Ordinary Meeting Minutes 6/09/2010


Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 6 September 2010 at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe Village Hall
1. PRESENT: Cllrs R Sellings, A Campbell, Mrs D Broad, S Frederick, M Gilbert, R Horsford
APOLOGIES: Cllrs D Geal, Mrs A Hill, C Viccars. These were approved.
2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 2 August 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
a. Fordcombe Hospital Bus Stop: Clerk confirmed no further information had been received from the Speldhurst Clerk although it was possible no officer from highways had been able to attend.
b. Saltbins: Ref: 12968 – website indicates enquiry being processed, Sue Ireland advises that salt bin requirement is being assessed at the moment. Possibility of providing one ton bags of salt/grit mix for parishes to utilise as they wish, Cllr Frederick advised he may be able to assist with this issue. It was agreed a secure site would be needed for storage.
a. Swaylands: Cllr Sellings advised that all work was anticipated to be finished and the site cleared of contractors by Easter 2011.
b. Kent County Councillor: Cllr Lake advised that it was possible KCC would be required to make financial saving of between 25% (£340m) and 40% (£420m) over the next four years; this would affect highways, social services and other costs centres; education was however a protected area. He tabled a notice advising of a bus service by Southdown running at 9am on Monday-Friday from Penshurst to Crawley, returning at 2pm, parishioners were advised that if the current services available were not patronised they would be lost. He had received a call from a resident concerned at the installation of the speed indicator unit in Penshurst, it was confirmed that this was only a temporary unit and would at most be in situe for one month two or three times a year, this would depend on availability of funding. Cllr Lake felt they had a positive affect, parishioners present agreed. The current site had been chosen to meet the requirements ie not in proximity to underground pipes/wiring etc. required visibility to register car speeds, clear area to maximise solar energy requirement. Cllr Lake confirmed it might be possible to obtain funding for a permanent unit, if this was the case alternative sites would be investigated. The situation with potholes was still unacceptable although 70,000 had been filled in the previous four months, there were however still many left in the parish despite regular reporting of same. Cllr Lake considered the rectory wall was an excellent job. The Highways Agency would discuss the proposed raising of the flood barrier with Parish Councils.
c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: Cllr Cooke advised that the Pembury Hospital was ahead of schedule, it was expected the departments dealing with children and women would be open in January 2011
The unit would be 100% single bed/en suite occupancy, it would be a general hospital although at the moment it was not known if either the maternity or the diabetic departments would remain at the site. Car parking was a concern and the impact of possible A21 work cancellation would not help. Sencio were working with SDC to engage families in physical and mental health issues, Sencio had received an award for their work in inclusion of people with disabilities in activities.
The polytunnels at Salmans Farm were being removed, six acres had already been removed with another hectare scheduled for removal the following week. Construction of the road down the side of the building should be completed by the end of the month. A new generator with an electric pump had been installed, the noise levels were now negligible. Mr Shorter had registered his willingness to discuss any problems with Cllr Cooke.
d. KALC: No report
e. Alms Houses: Cllr Sellings advised that he had reported problems with slipping roof tiles.
f. Proposed Affordable Housing Project: Letter for submission to Lord De L’isle drafted by KPG received by members, considered unacceptable to forward. PC letter drafted and forwarded, response received from estate indicating that Forge Field is the only site offered for affordable housing.
OPEN SESSION – Affordable Housing
The Chairman advised that the Open Session would revert to its original time allocation and advised that members did not wish to discuss issues regarding the affordable housing raised at previous meetings.
It was confirmed that the estate had advised the PC that the only site available for the project was Forge Field, a parishioner stated that he was sure an alternative site would be offered if the PC refused Forge Field.
The letter drafted by the KPG members had not been approved by the PC, Cllr Sellings had refused to allow his signature to be added. An alternative letter had been drafted and agreed by the councillors and submitted to the estate, the response indicating the only option available of Forge Field.
Members of the PC were advised that they were required to represent the views of the parishioners and in view of the responses to the KPG survey indicating over 190 parishioners (nearly 90%) of those consulted were against the use of Forge Field the PC were required to represent this majority vote.
