Ordinary Meeting Minutes 7/04/2014


Minutes of the Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 7 April 2014 at 7.45 pm in Penshurst Village Hall

1.PRESENT:   Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, A Campbell, I Carson, S Frederick, J Horsford, B Townsend
In attendance:  KCCllr C Pearman (Part); Mr P Johnson (Alms Houses and Neighbourhood Watch)
APOLOGIES:     Cllrs J Broadhead, J O’Shea, SDCllr P Cooke, Mr R Sellings (Speedwatch & Swaylands), Mr M Knowles (Gatwick)

2.         MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 3 March 2014, having been circulated, were approved and signed by the Chairman.

Declarations of interests in agenda items
If a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest in an item of business this must be declared at the start of the meeting, unless dispensation has been granted.  The member may not participate in any discussion, vote or discharge any function related to that business.
Non-pecuniary interests may be declared at this point if not already registered.  Members with a non-pecuniary interest may speak on the subject if members of the public can do so but may not vote.     NONE

3.         OPEN SESSION
Parishioner complained he had been visited by SDC Environmental Health as the result of a report regarding a bonfire alight on a day public warnings had been given regarding air quality and problems for those with chest/heart complaints.  The officer had not found any lighted bonfires during his visit.   Clerk confirmed she had contacted Environmental Health and would always respond to parishioners’ concerns.    Parishioner confirmed tree planting would commence when new stock was available, these would include English oak, hornbeam, hawthorn and other native species; a facility for the burial of dogs would also be included on the site.
Temporary advertising posters were being placed at unsuitable sites which distracted drivers, clerk to contact organisers to have them removed and re-sited.

4.        PLANNING

SE/14/00325:  Alderwood House, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Proposed car port to replace existing out building.
The PC would give qualified support for this application.
The original application approved in 2010 included underground car parking which the applicant no longer requires, the PC has concerns however as to the future possible development of this permission and the impact that it may have on the Green Belt.  The outbuilding which is to be demolished in part of the walled garden was felt to have aesthetic value and therefore the PC ask if it would be worthwhile considering not demolishing this building but applying a Section 206 that would forbid its future development. The PC is also concerned at the new ancillary accommodation and whether it complies with the 2010 permission awarded.
SE/14/00510:  Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Internal alteration works to upgrade means of escape protection and fire safety systems.   PC Support
SE/13/03604:  Meathe House, 1 Brooklands Farm Close, Fordcombe:  Erection two storey side extension, converting existing garage to living accommodation with two bedrooms above. Timber decking to NW elevation.   This was a re-application, the original having been granted.   PC Support
SE/14/00615:  Swaylands School Farm, Poundsbridge Lane, Poundsbridge:  Erection single storey extensions to existing building, creation of habitable room within roof space, alterations to existing garage and realignment of driveway to reduce existing hardstanding area.  Site meeting to be held on 8 April.   PC Support

SE/14/00224:  Bowens Farm, Poundsbridge Lane, Poundsbridge, Penshurst:  Construction of barn.  SDC confirmed application does not require prior approval.
SE/14/00012:  Cell Site 34158: Penshurst Grove Road, Penshurst:  Proposed site upgrade to remove existing 20m pole and replace with 20m Jupiter S Range pole on existing root foundation.  One equipment cabinet to be removed and replaced by RBS 6102 cabinet (1300 x 700 x 1450 mm) within wood panel fenced compound.  GRANTED

Tree Surgery:
SE/14/00556:  Burr Lodge, Smarts Hill, Penshurst:  Beech Tree – Crown reduction 50%, reduce laterals to balance.

