Ordinary Meeting Minutes 9/09/2015




Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council held on 9 September 2015 at 7.30 pm

in Fordcombe Village Hall


1.         PRESENT:      Cllrs A Campbell (Chairman), J Broadhead, I Carson, J Cass, J Horsford, J O’Shea, R Rees, B Townsend.


In attendance:     SDCllr P Cooke,  Mr R Sellings (Speedwatch), Mr P Johnson (Neighbourhood Watch/Alms Houses)


2.         APOLOGIES:     KCCllr C Pearman, Cllr S Frederick


3.         MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 3 August 2015, having been circulated, were approved and signed by the



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

4.         MATTERS ARISING: 


a.    Poundsbridge Church 166177:    Advice received from Highways Officer – John Vigor – reporting that a drain would be provided for the ditch area with a soil bund to cover to prevent parking.  Further drainage work would be carried out along Coopers Lane.   Cllr Carson to liaise with church authorities regarding proposed work, clerk to contact Mr Vigor regarding leaving maximum width to enable access by larger vehicles.   Email received from resident, circulated to members.


b.    Colliersland Bridge:   Resident to provide photo of road edge breaking away on Fordcombe side by ‘Give Way’ sign.


c.    Long Bridge – Traffic Schemes & Member Highway Fund:   Issue now passed to Andy Padgham, Highway Project Engineer.   No response from Penshurst Place regarding clearance of vegetation along line of fencing.   Eroded area of road reported – Ref: 167493. Cllr Campbell had met Andy Padgham with Cllr Cass and Mr Rob Sellings.  It was considered there were too many signs, some obscured by vegetation and other wrongly sited.   Mr Padgham would submit a new scheme for the PC to consider, he also advised that highways would probably not repair the fence as it was considered to be required only to mark the border between the field and the road but he would discuss this with the highways department and reply in a couple of weeks.


d.    Fordcombe Church:  Contractors sought to provide estimate/quotation for work to pathways.   (Alternative quotes sought by clerk from S W Harding, Trackers Plant, Ailles & Co., A C Groundwork; Marchants and R Sage), only one quote received for part of the work.   Church representative advised of situation, clerk awaiting result of approach to last option contractor before final decision taken, Cllr Campbell hoped this could be decided at the October meeting in order that the work could be completed as soon as possible.


e.   Retreat Charity:   Report relating to last year provided by Mrs Janie Hill, confirmation the charity Treasurer had updated the information on the Charity Commission website.   Clerk had forwarded information received from Commission to Mrs Hill for information.  Cllr Campbell confirmed the information was now up to date and proposed the new Trustee (Jenny Storey) be approved, this was unanimously agreed.


f.   Rubbish Bins – Leicester Square:   Cllr Carson would liaise with the volunteer willing to carry out the work, paint had already been provided.           


g.  EOM:  A brief resume of the circumstances of the final vote at the EOM was provided.  Clerk to write to SDC confirming documents previously forwarded covering discussions on the list of Rural Exception Housing Sites Assessments supplied by SDC; a list of errors/omissions and assessment of available sites against SP4 and any other relevant planning rules; suitability of Forge Field for six units with WKHA as housing provider, with a further 2 units at either Beckets Field Only with BT as provider or Randalls with the landowner to choose provider; comments regarding scoring/wording /methodology; and requesting response.   Further consideration of issue to be deferred until SDC provide response.




OPEN SESSION          


Clerk to contact occupier of Star House regarding overhanging hedge/tree adjacent to pavement.

Penshurst councillors to report at next meeting work carried out to meet promises made to parishioners at time of election.

A discussion relating to affordable housing took place, no issues were recorded to action.

Coopers Lane drainage/parking problems for farm vehicles highlighted.

Rules relating to Personal/Pecuniary interests in relation to planning applications were clarified by Cllr Campbell


6.         PLANNING



 SE/15/01951:   1 Hill Corner, Spring Hill, Fordcombe:   Erection of a two storey rear extension, alterations.  PC Support.

 SE/15/01522 (Amended):  Harts, Walters Green Road, Penshurst:  Construction of an all weather ménage and stabling consisting of hay/bedding store, tack room/feed store and 2 No. Stables.   No further comment

SE/15/02344:  The Bottle House, Old Bottle House, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst:  Re-building of existing chimneys using facing bricks and new terracotta pots.   PC Support

SE/15/02024:   Hammerfield Cottage, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Replace four windows, with new windows to be ‘slim-glaze’ with a putty finish.   PC Support

SE/15/02272:  The Grove (The Cottage), Grove Road, Penshurst:  Repair and refurbishment of detached cottage within the curtilage of a listed building.  Addition of balcony, alterations of fenestration.   The Parish Council support this application assuming the Conservation Officer has no issues.

SE/15/01984:  Thimble Hall Cottage (Additional Submission) –  In view of further information received regarding previous extensions to the building, the PC do not support this application as it is an increase of greater than 50%.  The PC do not feel that they can support the application as further information from SDC suggests that the increase, together with previous alterations, is above 50% which would contravene existing rules on Green Belt development

SE/15/02389:  Yew Tree Cottage, Poundsbridge, Penshurst:  Application for Full Planning Permission for existing stables following temporary planning permissions, SE/04/01228 & SE/05/01526.   PC Support

SE/15/02602:  Courtlands Wood, Grove Road, Penshurst:  Erection of steel portal framed barn.  PC Response:  Members were not sure this was a bona fide application and had concerns whether this was a viable option for forestry.



