Ordinary Meeting Minutes 7/02/2011


Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 7 February 2011 at Penshurst Village Hall at 8 pm

1. PRESENT: Cllrs R Sellings (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, A Campbell, S Frederick, D Geal, M Gilbert, R Horsford, C Viccars

APOLOGIES: Cllr Mrs A Hill, this was approved.

2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 6 December 2010 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. Saltbins: Saltbin obtained for Penshurst to be sited adjacent to road in vicinity of Enterprise Centre, Penshurst Estate had previously offered to ensure this was filled with salt/grit. Sue Ireland had advised that salt bins placed on private land were not eligible for filling by highways, Cllr Gilbert had subsequently been advised by Allan Gibbons that only bins provided by highways would be filled. The PC had purchased two bins in view of the fact that highways had refused to provide any, Cllr Lake explained the lengthy compliance procedure to obtain bins which he hoped would be dispensed with. Cllrs Frederick and Horsford to liaise regarding grit/sand stock to refill bin at Fordcombe.

b. The Bottle House & c. Relocation of Pathway – Bottle House Allotments: Clerk had visited the Land Registry and obtained current papers indicating extent of land ownership, copies circulated to members. This matter was deferred until the next meeting.

d. Rectory Hedge: Cllr Gilbert reported that Allan Gibbons had confirmed discussions with the tree surgeon working on the hedge and considered the current standard to be acceptable.

Cllr Gilbert had discussed with Allan Gibbons the damage caused by traffic using the diversion route as a result of the pipe laying at Spring Hill, Mr Gibbons had recorded the condition of the routes prior to the commencement of the work but stated that, due to financial constraints, only safety repairs would be addressed, not cosmetic issues. Cllr Lake advised that he had obtained an undertaking from Nick Chard, prior to his leaving as head of highways, that the route would be repaired. Cllr Lake considered an inspection of the damage was required and he would approach Brian Sweetland, new highways member, to honour the previous member’s promise.

e. Penshurst Primary School Planning Application: Members responded to KCC regarding their application update: Members still feel that the use of brick is preferred to the option of oak weatherboarding. Penshurst Place had also expressed a wish that brick be used. It was considered that the use of weather-boarding would not be a suitable option for long term use ie maintenance costs in the future would be high whereas the use of brick would not attract such costs and this was therefore thought to be a short sighted decision. One of the councillors is a highly experienced builder and sees no reason why it should be difficult to match or obtain the bricks required which are of a basic type. The other weatherboard building mentioned is a relatively recent addition to the school site and does in no way have the visual impact on the area that this extension will. Members appreciate that the building will be constructed to meet current requirements but are still concerned the design might cause an unnecessary problem as previously stated. Whilst offering the foregoing comments the PC would state that they are very supportive of the application in principle and would not wish to do anything to jeopardise the project


f. Environment Agency: Neil Gunn agreed to visit the parish again to discuss current information available on the flood scheme, late February/early March suggested. Clerk had contacted the Chiddingstone clerk to advise meeting was being arranged. Option for dates provided for Mr Gunn, response awaited.


a. Swaylands: Clerk discussed issue with personnel at Swaylands but they consider no lighting on site can cause intrusion at the distance reported. Cllr Sellings advised a further complaint had been received and the site would be checked during the forthcoming planning visit. Six units in the Woodgate building and four in the main house were still available.

b. Kent County Councillor: KCCllr Lake advised there would be no increase in tax for the forthcoming year.

c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: SDCllr Cooke reported that the SDC Planning Policy Core Strategy had been agreed by government, this included the building of 3300 new homes by 2026. The proposed development at Fort Halstead had been refused as not viable in the short term, this had not formed part of the strategy. Cllr Cooke advised that the minibus service was being withdrawn in March due to financial cut backs. SDC were willing to gift any of the buses to organisations prepared to continue to offer the service, this included volunteers, councils etc. SDC welcomed applications from suitable organisations who would need to meet all future running costs. (Subsequent telephone conversation with Cllr Cooke, clerk suggested local parishes be approached to gauge willingness to share current costs with SDC continuing to run service on existing basis)

d. KALC: No report

e. Alms Houses: Mr Johnson reported that extensive work was to be carried out on the properties. Problems with flooding of the property had occurred due to the failure of a washing machine. Work to walls had been deferred until the health of two residents improved. Contractor to be contacted regarding estimated work in relation to drainage from the roof.

