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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 on Monday 10 April 2017 at 7.30 pm 

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

6 members of the public for the Questions session.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  

001/17 were accepted from Cllrs Chris Ditton, Sean Gilder and Guy Sutton.  Also County Cllr Alex King MBE.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

002/17 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

003/17 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 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

004/17 Goudhurst Village Green/Glebe Field.  Members of the Goudhurst Village Green Committee wished to emphasise to the Parish Council various points that are of concern to them with regard to the lease negotiations between the Parish Council and the Diocese of Canterbury.  These are recorded in Minute 013/17.

005/17 Planning Application 15/510395 relating to land at Balcombes Hill Goudhurst.  A local resident asked whether the Parish Council will be making any representation following the appeal that has been submitted on this application.  Council stated that it will not be doing so.  A full representation had been submitted in 2015 and that will be on the planning inspectors file; there is no point in re-submitting since the circumstances have not changed.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

006/17 It was noted that County Cllr Alex King who has been representing Goudhurst at County since 1989 will not be seeking re-election in May 2017.  Resolved:  the Clerk will write on behalf of Council to thank Alex for his good work over 28 years.

007/11 Planning: Call for Sites.  Cllr Barry Noakes reported that TWBC will be publishing a further Call for Sites on 02 May 2017.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:

008/17 Little Squirrels pre-School, Kilndown.  Following Minute 325/16. It was noted that Mrs Jo Hinde who is currently chairing the management committee had briefed the Amenities Committee on the current situation.  The pre-school has some financial and sustainability challenges.

009/17 Balcombes Hill Public Toilets – Cleaning Contract.  Following Minute 355/16.  It was resolved to grant a 3 year extension to the contract with Tenterden Twilight Commercial Cleaning Ltd for 2017/18 through to 2019/2020.  This will be based on an annual uplift in April equal to the Office of National Statistics published CPIH rate in March annually.

010/17 Balcombes Hill Car Park – Parking Order.  Following Minute 142/16.  It was noted that the Clerk had received a report from Kent Legal Services (KLS).

Option 1 – Erect a sign in the car parking detailing the terms and conditions of using the car park. This can set out the requirements not to park in marked bays and other conditions which the Parish Council feels are appropriate in the circumstances.  However this sign will have no legal effect and will be erected on an advisory basis only to the users of the car park.

Option 2 – The making of a traffic regulation order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. This would allow for civil enforcement penalties to be imposed.  If a traffic order were to be made the civil enforcement penalties would be imposed by a civil enforcement officer working on behalf of KCC as a traffic authority. It would not be possible for the Parish Council to undertake civil enforcement itself. The process of making a traffic regulation order would require consultation on the proposals as well as advertisement of the making of the order to allow for objections to be made to the order. It would be necessary for the costs of the newspaper advertisement to be paid as well.  KLS estimate that the cost of Kent County Council carrying out the legal work to make the traffic regulation order would take around 20 hours at the rate of £90 per hour. In addition there will be an additional cost for newspaper adverts.s.

In discussing this proposal, Members agreed that Council should take Option 2.  However Members queried the cost of £1,800.00 and why the old TWBC traffic regulation order could not just be transferred.  Resolved: that the Clerk will contact KLS and put this question to them for clarification.

011/17 Chequer Field legal issues.  Following Minute 352/16.  It was noted that a meeting between Council and TWBC has been organised for 18 May 2017.  Members will have a pre-meeting with Mrs Browne. .

012/17 Chequer Field – Dogs.  Council has been reminded by a local resident to enforce the ‘no dogs’ policy on Chequer Field.  It was noted that there was concern about children’s safety and fouling of the playing field.  Although some Members believed it would be reasonable to allow dogs on leads onto Chequer Field, it was resolved to reinforce Council’s policy not to allow any dogs onto the field.   Post meeting:  it was noted that Council’s notice board by the main gate to Chequer Field includes a notice ‘No Dogs’.  Subsequently the Clerk confirmed that Council had established a ‘No Dogs’ policy by Minute 251/10 of 13 September 2010.  The Clerk will organise extra signage.

013/17 Glebe Fields.   Following Minutes 353/16 and 004/17.  It was noted that Council has received the draft lease agreement from the Diocese of Canterbury via out legal adviser, Mrs Corinne Browne of Buss Murton. She has forwarded some comments on the more technical legal points for Council’s consideration.  Members of Council’s Amenities Committee will meet with the Chairman of the Village Green Committee before a response is formulated.  It was resolved that this response will include the addition of a clause which will allow improved access to the lower Glebe for parking on annual village fete days.

Council noted comments made at this Council meeting by representatives of the Village Green Committee.  They are concerned about:

  1. Car parking on the Village Green;
  2. Building that might be introduced on the Village Green;
  3. Use of the Village Green for certain recreational purposes;
  4. The footpath on the Village Green that is a permanent right of access;;
  5. The care of trees;
  6. That the Village Green is used peaceably and quietly.

Council assured the members of the Village Green Committee that their points will be taken into account in Council’s brief to our legal adviser.

