Ordinary Meeting Minutes 9/02/2009


Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 9 February 2009 in Penshurst Village Hall at 7.30 pm
1.            PRESENT: Cllrs C Viccars, Mrs D Broad, A Campbell, S Frederick, D Geal, M Gilbert, R Horsford, R Sellings.                                             
APOLOGIES:    Cllr Mrs A Hill
2.            MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 1 December 2008, having been circulated, were approved and signed by the Chairman.
Parish Council Vacancy: Signing of declaration/s by new councillor.   
Clerk had forwarded the necessary documentation for the new councillor to complete at the meeting. This procedure was actioned, clerk to advise SDC of new member’s details.   The Chairman welcomed Cllr Campbell to the team.
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 Viccars registered a personal interest in Item 8d as he was a member of the Village Hall Committee
Cllr Geal registered a prejudicial interest in Item 4a as he had been approached by the administrator with regard to completion of work at Swaylands site.
3.            MATTERS ARISING:
a.            Housing Survey: Results of survey awaited, letter regarding housing problems experienced by a parishioner forwarded to clerk by the independent scrutiny agency although no contact details provided. Members were not aware of anyone fitting the limited details provided, it was suggested perhaps a note be placed in the village magazines asking the writer to contact the clerk with more information in order that she may help.
b.            Fordcombe Hospital Bus Stop:   Speldhurst Clerk advised that no complaints had been received
from their residents with regard to the safety of the bus stop.   Cllr Viccars to approach the hospital with regard to this issue as members were concerned that the site used for the bus stop was dangerous.
c.            Rubbish Bins:   Mr Jordan (Penshurst Place) unable to provide assistance with funding to repaint the bins but would support removal of same if the PC was unhappy with the condition. (Mr Ian Finch SDC advises that if bins are painted in same colours and paint quality they would have no objection to PC carrying out work)  
d.            Pharmacy Application: PC had forwarded a response to the application registering support for the existing medical provision by the Speldhurst and Warders practices which it considered would be detrimentally affected if permission for the application was granted.
e.            Penshurst Village Hall Hedge:   Letter forwarded asking that hedge be cut back to original line, exposing the full width of the pavement to aid safe access for pedestrians. Mr Massey had asked if it was necessary to cut the hedge back as this would leave it looking very bare.   In view of the fact that it was not possible for mothers to pass at this point with their toddlers side by side it was felt this work was necessary to ensure the safety of pedestrians.   Clerk to contact Mr Massey.
f.            Penshurst Rectory Wall: Diocese advised that structural engineer’s report had been received together with recommendations for works. A quotation was being sought and the PC would be advised further in due course.
4.            REPORTS:
a.            Swaylands: Cllr Sellings advised Oakdene was in administration, residents were currently dealing with the grounds maintenance and cleaning of the common areas.   Further information was awaited.
b.         Kent County Councillor:     KCCllr Lake advised that an increase of 2.44% was expected with county tax.   He had requested that local members be given further budgets to spend locally, it was anticipated that a sum of £25K would be awarded in addition to the existing £10K allowance for members to use. He had been disappointed with the response from the highways meeting, he acknowledged that salt bins and work to make the pavement safe were important issues.   Members had obtained a quotation for grit blasting the pavement area of £6.50 for 134 sq. m. and if highways would not act to ensure the safety of the parishioners the PC would arrange for the work to be carried out.   Temporary notices had been erected to advise parishioners of road closure due to the forthcoming half marathon.
c.            Sevenoaks District Councillor:     SDCllr Cooke raised the issue of the S106 insurance relating to Oakdene’s failure, he would check this with the residents.   Grants were available to homeowners installing solar hot water systems – information available from CEN on 0800 294 2848 or www.cen.org.uk
£1 swims would be available during half term at Edenbridge, Sevenoaks and Swanley White Oak centres. There was a six week consultation period for residents to have their say on a document setting out design guidance on residential extensions in the district, this was available on the council website on www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/ldf. and could be viewed at any of the libraries in the district or at the council offices.