f. Proposed Affordable Housing Project: Alternative sites inspected, questionnaire with accompanying information drafted by SDC Officer in consultation with KPG and PC prior to posting, draft to be considered by PC.

g. Neighbourhood Watch: Fly tipping had occurred in Coldharbour Road/New Road, clerk to report. Members were advised to be vigilant when taking out holiday insurance as there were reciprocal agreements with most European countries, clerk pointed out that medical repatriation was not covered if found to be necessary. The bridge on the coach road over the Eden had now stabilised.


Mini Bus Service: Concern was expressed over the loss of the bus service to the parishes, Cllrs Lake and Cooke would discuss whether they could provide any assistance and report back to the PC.

Water Main Replacement: A great deal of criticism had been levelled at the water company with regard to the project but a parishioner wished to record his appreciation of the site team who had worked well, finishing the contract two weeks earlier than anticipated. Another parishioner advised that when placing contracts for such work a clause prohibiting installation of utility supplies in such a way as to necessitate road closure for installation or maintenance had been included in the documentation, he felt this should be considered by county.

New Road Accidents: Two further road accidents had occurred on New Road, on 31 December and 3 February, clerk to ask for surface to be treated with non slip coating.


Verge/Swathe Mowing Funding: Clerk forwarded email to John Burr requesting further information in relation to the verge/swathe mowing contract. No response received at date of meeting. Clerk to advise John Burr that the PC would cost any work considered necessary themselves and reclaim the expenditure from county.

Road Surface – Fordcombe: Mick Noonan from Countywide team advised that the area from Colliers Bridge to the A264 would have surface dressing to provide a skid resistant surface. The area through the junction will have micro asphalt laid which will be skid resistant and the road will also be built up where the shape had disappeared.

Interactive Road Signs: Clerk advised Sue Ireland that PC in favour of provision of permanent speed sign, special form to be completed by KCCllr Peter Lake to initiate project. Clerk to check if mobile indicator was to be reintroduced in Penshurst. Clerk to check situation with regard to Fordcombe interactive sign and provision of data collection unit.

Penshurst Churchyard: Churchyard path could be replaced with tarmac surface, issue checked with Conservation Officer who advised there was no restriction now on the type of surfacing required. Footpaths officer had advised that PC could apply for help with funding for tarmac surface. Diocesan representative suggested tarmac with stones incorporated might be a more aesthetically acceptable option. A faculty would be required prior to the work being carried out. Cllr Mrs Broad advised that the PCC would prefer the path be replaced with bricks as provided in the High Street and may be willing to assist with the cost of same, Cllr Geal to provide indication of costs involved. Temporary repair of any lose bricks to be carried out.

Colliers Land Bridge: SE Water alerted Kent Highways and Local Bus Planner to concerns raised at drop-in meeting regarding public and school bus diversion route. Project team asked to review method plan for work again to check if possible to minimise disruption further. Contractor instructed to erect ‘business as usual’ signs at strategic locations. Special page created on website to be updated as scheme progresses – www.southeastwater.co.uk/springhill.

Continuous approaches had been made to highways officers throughout the duration of the contract regarding problems caused by road closure. Advice received from Mr Brend of South East Water that work completed two weeks ahead of schedule. Considerable damage had been caused to verges by traffic using the diversion routes. Highways had agreed to provide labour to effect repairs.

Drainage: Flooding between the two bridges at the bottom of Rogues Hill reported again under Ref. 18823. Cllr Sellings advised that flooding was still occurring due to drains being blocked with building debris, clerk to report again.

Footpath Signs: Cllr Mrs Broad confirmed that Grove Road signage repair had been completed. Broken footpath sign on Fordcombe cricket ground reported, Cllr Gilbert to check if repaired and advise clerk. Cllr Mrs Broad advised the bridle path at Poundsbridge required the reinstatement of the non slip surface as it was very slippery, hand railing on SR459 needed reinstatement and the surface along SR441 had washed away during recent rainy weather, clerk to report.

