Ordinary Meeting Minutes 7/09/2009


 Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 7 September 2009 at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe Village Hall
Prior to the business of the meeting Cllr Sellings registered the thanks of the members to Colin Viccars for all his work on behalf of the parish during his term as Chairman, this was unanimously supported by those present.
1.            PRESENT:   Cllrs R Sellings (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, A Campbell, S Frederick, D Geal, M Gilbert, Mrs A Hill, R Horsford
APOLOGIES: Cllr C Viccars, (This was approved) KCCllr P Lake, SDCllr P Cooke 
2.            MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 3 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.
Cllr Geal registered a prejudicial interest in the second item under 6. Planning.
3.            MATTERS ARISING:
a.            Fordcombe Hospital Bus Stop:    Clerk advised that as a result of a meeting with the Speldhurst clerk she had been advised that KHS had deemed the strip of land too narrow to provide a hard standing, they were however looking into the possibility of providing such an area on the other side of the road.   The clerk questioned whether this would be a waste of time and money as there was already ample space to stand on that side of the road whilst waiting for the bus to arrive, it was as passengers left the bus to access the hospital etc. that problems arose because they had to get off the bus on to the grass verge.   Clerk to suggest to Speldhurst that the hedge be cut hard back to provide sufficient area to introduce half a dozen paving slabs, as in Penshurst, to solve the problem.
b.         Public Toilets:     Members agreed strongly that the public toilets should not be closed, more and more services were being withdrawn from the parish with the option that they could be provided if they were paid for.    It was suggested that approaches be made to Penshurst Place, Penshurst Village Hall Committee, and South East Tourism for contributions towards the cost of maintaining the facility prior to a decision being made on a further approach to SDC.   It would also be important to get public support possibly via a petition to maintain the facilities.
c.            Penshurst Bus Shelter Roof: Cllr Geal confirmed the shingles were in stock for the repairs which would be carried out within the next two weeks.
d.         Fallen Tree: Environment Agency had removed the tree reported under reference 703763.       
e.         Village Seat – Fordcombe Green:   Matter deferred to next meeting for report by Cllr Viccars.
f.            Penshurst Village Hall Hedge:   Hedge now cut back.      
4.            REPORTS:
a.            Swaylands:    Cllr Sellings and Geal advised that the site was now well managed and well presented, the company were very supportive of the village and it was agreed that they could be approached with regard to projects under consideration for the parish in the event that they could help in any of these areas. Members still had concerns over the capacity of the sewerage plant to cope with the volume of throughput and it was agreed this would be raised again at a future regular site meeting
b.         Kent County Councillor:      No report
c.            Sevenoaks District Councillor:    No report
d.         KALC:      Agenda available for next scheduled meeting.
e.         Community Officer :     The only problem reported has been with fly tipping, Cllr Sellings had contacted the PCSO with regard to items tipped on the lane opposite Penshurst Place, this had now been cleared.    Paperwork included in the rubbish had provided information as to the possible source, this information had been given to the police and the Clean Kent organisation, together with the registration number of a vehicle thought to be involved. Asbestos had been dumped on a local verge, Cllr Fredericks was dealing with this issue.
5.            HIGHWAYS:    Members had been provided with notes on the meetings held with KHS officers and James Hopkins.   Clerk had received the following information from KHS:                                                                
Longbridge:    Parapet – target cost accepted and works being planned, start date to be advised. (Work under way) Members noted that the type and standard of brickwork was not in keeping with the original design.   Sheet Piling: Little progress made, options being considered and investigations being progressed.   PC to be advised when decision on solution made.
River Medway Bridleway Bridge: Underwater inspection undertaken by Jacobs, repairs identified.   Paths leading to the route signposted with closure details and bridge secured with plastic barriers. Work to be undertaken as an emergency measure, possibly within 21 days. Ringway will build a dam around the supports and pump in further concrete.
Poundsbridge Church Fingerpost: Clerk advised that this will be replaced together with a couple of other missing posts.
Verge Mowing: Standard of work improved on initial cut, Cllr Gilbert to liaise directly with Alan Riley regarding working arrangements between Parish Councils and KHS and highway stance to cutting private vegetation ie definitions, what is expected etc.   Contractors to provide dates for next swathe cut, it was agreed it would be prudent to leave this as late as possible, date now advised of 12 October 2009.   Cllr Gilbert would contact Alan Riley again with regard to information on the legalities of hedge cutting as no response had been received.  
Information received after meeting: KHS will be looking to have at least one metre of clear verge on the highway side of any boundary hedge to allow grass cutting. Technically they can require that the hedge is cut to the stem as that marks the actual boundary.   Where landowners fail to cut back KHS will write and ask them to carry out the work. If this does not work they will serve a Section 154 notice and specify a time (usually 14 days) in which the hedge should be cut and follow up with enforcement if that does not work. If KHS ultimately do the work, costs would be recovered from landowners, these can include actual work costs as well as others incurred for staff time etc.   Landowners will have their rights of appeal explained to them during the notice process. Notice and follow up will be carried out by the highway inspector followed by a dedicated enforcement team.
Resurfacing:   Penshurst Road from junction with Fordcombe Road to junction with Station Hill to be temporarily closed overnight from 9 November for six nights to facilitate resurfacing works.   Alternative route: Station Hill/Moorden Lane/Penshurst Road/High Street/Hildenborough Road/Rings Hill/Stocks Green Road/Leigh Road/Tonbridge Road/London Road/High Street/Railway Approach/Quarry Hill Road/London Road/ Bidborough Ridge/Penshurst Road/Rogues Hill.
Cllr Horsford advised that the landowner would be clearing the trees surrounding Colliersland Bridge in the autumn
Information promised during the recent highways meeting regarding an alternative coating for the slippery pavement in Penshurst had not been received, clerk to chase.
Members agreed they felt the parish had been let down by the performance of the Highways Inspector Alan Gibbons, his level of input not considered acceptable.
It was confirmed the registration number of the possible fly tipper had been passed to the police.
The bridge over the Eden was still deteriorating.   No crime reports had been received since the 14 August.
The fallen tree near the sewerage works had not been removed.   (Advised this morning work commenced to remove tree.)
6.            PLANNING:
SE/09/01318: Chafford Rise, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe.    Proposed demolition of outbuilding and erection of rear extension. Demolition of garage and erection of replacement garage. PC Response: Information received indicates the basis of permission for the size of extension proposed is under the General Permitted Development Order 2008. We understand that though the principles of this legislation are in place the actuality is still to be established by legal rulings. We are not qualified to challenge the proposal, reading the extension does not exceed the 4.0m limit but would question its validity under the 50% rule.

