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Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News April

GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL
Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL

at The Jessel Room, Goudhurst Parish Hall on Monday 11 April 2016 at 7.30 pm 

PRESENT:  Councillors Anthony Harris (Chairman), Mrs Carol Ash, Mrs Angela Broom, David Boniface, Alan Foster, Sean Gilder, Phil Kirkby, Tom Malt, Barry Noakes,  Guy Sutton and Stephen Wickham.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

001/16 were accepted from Mrs Georgia Read-Cutting (family commitment). Also County Cllr Alex King.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

002/16 The Chairman reminded Members of their responsibility to any Declarations of Interest on Agenda items for this meeting and any changes to their Register of Interest Declarations.

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

003/16 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2016, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC

004/16 There were no questions from the public.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

005/16 County Cllr Alex King reported by e-mail.   If the Parish Council decides to hold an event to mark the Queen’s birthday this year he is willing to contribute £250 from his Member Fund.   If the Parish Council decides to go ahead with a Speed Indicator Device he will make a contribution of £500.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee presented the Minutes of an extra meeting held on 07 March 2016:

006/16 Balcombes Hill Car Park and Public Toilet:  Transfer of Titles.  Noted that the titles to these two properties were transferred from TWBC to Goudhurst Parish Council on 21 March 2016.

007/16 Balcombes Hill Toilet Block cleaning.  Noted that Tenterden Twilight Commercial Cleaning Company has carried out a deep clean of the toilets and already a significant improvement is evident. .

008/16 Balcombes Hill Toilets. Minutes 404/15, 406/15 and 408/15.   Noted that service agreements with PHS Washrooms for sanitary services, Wallgate Ltd for hand washing facilities and GM Monks for electrical maintenance services have been signed and are now effective.

009/16 Balcombes Hill Toilet Block fabric maintenance.   Minute 406/15 and 407/15.  Noted that Hurstway is in the process of carrying out repairs to facilities damaged by vandals, that Ashford & Cranbrook Roofing will be on site on 14 and 15 April to attend to defects in the roof and the locksmith Poyntell will visit to replace worn out and malfunctioning electric door locks. .

010/16 Balcombes Hill Toilet Block Signage.  Noted that the Chairman of the Amenities Committee is arranging for the TWBC signs on the toilet block to be replaced with Goudhurst Parish Council signs.

011/16 Balcombes Hill Toilet Block Litter Bin.  The Amenities Committee reported that the litter bin immediately adjacent to the toilet block on the road side is inadequate.  It fills quickly and litter blows about between service visits to empty it.  TWBC is not willing to replace it, but have agreed to empty a larger bin if the Parish Council wishes to replace the smaller bin.  Resolved to agree expenditure of up to £395.00 for a 110 litre metal bin with a top from Glasdon.  This will increase litter capacity by around 100%.   The Clerk will arrange the purchase and installation of the replacement bin.

012/16 Car Park Resurfacing. Minute 287/15Noted that Dukes will start the resurfacing work on 20 April. It could take up to 10 days to complete depending on the weather.

013/16 Chequer Field – Car Parking   Noted that the Chairman of the organising committee of the 2016 Goudhurst Fete has asked whether Chequer Field could be used as a car park.  The usual field adjacent to the Fete site is not available this year.  Resolved: to decline the request.  Council’s policy is that the field should be used only for sporting activities by Goudhurst United FC and by the Primary School.  Additionally, Council is concerned that the rather fragile condition of the pitch should not be put at further risk.

BURIAL BOARD

014/16 Foot Gates at St Mary’s Churchyard.  It was noted that the two foot gates and their posts, one at the east end of the Churchyard and one in the north wall of the Churchyard are in a very poor condition.  The Clerk has taken advice from a local fencing contractor who confirmed that both gates are beyond economic repair.  Replacements could be in tanalised softwood or Iroko hardwood. Noted that the path across the Churchyard is a public right of way WC31 and that Council is responsible for maintenance under LGA1972, s214.  Resolved to agree expenditure of £2,431.71 + VAT for two replacement gates with posts in Iroko.  The Clerk will liaise with the Vicar and St Mary’s PCC to obtain the necessary approval from the Diocese.  Members noted that Tate Fencing is a leading provider of these quality products and that their charge is reasonable; Council resolved not to seek further quotes for these replacement.  The Clerk observed that he may be able to obtain a contribution to part or all of the cost of this project.

015/16 Christ Church Kilndown – Contract for Grounds Maintenance of the lower area of the Churchyard.  It was noted that the Clerk had invited 4 contractors to bid.  All 4 had responded and Members noted that all for bids were roughly similar.  It was resolved to award the contract for a 1 year period to John Fermor of Curtisden Green at £1,850.00 including a seasonal hedge cut.