A confidential ’Freedom’ programme offering help to women suffering or recovering from abuse could be accessed on 07854 780690 or via their GP, health visitor or the police.   Information on energy efficiency in public buildings was available on www.ruralclick.com and www.villagehalloffers.co.uk
d.         KAPC:     Cllr Mrs Hill would provide a report for the next meeting
e.         Community Officer:     PCSO Anne Kingscott advised the clerk that there had been no crime reports in the area although there had been a number of road accidents due to the icy weather conditions.
Cllr Horsford advised that since the report had been made two break ins from agricultural premises had occurred.   A white sign written builders’ van with three people (one with ginger hair) had been seen in the area.   Peter Johnson had passed on to police the registration number of such a vehicle, occupants having approached a resident who was suspicious.
5.            HIGHWAYS:  
Liaison Officer Visit:   Optional dates for a meeting with Sue Ireland had been requested.    Current highways spreadsheet split into work completed and outstanding items, emailed and copied to councillors for their information prior to meeting.     
Clerk had also received information regarding a ‘My Kent Highways on Line’ Road Show on 20 February 2009, Cllr Viccars and Gilbert would be attending and registered their intention to do so.    Members were still unhappy with the standard of information provided on the spread sheets and although some duplications had gone the system was not working.     Cllr Geal had spoken with other councillors at a recent meeting he had attended and they were also disillusioned with the situation.   Clerk to gauge opinion of other parish councils with regard to the standard of service offered by highways.   Long Bridge line marking and Coopers Lane flooding reported to clerk for further information.
Item 10002224 – Priority lines at Long Bridge re-assessed by transport engineer on 14 January 2009, no further response received at KHS call centre; Item 16229893 – Coopers Lane flooding – area inspected and digging out and pipe repairs assessed to be necessary, referred for further inspection to next department!)
Junction The Lane/Chafford Lane: Letter received advising it was the opinion of the Joint Transportation Board that there was a need in the location to remove vehicles from the staggered crossroads to enable good sight lines and safe traffic flows, earlier informal consultation confirmed several near misses in the area and therefore to only protect one half of the junction was not acceptable and might even increase the perception that parking near to the other was acceptable. Members were unhappy that their comments had been ignored and asked Cllr Cooke to obtain further information on other responses submitted.   Cllr Cooke confirmed his representations had been strong in favour of the PC’s case but he had been advised that safety issues were paramount, officers being aware of their accountability if an accident occurred.   Clerk to report this area of roadway breaking up badly (Ref. 16256135)
Rogues Hill Roundels:   No further information received on submission of amendment to Swaylands developer’s planning consent with regard to highway improvements.  
School Warning Sign:   Timing of onset of indicator light incorrect, reported to highways under Ref. 10002385 for investigation.     (KHS advise fault ticket issued 5 December – no work carried out to date!)
Speed Limit Extension – Penshurst:   Considered inappropriate to move, particularly as there is no current casualty trend, carriageway equipped with hazard centrelines and gateways as appropriate for a rural location.   Matter considered closed by highways.
Footpaths:   Provision of footway from the lay-by to Doubleton Lane in Penshurst not considered feasible by highways.
Remodelling of High Street/Leigh Road Junction: Drain unblocked by lengthsman the day after PC meeting. Response from highways officer subsequent to site meeting advises that no funding available, officer wishes to re-visit situation to ascertain if there are any other alternatives to accommodate the mobile library without intrusion into highway.   Officer requested Community Operations look at drainage from car park under footpath to ascertain ownership, probably private drain which would require regular rod clearance by landowner.
Slippery Footpath Paving – South Side of High Street, Penshurst: Highways officer advises this may require attention dependant on friction tests and available funding.   Quotation obtained for shot blasting area to provide safer working surface would be £10 per sq. m.   Further quotation obtained at £6.50 per sq. m.   It was agreed that if highways did not carry out this work, money would be used from the contingency funds to enable this work to be completed, KCCllr Lake to advise highways of the PC plans to see if emergency funding could be obtained.
Members noted that the Penshurst Primary school had been closed for one day due to the recent snow.   Pedestrians had been walking down the middle of the road rather than use the pavement which was too slippery.   Penshurst Primary school had recently received an excellent inspection report, the behaviour and academic achievement of the pupils having been highlighted by the inspectors.   A full report would be made at the Annual Parish Assembly.
