Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News January

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

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL

at The Jessel Room in Goudhurst Parish Hall on Monday 14 January 2019 at 7.30 pm

PRESENT:  Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), Alan Foster, David Boniface, Philip Kirkby, Susan Newsam, Barry Noakes, Caroline Richards, Guy Sutton and Stephen Wickham.   

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  

339/18 were accepted from Cllrs Cllr Mrs Angela Broom and Christopher Ditton.  Also County Cllr Seán Holden and Borough Cllr Edmund Hastie..          

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

340/18 There were none.   However the Chairman reminded Members of their responsibility for any Disclosures of Interest on Agenda items for this meeting and for any changes to their Register of Interests.

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

341/18 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 10 December 2018, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed by the Chairman as a correct record after the word the word ‘increase’ was added to line 2 of Minute 318/18 after 19%..

QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AND THE PRESS

There were none.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

342/18 County Cllr Seán Holden had sent a message to say that he is following up on the proposal to downgrade the A262 to a ‘B’ class road.  However the Kent County portfolio holder for Highways has indicated that we must wait until the Member Working Group reports back.    Cllrs noted that Cllr Seán Holden is well placed as Chairman of this Working Group.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:

343/18 Chequer Field.  Following Minute 198/18.  It was reported that there has been no further progress in transferring the title from TWBC to the Parish Council.  The legal adviser of one of the previous owners of the land has repeatedly failed to respond to correspondence from the Borough Council legal department.  However it was noted that one Parish Councillor had used his personal contacts to help resolve the problem and Council understands that the matter should now move forward to a resolution.

344/18 The Glebe Field lease.  Following Minute 199/18.  It was noted that the lease has been signed by both parties and it has now been registered at the Land Registry.  The Clerk has filed the key documents in Council’s secure archive. 

345/18 Children’s Play Area in Back Lane.  Following Minute 301/18.  It was noted that our helpful advisers to the Committee on Play Area matters are considering the suggestion that the refurbished Play Area be moved several yards to the east as and when replacement equipment is introduced so as to make more room for car parking in the area of the beacon.  They are also working on fund raising to replace some of the old play equipment bit by bit to supplement Council’s budgeted funds for play ground maintenance. 

346/18 Red telephone ‘box’ for a Defibrillator.  Following Minute 305/18.  The red telephone kiosk from Dunnington Parish Council in Yorkshire has been purchased.  Arrangements are in hand to transport it to Goudhurst.  A Member of the Parish Council has agreed to store it in one of his outbuildings.  Meanwhile the Clerk is in touch with BT to have the current modern style BT kiosk removed from its site opposite Goudhurst War Memorial.  Members agreed to consider where the red phone box should best be sited in Goudhurst bearing in mind that it does need a power supply to the planned defibrillator.

347/18 Grounds maintenance contract.  It was resolved to approve Capel Ground Care’s grounds maintenance contract for the years 2019/20, 2020/2021 and 2021/22 with a 3% uplift in each year.

348/18 Grounds maintenance contract.  It was resolved to approve the Kilndown Quarry Pond part of John Fermor’s contract for 2019 at no increase over the 2018 rate. 

HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths Committee reported verbally:

349/18 Footpath WC4.   Chairman Highways & Footpaths Committee will contact Bethany School about rubbish dumped close to this Public Right of Way.

350/18 Millennium Walk marker posts.  Some of these are badly in need of attention after 19 years.

Some are rotten and other missing.  Volunteers have met to plan necessary repairs.

351/18 Hedges along the Highway and Footways.  That some landowners are not caring for their hedges which are encroaching is causing concern.  Difficult cases will be reported to Kent Highways which has a procedure for dealing with them.

352/18 A21: Application to reduce the speed limit. (Kilndown).  Following Minute 274/18.  Members  noted with some dismay that no real progress has been made with Highways England.  We await a response from Rt Hon Greg Clark MP (but Council recognises that as a Cabinet Member he will be very busy with Brexit matters).  It was resolved that the Clerk should write to the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner as a letter to his office from a local resident on the A21 has not been answered.