HIGHWAYS and FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Highways and Footpaths Committee reported:

016/16 Speed Indicator Device (SID).  Following Minute 419/15.  It was resolved to use the approved expenditure to purchase the mini- SID that includes a ‘slow down’ message as well as the actual speed of the approaching vehicle.   The Clerk reported that he is in touch with a contractor who is interested in taking on the job of moving the device from site to site and to recharge the batteries.  However the positions of the poles on which the SID will be positioned has yet to be agreed by Kent Highways

017/16 Back Lane Goudhurst – Speed limit.  It was noted that the advice from Kent Highways is that should a traffic speed survey show that the speed of vehicles is below 24 mph, further traffic calming could be implemented by additional white lining.  Should the traffic speed be measured at over 24 mph then traffic calming by speed cushions or humps in the road could be considered at significant cost.

YOUTH COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Youth Committee reported:

018/16 Play Area equipment at Kilndown Village Hall and the Millennium Green.  Following Minute 384/15.

Youth Committee had received a request from the Trusts for a further grant of £619.54 for repairs and maintenance to play equipment.  This follows the grant of £810.54 already paid.  The Youth Committee noted that the total requested was £1,430.08.  Thus Council has paid 56% of the total cost.  It was noted that the Trusts have £6,000 at bank, that they have not sought grant funding from other sources and that no fund raising had taken place locally.  The Youth Committee’s recommendation was to refuse the £619.54 grant request.  Council noted however that the Youth Committee meeting held on 31 March was not quorate and as result could not take a decision.

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

It was resolved to note the following Decisions from TWBC and agree the Representations:

019/16 DECISIONS

15/500266 Down House Church Road Kilndown

Demolition of existing detached garage, two storey side extension and alterations

Approved

15/500322 Zion Cottages 1 Ranters Lane Goudhurst

Listed Building Application: Internal alterations

Approved

020/16 APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in March 2016:

16/5007756 Weavers Cottages, Church Road, Goudhurst

LBC – Take out pine fireplace and separate grate to expose original fireplace

Recommend approval

Subject to the views of the conservation officer, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that this application is approved

16/500928 Butchers Shop, High Street, Goudhurst

Change of use of the existing retail unit and storage areas (A1) to residential use (C3) to include internal alterations

It is with considerable regret that Goudhurst Parish Council now recommends approval of this application.   It has, however, been demonstrated that the proprietors have made real efforts to offer the premises for continued commercial use, but that no realistic proposals have been received.

16/500929 Butchers Shop, High Street, Goudhurst

LBC – Change of use of the existing retail unit and storage areas (A1) to residential use (C3) to include internal alterations

Recommend approval

It is with considerable regret that Goudhurst Parish Council now recommends approval of this application.   It has, however, been demonstrated that the proprietors have made real efforts to offer the premises for continued commercial use, but that no realistic proposals have been received.

16/501398 Wagtail Farm, Jarvis Lane, Goudhurst

Change of use barn from agricultural store to agricultural store and building materials store

Recommend refusal

There is a serious lack of information in this application.   How will the building materials store be operated and what levels and sizes of traffic will it attract?   Goudhurst Parish Council has concerns that there should not be a major increase in vehicular activity on this mostly single track lane.

16/501415 The Hop Barn, Ladham Road, Goudhurst

Removal of conditions 3 and 4 of planning permission 11/02342/FUL – Change of use of barn to self-catering holiday accommodation (alternative scheme to 09/03736 – use as holiday let)

Recommend approval

. The agents appear to have made a sound case, based on recent changes to planning controls, for this application to be granted consent.

16/501075 Rose Cottage, North Road, Goudhurst

Request for demolition, and

16/501076 Willow Cottage, North Road, Goudhurst

Request for demolition

Although Goudhurst Parish Council has not been invited to comment on these 2 applications, it wishes to express the view that approval should not be granted, without there being a condition or a binding commitment that the demolition will be followed by an application to erect at least 2 dwellings in their place.

16/501852 Etchinghill Farmyard Gore Lane Goudhurst

Conversion of building from use for storage of vehicles (Class B8 of Schedule to Use Classes Order) to a dwelling, and demolition of redundant buildings.

Recommend approval

The agents have presented a convincing case, supported by examples of similar schemes which have been approved, for the approval of this application.   The scheme also entails considerable improvement to the amenity of neighbouring properties by the removal of the dilapidated sections of the old buildings, together with a comprehensive planting scheme which will enhance the overall environment.

16/501871 Maypole Farm Barn Maypole Lane Goudhurst

Conversion and change of use of Maypole Farm Barn to provide a two-bedroom holiday let.

Recommend refusal

With considerable investment, it is possible that this barn could be up-graded to the proposed use.   Goudhurst Parish Council, however, notes that officers have already ruled that a proper made-up vehicular access route to the immediate vicinity of the building would not be acceptable, because of its impact on the landscape.   This means that guests would have to walk some 60m. along and 9m. up to access the barn, from the proposed parking area   This would seriously detract from the enjoyment of the premises.   It can be seen from other advertised premises in the area that parking is normally directly outside the property.