SE/15/01654:  Whitepost Farmhouse, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst:  Replacement garage and store.   GRANTED

SE/15/01735:  Chafford Park Farm, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe:  Installation of rear dormers, removal of rear rooflights.  Conservation rooflights to inner main roof slopes.  New windows at second floor level to west and west elevations, new soil and vent pipes. Internal alterations. structural repairs to roof and renovation.   GRANTED

SE/15/01869/01870LBC:  The Grove, Grove Road, Penshurst:  Removal of derelict greenhouse within the curtilage of a Listed Building:  GRANTED.     Erection of 3 Bay oak framed garage within the curtilage of a Listed Building:  REFUSED

SE/15/91592:  Pilgrims, The Lane Fordcombe:   Proposed erection of rear extension and chimney stack, external and internal alterations.  Garage alterations including conversion of first floor to habitable space and extension of attached terrace.    GRANTED

SE/15/01362:  Gate Cottage, The Lane, Fordcombe:  Demolition of garage, erection side extension and garden room, dormers and internal alterations.  Re-cladding barn to convert into garage.   REFUSED

SE/15/01950 & 01951LBC: 1 Hill Corner, Spring Hill, Fordcombe:   Erection of two storey rear extension.  Alterations.  GRANTED


Lawful Development Certificate:

SE/15/01994:  Harden Barn, The Vineyard, Grove Road, Penshurst:   LDC to certify lawful implementation of planning permission SE/08/02731/FUL through construction and use of access road.   LDC sought to confirm that access was granted retrospective consent through the discharge of Condition 6 of that permission and was therefore implemented on granting of consent.  WITHDRAWN


Tree Surgery:

SE/15/02262:  Oak House, High Street, Penshurst:  Mature Horse chestnut tree on front lawn area near roadside: prune to lift crown evenly to approximately 3.5-4m to minimise children climbing and damaging tree.

HW/TPO/06/2015:  Wayside, Spring Hill, Fordcombe:   Tree Preservation Order confirmed on 4th August without modifications.  

SE/15/02362/WTCVA:  Land Adjacent to Bridge House, Rogues Hill, Penshurst:  Removal of one hawthorn tree.   Confirmation received from SDC that they have no objection to removal of tree.  PC subsequently withdrew from action after Penshurst Place refused permission.



SE/15/01984:  Thimble Hall Cottage (Additional Submission) –   Application withdrawn.

7.         REPORTS:      


a.    Kent County Councillor Clive Pearman:   No Report


b.    Sevenoaks District Councillor Paddy Cooke:   Cllr Cooke confirmed he would write to SDC regarding the lack of time for response to the Thimble Hall application.   He asked if the issue of the parking lines outside the Penshurst School be retained on the agenda for regular updates even though it had been on hold due to the Forge Field affordable housing,  he was aware that parking still took place on the yellow lines between the Forge and Keymer Court.  He wished to record his full support for the Fordcombe Village Hall project.  He was arranging a meeting in the near future with Nicola Clinch (Enforcement SDC) in order that he and a parishioner could discuss the PORC site.


c.    KALC:    Meeting scheduled for Friday.


d.    Speedwatch:   Cllr Campbell would provide figures for the next meeting.         


e.    Alms Houses:    Sub-committee formed to action plans for building repairs and damp problem.   Schedule of work awaited from architect to submit to Sevenoaks.  Trustee and residents’ meeting scheduled for following week, two Trustees to meet with resident and daughter affected by damp housing conditions.  Fire assessment and electrical inspection to be carried out in the autumn.   Trustees to take responsibility for hedgecutting and strimming the bank.   Discussion on raising profile of Almshouses as a local charitable trust was held.


f.    Neighbourhood Watch:      No reported crime in either village received during previous two months.   Telephone scam reported by parishioner in Penshurst who had been asked to withdraw cash from personal account.   Door to door selling by ex-prisoner reported in Leigh area, Cllr Campbell advised this was sometimes a legitimate activity if the person held a Hawkers’ Licence.


g.     Gatwick Airport:   Cllr Rees reported that the HWCAAG meeting had emphasized the importance of keeping pressure on Gatwick – Roy McNulty had been talking to groups with regard to noise and dispersal, noise meters were felt to be a useful piece of equipment to aid the campaign.   Thanks were recorded to Cllr Frederick for his help with the preparation of the picture in the field supporting the campaign.   A further meeting was scheduled for this month.


h.    Coach Road Bridge:    A measurement of the rotation movement of the north end of the upstream parapet was taken on 8 September, the movement measured during August had continued but was greatly reduced.  At the end of June the crack width was 10mm, 15mm in July and 17mm in September.  There is no obvious indication of cause although there are cracks in the road surface parallel to the section of wall in question.   White paint now identifies the speed humps along the road.     