Affordable Housing Judicial Review/Current Planning Permission awarded:   Hearing held 24/25 March at Royal Courts of Justice.   SDC’s legal representative presented defence arguments on claim two on 25 March, Forge Field Society representative having presented the Claimants’ case on the 24 March.   After lunch on 25 March it was agreed that claim one would be conceded, this meant it was possible to conclude the case on that day.     The prospects of a successful outcome on claim two were not in any way affected by the concession of claim one.   SDC will pay the claimants costs on claim one but will not incur additional costs and delay.   The judge will give judgement as soon as possible, but it may take some weeks.  SDC will need to re-determine the first planning application, this is being prepared to take account of criticisms raised in both judicial review claims.


a.         Long Bridge Project:    Project currently in abeyance due to volume of road repair work required after poor winter weather.   KCCllr Pearman reported that legal and feasible traffic schemes covering all aspects of traffic issues were being considered.   It was originally hoped to reduce speed over the bridge with the 30MPH signs being moved further away, possibly narrow bridge and priority signage being introduced but keeping ‘street furniture’ to a minimum to reduce confusion for drivers.  Space on one side for pedestrians would be advantageous.  The current project would be addressed when existing repairs required as a result of the poor weather conditions had been completed.   Cllr Pearman would work with Cllr Cass to ensure Highways could provide a solution by summer.   The local farmer needed the adjacent field for stock; this necessitated the reinstatement of stock proof fencing.

b.         Swaylands:  Managing Agents requested to settle issue within two months, ie information expected May/June 2014.

c.         Gas Supply:  Total of nearly 70 residents advised clerk of interest, clerk confirmed there was no obligation on anyone to take up an offer of provision of gas, final decisions could be made when costs were known.

d.         Rectory Hedge:   No site meeting arranged to date, Cllr Cass to action.

6.         REPORTS:

a.    Kent County Councillor Clive Pearman:
Health Issues:  KCC with Clinical Commissioning Group is making the final submission of the Better Care Fund to the Health and Wellbeing Board for approval.  Plans include new neighbourhood teams, centred on GP surgeries, with intent that health and social care staff move to a 7day a week workforce and, in some cases, 24 hour care.
Asylum:  A positive meeting was held with James Brokenshire, new Minister for Immigration and Security regarding the asylum costs owed to Kent.  KCC is now optimistic that the ongoing revenue shortfall and, maybe an offer for some of the historic accrued debt may be remedied.
Council Transformation: New Cabinet Committees now replace previous ones but, as far as possible, retaining personnel to provide continuity of knowledge and experience.   The committees are:
·         Policy and Resources Cabinet
·         Education and Young People Services Cabinet
·         Growth, Economic Development and Communities Cabinet
·         Environment and Transport Cabinet
·         Childrens’ Social Care and Health Cabinet, and

Cllr Pearman offered his apologies for the Annual Parish Assembly and confirmed he had provided a report for the meeting, this provided information on the transformation proposals which came into force on 1 April.   He advised members on the forthcoming involvement of KCC in NHS care for parishioners after hospitalisation, this aspect would increase with the aging population.   Cost savings of £91-93m were required for the next three years, county have effectively worked on a reduced budget of 28% for the last three years also.  Savings would be sought with all current services supplied being checked, future involvement of KCC, private sector, voluntary and community groups would all be considered.  There would be emphasis on small sized local groups to take part in the process; SDC would also become involved as would PCs.   Accountability for services would remain with KCC who would carry responsibility for any underperformance of contractors.