White Lining: Refreshing of white lining reported for Colliersland Bridge (10004831) and Rogues Hill (10004832), website indicates further work required to resolve issue. Clerk to request white lining again at Long Bridge, the traffic check had been undertaken and the hedge had been taken back.

Southern Water: Sewage smells at bottom of Rogues Hill reported under reference CSMS 2958422, area being monitored for timing of problems to assess reason. (Area monitored between 28 January – 6 February, problems occurring between 9.30 – 10.30 am daily – Southern Water advised)

School Barrier Damage: Reported under reference 17609947



SE/10/03322: The Small Barn, Nunnery Lane: Amendment to application 10/02163/FUL permitting extensions & alteration to existing dwelling. Change solely relates to amended pitch roof design above extension, on South Western side of house. No Comment

SE/10/02763: 2 Rectory Cottages, High Street, Penshurst: Erection of single storey extension to rear. The PC were unable to submit a response to the application in view of the complicated design of the structure and insufficient information accompanying same.

SE/10/03278: 4 New Road, Penshurst: Retrospective application for timber decked area to rear of dwelling. The PC are of the opinion that the structure does not comply with planning regulations but if a compromise could be reached between the respective parties including lowering of the decking and screening being introduced on both sites this might solve the problem.

SE/10/03360: Sapperton, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe: Remodelling existing bungalow, remove conservatory to rear and porch to front. Erect single storey rear extension and new porch. New pitched roof with raised ridge height to provide 3 bedrooms and a bathroom with two dormer windows to the rear elevation and four roof windows to front elevation. No Comment

SE/10/03430: Barnfield, Penshurst Road: Erection of two storey front extension. The Parish Council do not object to the application but have concerns that the design of the door and windows is not in keeping with the rest of the property and therefore the visual impact of this may not be acceptable

SE/11/00042: Abbotsmerry Barn, Salmans Lane, Penshurst: Erection of stables tack room and feed store building together with change of use of the land for family horses. The PC oppose this application due to the visual impact on the surrounding area, members note that the design of the building does not comply with the recommendations and guidelines of the Horse Society.

SE/11/00031: Blowers Hill, Grove Road, Penshurst: Two new casement windows to kitchen. No Comment

SE/11/00071: 6 Chafford Cottages, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe: Replacement of felt flat roof with tiled pitched roof. Widening existing roof dormer window.


SE/10/02766/LBC: Abbotsmerry Barn, Salmans Lane, Penshurst: House alterations including internal partition alterations, new stair to attic room fitting alterations, door fire treatment, window enlargement. LBC GRANTED

SE/10/02767/8: Abbotsmerry Barn, Salmans Lane, Penshurst: Erection of stables, tack room and feed store building together with change of use of the land for family horses. WITHDRAWN

SE/10/03023: Barnfold, Saints Hill, Penshurst: Erection of two storey side extension with garden room. Erection of detached three bay garage and log store and two bay garage and log store to be accessed by secondary access and driveway. GRANTED

SE/10/02886: The Grove Cottage, Grove Road, Penshurst: Erection of stone wall to front boundary (resubmission to application SE/10/00878) REFUSED

SE/10/02963: The Studio, Old Swaylands, Poundsbridge Lane, Penshurst: Solar Energy roof panels on non-listed building to supply both listed and non listed properties. REFUSED.