8.         HIGHWAYS:  


Kerbstone – Junction Penshurst Road/High Street:  Highlighting of kerb edge by highways still awaited.

166180:   Signage opposite The Forge:  Missing number reported on Bidborough route sign.   Highway Steward would list new sign to include corrected symbols/missing number but this would be completed in new financial year as there was no funding available for signage in current budget.   Website indicates work completed on 5 August 2015.

166184:   Laundry Corner/Beggars Barn:  Worn area of road at edge of verge reported for repair, call from Highways Steward confirming work would be completed by 5 August.

166189:   Clearance work requested by clerk by Alms Houses on Rogues Hill where drainage area is full of soil with weeds growing through.   Clerk advised 11 August, drainage problem would be investigated and actioned if necessary, telephone number of local resident provided for highways drainage to consult if necessary.   Work completed by highways day after local residents cleared the blocked drain.

Signage:  Covered by vegetation on approach to Long Bridge.   Sign cleared by Cllr Frederick.    Cllr Campbell advised further hedge cutting was required to the area leading up to the speed sign as this was only visible at the last moment.

Hawthorn – Rogues Hill Riverbank:  Clerk provided sketch showing site of hawthorn to SDC Tree Department, SDC raised no objections.   SDC had listed the clerk’s request for opinion as an application, Penshurst Place subsequently withdrew agreement to removal of tree, clerk advised Mr Graham Mackenzie, problem also reported with regard to overgrown vegetation/brambles adjacent to pavement between bridges.

167493:  Long Bridge:  Erosion of road adjacent to verge reported.  Website indicates on 18 August work being programmed.


9.         FINANCE:


The following accounts were presented and unanimously approved for payment:


Mr I Streeter                                                                              Lengthsman                                           £89.00

Complete Weed Control                                                              Fordcombe Weed Treatment                   £192.00

Playsafety Ltd                                                                            Play Equipment Inspection                      £110.40

Chiddingstone Parish Council                                                       HWCAAG Costs February – June              £98.15

Pallet Handling Penshurst Ltd                                                      Replacement Posts – Fordcombe             £103.20

RIP Cleaning Services                                                                 Dog Waste Removal                               £134.40

PKF Littlejohn LLP                                                                      Audit Fee                                               £240.00


a.         Allotments:   Complaint received regarding condition of a number of the allotments, notification of withdrawal of allotment facility forwarded by clerk.

b.         Fordcombe Village Green:   Broken posts replaced.

c.         Annual Audit:  Confirmation received from PKF Littlejohn, accountants appointed by the Audit Commission, that PC accounts had been prepared in accordance with proper practices and no matters have come to their attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met. 

Section 1:  Accounting Statement 2014/15 noted. Section 2: Annual Governance Statement 2014/15; Section 3: External Auditor Certificate and Opinion 2014/15; Section 4: Annual Internal Audit Report; all approved by auditor.   Conclusion of Audit requirements complied with.

d.         Play Equipment – Fordcombe Cricket Ground:   RoSPA report received, minor number of items noted as Low or Medium problems, low risk items to be monitored, medium items require appropriate action within resources available and individual site assessment.   Willow tunnel to be checked when wasps no longer in situe, clerk to contact Pallet Handling regarding gate.

e.         Fun Day:   Clerk reported the Fun Day had been a great success, full information on numbers of attendees and data were awaited from the teams.

f.          Account Signatories:   Clerk provided forms for completion relating to signatories to the PC accounts, these to be circulated and signed by councillors listed, to be returned to Cllr Campbell if completed prior to next meeting.

g.         Precept 2016/17:   Clerk provided basic figures for the next precept requirement, members asked to advise clerk of any projects they would like added in order that the figures could be updated for discussion at the next meeting.

h.         Bulk Freighter:   Available on 17 October 2015:  Lay by near Latymers 7.45 – 8.30 am and Lay by outside Fordcombe Village Hall 8.45 – 9.30 am


10.       CORRESPONDENCE:     


a.         Declarations of Pecuniary Interest:  Members are reminded that these should be completed and forwarded to Janet Wheeler, Electoral & Land Charges Officer at Sevenoaks District Council.

b.         KCC:  Kent Minerals & Waste Local Plan.  Submission Document Consultation – 17 August – 12 October 2015.

c.         KALC:   Code of Conduct Workshop available 28 September 2015 – cost £72 including VAT per attendee.

d.         KCC Highways:   Julian Cook – Sevenoaks and District Manager offer of 1 tonne salt bag for winter road maintenance.

e.         The Oil Club Limited:   Information regarding club membership making oil available to the local community at reduced rates.   Information available on website:  www.oil-club.co.uk   Cllr Carson provided with leaflets to deliver to The Forge




a.         Driveway Lines:   Clerk had submitted a request for information relating to ‘dog bone’ white lines indicating driveway entrances to highways for up to date information, clerk to check current position.

b.         Cycle Track:  Clerk to contact Leigh clerk regarding overgrown vegetation along the cycle track from Penshurst to Tonbridge where it crosses the road near Ensfield, over the river bridge and on to Tonbridge.



 Meeting concluded 9 pm                                                       Next Meeting 5 October 2015 – Penshurst