Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News March 2017

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

Parish Council Logo
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL

at The Jessel Room on Monday 13 March 2017 at 7.30 pm 

PRESENT:  Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), Mrs Angela Broom, David Boniface, Alan Foster, Sean Gilder, Phil Kirkby, Barry Noakes, Mrs Susan Newsam, Guy Sutton  and Stephen Wickham.

1 members of the public for the Questions session.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  

347/16 were received from County Cllr Alex King MBE.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

348/16 The Chairman reminded Members of their responsibility for any Declarations of Interest on Agenda items for this meeting and for any changes to their Register of Interest Declarations.

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

349/16 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2017, 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

350/16 A local resident expressed concern about the lack of working CCTV in the centre of Goudhurst.  She observed that the project had been included in Council’s budget and therefore in the precept.  Why is Council not going ahead with the project?  Council explained that the money is still in the budget.  However recent quotations for the first part of the installation of the proposed new system were significantly higher than expected.  Members had decided that the contractor’s proposal was not considered to be good value for money. Council’s intention is to replace the worn out CCTV but considers it to be prudent to carry out a further evaluation.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

351/16 There was nothing significant to report.  It was noted that County elections will be held in May 2017 and as a result of Boundary changes, Goudhurst Parish will be represented by the County Member for the Cranbrook Division rather than Tunbridge Wells Rural Division.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:

352/16 Chequer Field.  Following Minute 324/16.  It was noted that our legal adviser had written again to TWBC.  She has indicated that the Parish Council is willing to enter into discussion with the Borough Council but has asked that the Town Hall lists the Heads for Discussion.

353/16 Glebe Fields.   Following Minute 323/16.  It was noted that the Chairman of the Amenities Committee had expected to receive the draft lease agreement before this meeting, but it had not arrived.  Post meeting note:  He had received the draft lease by e-mail on the morning following this Council meeting as had Mrs Corinne Browne at Buss Murton.  Council now awaits Mrs Browne’s comments.

354/16 Balcombes Hill Public Toilets – Cleaning Contract.  It was noted that Council had expected our cleaning contractor to submit a bid to renew their contract for a further period from 01 April 2017 but it had not yet arrived.  The Clerk will contact Tenterden Twilight Commercial Cleaning about this.

355/16 Balcombes Hill Public Toilets – Vandalism.  It was noted that the toilet roll holders in the Men’s toilet had been smashed.  Cllr Alan Foster is sourcing replacements.  It was also noted that the outside door to the men’s toilet had been attacked by someone who had tried to kick it in when it was locked for the night.  The door has been significantly damaged.  PCSO Dave Jenkins is aware.  It was resolved to accept a Poyntell Ltd quotation of £1,634.08 + VAT to replace the wooden door with a steel door and frame with some replacement parts for the electronic door locking system.

356/16 Kilndown Quarry Pond – Kilndown Fishing Club.  Minute 321/16.  It was noted that Graham Booth has done a good job in clearing excessive undergrowth around the pond.  Mr Booth had produced artwork for a Fishing Club sign at the Pond and on the recommendation of the Amenities Committee he will be asked to remove the image of child from the proposed sign as it was felt that this would give the impression that the Fishing Club is for children only.

357/16 Kilndown Quarry Pond – Chestnut Tree.  It was noted that there is a chestnut tree adjacent to Quarry House that appears to be ailing.  It was resolved that the Clerk will take advice on the condition of the tree and if necessary obtain planning permission to fell it.

HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths Committee reported:

358/16 Council had received a letter from a local resident newly arrived in Goudhurst who had raised a number of queries relating to traffic problems in Goudhurst:

1. Build a bypass.  Response:  The cost would be prohibitive and would be likely to adversely affect the Goudhurst Village retailers.

2.    Ban lorries of a certain size and weight going through the village.  Deemed not possible by Kent Highways in the past.  Such a ban would transfer the problem to other villages possibly on less safe routes.

3.   Complete ban on parking on the high street except mobility/disabled drivers.  This would adversely affect the retailers.  Parked vehicles have a traffic calming effect.

4.    Traffic lights at each end to stop traffic jam (the road is very narrow and two vehicles can’t pass without mounting on the pavement).  The blocked areas in the High Street are not pavements; they are part of the highway.  The siting of any proposed traffic lights is more difficult than it would appear.