6.            PLANNING:
SE/08/03017: Hamsell Farm, Coopers Lane, Penshurst: Partial demolition and alterations of outbuildings. Amendments to approved scheme.   The PC have no comment with regard to the planning application itself other than to request that the offer, made by the applicant, of a restriction being placed on the addition of any upper level accommodation be included in any approval given.
SE/08/03093: 21 Swaylands, Penshurst: New front door to unit 21 including stone dressing, alteration to internal layout. New rooflights, path and landscape treatment.    The PC have no comment to make with regard to the application itself but would make the comment that the proposed alterations would be an improvement on the existing design.
SE/08/02733: 1 Hill Corner, The Lane, Fordcombe:   Internal alterations and erection of wine store including air conditioning unit.   Retrospective
SE/08/03168: Rogues House, Rogues Hill, Penshurst: Erection of single storey extension to rear.   The PC have no comment to make with regard to the application itself but would ask that consideration be given to retaining the pattern as existing on adjoining buildings when the weatherboard area is replaced by tile hanging
SE/08/03293LBC: Holts Crest, Coopers Lane, Fordcombe:   Erection of a single and two storey side extension.    The PC has in principle no comment, saving qualification that the 50% rule calculations as presented are correct. There is concern that the smoked glass in the link is not sympathetic to the existing building and the tile hanging on the S E elevation of the proposed extension does not match the existing building equivalent wall.
SE/08/03289: Harden Oast, Grove Road, Penshurst: Conversion and change of use of linked barn to Harden Oast as extended residential accommodation.   Two storey rear extension and internal alterations.   No Comment
SE/08/03314: Oakfield, Smarts Hill, Penshurst: Alterations to thorough west wing. No Comment
SE/08/03265: Chafford House, Spring Hill, Fordcombe: Replacement garage with increased footprint, incorporating summerhouse and tractor shed. All relocated to minimise disturbance to a badger set.     The PC members have concerns about the visual impact by size and position of the proposed building, that will be conspicuous within an AONB and particularly from the nearby public footpath.
SE/08/03381: Salmans Oast, Salmans Lane, Penshurst:   erection of extending link building and internal alterations.   The PC collective opinion is that the latest application seeks to address the reasons that the previous application was refused, to that end there is no comment but the link that is now intended to give clear separation from the oast with the proposed new attachment to the barn is flat roofed that in itself is a weakness in practical design and appearance.
SE/09/00077: Little Chart, Smarts Hill, Penshurst: Retention of existing outbuilding with sloping roof.   No Comment
09/000141/WTCA: The Rectory, High Street, Penshurst: Reduction of trees and removal of fallen items.
SE/08/02826: Poundsbridge Oast, Poundsbridge, Penshurst: Construction of new swimming pool and plant room.   REFUSED.
SE/08/03017: Hamsell Farm, Coopers Lane, Penshurst: Partial demolition and alternations of outbuildings. GRANTED
SE/08/02929: South Park Stables, Fordcombe Road, Penshurst: Replacement garage. GRANTED
SE/08/03017/03062LBC: Hamsell Farm, Coopers Lane, Penshurst: Partial demolition and alternations of outbuildings.   GRANTED
SE/08/03093LBC: 21 & 23 Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: New front door to unit 21 including stone dressing, alteration to internal layout. New rooflights, path and landscape treatment.   GRANTED
SE/08/03168: Rogues House, Rogues Hill, Penshurst: Erection of single storey extension to rear.  GRANTED
SE/08/03289: Harden Oast, Grove Road, Penshurst: Conversion and change of use of linked barn to Harden Oast as extended residential accommodation. Two storey rear extension and internal alterations.   GRANTED
7.            CORRESPONDENCE:
a.            Transition Towns Movement: Information on the movement in relation to Sevenoaks
b.            Parishioners:   Advice of problems experienced during Boxing Day Hunt, no response received to             clerk‘s letter to Hunt Master.