b.    Sevenoaks District Councillor Paddy Cooke:
The Gypsy and Traveller Plan – Site Options Consultation Document was discussed by SDC’s Local Planning and Environment Advisory Committee on 25th March.  Government policy requires local planning authorities to identify the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers and prepare a plan to show how these needs would be met.   In March 2012, SDC published its Gypsy, Traveller, and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment, which identified a need to provide 72 pitches across the District between 2012 and 2026. Before SDC can adopt a Gypsy and Traveller Plan it must be subjected to independent examination and found sound by a Government-appointed Planning Inspector.  This process is expected to take a couple of years to complete.   Once adopted, it will form part of the Local Plan.    The proposed site options are:
–     Eagles Farm, Crowhurst Lane; Hollywood Gardens, School Lane, West Kingsdown.
–     Seven Acre Farm, Hever Road; Land west of Enterprise Way, Edenbridge
–     Malt House Farm, Lower Road; Land adj. Valley Park South, Lower Road, Hextable
–     Land East of Knockholt Station, London Road; Land at Fort Halstead, Halstead
–     Holly Mobile Home Park, Hockenden Lane; Robertson’s Nursery, Goldsel Road, Swanley
–     Hilltop Farm, London Road, Farningham
–     Barnfield Park, Ash-cum-Ridley
–     Early Autumn, East Hill Road, Knatts Valley
–     Land South of Mesne Way, part of Timberden Farm, Shoreham
The following sites have been discounted at this stage:
–     Romani Way, Hever Road; Deers Leap Farm, Four Elms Road, Edenbridge
–     Valley Farm North & South, Carters Hill, Underriver
–     Land adj. Cricket Pavilion, Underriver
–     Polhill Park, Polhill
–     Land adj. Valley Park North, Hextable
–     Fort Halstead, Halstead

SDC members are being asked to consider the Site Options Consultation document and endorse the recommendation to Cabinet, subject to agreed amendments, and then the plan will be subject to public consultation in May/June 2014.

c.                     KALC:    Issues discussed taken from minutes:
·         Joint Transportation Board:  On street parking, flooding, pothole blitz, road safety, ‘voting rights for parishes’ not having been implemented at JTB
·         KALC:  AGM, Constitution, IT, satisfaction survey to be circulated for completion, events/seminars: Planning Conference, Licensing for Local Councils, Police & Ambulance Services and Allotment Law and Management.
·         KCC:  Rationalisation to 4 directorates, £93m saving out of £1.5Bn spending, everything now goes through Procurement, KCC now has further responsibility for NHS, no news as yet on future funding of libraries.
·         SDC:  Support Grant/Rebate discussed, decked car park proposed for Buckhurst 2 (Sevenoaks), proposed closure of Meeting Point for elderly/vulnerable adults postponed until end June, Council Tax notices issued.
·         Future Topics:  HGVs on unsuitable roads, licensing.
Assets of Community Value:  Information on procedure provided by Lee Banks of SDC.

d.         Alms Houses:     Mr Johnson reported the three bed sits were due to be refurbished, included rectifying the problems with damp to the ground floor residences.   The current vacant unit might be needed temporarily to house residents during refurbishment work, the list of those interested in taking on the permanent tenancy would then be considered at a meeting of the Trustees.

e.         Neighbourhood Watch:    Mr Johnson reported that a pram had been stolen in Penshurst and an outbuilding belonging to a commercial organisation was broken into on Penshurst Road; a blue Suzuki motorcycle was stolen from Poundsbridge Lane.   A male had been seen walking along Penshurst High Street looking at houses and walking along private driveways, he left after being challenged.   There had been problems with fly tipping; this could be reported to SDC who would deal with the issue.   There had been further problems with the possible theft of charity boxes.   The inside of the Penshurst telephone box had been painted white, possible to assist someone to steal any funds available.

f.                     Speedwatch:
Data:  Cllr Campbell provided the up to date data regarding Speedwatch checks:
1852 vehicles recorded:  142 for second detection, 35 for third, 15 for fourth, 8 for fifth, 1 for sixth and 38 for excessive speed.
Mr Loring reported that the Speedwatch team would be attending a meeting in Maidstone later in the month.

g.         Gatwick Airport:     Michael Knowles attended the Noise Seminar at Gatwick Airport on 19 March, this produced differing figures for people affected by aircraft noise with estimates from 450,000 – 800,000 being possible.  The question was asked how the figures reconciled with the ANCON 57dBa contours that are used to convince everyone that only a few thousand people are affected – as far as compensation is concerned.   Easyjet advised they were evaluating the proposed medications and would make a decision when all data had been received.   85 of their Airbus jets would be replaced and from May would have the underwing modifications to suppress airframe noise so persistent on the long approach to landing.   Further information with regard to this subject can be found on the PC website.

