Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News February 2017

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL
Parish Council Logo
at The Jessel Room on Monday 13 February 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.

4 members of the public.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  

315/16 were accepted from Cllrs Sean Gilder (half term holiday) and Guy Sutton (travelling).

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

316/16 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

317/16 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 09 January 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

318/16 There were no questions from the press or public.

BEDGEBURY FOREST AND PINTETUM 

319/16 Council welcomed Mr Patrick West,  Bedgebury Manager, Forestry Commission England.  His purpose was to brief Council on the Master Plan consultation meeting held at Bedgebury on 17 January 2017 which had been attended by Cllrs Antony Harris and Guy Sutton.  He expects to publish a new Estates Master Plan later in 2017.  So far 120 ideas have come from interested parties.  In the past 10 years visitor numbers have risen from 50,000 to 450,000 annum.  It is an important national asset and Mr West is keen to raise the public awareness as to what it is all about.  One important matter is the number of summer concerts.  He plans to see to increase their licence from 2 to 4 annually and to increase the size of the audiences from 5,500 to 7,000.  One question raised related to better access for cyclists in the Bewl Water/Bedgebury Forest Area.  The possibility of an improved cycle route parallel to Lady Oak Road was raised and Cllr David Boniface and the Highways Committee will explore this with Mr West. See 332/16.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

320/16 There was nothing significant to report.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:

321/16 Kilndown Quarry Pond – Kilndown Fishing Club.  Minute 294/16.  Cllrs Stephen Wickham with Cllrs Alan Foster and Mrs Susan Newsam with the Clerk had met Mr Graham Booth on 11 February.  Mr Booth has strong family connections to Kilndown.  It was noted that the majority of local residents in the Quarry Pond area had supported Mr Booth’s application to re-start the fishing club.  Work has started to draw up the rules for the operation of the club together with a risk assessment and an agreement between Council and Mr Booth.  He will be taking out the necessary insurance cover; Council will not be providing any insurance for this activity.  Mr Booth has volunteered to mow the grass and carry out some strimming using equipment held at Quarry House.  It was resolved that Mr Booth’s application be approved.  The start up will probably be in April 2017.

322/16 Kent High Weald Partnership Report of 11 January 2017 on the Quarry Pond Area.  This was noted including advice on reducing the amount of laurel and rhododendron and establishing more native plant species.

323/16 Glebe Fields.   Following Minute 296/16.  Chairman of the Amenities Committee has spoken to the Diocesan Land Agent yet again about progress on the long outstanding  promised lease to Council.  Commitments are made but deadlines are repeatedly missed.

324/16 Chequer Field.  It was noted that our legal adviser had written again to TWBC about the boundary issues and the poor condition of the south end of the pitch after heavy rain.

325/16 Kilndown Millennium Green.  It was noted that an informal meeting with the Chairman of the Kilndown Millennium Green Trust was held on 26 January to discuss their request for grant funding to maintain their children’s play equipment and, possibly, the grounds maintenance of the Millennium Green land.  Cllrs Wickham and Mrs Newsam with the Clerk attended.  It was resolved to approve an annual grant of £500  (£100 towards the annual RoSPA inspection cost and £400 towards equipment repair and maintenance) to the Millennium Green Trust specifically for the maintenance of the outdoor play equipment at the Green.  It was noted that the matter of the request for Council to contribute towards the Millennium Green maintenance costs (grass cutting, shrubs and tree maintenance etc) be deferred since the current arrangements carried out by Mr Peter Watkins voluntarily are working well.  Council has indicated that it is open for further talks in the future supported by a clear business plan

326/16 Tree at Tattlebury Triangle.  The chestnut tree (not an Oak as in a previous report)  at Tattlebury Triangle is clearly diseased.  Resolved that, even though it is not on Parish Council land, to ensure something is actually done, the Clerk will obtain the necessary permissions for it to be felled.  It was noted that a local resident has offered informally to pay for a replacement.

327/16 Fire Hydrants.  There are 67 fire hydrants in the Parish.  Nearly all are in a poor state of repair and are likely to be unusable in an emergency.  It was noted that Cllrs Alan Foster had carried out a comprehensive inspection a couple of years ago.  He attended a KFRS Initiative meeting at Tovil on 30 January 2017 where improvements to hydrant maintenance were promised.

328/17 Love Where You Live Litter Pick.  This will be held across the Parish on the weekend of 25/26 March this year.

BURIAL BOARD

The Chairman of the Burial Board reported:

329/17 Floodlighting at St Mary’s.   The floodlights at St Mary’s are old with most of the units now not working.  A project to replace them with more efficient and cheaper to run LED units has been launched.  A joint committee representing the Friends of St Mary’s, the St Mary’s Fabric Committee and a representative from the Parish Council has obtained competitive quotes.  Resolved: to agree a grant of £2,680.00 as a contribution towards the total cost of the project.