It was suggested that parishioners wait until a firm planning proposal was provided to see what the design of the houses would be before making any decision on a way forward.
The question of allocation of the houses was raised and KPG members were of the opinion that local residents would not take priority as promised. It was stated that a S106 agreement should cover this aspect of the project, the PC confirmed that no draft had been drawn up for discussion, nor information on any covenants applicable, this being a part of the planning process itself. Cllr Mrs Broad reiterated the PC’s previous statement that if the housing could not be guaranteed to be allocated to local families the PC would not support the venture.
The point was made that if the affordable housing was provided under the current plans involving the estate there would be more control over the design of the houses, if WKHA took over the project themselves this aspect of control would be lost. A parishioner stated that some houses built in recent years had initially not been considered acceptable but were now part of the village and most blended well.
The PC were asked why the KPG letter had not been forwarded to the estate and stated they had not been advised that it was unacceptable, Cllr Gilbert confirmed that all councillors had been consulted on the wording and it had been considered that it was verbose and inaccurate, as a consequence the members were unable to approve it, they had drafted their own letter for submission, he was unaware the KPG had not been advised of the PC’s decision until they asked.
It was suggested that the PC had already made a decision on the project, Cllr Gilbert stated that he had made it quite clear at previous meetings that there was no specific proposal available to vote on, when there was he would consider it, canvass opinion from parishioners, including the silent majority, and then make his mind up upon which way he would vote.
Cllr Gilbert confirmed that the option for a member of the KPG to be co-opted on to the PC had been made at the previous meeting with a view to their finding alternative sites for consideration, no interest had been shown in this offer.
Cllr Gilbert felt much turmoil had been unnecessarily caused prior to the factual stage of the project being reached.
KPG member advised that they had been provided with a copy of the estate’s response to the PC’s request for a decision on Forge Field.
A parishioner stated that parishioners attending the meeting had young children and would surely value the opportunity for them to remain in the parish at such time as they needed housing. It was confirmed the housing would only be for rent, not purchase.
Verge/Swathe Mowing Funding: Meeting held with James Hopkins and Robin Hadley, Landscape Managers for Jacobs and Kent Highways and Cllrs Sellings and Gilbert on 24 August. Up to date maps/ schedules would be provided indicating areas included in contract, PC to advise of any problem areas or visibility splay areas. Performance of contractor to be monitored. Clerk to submit a request under the FOI act for costs of work carried out.
Long Bridge: Traffic statistics to be obtained for submission to highways officer, Cllr Sellings would complete this now the school traffic was in operation.
River Medway Bridleway Bridge: Bridge open, resurfacing to be carried out at later date. Cllr Mrs Broad advised that the track approach surface had been improved.
Road Surface – Fordcombe: Reported to Sue Ireland, no further information available.
Interactive Road Signs: Meeting held with Highways and Jacobs’ representatives (Laura Squires and Paul Thrower), Cllrs Sellings and Gilbert on 19 August. Decision taken on siting of interactive sign in Fordcombe and relocation of speed sign; work carried out week commencing 22 August. Installation of ground unit completed at Penshurst (Glebelands) to facilitate use of temporary speed indicator device, this being shared between parishes on a monthly basis. Complaint received from resident in Penshurst regarding siting of unit, resident advised that unit was only a temporary unit.
Penshurst Churchyard: Clerk investigating options for ramp supply.
Colliers Land Bridge: Cllr Campbell to approach landowner regarding cutting back of trees adjacent to road to provide visibility for traffic approaching from Penshurst side. Clerk to report white lining required repainting.
Potholes: Poundsbridge Lane, Penshurst: Pothole reported again for action, reference No. 14212 website indicates work scheduled for completion 18 August. Potholes at end of The Lane adjacent to tree removal area and Cleave House area Ref. No. 17703417 – work instructions issued 6 August. Cllr Horsford advised that a contractor had informed him work was scheduled for September.
Drainage: Drain cover surrounds indicated as having been repaired, work not carried out therefore reported again under reference 14961. Liaison Officer advised covers may not be highways but utilities, inspector to check and advise.
Footpath Signs: Repairs to sign adjacent to Daneby Hall, The Lane anticipated during September work schedule. Clerk to advise Nicky Biddle footpath sign in Grove Road on left hand above PORC/West Lodge area had been knocked down.