5.    Install speed cameras (to raise extra revenue and make people observe 30 mph speed limit).  It is accepted that enforcement is the ideal way to limit traffic speeds but the equipment is expensive and currently KCC are reluctant to agree unless there is a significant death and injury record.

6.   Police presence (since I have been here one month, I have not seen a single policeman).  Goudhurst is a very low crime area.  The Police are largely deployed elsewhere. The Police do not include traffic speed control as a significant part of their workload.

7.   Install pedestrian light controlled crossings at suitable locations.  The Parish Council has requested this in the past near the Primary School.  There is a difficulty in that there is insufficient room for pedestrians to stand safely at the verge of the A262.  It would be an expensive solution when funding is very limited.

8.   Install mirrors on both sides of double bend (assists pedestrian & vehicles to see what’s coming).  Kent Highways have declined this request as mirrors are only permitted on safety grounds where vehicles are stationary.

9.   Install street lighting (safety issue, no day light after 4.30 pm in winter months).   The majority of local residents are not in favour of street lighting in this conservation area.  However the new exterior lighting at St Mary’s Church may cast light on the path across the churchyard.

10. Install flashing sign that lights up if you are above the speed limit (30 mph before you approach the village from both ends).  The Parish Council is funding the purchase of one such device which will be able to be moved to various sites on the A262 and B2079.

11. Introduce 20 mph speed limit in the village (City of London has 20 mph limits).  20mph limits currently are not permitted on ‘A’ class roads.  In any event there would be a difficulty with enforcement.

359/16 PROW Footpath WC55 by Kilndown Village Hall.  Local residents in Kilndown have pointed out that the line of this footpath on the ground does not tally with the official plan produced by KCC.  It was resolved that the Clerk will raise the matter with KCC.

360/16 Footpaths Warden.  It was reported that a resident of Horsmonden has expressed a wish to become a Voluntary Footpath Warden for Goudhurst Parish.  It was resolved that the volunteer, who has met the Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths Committee, be appointed as a voluntary warden.  The Clerk will draw up an agreed job description and ensure this volunteer is covered under Council’s insurance.

361/16 Blue P sign directing traffic to Balcombes Hill Car Park.   In a general discussion about parking the Goudhurst Village, Members agreed that the blue P sign at the junction of the High Street and Balcombes Hill is not sufficiently prominent.  It was resolved that the Clerk will take this up with Kent Highways with a view to introducing a larger blue P sign or moving it to a more prominent position – or both those solutions.

362/16 Speed Indicator Device (SID). Resolved that the Clerk will draft an Agreement between Mr David Hill of Primrose Cottage, North Road regarding the placing of a SID pole on his private land.

363/16   Reduced Speed Limit on A262 Cranbrook Road east of Goudhurst.  It was noted that Council has been asked by several residents on the Cranbrook Road for a reduction in the National Speed Limit (60 mph) to 50 mph.  The residents of this area had met and agreed on the urgency of action because of the effect on the quality of life from the quantity and speed of the traffic on that stretch of road.  This would be from the end of the 30 mph limit on the A262 east of Goudhurst through to the junction of A262 and Colliers Green Road at Four Wents.  It was noted that the 50 mph applies from that point further east on the A262.  It was resolved that the Clerk makes a formal application to Kent Highways for implementation.

HOUSING COMMITTEE

364/16 Housing Needs Survey.  The Chairman of the Housing Committee reported that the Housing Needs Survey will be sent out to all dwellings in Goudhurst Parish by Rural Kent on 13 March 2017.

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

It was resolved to note the following Decisions from TWBC published in February 2016:

365/16 DECISIONS

16/06425 Rose Cottage and Willow Lodge North Road Goudhurst

Demolition of  two existing dwellings and erection of two pairs of semi detached and one detached dwelling with associated landscaping works and relocation of access.

Application withdrawn

16/07362 Finchcocks Barn Riseden Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – Split large bedroom into two smaller bedrooms. Replacement of some rooflights with larger rooflights. Alterations to cupboards and bathroom partition in bedroom 1.

Permitted

16/07488 The Coppers Chicks Lane Kilndown

Minor material amendment to planning permission 15/504460/FUL (erection of a chalet style dwelling with associated hard and soft landscaping; Relocation of vehicle access to that approved under TW/13/03566/FUL – Part retrospective introduction of two velux windows within north and south roof slopes and change of external door to bi-fold door within southern elevation.