330/16 Weed Control at St Mary’s and Christ Church.  Our contractor has submitted his bid for 2017/18 with a £30.00 or 4.2% increase over 2016/17.  Resolved: to accept this price for 2017/18 with no change to the job specification.

HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths Committee reported:

331/16 TWBC Interim report of the Tackling Excessive Speeds on Rural Roads.   Highways and Footpaths Committee is following the progress of this project at TWBC to see what solutions may be applicable to Goudhurst.

332/16 Cycle Path on Forestry Commission land adjacent to Lady Oak Lane.   Following Minute 302/16.  A local resident, Mrs Barbara Stafford, raised a question about where this proposed project originated.   Council clarified that it came from the Parish Council by a Resolution; a Kilndown Parish Ward member had originally raised it some months ago.  Should Council wish to raise the matter again with the Forestry Commission (Mr Patrick West confirmed that it is one of the ‘120 ideas’ that have been put forward for his Master Plan) then a business case will be made supported by plans and maps.

HOUSING COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Housing Committee reported:

333/16 Housing Needs Survey.  The last Goudhurst Housing Needs Survey  is now 5 years old  and therefore out of date.  Furthermore the current Goudhurst Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan needs an up to date survey.  Council has been in touch with Action with Communities in Rural Kent (AwCiRK) and TWBC.   It was resolved to accept the draft survey drawn up by Rural Kent who will carry out the distribution of the survey across the Parish and they will also evaluate the responses all at a cost of no more than £2,000.00.

POLICE & NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Police & Neighbourhood Watch Committee reported:

334/16 CCTV.   Following Minute 303/16 Council considered three optional quotations from Sunstone.  After some discussion several Members took the view that Council does not have sufficient funds at present to meet the full quoted costs. To do so would mean that other important projects would have to be set back; at present Council simply can not afford the scheme as costed in one tranche.  It would be unwise to run our reserves too low.  It was resolved not to accept any of the quotes at present rom Sunstone. Whilst recognising that at the beginning of the project Council had sought bids from 5 suppliers, the committee was asked to re-evaluate the project considering alternative lower cost individual options now technically available.

YOUTH COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Youth Committee reported

335/16 Goudhurst Dynamos – the Junior section of Goudhurst United.  It was noted that the ‘juniors’ had grown to the point that there are now insufficient pitches at Chequer Field.  They hope that, eventually, one of the junior teams might have a pitch marked out on the Glebe Field once Council has been able to secure the lease.

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

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

336/16 DECISIONS

16/07176 Etchinghill Farmyard Gore Lane Goudhurst

Minor Material amendment to planning application 16/501852/FULL – amendments to fenestration, infill of lean-to to create a porch and construction of a timber decked area to rear.

Granted permission

16/07275 1 Lurkins Rise Goudhurst

2 storey extension and first floor extension to north elevation of property, with internal works, addition of rooflights, and fenestration alterations.

Refused permission

16/07296 Stone Villa Church Road Kilndown

2 storey rear extension with single storey element, internal alterations, barn alterations and detached garage with change of use of barn and surrounding land from agricultural to residential

Application refused

16/07426 Shepherds Lawn West Road Goudhurst

Installation of solar panels on existing flat roof

Granted permission

16/07510 Land off  Chequers Road Goudhurst

Outline (All matters reserved) – Residential development (4 No. bungalows for older residents)

Refused 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 formation of new vehicular access to create ‘in/out’ drive) – Minor changes to fenestration and internal layouts of upper and lower ground floor level layouts.

Granted permission

337/16 APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in January 2016 with representations approved by Council::

16/07362 Finchcocks Barn Riseden Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – Split large bedroom into two smaller bedrooms and relocation of a central vertical beam. Replacement of some rooflights with larger rooflights

Recommend approval in principle

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) agrees with the conservation officer’s assessment of this application.   The splitting of the large bedroom into two smaller bedrooms seems an acceptable aim.   GPC, however, shares the conservation officer’s concerns regarding the relocation of the central vertical beam and the enlarged rooflights.

16/07747 1 Zion Cottages Ranters Lane Goudhurst

Internal alterations

Recommend approval

These proposals would seem to be acceptable in order to update the cottage to modern living standards, with the minimum disturbance to the historic structure.

16/07856 Wanderwood North Road Goudhurst

Variation of Condition 2 of planning permission 16/06248/FULL (Demolition of existing house and garage; Proposed replacement dwelling and attached garage including formation of new vehicular access to create ‘in/out’ drive) – Minor changes to fenestration and internal layouts of upper and lower ground floor level layouts.

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council repeats its concerns expressed regarding 16/06248/FULL:

• Highways should confirm that the proposed ‘In/out’ drive will be no less safe than the current situation;

• The extensive glazing on the north-west elevation should be conditioned to limit excessive light spillage over the valley.