014/17 Goudhurst Pond Fountain.  It was noted that the fountain failed in the late Autumn of 2016.  Due to a lack of rain the water level went down and this adversely affected the fountain’s motor which burnt out.

Chairman, Amenities Committee is in touch with the supplier with a view to having the pump motor repaired or replaced if necessary.

015/17 Capel Groundcare.  Mr Pete Bamford holds the contract for Chequer Field maintenance as well as the upper area at Christ Church and the Lurkins Rise recreational area.  He has informed Council that he is  temporarily unwell and is unable to drive.  Members expressed sympathy with Mr Bamford’s situation. It was resolved that the Clerk is to relay the message that Council will make arrangements for his work to be covered by others with a view to Mr Bamford  resuming his contract when his health allows.

BURIAL BOARD

016/17 John Fermor Landscapes.  It was resolved to grant a 3 year extension to the contract with John Fermor Landscapes for 2017/18 through to 2019/2020.  The rate will be unchanged for 2017/18.  In 2018/19 and 2019/2020  it will be £120.00 for grass cutting and £220.00 for hedges.

017/17 Replacement Notice Board at the Burial Grounds.  It was resolved to agree expenditure of £1,700.00 for an aluminium replacement notice board in the Burial Grounds plus £100.00 for delivery.

HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths Committee reported:

018/17 Footpath WC27 by Pedlar’s End.  The kissing gate is in need of repair.

Footpath WT348 near Share Farm (Horsmonden).  The footbridge steps need repair.

Footpath WC50 near Broadham Wood.  A stile has been removed and replaced by barbed wire fencing thus obstructing the PROW.

Footpath WC46 west of Pattyndenne.  A gate across the PROW has been locked.

The Clerk will take appropriate action on these matters.

POLICE & NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

The Chairman of the Police & Neighbourhood Watch Committee reported:

019/17 CCTV.  Chairman P&NW Committee reported that he had received a detailed quote from a contractor based not far from Goudhurst.  Resolved that the Clerk will arrange a P&NW Committee meeting prior to the next Council meeting on 08 May 2017.

020/17 CCTV – Sunstone.  It was resolved that the Sunstone quotation is still ‘live’ but current Council budgets remain a restriction.  The Clerk will maintain contact with Sunstone.

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

It was resolved to note the following Decisions from TWBC published in March 2017:

021/16 DECISIONS

16/07276 Evanden Farm Church Road Kilndown

Listed Building Consent – Internal alterations to ground floor of listed building and replacement double glazing in one external door (D2) on the north elevation

Granted permission

16/07834 Barns at New Finchurst Farm Summerhill Goudhurst

Conversion of two agricultural buildings (previously permitted for residential use) for use as a single dwelling and associated alterations extensions and landscaping

Granted permission

17/00072 Old Forstal Ladham Road Goudhurst

Single storey side and rear extension with minor internal alterations; Garage conversion and first floor extension and basement level

Application withdrawn

17/00073 Old Forstal Ladham Road Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – Single storey side and rear extension with minor internal alterations; Garage conversion and first floor extension and basement level

Application withdrawn

17/00122 Lower Crowbourne Farmhouse Station Road Goudhurst

Construction of a single storey ground floor side extension

Granted permission

17/00160 2 & 3 The Retreat Lidwells Lane Goudhurst

Single storey side/rear extensions

Granted permission

17/00199 Twitten Cottage 1 West Road Goudhurst

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

Granted permission

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;

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

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;

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

17/00345 Finchcocks Goudhurst

Trees:  Oak (G8) Remove

Application permitted

022/16 APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in March 2017 with representations approved by Council:

17/00540 Stone Villa Church Road Kilndown

Two-storey rear extension and internal alterations; Change of use and repairs to existing outbuilding; Change of use of land to residential

Recommend approval

This revised scheme would appear to accommodate the shortfalls of the original scheme which officers identified.

17/00599 Brandfold Cottage North Road Goudhurst

Two-storey side extension

Recommend refusal

This proposal appears to introduce form and features which are completely alien to the existing dwelling.

17/00681 Lady Oak House Lady Oak Lane Flimwell

LBC – Internal and external repairs and alterations including changes to doors, windows, chimney, lighting and weatherboarding

Recommend approval

This proposal appears to bring the property up to current living standards.   Subject to the views of the conservation officer, GPC is content that approval is granted.

17/00783 Zion Barn Ranters Lane Goudhurst

Enlargement of the entrance porch at the front of the property

Recommend approval

A sensible proposal, which subject to the careful selection of materials, will enhance the living accommodation with minimal impact on the setting or the AONB.

17/00701 Grange Farm House Chequers Road Goudhurst

Erection of 1.8m high fence

Recommend approval

Subject to conditions which require the fence should not be painted, but only stained or un-treated, and that the hedge should be replanted where there are gaps, GPC is content that the application is approved.

17/00706 Garage Site Mary Days Goudhurst

Demolition of existing garages and erection of 1 No. dwelling with 5 parking places

Recommend refusal

The applicants have assumed that the garages in the application site are not fully utilized because of their small size.   They do however accommodate the smaller cars which the tenants own, and in some instances a second car is parked outside the garage.   This proposal will effectively reduce parking spaces, at best, from 9 to 3, and thus lead to 6 residents seeking an alternative space.   At weekends, which the applicants did not assess, it can be difficult to locate a single vacant parking space.