Permitted

16/07747 1 Zion Cottages Ranters Lane Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent:  Internal alterations

Granted permission

16/07856 Wanderwood North Road Goudhurst

Variation of Condition 2 of planning permission 16/06248/FUL (demolition of existing house and garage: Proposed replacement dwelling and attached garage including formationof new vehicular access to create an “in/0out” drive. Minor changes to fenestration and internal layouts of upper and lower ground floor level layouts.

Permitted

16/07879 Eight Bells Barn Back Lane Goudhurst

Erection of a single storey side extension.

Granted permission

366/16 APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in February 2016 with representations approved by Council::

17/00160 2 & 3 The Retreat Lidwells Lane Goudhurst

Single storey side/rear extensions

Recommend approval

A sensible development which improves both properties.  No significant adverse impact on the location.

17/00199 Twitten Cottage 1 West Road  Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – Convert rear windows to pair of doors with new lintel over and side door to windows .

Recommend approval subject to the views of the conservation officer.

17/00217 Swan Farm Swan Lane Goudhurst

Main Farmhouse: Removal of internal partition between utility room and study, enlargement of door opening between dining area and study and creation of a new external door in side elevation of utility room;

Garage/guest accommodation block: Part conversion and extension to provide living accommodation on ground floor. Installation of dormer window on first floor;

Pool House:  Creation of changing room/shower room and kitchenette

Main Farmhouse:  Recommend approval subject to the views of the conservation architect.

Garage/guest accommodation block:  Recommend approval subject to the approval of suitable materials to lessen any impact on the location.

Pool House:  Recommend approval.  Goudhurst Parish Council has no objection.

17/00218 Swan Farm Swan Lane Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – Main Farmhouse: Removal of internal partition between utility room and study, enlargement of door opening between dining area and study and creation of a new external door in side elevation of utility room;

Garage/guest accommodation block: Part conversion and extension to provide living accommodation on ground floor. Installation of dormer window on first floor;

Pool House:  Creation of changing room/shower room and kitchenette.

Main Farmhouse:  Recommend approval subject to the views of the conservation architect.

Garage/guest accommodation block:  Recommend approval subject to the approval of suitable materials to lessen any impact on the location.

Pool House:  Recommend approval.  Goudhurst Parish Council has no objection.

17/00345 Finchcocks Blue Coat Lane Goudhurst

Trees:  G8 (Oak) – Remove

Recommend approval subject to the views of the Tree Officer.

17/00393 1 Marlingate Cottages Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

Erection of an oak framed double garage

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) considers that the proposed oak framed double garage is an appropriate design for this site.  Members have some concern about the location of the garage relative to the house itself and the Granary but note that further hedging will be introduced on the curtilage to act as screening.

17/00403 Stonelea Rogers Rough Road Kilndown

Erection of a single storey kitchen extension to the rear .

Recommend approval

A minor extension which will have minimal effect on the locality and the AONB

17/00499 Flimwell Radio Station Lady Oak Lane Flimwell

Instillation of 2 No. 90cm transmission dishes, and associated ODUs and 3g modems, at 45m (agl) on the existing 54.3m high radio tower together with support brackets, feeder cables and ancillary development thereto

Recommend approval.

Goudhurst Parish Council has no objection to this proposal.

17/00528 Finchcocks Blue Coats Lane Goudhurst

Conversion of existing coach house and old dairy to form holiday let accommodation; Erection of extension to detached disabled WC building; Reconfiguration of courtyard to north of main house.

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) notes that the new owner of Finchcocks is proposing improvements to this 18th century house to upgrade the amenities including the replacement of certain ‘plastic’ windows.  These proposals have no effect on the AONB.  GPC is pleased to note that the new owners are continuing much of the music tradition for which Finchcocks is well known.

17/00529 Finchcocks Blue Coats Lane Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – Conversion of existing coach house and old dairy to form holiday let accommodation; Erection of extension to detached disabled WC building; Reconfiguration of courtyard to north of main house.

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) notes that the new owner of Finchcocks is proposing improvements to this 18th century house to upgrade the amenities including the replacement of certain ‘plastic’ windows.  These proposals have no effect on the AONB.   GPC is pleased to note that the new owners are continuing much of the music tradition for which Finchcocks is well known.

