Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Amenities Committee September

Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green


Minutes of a Meeting held on 26 September 2017 in the Jessel Room

Present: Cllrs Stephen Wickham (Chairman), Mrs Angela Broom, Chris Ditton, Alan Foster and Phil Kirkby.

Apologies:  Cllr David Boniface.  Also Cllr Antony Harris.

Declarations of Interest:  None declared.

Glebe Field.   It was noted that Cllrs Stephen Wickham and Chris Ditton Council with the Clerk had held a short notice meeting on 22 September with Mr Graham Boulden, the Diocesan Land Agent.  The points raised by Mr Boulden were mostly those agreed in principle previously (car parking, trees on the eastern curtilages, hedges) and which are being progressed by the respective legal people.  However Mr Boulden raised no objection to the lease agreement including a clause permitting Council to establish a field gate on the southern curtilage of the lower Glebe.  He will check the arrangements for servicing the vicarage cesspit.  He seemed insistent that the path on the top Glebe should be closed for one day a year, a matter which appears to conflict with the Village Green status, but it was agreed to let the legal teams resolve this issue. Mr Boulden is aiming to have the lease agreement in place by 01 January 2018.  The Clerk has briefed Buss Murton.

Lower Glebe Field – Barn Owl Box.  Committee supported with enthusiasm a proposal by Cllr Mrs Angela Broom to establish a Barn Owl Box in the Lower Glebe.  For consideration by Council.

Chequer Field.  Following Council Minute 144/17.  It was noted that TWBC has made an offer of  £6,000 to Council in full and final settlement of the outstanding Chequer Field boundary and pitch drainage issues.  It was recommended to Council that that this offer be accepted with the condition that TWBC has made known to us precisely any existing or potential claim or liability that they are or should have been aware of or are anticipating or expecting and which we should have been advised.

Chequer Field Main Gate.  It was noted that the hanging post of the main gate is rotten and needs to be replaced and that the fencing on the north side of the main gate is inadequate and needs to be upgraded.  Expenditure of up to £500.00 was agreed under delegated authority to be noted by Council.

Chequer Field Wildlife Protection Area.  It was noted that a local resident, Mr Keith Peevor, who lives close to Chequer Field has an interest in reptiles (lizards, slow worms and similar).  Council has co-operated with him since the establishment of the football field by only occasionally mowing a strip of land on the north side of the ground.  Cllr Stephen Wickham and the Clerk Met Mr Peevor on site on 22 September.  Mr Peevor seeks Council’s agreement to a change in the mowing schedule with a relatively minor extension of the long grass area together with the establishment of features such as hibernation and basking areas and a secure hide site.  Mr Steve Songhurst, Chairman of the Kent Reptile and Amphibian Group is advising Mr Peevor.  Any Council expenditure will be minimal.  The Clerk will arrange a meeting between Council’s Groundsman, Mr Pete Bamford, and Mr Peevor.  It was noted that the area is not a registered Conservation area but nevertheless it deserves Council’s support.   It was noted that the Primary School might be interested by being involved.

Goudhurst Pond De-silting.  It was noted that the de-silting could not start as planned on 25 September due to the necessary approvals from the Environment Agency not being received. The provisional new date for the start of the project is 30 October 2017.  Kent Highways are aware.

Goudhurst Pond De-silting and Goudhurst Parish Hall.  It was agreed to recommend to Council that the Hall should be reimbursed by Council for their loss of bookings and revenue for the week of 25 September amounting to £359.00.  Also similar reimbursement for the week in which the de-silting takes place providing the maximum amount of reimbursement does not exceed £500.00.

Furthermore it was agreed to recommend to Council that Council should indemnify the Parish Hall for any damage to their property during the de-silting operation particularly the Hall driveway.

It was noted that the de-silting contractor will thin out appropriately the bulrushes in the Pond.

Balcombes Hill Toilets.  It was reaffirmed that it is Council’s intention to replace the two old handwash units in the Gents toilet with one new unit in the 2018/19 budget year.

It was agreed that a mirror will be introduced into the Ladies toilet area and that Tenterden Twilight Cleaning Co will replace the plants in the external plant boxes with a seasonal display..

Balcombes Hill Car Park.  It was noted that a Chairman Amenities Committee and the Clerk are meeting KCC Legal on 29 September to progress the legal aspects of the proposed Car Park Order.

The Plain – Occasional sale of Honey.  It was noted that a local resident has asked permission to occasionally sell his honey at the Plain.  This was agreed with enthusiasm.

The Plain Notice Board.  It was noted that the Clerk is arranging for it to be refurbished.

Goudhurst in Bloom 2017.   Cllr Mrs Angela Broom was thanked for having organised a successful event this year.  She plans to encourage more retail outlets to enter in 2018.

Kilndown Fishing ClubNoted that it has been suggested by a Kilndown resident that Members of the Fishing Club should have an ID badge or a lanyard to identify themselves as genuine members.  Chairman Amenities Committee will seek the opinion of Mr Booth, the Fishing Club Chairman..

Play Area refurbishment funding through a S106 Agreement.  It was agreed that Cllr Chris Ditton will work with the Clerk to obtain a written quote to refurbish the Church Room Play Area for submission to TWBC Planning in connection with a recent planning application.

Post Meeting Item.

Chequer Field – Proposal to purchase.  Council has been approached by a local resident with a common curtilage to purchase a small area of Chequer Field in the north-west corner as an extension to his garden.  Chairman Amenities Committee with the Clerk with investigate further to bring a report with recommendations to Council.  However, no progress can be made until such time as Council accepts the title to Chequer Field from TWBC.

Date of next Amenities Committee meeting:    Tues 28 November in The Jessel Room. 7.30 pm.

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

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