With regard to the Gatwick Second Runway Consultation, this will run from 4 April – 16 May, the option on which Gatwick is consulting for a new 3.4km runway are:

·         Option 1:  a new runway 585m south of existing runway with one runway used for landings and the other for take-offs.
·         Option 2: a new runway 1,045m south of existing runway with one runway used for landings and one for take-offs plus a new terminal between the runways
·         Option 3:  a new runway 1,045m south of existing runway with both runways used for landings and take-offs, and a new terminal between the runways.

Public consultations will be held in Edenbridge, Crawley, Crowborough amongst other areas, times and dates of these can be found on the web at: www.gatwickairport.com>…>About Gatwick > a new runway.

Mr Knowles would be attending the Annual Parish Assembly to advise parishioners on the current situation, also to demonstrate how to track flights causing particular problems and report them via the computer.

7.         HIGHWAYS:

Reported Faults Update:
91196:  Laying water reported on road opposite Poundsbridge Lane junction with Penshurst Road.   Problems caused by water flowing from Penshurst Estate land on to roadway.     Flooding on road from Meadow Wood towards Barden Road reported again.   Both issues passed to Alistair Coleman to deal with, programming of work required, plans to channel water into cleared ditches/pond area to alleviate problems on road with laying water/ice.   Website indicates work completed, issue to be monitored.    Issue shown as under investigation again as of 22.1.14.
83586:  Entrance to The Lane, Fordcombe:  damaged grating cover reported for repair/replacement, Inspection required, logged at 14 November.
90796:  Broken Bend sign: Outside Saint’s Hill House. Work being programmed as of 20 January
17140998:  Blocked Drain:   Junction of St Peter’s Row and Chafford Lane.   Work carried out but further problems now being experienced at the entrance to the Caravan Park, reported again.
92557:  Signpost leaning and one arm bent:  Junction Nunnery Lane with Sandfield Road near Nunnery Cottage, under investigation as of 30 January
92558:   Priority Sign Leaning:  Junction Sandfield Road and Colliers Land Bridge B2188, under investigation as of 30 January
92561:  Speed Sign Leaning:  Chafford Lane junction with Broad Lane TN3 OSH, under investigation as of 30 January
92565:  Speed Sign Leaning and Twisted:  Chafford Bridge, under investigation as of 30 January
92566:  Signpost Missing:  Bradley Road junction with Chafford Lane, under investigation as of 30 January
93431:  Blocked drains from Chafford Lane towards Walters Green.  Gully scheduled for cleaning.
17226726:  Bus Stop junction of Fordcombe Road/Glebelands – blocked drain. Work completed 6 February
93433:  30 MPH sign between the two bridges at the bottom of Rogues Hill rotted, under investigation as of 4 February
93434:  Damage to Colliersland Bridge – Highways advised clerk that the bridge had originally been damaged in December due to accident, further damage at same point identified, works to repair will be scheduled.
93436:  Drains still blocked on New Road past Burzes Cottages, under investigation as of 4 February
93440:  Drain blocked opposite Keymer Court, works completed.
95880:   New Road Blocked Drain, works completed.
97389:  Signage (Penshurst) reported:  Fordcombe Road at junction with Grove Road: directional sign giving three way directs – twisted; right turn triangle and 40 MPH both tilted; bottom of Saints Hill – 40MPH tilted over; 30MPH near Spotted Dog as approached from Saints Hill – twisted; Leigh Road before junction to Penshurst Station, Little Brown Jug – 40MPH twisted;
Poundsbridge Lane from Rogues Hill – national speed limit twisted with 40mph on back;  Bidborough Ridge dropping down into Penshurst along the Swaylands curtilage – Road Narrows sign twisted, then 2 x 30MPH signs readable but damaged on their edges;  bottom of Rogues Hill between the river and the Backwater – 30mph fallen in hedge.
Enquiry under investigation as of 26 February.
98371:  Bradley Road/Walters Green Road/Chafford Bridge:  Multiple potholes.   Clerk advised by phone repairs are being programmed and works will require road closure, works now completed.
98374:  Poundsbridge Lane/Bowen Farm:  Pothole, work completed.
98377:  Opposite No. 1 Brooklands Close, Spring Hill:  Dislodged manhole cover due to excessive water, work completed.   Drains also cleared to prevent flooding.
97255: Poundsbridge Cottages/Pitcher House:   Multiple potholes, works completed.
17438924: Spring Hill – Opposite Brooklands:  Roadside collapse, approach made to Allan Gibbons for information, Chairman advised of situation to discuss with resident.  Initial collapse appeared to be as a result of loss of root ball, kerb still retaining water at present time.
98380:  Information Sign:  Request for directional sign on road from Leigh towards junction with the Fordcombe/ Bidborough road area.   Response received from Steven Noad (Highways Officer) advising existing signage positioned prior to junction.
98395:  Sign Opposite Salmans Lane:  30MPH sign leaning over, under investigation
98386:  No Through Road Sign:  Entrance to Glebelands on 2188 Fordcombe Road requires repainting, works being programmed
98388:  Penshurst Village Sign:  at Glebelands Entrance on 2188 bent, enquiry attended, further work required
97389:  40 MPH Sign:  Near The Grove junction on 2188 towards Fordcombe, broken off at base.  Enquiry under investigation
98380:  Indicator Sign at Penshurst T junction.   Steven Noad advised this would be investigated to see if suitable site for sign could be found.
100943:  Road adjacent to Fordcombe Church Wall:   Sunken area, works being programmed
100944:  Broad Lane:   Potholes towards boundary with next authority, work completed.
102638:  Fordcombe Village Green/Meads View:  Staggered junction sign knocked down
102649:  Poundsbridge/Speldhurst Road:   Overhanging hedges narrowing carriageway
Overhanging Branch:   On Penshurst Road opposite Poundsbridge.