GOUDHURST PARISH NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN (NDP)

367/16 Survey Monkey.  It was resolved to agree expenditure of up to £300.00 for the NDP Steering Committee to sign up to use Survey Monkey.

GOUDHURST PARISH COMMUNITY CENTRE

The Chairman reported:

368/16 Following Minute 339/16.  Council will now ask John Bullock to produce a Part Measured Survey as well as ‘as-exiting’ and ‘concept’ drawings.

TRAINING 

369/16 Delivering Effective Partnership Working in Kent’s Communities 2017.  28 February 2017 at Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone.  The Clerk reported that the main theme of the session was ‘Devolution’.  The Town and Parish Council can expect more services to be devolved as the amount of funding from central government to Counties and Boroughs is further reduced.

COUNCILLOR VACANCIES.

370/16 It was resolved unanimously to co-opt Mr Chris Ditton to Council to fill the vacancy in the Kilndown Parish Ward following the resignation of Mrs Carol Ash.

371/16 It was noted that Mr Ian Timlin had expressed interest in applying for the vacancy in the Goudhurst Parish Ward following the resignation of Tom Malt.

MAPPING

372/16 It was resolved to approve expenditure of £760.00 for Council to sign up to Pear Technology mapping software with a possible further £450.00 for training.   The annual support cost will be £85.00.

ACCOUNTS 

373/16 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

4008 AVB Farnfield February 17 pay and expenses £2,289.85

4009HM Revenue & CustomsClerk PAYE & NI Feb 17£849.73

4010 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint contract Feb 17 £913.27

4011 Tenterden Twilight Cleaning Balcombes Hill public toilets contract Feb 17 £559.00

4012 Pearsons Landscapes The Plain and Pond maint Feb 17 £103.20

4013 Goudhurst Parish Hall Meeting Room hire (NDP) £120.00

4014 Chata Hygiene Public toilets servicing £19.76

4015 PCC Goudhurst Grant towards St Mary’s floodlights renewal £2,680.00

4016 Microshade Business Consultants Citrix Inv 9602 £54.30

4017 South East Water Water supply to public toilets £44.28

4018 Tate Fencing Gate change on WC33 and WC34 £153.00

DDR Southern Electric Energy Chequer Field pavilion £87.44

DDR BT Office phone + Broadband £187.66

DDR Veolia Environmental Services Burial Grounds bin Feb 17 £132.12

374/16 Receipts in February 2017

Burial Board£1,580.00

Neighbourhood Development Plan grant £426.30

NatWest interest £0.18

CCLA interest £8.09

375/16  Bank reconciliationResolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the

end of February 2017 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was:

Nat West Current a/c £2,798.97

Nat West Business Reserve £23,830.31

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund £35,117.59

£61,746.87

376/16 Statement of Receipts and Payments against Budget for April 2016 to March 2017.  This was reviewed in some detail.  It was noted that:

Administration net figures showed an overspend of £2,300 due to unforeseen Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) costs.  The decision to carry out the NDP was not taken until May 2016 long after the 2016/17 budget was agreed.

Amenities Committee was overspent on the Public Toilets (£8.200) and Balcombes Hill car park re-surfacing (£22,600), two items that were not fully budgeted due to the uncertain date on which Council was to take over the ownership from TWBC.  It was noted that both the toilets and the car park were in a poor state of repair at the time of transfer of ownership.

The explanation of the total net overspend by Council of c£19k in 2016/17 was accepted.

377/16 Ring Fenced Reserves.  Members noted that the Clerk’s forecast for Council’s cash book balance at

the end of March 2017 would be about £53,500.  With that in mind it was resolved to update Minute 428/15 and confirm the Ring Fenced Reserves to be:

Goudhurst Pond refurbish £25,000

Glebe Field gates, fields and hedge work £5,000

Reactive traffic speed indicator (SID) £7,000

AUDIT

378/16 It was noted that Mr David Buckett will be visiting on Friday 07 April 2017 to audit Council’s 2016/17 accounts.

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

379/16 10 April 2017.   Parish Council Meeting in the Jessel Room at 7.30 pm

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

The Meeting closed at  9.30 pm.

Anthony Farnfield, Clerk

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

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

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