School Access: Clerk confirmed the wording in the previous minutes was in no way meant to infer that Mr Johnson had agreed to access for those walking to the school, merely that residents were willing to discuss the situation with those involved. The inclusion of a nearby public footpath was not considered feasible to aid access to the school, one of the main issues was residents from New Road having to use the highway to walk to school.



b. KCC – Country Roads, anti speeding campaign – August 2012. KCC’s road safety campaign for August is focusing on speed in rural areas, urban speed campaign planned for September. Information around this campaign available at www.kentroadsafety.info/readtheroad. The possibility of 20MPH speed limits being introduced in villages had been suggested with a reduction in the top speed permissible also under consideration. Chairman asked for issue to be included on next meeting agenda for discussion.


c. Coopers Lane: Report made to highways regarding potholes and general poor condition of road near Palmers Farm. Ref. 46053 refers.




d. Coach Road Bridge: Slight movement of 9mm measured, issue to be monitored.


e. Blocked Drain: Clerk to report drain blocked with mud and resurfacing materials at corner of Broad Lane. (Reported ref: 46463)


f. Road Closure: Parishioner had seen a road closure sign. (Highways have nothing imminent, possibly refers to recent emergency repairs carried out on Rogues Hill


g. Road Condition: Clerk to check with highways regarding placement of bollards near Blowers Hill where road appears to be collapsing. (Reported Ref: 46471 – Response from Highways Officer – Order raised for work to rectify problem, area has no gulley therefore plans to introduce one to alleviate any future problems)




The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:
Mr I Streeter Lengthsman £86.00
SDC Bulk Refuse Freighter £159.60
Fordcombe Village Hall Hall Hire £6.00
RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal £97.20
Kent County Council Gangmowing £147.71
Play Place Parish Fun Day £700.00
Goldservice Contract Cleaning Ltd Public Toilet Cleaning Contract £355.94
EDF Public Toilet Electricity Account £94.15


a. Parish Fun Day: Clerk had applied for, and obtained, a grant for £300 from SDC towards the costs of the Fun Day for the children of the parish. This had been used to offset some of the costs and also obtain further facilities for the day ie a magician and the challenger troop facility would be available for the full time of the event. The small balance of the savings had been used to book a bulk refuse freighter for the 8 September 2012 at both Penshurst layby and Fordcombe layby from 7.45 – 8.30 am and 8.45 – 9.30 am respectively.


b. Allotments: Clerk had experienced problems with one of the allotment payments and had forwarded the returned cheque to the person concerned requesting settlement of the account without delay.


c. Public Toilet Energy Supply: Clerk had negotiated a new tariff with EDF for the supply which had provided a small reduction in both the standing charge and unit cost.


d. Penshurst Bus Shelter: A quote had been sought for repairing the damage caused to the roof of the shelter, the local contractor had placed the work on his schedule for completion.


e. Benefit Fraud: Clerk had been contacted by a local authority Fraud Officer for information relating to a contractor who might be guilty of benefit fraud. Clerk had no record of the person working for the PC and had advised the authority accordingly.





a. KCC: Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way – Kent. Draft consultation maps can be viewed on line at http://www.kent.gov.uk/prowconsultations, Kent libraries and Gateway offices have computers for public access if required. One complete set of map is also available to view in Tunbridge Wells at 8 Grosvenor Road, TN1 2AB. Chairman to approach Cllr Mrs Broad to work with Cllr Campbell on this issue.


b. KCC: Email received providing information on current road initiatives including a focus on speed in rural areas.



c. Penshurst C.E. Primary School/Fordcombe Play Area Committee: Letter of thanks for gift of Jubilee Mugs to children attending the school, thanks were also received from the Fordcombe play area members for the picnic bench donated in recognition of the Jubilee.


d. SDC: Gambling Act 2005: Draft Statement of Principles Gambling Policy – January 2013




a. Fordcombe Play Area: Clerk to arrange for grass cutting to be carried out again. (Work should be carried out between 7-9 August)


Meeting concluded at 9.05 pm Next Meeting 3 September 2012 Fordcombe