353/18 Liaison with Kent Highways.  Notes from a meeting from Schemes Project Manager and Schemes Programme Manager (West), Kent Highways on 18 December were considered.  It was evident that there are 4 possible improvements that can be realistically introduced relating to traffic flows, parking, speed limits and improvements for pedestrians in Goudhurst High Street.  Highways and Footpaths Committee will follow up with Highways to draw up implementation plans.  It was noted that the Parish Council will have to take the costs. 

354/18 The Re-classification of the A262.  Following Minute 275/18. It was noted that Kent Highways response Council’s application for a re-classification is that “it is not appropriate.”  It was resolved that this decision will be contested further through the County Cllr for this division.  However, it was noted that the KCC Member holding the Highways portfolio has pointed out that a KCC Member Working Group is looking into traffic flows across the whole of Kent and that Goudhurst should await the conclusions and recommendations from that Group.  

355/18 Hop Pickers’ Line information panels. Following Minute 286/18.  It was noted that the owner of Finchcocks had generously agreed that Council could use a redundant sign at the junction of the Finchcocks driveway with Station Road to display a Hop Pickers’ line history information panel.  Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam had taken professional advice on an appropriate colour scheme so as to produce a striking display that has been approved by Finchcocks.  The cost of this part of the project is de-minimis.  

356/18 Electronic vehicle charging points.  Following Minute 282/18.   It was noted that the cost of  £6k for trenching a cable from the Parish Hall to Balcombes Hill car park is considered beyond Council’s budget at present.  However there may be a workable solution with a limited power charging point being established at another central location in Goudhurst and this is being investigated further.  

POLICE AND NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH COMMITTEE

357/18 CCTV at Balcombes Hill toilets and car park.  Following Minute 304/18.  It was noted that a stand alone basic CCTV system has been installed as an urgent matter at the toilets to combat occasional vandalism and undesirable activities.  This is unbudgeted expenditure.

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

Council noted the following Decisions from TWBC published in December 2018:  

358/18 DECISIONS

18/02376 Land and Building east of Dovecote House Crowbourne Farm Goudhurst

Change of use of existing building to form an independent dwelling and creation of associated curtilage and parking with a proposed single storey extension to replace an existing shed (Part Retrospective)

Granted permission

18/02978 The Old Farm Shop North Road Goudhurst

Single storey rear extension; Installation of dormer windows at first floor; Conversion of garage/workshop to living accommodation whilst retaining an integrated garage

Granted permission

18/03078 3 West Road Goudhurst

Change of use of garden studio to B&B

Granted permission

18/03149 Rootes Cottage West Road Goudhurst

Erection of a gate

Granted permission

18/03156 Laurel Cottage Ladham Road Goudhurst

Two storey rear/side extension with associated demolition of conservatory

Granted permission

18/03238 Little Trottenden Lidwells Lane Goudhurst

Proposed demolition of the existing single storey rear extension and detached garage and the erection of a two-storey side extension, single storey rear extension, rear terrace and replacement detached garage together with associated external alterations and works.

Granted permission

18/03466 1 1 Morebreddis Cottages Chequers Road Goudhurst

Demolition of conservatory and rear porch.  Erection of single story rear and two storey rear and two storey side extension and alterations to form second floor loft dormer.

Granted permission

18/03523 Barns at New Finchurst Farm Summerhill Goudhurst

Erection of a garage

Granted permission

359/18 APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in December 2018 with representations here approved by Council:

18/03422 Kent House Cranbrook Road Goudhurst

Erection of a two storey front extension, two storey rear extension and external alterations

Recommend approval

An interesting innovative design. Subject to the volume increase being compliant with policy, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that this proposal is approved.   

18/03427 31 Lurkins Rise Goudhurst

Erection of outbuilding within rear garden (Retrospective)

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) understands that this outbuilding would not require planning consent if it were nearer to the host dwelling.  Its siting, however, causes minimal, if any, damage to the location or the amenity of neighbours, and GPC is therefore content that approval is granted

18/03459 Crowbourne Farm Smiths Lane Goudhurst

Change of use of land from agricultural to parking for holiday let including night lights to assist parking on timers (works commenced)

Insufficient information

Why is the siting of the parking space so distant from the holiday-let which it serves?   If approved the lighting should be movement activated rather than on timers, in order to comply with the NDP dark skies policy.