c.         SDC:   Information on SDC Young Volunteer of the Year Award 2009
d.            Fordcombe Village Hall Committee:   Advice of increase in hire charges
e.         Action with Communities in Rural Kent: Survey on community action and parish plans.
f.          Kent Police Authority: Policing Kent 2009/10 Survey
g.         SDC:   Request for PC to consider the transfer of the public conveniences to the council. Clerk to             investigate cleaning costs and other options available to closure.
h.         SDC:   Local Development Framework – Householder Extensions SPD – Request for PC comments.
i.          ACRK:   Invitation to Climate Change Event
j.          ACRK:   Invitation to information event regarding Parish Plans
k.         SDC:   Temporary Street Closure- Penshurst Road, Rogues Hill, High Street – Penshurst, Fordcombe             Road, New Road, Saints Hill, Spring Hill, Fordcombe Road – Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon – Sunday 15 February 2009
8.            FINANCE:
The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:   
Mr I Streeter                                          Lengthsman                                                        78.00
Fordcombe Village Hall                                Hall Hire                                                                5.00
Kantara                                                 Website Domain Licence                                      75.20
RIP Cleaning Services                                    Dog Waste Removal                                     103.85
KCC                                                      Gang Mowing & Village Maintenance                  438.44
Mrs E M Divall                                        Clerk Salary December/Jan                            600.00
a.   Penshurst Churchyard Path:    Quotations from contractors indicates a cost of between £10 and £6.50 per sq m for shot blasting surface.
b.   Quarterly Accounts:   Circulated to members for information, these were noted.
c.    Gangmowing: Quotation for 2009 year received from Landscape Services for approval, clerk confirmed this was still 40% cheaper than any other contractor although the charge had been raised by 5%.  
d.    Fordcombe Village Hall: A request for a financial contribution towards repairs required as result of storm damage had been circulated to members for their consideration.   The question of insurance cover was discussed, in view of the age of the roof the payment received for repairs had been relatively low; discussion regarding the insurance payment had been undertaken on behalf of the committee by a qualified surveyor with the insurance assessor.   It was noted that funding was raised annually via the fete.   It was agreed that £1,000 be provided from the contingency fund for the repairs.
e.     Complete Weed Control:   Quotation for treatment during 2009 season provided of £140 per application, if three treatments are approved a 5% discount was available.   It was agreed that two treatments be booked, with an option to undertake a third one if found necessary during the season.
a.         Play Area:   Cllrs Gilbert, Viccars and Geal reported on recent meetings held with representatives of the Cricket Club, Village Hall Committee and mothers with regard to the proposed project.   The current equipment had been previously discussed and it was acknowledged that this had a limited life span and was already considered beyond economic repair although minor items would continue to be undertaken to provide some sort of facility for the children.
Proposals under discussion were a multisport area, which was favoured, together with a fenced hardstanding area, costs of these would be £60K and £30K respectively.   Funding was being sought via Groundwork Trust who allocate lottery funds and help facilitiate projects.   The representative had been very positive and supportive with regard to the project and it was therefore hoped that it might be eligible for a major award.   To qualify for financial aid there must be wide consulation on the issue together with sponsorship other than the Parish Council being put in place.    Other items to be considerd would be a pathway to the equipment and possibly a nature area.   In view of the fact that the existing equipment was considered to be near the end of its useful life, members supported the work of the committee.
b.            Footpath:   Clerk to check broken footpath caused by tree roots near Latymers.
c.         Rural Planning Conference:   Cllr Horsford advised he hoped to attend a SDC meeting at Otford Memorial Hall on 11 February to discuss this issue.
d.         School Parking:   Members had witnessed dangerous parking adjacent to the school on the bend, this had been during the recent rainy weather and clerk was asked to advise the school of the situation.
e.         Gas Supply: Clerk had received an email from a parishioner regarding extending the gas supply from Swaylands throughout the village, members had not been approached with regard to this but clerk would investigate further.
f.            Flooding: Concerns had been raised by a resident regarding flooding possibly caused by ineffective drainage in adjacent fields.   Cllr Horsford to investiate.

Meeting concluded 10.20 pm                                             Next Meeting 2 March – Fordcombe