8.                     FINANCE:

The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:

Mr I Streeter                                                      Lengthsman                                                       £89.00
RIP                                                                   Dog Waste Removal                                           £57.60
Thomson Snell & Passmore                                 Legal Fees – Land Ownership/Responsibility         £222.00
SDC                                                                  Bulk Freighter Provision                                      £165.60
S.E. Water                                                         Warren Lane Allotments                                     £12.38
Welcome Printing                                               Photocopy/Stationery November 2010 –
February 2014                                                   £345.13
KALC                                                                Annual Subscription                                            £645.17
Harrison External Display Systems                       Replacement Flagpole                                         £802.74

a.         Flagpole – Penshurst Village Hall Site:   Information circulated to members for discussion on costs towards replacement flag pole.  It was agreed that the PC would meet the cost of purchase of this item, future maintenance/ replacements costs etc. would be for the Village Hall to meet.


a.    Sir John Stanley, MP:  Confirmation that responses provided by councillors Mrs Broad and Mr Campbell to enquiry relating to recent problems with flooding would be passed to Area Manager of Environment Agency, Mr Andrew Pearce.
b.    Sir John Stanley, MP:  Reply from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Department for Transport with responsibility for aviation matters, Robert Goodwill provided as a result of Sir John’s support of the PC’s consultation response.

10.                   ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

a.     Defibrillator:  Chairman advised that the preferred site for this was the Chafford Arms.
b.     Tree Survey:   Coblands to be asked to provide report on oak tree in Fordcombe church yard

Meeting concluded 9.20 pm                                                   Next Meetings:
Annual Parish Assembly
14 April 2014 – Penshurst 7.30 pm
6 May 2014 – Fordcombe 7.30 pm