It might also be borne in mind that the applicant required and gained planning permission for rebuilding some stables close by the farmhouse, because the building which is the subject of this application was too far from the house to carry horse feed etc. and yet holiday let clients are expected to carry their luggage etc a similar distance from the designated parking space.

16/502030 3 Welches Ladham Road Goudhurst

Erection of a single storey rear extension and new front porch. Loft conversion with one velux window.

Recommend approval

This proposal will have minimal impact on the locality or the AONB, and will considerably improve the amenity of the dwelling.

16/502137 Lidwells Barn North Road Goudhurst

Conversion of existing double garage into living accommodation with the addition of 4 Velux windows, external alterations and erection of new timber framed double garage

Recommend approval

Whilst recommending approval in principle, Goudhurst Parish Council would ask officers to consider whether this additional building complies with the council’s guidance on extensions in the ‘Design Guide’ – ‘Re-use of Rural Buildings’.   The original form of the buildings can be seen on Google earth images of Dec. 2003.

021/16OTHER PLANNING MATTERS

Land west of Goudhurst – Pinehurst and Vine Fields

Goudhurst Parish Council has received a letter dated 01 March 2016 from the agent to the owners of this land, asking to what uses it might be put in the future.   The Parish Council Planning Committee considered the matter on 15 March 2016.  It was agreed that this should be the subject of wide discussion throughout the village population in order to reach a consensus.  That could be passed back to both the land owners and TWBC officers as part of the preparation for the new Local Plan.

TRAINING

022/16 TWBC Gypsy and Traveller Awareness Training on 05 April.    It was noted that Cllr Stephen Wickham and the Clerk attended.

023/16 AwCiRK Workshop on Parish and Neighbourhood Plans on 16 April.  It was noted that Cllr Antony Harris and the Clerk will attend.

024/16 SLCC Training Day on 21 April.   The Agenda includes sessions on electronic banking, workplace pensions legislation and material considerations on planning matters..  The Clerk will attend.

ACCOUNTS 

025/16 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

DDR BT Broadband and line for High St CCTV £170.00

3772Groundscare & General ServicesSt Mary’s mowing contract Mar 16£1,204.80

3773 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field grounds maint contract Mar 16 £1,048.50

3774 Pearsons Landscapes The Plain maint Mar 16 Inv 262 £69.90

3775 Paul & Eileen Landon War Memorial garden maint Mar 16 £50.00

3776 Microshade Citrix Inv 8867 £54.30

3777 Viking Office stationery £91.00

3778 Communicorp Clerks & Councils Direct subscription £100.00

3779 Wallgate Ltd Public toilets hand wash equip maint contract 2016 £979.20

3780 PHS Group Public toilets sanitary service contract 2016 £298.84

3781 Ashford & Cranbrook Roofing Public toilets roof maintenance £1,194.00

3782 Community Heartbeat Trust Defibrillator & Rotaid cabinet £1,585.00

3783 Michael Bennett Website maintenance contract 2016/17 £1,080.00

3784 Complete Weed Control (Kent) Weed control contract 2016/17 £576.00

3785 JK Business Machines Replacement photocopier £780.00

3786 Kent Association of Local Councils Cllr Malt training 14 April £72.00

3787 Kent Association of Local Councils Cllr Kirkby training 14 April £72.00

3788 AVB Farnfield Mar 16 pay and expenses £2,306.78

3789 HM Revenue & Customs Mar 16 PAYE and NI £841.06

3790 Action with Communities Cllr Harris & the Clerk training 16 Apr £30.00

3791 Public Sector Deposit Fund CCLA Deposit for new account £50,000.00

DDR E.On The Plain light & K’down phone box energy £13.32

DDR Veolia Burial Grounds bin March 16 £144.54

026/16 Receipts in March 2016

Defibrillator fund£300.00

NatWest interest£3.10

027/16  Bank reconciliationResolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the end of March 2016 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was £90,581.06

AUDIT

028/16 Council’s Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2016.  Members considered the Annual Governance Statement and it was resolved that the Annual Governance Statement as completed be signed off by the Chairman and the Clerk.

029/16 Members considered the Accounting Statements and it was resolved that the Accounting Statements as completed be signed off by the Chairman and the Clerk.

030/16 It was noted that Mr David Buckett CPFA DMS had signed off the Annual Internal Audit Report 2015/16 without raising any major issues.

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

031/16 HMP Blantyre House.  Members noted a latter dated 04 April 2016 from the NOMS Deputy Governor of HMP Blantyre House and HMP East Sutton Park.  Blantyre House will be used as a training centre for NOMS staff during the summer of 2016.  “ Blantyre House remains part of our future capacity plans and its position will continue to be reviewed in light of any changes to the prison population.”

The Meeting closed at  8.57 pm

Anthony Farnfield, Clerk

These Minutes are subject to approval at the next meeting of Council

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

copyright © 2016 Goudhurst Parish Council