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) believes that the parking assessment carried out on behalf of the applicants is flawed, because Lurkins Rise, which includes the largest number of dwellings (66) has been omitted from the assessment.   In Lurkins Rise, 14 occupants have provided their own off-road space and there are a further 26 public spaces.   There is therefore a shortfall of 26 spaces.   Despite this shortfall there is currently a balance between supply and demand, but it cannot be assumed that that will continue as car ownership steadily increases.   Since Lurkins Rise is immediately adjacent to the other roads which have been assessed, it cannot be assumed that its occupants will not from time to time park in the other roads.

GPC firmly believes that the applicants should review this proposal, and rather than take steps to reduce the availability of parking on the estate, they should consider how they will accommodate the steadily increasing number of vehicles which the tenants and owners of the properties need.

Committee, if officers are minded to approve.

17/00857 4 Weavers Cottages Church Road Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – Replace rotten/damaged and badly fitting front door and frame

Recommend approval

Subject to the views of the Conservation Officer, Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC)  is content that approval is granted.   GPC would suggest that approval should be conditioned to require the re-use of the existing ironwork and that the door should be stained rather than painted.

TRAINING 

023/17 SLCC Regional Training Seminar at Uckfield 05 April 2017.  The Clerk had attended.

COUNCILLOR VACANCIES.

024/17 It was noted that Council has a vacancy in the Goudhurst Parish Ward..

ACCOUNTS 

025/17 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

4019 AVB Farnfield March 17 pay and expenses £2,395.63

4020HM Revenue & CustomsClerk PAYE & NI Mar 17£1,234.76

4021 Groundscare & General Services St Mary’s mowing contract £1,204.80

4022 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint contract Mar 17 £913.27

4023 John Fermor Landscapes Christ Church lower area mowing £110.00

4024 Pearsons Landscapes The Plain and Pond maint Mar 17 £103.20

4025 Paul & Eileen Landon Goudhurst War Memorial garden maint £25.00

4026 Microshade Business Consultants Citrix Inv 9671 £56.70

4027 James Boot NDP Consultancy Jan – Mar 17 £328.20

4028 North Kent Architecture (AVBF) NDP Training Bates and Broom £228.00

4029 G M Monk Electrical work at Balcombes Hill toilets £174.82

4030 Communicorp Local Councils update subscription £100.00

4031 Quarry Centre Kilndown Meeting room hire £10.00

4032 Pear Technology Services Mapping software £912.00

4033 TWBC NNDR toilet block 2017-18 £990.25

4034 Complete Weed Control Weed control St Mary’s and Christ Church £600.00

4035 SLCC Enterprises Clerk training Uckfield 05 April £82.80

4036 KALC Cllr Ditton training 18 May £72.00

4037 KALC Membership subscription 2017-18 £1045.70

4038 PHS Group Toilet block services 2017-18 £298.85

4039 Action with Communities Rural Kent Membership subscription £50.00

4040 Tenterden Twilight Cleaning Balcombes Hill public toilets contract Mar 17 £559.00

4041 Michael Bennett Website and e-mail services 2017-18 £1,691.86

4042 Action with Communities Rural Kent Housing Needs Survey £2,200.00

4043 Poyntell Ltd Toilet block time locks maintenance £132.00

4044 Poyntell Ltd Toilet block steel door £1,960.00

4045 Poyntell Ltd Toilet block time locks spare parts £58.76

DDR BT Broadband for CCTV camera to Parish Hall £179.28

DDR South East Water Toilet block water supply £189.91

DDR Eon Kilndown kiosk and the Plain light energy £15.30

DDR Veolia Environmental Services Burial Grounds bin Mar 17 £144.54

026/17 Receipts in March 2017

NatWest interest£0.15

CCLA interest£7.08

027/17  Bank reconciliationResolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the

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

Nat West Current a/c£1,605.36

Nat West Business Reserve£14,830.46

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund£35,124.67

£51,560.49

AUDIT

028/17 It was noted that Mr David Buckett had visited on Friday 07 April 2017 to audit Council’s 2016/17 accounts.  He had raised no major issues with the Clerk.  His written report is awaited.

029/17 Annual Governance Statement 2016/17.  Part of the Audit process is that the Chairman and the Clerk sign off the Annual Governance Statement.  Copies had been distributed to the Members.  The Clerk read out the 8 paragraphs.  It was resolved that all paragraphs were agreed and can be signed off as ‘Yes’.  Paragraph 9 relating to Trust Funds is not relevant to this Council.

030/17 Publishing information on the Audit of Council’s Accounts.  The Clerk confirmed that he will comply with the legal requirements by the display of the relevant Notices on the Plain notice board and on the Parish Website

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

031/17 08 May 2017.   Parish Council Annual Meeting in the Jessel Room at 7.30 pm

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

032/17 – Members were reminded that the Goudhurst Annual Parish Meeting will be held on 18 April and the Kilndown Annual Parish Meeting on 20 April 2017.

The Meeting closed at  9.20 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