In principle the proposal is seen to be proportional by scale to the property and is an opportunity to deal with mismatching materials in the rear elevation. The rooflights are felt to be too tall being above the sills and in front of 1st floor windows.

SE/09/01849: Eureka, Fordcombe Road, Fordcombe: Erection of two storey extension to side and front porch.    Cllr Geal left the room whilst members discussed this application.    It was agreed there were no objections to the application.   Cllr Geal returned to the meeting.
SE/09/01511: Land South of Stackyard, The Lane, Fordcombe: Change of use from agricultural land to keep horses for recreational use. Erection of 2 stables, tack room, hay store and hardstanding.
SE/09/01550: West Wing, Daneby Hall, The Lane, Fordcombe.    Application Withdrawn
SE/09/01482: Orchard Mews, Nunnery Lane, Penshurst:   Demolition of existing dwelling and replacement detached dwelling house, conversion and single storey extension to out building to form a three car garage.   GRANTED
SE/09/01213: 2 Rectory Cottages, High Street, Penshurst: Construction of a timber shed. GRANTED
SE/09/01316: Woodgate Manor, Swaylands, Penshurst: Alterations to 3rd Floor and roof design to building approved under SE/07/01750.   GRANTED
7.            CORRESPONDENCE:
a.         SDC:    Information on dates of Community Safety Days           
b.            Douglas J P Edwards – Copy of resubmission application for The Oast, Fordcombe Manor, Spring Hill, Fordcombe 
c.         KCC:   Notification of resurfacing work
d.         BT Payphones: Offer to adopt local red telephone kiosk.   It was agreed Cllr Gilbert discuss the issue with the local landlord and mention could then be made in the parish magazines to gauge feelings of parishioners with regard to maintaining the unit.
e.         SDC:   Invitation to Sustainable Community Plan consultation on 14 September
8.            FINANCE:
The following accounts were presented and approved for payment.        
Mr I Streeter                                          Lengthsman                                                        78.00
RIP Cleaning Services                                    Dog Waste Removal                                      69.00
Complete Weed Control                          Weed Treatment Fordcombe/Penshurst                 322.00
Playsafety Ltd                                         Rospa Play Equipment Inspection                      101.20
Mrs E M Divall                                        Clerk Salary August/September                                 600.00
RIP Cleaning Services                                    Dog Waste Removal                                      43.13
a.   Clerk advised that the May payment for RIP had been lost in the post, the cheque had been stopped and a letter received from the bank confirming same.
b.   It was agreed that village projects now under consideration would be reported to the company managing Swaylands in order that they could be considered for any support available.   Those of particular interest were the speed indicators, public toilets and play area.
a.            Pharmacy Application:   It was confirmed that the PC had submitted objections to the provision of a pharmacy in the parish, it considered it was already well served by the current medical practice.
b.         Music:   Members had been made aware of complaints regarding music sessions at a local public house.
c          White Lines:   Clerk to submit request for white lines to be introduced across the steps to Leicester Square to facilitate access to the area.
d.            Rectory Hedge: Clerk to request KHS activate the procedure to ensure the hedge is cut back correctly, the lengthsman could no longer clean the area safely or properly.
e.            Rectory Wall: Clerk confirmed that the diocese would be appointing a contractor when final costs were agreed.
f.          Goods Vehicle Operator’s Licence:   Members were advised of an application covering a local address.    Members discussed the application, having received a copy letter from a parishioner opposing the issue of the licence.   No further complaints had been received.   It was agreed that in view of the strict conditions governing the issue of the licence members felt that this would not be awarded to an inappropriate applicant.
Meeting concluded at 9.10 pm                                   Next Meeting 5 October 2009 – Penshurst