Doubleton Lane: Cats eyes appeared to be proud of the road after recent installation when resurfacing had finished. Reported under Ref: 12594 – Website indicated issue resolved with customer on 9 June, neither parishioner nor clerk were aware of any change in situation, further information awaited from Sue Ireland.
New Road: Request made to Laura Squires (Transport and Development) to review the situation regarding provision of a sign indicating icy conditions. Result of site meeting: area to be monitored for further problems prior to final decision being taken.
Ditching Work: Request received from highways regarding ownership of land.
Parishioner raised the issue of the condition of the road surface in The Lane, Fordcombe. It was considered this was a danger to cyclists in particular, clerk to report again.
SE/10/02101: Rosebank Cottage, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe: Erection of 3 bed bungalow to rear of Rosebank Cottage, access from an exiting track and through existing gates. Two existing buildings to be moved. The Parish Council have no objection in principle to the application but note a number of possible problems on the site. The provision of utilities might impact on neighbouring properties and the possible loss of trees including ash and oak trees is of concern. It was noted that willows were growing on the site, thereby giving an indication of possible wet areas. The access to the property might also be a problem, although via an existing point, the adjacent road being narrow and subject to heavy traffic on occasions. Members would leave the decision to the officer.
SE/10/02134: Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Replacement of existing asphalt/felt roof coverings to existing flat roof areas with Rhepanol single ply membrane
SE/10/02205: Barnfold, Saints Hill, Penshurst: Erection of two storey side extension with garden room. Erection of detached 3 bay garage and log store and two bay garage and log store to be accessed by secondary access and driveway
SE/10/02291: 4 St. Peter’s Row, Fordcombe: Convert flat roof on garage to a pitched roof at 45
SE/10/02239: Lakesview, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Amendment to planning permission and LBC SE/03/00846/849: Demolition of existing/construction replacement house – involving replacement dwelling of same floor area but different design in revised location.
SE/10/02322: Mitre Oast, Fordcombe Road, Fordcombe: Changes to fenestration with the installation of replacement bespoke windows and doorways to include bespoke glass panels to replace garage door. Retrospective.
SE/10/02209: Coldharbour Farm, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst: Construction of below ground swimming pool with surrounding paving; installation of small boiler and pump filtration within existing outbuilding (no modifications required)
SE/10/01439: 10 & 11 Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Proposed alterations t internal layout, including removal of door, frame and nibs and formation of new opening in existing party wall to join apartments number 10 and 11. LBC GRANTED
SE/10/01332: Coldharbour Farm, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst: Installation of 12x6m swimming pool in garden. Existing outbuilding as pump house, erection of Alitex traditional glasshouse 4×2.6m in vegetable plot. REFUSED
SE/10/00868: The Grove Cottage, Grove Road, Penshurst: Erection of stone wall to front boundary. REFUSED
SE/10/01482: The Haven, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe: Erection of double open fronted oak framed garage. GRANTED
a. SDC: Local Development Framework: Core Strategy Amendments due to Revocation of South East Plan
b. Kent Police Authority: Invitation to consultation event on 9 September at 6 pm.
c. KPG: Copy letter forwarded to Lord de L’isle regarding Forge Field affordable housing proposal.
The following accounts were presented and approved for payment: 
Mr I Streeter Lengthsman 78.00
RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal 85.66
Playsafety Ltd Play Equipment Inspection 74.03
Mrs E M Divall Clerk Salary June-September)
Expenses April – August ) 1972.54 
a. Gritting: Information received from CWC, circulated to councillors for information. It was considered this service would not be required if highways were providing salt/grit supplies.
b. Fordcombe Play Equipment: Cllr Gilbert confirmed the funding application had been submitted.
c. Battle of Britain Day: Cllr Mrs Broad to ask Penshurst Village Hall representative if flag could be flown on 15 September 2010.
d. Swaylands Lights: Cllr Sellings to approach representative regarding external lighting on during the night, this is not permitted as part of their original planning agreement.

Meeting concluded 9 pm Next Meeting – Penshurst 4 October 2010