16/07879 Eight Bells Barn Back Lane Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent:  Erection of a single storey side extension

Recommend approval

These changes have improved the amenity of the accommodation considerably and are acceptable.

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

Recommend approval

The proposed alterations and extensions add interest and character to the buildings without altering their size or impact on the location or the AONB to any significant extent.

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.

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.

Recommend approval

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

17/00122 Lower Crowbourne Farmhouse Station Road Goudhurst

Construction of single storey ground floor side extension

Recommend approval

A modest proposal, which will have minimal impact on the locality or the AONB

GOUDHURST PARISH NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN (NDP)

338/16 Mrs Barbara Stafford, a member of the NDP Steering Committee updated Members on progress so far.

There are no major issues to be addressed at present.

GOUDHURST PARISH COMMUNITY CENTRE

The Chairman reported:

339/16 Members had received the Minutes of meetings that had been held on 18 January and 06 February 2017.

The latter meeting included Parish Council representatives with Parish Hall Trustees and the Chairman of Goudhurst Drama (GADS).  Also the Community Halls Adviser from Rural Kent.  The broad proposal is to rebuild the old GPO telephone exchange adjacent to the Parish Hall, include a link building between the two building, remodel the west end of the Parish Hall interior (behind the stage) to better use the space and to extend the Hall’s kitchen to make it more commercially attractive for letting.  Sketch plans were distributed and those present were, from what they had seen and heard, broadly supportive of the scheme.   The Community Halls Adviser pointed out that because the land and buildings are owned by the Parish Hall Trust, then the Trust will have to lead the project whilst working closely with the Parish Council.  She indicated that it is probably easier for the Trust to raise funds than for the Parish Council.  She believes that the proposed scheme is a good one.  It was noted that TWBC Planning has given, in writing, a generally positive assessment.  It was resolved that the Chairman of the Parish Council will meet with the Parish Hall Treasurer to work up some provisional figures for the project.  It was resolved to approve expenditure of up to £2,000.00 for John Bullock Design to produce a Part Measured Survey and production of ‘as-existing’ and “Concept” drawings.

TRAINING 

340/16 Delivering Effective Partnership Working in Kent’s Communities 2017.  28 February 2017 at Maidstone.  Information event by KALC/KFAS with input from KCC and the Boroughs.  This event is largely about devolution of activities to Parish Councils.  The Clerk will attend and report back to Council.

ACCOUNTS 

341/16 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

3994 AVB Farnfield January 17 pay and expenses £2,322.10

3995HM Revenue & CustomsClerk PAYE & NI Jan 17£849.73

3996 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint contract Jan 17 £889.27

3997 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field steps on the south bank £691.20

3998 Tenterden Twilight Cleaning Balcombes Hill public toilets contract Jan 17 £628.88

3999 Pearsons Landscapes The Plain and Pond maint Jan 17 £103.20

4000 247 Maintenance (AVBF) Toilet block drains maint £144.00

4001 Microshade Business Consultants Citrix Inv 9533 £54.30

4002 Kent Assoc Local Councils Craig Broom NDP training £72.00

4003 PCC Goudhurst Church meeting room hire £12.60

4004 James Boot NDP Consultancy fees £245.10

4005 Wallgate Ltd Public toilets liquid soap £70.85

4006 Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Sunday CAV Apr 16 – Mar 17 £1,465.20

4007 Poyntell Ltd Replacement timer toilet block £193.29

DDR South East Water Chequer Field Water Jun – Dec 16 £108.47

DDR Veolia Environmental Services Burial Grounds bin January 17 £144.54

342/16 Receipts in January 2017

Burial Board£1,340.00

GUFC and Dynamos use of Chequer Field£1,070.00

NatWest interest£0.23

CCLA interest£7.66

343/16  Bank reconciliationResolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the

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

Nat West Current a/c£5,162.11

Nat West Business Reserve£23,830.13

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund£35,109.50

£64,101.74

344/16 Internal Audit CheckNoted that Cllr Mrs Angela Broom (not a cheque signatory) had carried out an Internal Audit Check on 30 January 2017 copies of which had been distributed to Members.  There were no matters of concern.  Cllr Mrs Broom reported that she had found the experience ‘fantastic’, and was impressed by the way the Parish records were kept.  The Chairman again recommended that all Members should carry out an Internal Audit Check because it gives a very good insight into the Parish Council’s work ‘behind the scenes’.

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

345/16 13 March 2017.   Parish Council Meeting in the Jessel Room at 7.30 pm

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

346/16 – The Clerk. Members to note that the Clerk will be away 15 to 24 February 2017.

http://goudhurst.co.uk   Members might like to look at the updated website by Michael Bennett.  It has had a major overhaul and there is now much more info about the Parish Council and our documentation with more to come.

– Kent Tree and Pond Partnership.  Offer of various free tree courses in February and March 2017.

The Meeting closed at  9.28 pm.

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

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

copyright © 2017 Goudhurst Parish Council