SE/10/02887/8LBC: Walters Green Farm, Walters Green Road, Penshurst: Installation of 2 solar panels on pitched roof. REFUSED

SE/10/02871: Orchard Mews, Nunnery Lane, Penshurst: Demolition of existing dwelling and outbuilding and erection of a replacement detached dwelling and detached three car garage (amendment to SE/09/01482). GRANTED

SE/10/3004: Penshurst C of E Primary School, High Street, Penshurst: Proposed school reception/office area, library, new toilet facilities, additional storage and rationalisation of servery and circulation routes. (Proposal changed to use of brick reception extension instead of oak weatherboarding, exact detail of external materials, such as specification of matching facing brick reserved for later consideration, PC to be consulted on external materials specification). GRANTED

SE/10/03322: The Small Barn, Nunnery Lane, Penshurst: Amendment to 10/02163 permitting extensions and alteration to existing dwelling. Change relates to amended pitch roof design above extension on South Western side of house. REFUSED


10/03403/WTCA: Kings Meadows, Fordcombe Road, Fordcombe: Fell 1 Beech tree and 1 Eucalyptus tree. No Comment

11/00103/WTCA: The Rectory, High Street, Penshurst: Fell 1 stem of multi stemmed Sycamore tree. The PC feel that in view of the current and future impact this Sycamore will have on the wall it is suggested that the tree stems all be removed and the stump treated to kill it. The laurel could be tidied and more suitable shrubbery planted to provide screening.

11/00155: The Orangery, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Fell 1 Cedar tree. The PC would oppose the felling of the tree but would be in favour of surgery to tidy and improve the shape.



a. Secretary/Trustee of Arnold Hills Hall: Request for nomination for member of PC to serve on Management Committee for the year March 2011/2012. It was unanimously agreed Cllrs Mrs Broad’s name be put forward for this position, clerk provided Cllr Mrs Broad with the charity paperwork.

b. Allotments: Request received for allotment at Bottle House site, it was agreed this matter be deferred until the next meeting.

c. Summer Activity Workshops: Invitation to town and parish councils to attend workshop on 3 March to consider joint working in view of withdrawal of Youthzone Family Fund Days due to budget constraints. Clerk would try to obtain further information on this issue if available.

d. Environment Agency: Invitation to exhibition on flood protection on 9 February at Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey. Clerk had contacted the sender to check if nearer option available for parishes in west Kent area, acknowledgement received but no further information.

e. Chairmen/Clerks’ Lunch: Invitation from SDC Chairman to attend lunch for Parish Chairmen and Clerks on 16 March at Darenth Valley Golf Club. The Chairman and clerk were of the opinion this was inappropriate at a time when services such as the mini bus and childrens’ play bus were being withdrawn. Clerk to write an decline and suggest a meeting at SDC offices would be more acceptable.


The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:

Mr I Streeter Lengthsman 78.00

Graham Wickens Emergency Snow/Ice clearance church path 20.00

RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal 134.26

Bourne Amenity Rock Salt Delivery 118.91

KCC Gangmowing 136.34

Welcome Printing Printing/Stationery March – December 2010 152.14

Fordcombe Village Hall Hall Hire 39.00

Mrs E M Divall Clerk Salary/Expenses 1070.71

a. Public Conveniences: Letter received from Richard Wilson advising closure of the toilets with effect from 1 April 2011. PC invited to take on financial responsibility for the facility. No assistance with costs had been forthcoming from any parish organisation. A survey in the parish to ascertain support for the facility to remain open to be considered.

b. Quarterly Accounts: Circulated to councillors for information, these were noted.

c. Kent County Council: Quotation for Gangmowing for 2011 had been received, clerk had checked with another contractor who had also provided value for money but he was unable to meet the £239.01 figure. It was unanimously agreed that KCC be appointed for a further year.

d. Complete Weed Control: Quotations for weed control work in parish had been received. It was unanimously agreed that the cost of £145 per village per treatment be approved, contractor to liaise with Cllr C Viccars and clerk/Mr I Streeter for respective villages when work required.


a. Diversion Signs: Cllrs Mrs Broad noted that there was still a sign remaining after the completion of the recent project and three sandbags had been thrown into the adjacent field.

b. Fordcombe Churchyard: The increasing speed of traffic using the road adjacent to the churchyard was making it extremely dangerous for pedestrians leaving the area to cross the road. Clerk to report to highways.

c. Play Equipment: Cllr Geal advised that discussions were taking place with regard to the options for removal of rubbish from the new play area when completed.

Meeting closed 9.45 pm Next Meeting 7 March 2011 – Fordcombe

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