18/03466 11 Morebreddis Cottages Chequers Road Goudhurst

Demolition of conservatory and rear porch. Erection of single storey rear and two storey side extension and alterations to form second floor loft dormer

Recommend approval

This scheme will considerably improve the amenity of the dwelling.   Subject to the volume increase being compliant with policy, GPC is content that approval is granted

18/03523 Barns at New Finchurst Farm Summerhill Goudhurst

Erection of a garage

Recommend refusal

Goudhurst Parish Council identifies two issues in this proposal:

• This a very large building with a substantial second floor;

• It is sited sufficiently far from the host building that separate occupation could occur without difficulty

Appeals

17/03698 Former Allotment Gardens Churchill’s Rope Walk Goudhurst

Erection of 2 No 4-bedroom dwellings with associated parking, landscaping and ancillary works

It has been explained to Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC), that this 2 dwelling scheme results from advice from planning policy and development control officers.  Subject to Kent Highways confirming that they are content with the likely increase in traffic movements at the junction of Rope Walk with Church Road, GPC now recommends approval.

18/00115 Etchinghill Farmyard Gore Lane Goudhurst

Part Retrospective – Conversion of a building from storage of vehicles (Class B8) to a dwelling, and demolition of redundant buildings (amendment to approved planning application 16/501852/FULL to include basement and sunken courtyard to rear)

Since the proposed variation to the proposed scheme is mostly below ground level and on the east of the building, where it will have minimal impact on the locality, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that the application is approved.

18/02445 Blackberry Cottage Rogers Rough Road Kilndown

Change of use from agricultural to residential for the erection of an outdoor swimming pool 

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) understands that the location of this proposal was chosen because the existing garden area, which would have been preferable, has services passing through it.  Subject to the removal of all permitted development rights and conditions requiring only cut, but no fill in the construction, the impact of the proposal will be negligible.   GPC therefore believes that approval should be granted.

NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN

360/18 Goudhurst Parish NDP.  It was noted that the 2019 target dates for the Plan are:

Jan – Mar: Finalise the Consultation & Basic Conditions Statements. Update the Draft plan.

Apr: Health Check on Plan & related documents by IPE/AECOM.

May – June: Submit to TWBC for their ‘Regulation 15’ 6 week statutory consultation

July: Appoint the Independent Examiner

Aug: Examination

Sep – Oct: Referendum > Plan made.

361/18 Consultant’s fees.  It was resolved to continue the consultancy arrangement with Mr Craig Broom to pay him £250.00 quarterly until the Goudhurst Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan is ‘made’.  Members unanimously raised the very high quality of his advice and the  production of illustrative NDP material. 

TRAINING 

362/18 The Clerk will be attending 3 half days on a KALC CiLCA refresher in March and April.

Cllr Alan Foster and Mr Richard Bushrod to attend a KALC Trust and Charity Law training session on 23 January. 

ACCOUNTS 

363/18 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

DD TWBC NNDR Balcombes Hill toilets £102.00

4550 AVB Farnfield Clerk’s Pay & expenses Dec 18 £2,428.48

4551 HM Revenue & Customs Clerk PAYE & NI Dec 18 £92.89

4552 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint Dec £1,163.86

4553 Tenterden Twilight Toilet block cleaning Dec £731.45

4554 Pearsons Landscapes The Pond & Plain grounds maint Dec £311.46

4555 Microshade Business Consult Citrix Inv 11379 £61.14

4556 Goudhurst Parish Hall Room hire for NDP meetings £362.00

4557 Colin Langridge Seasonal hedge cutting 2018 £260.40

4558 B&K Electrical contractors CCTV Balcombes Hill toilet block £1,440.00

4559 Richard Greenaway Burial Grounds benches maint £166.75

4560 Merit Thornton VAT on previous invoices £1,704.05

4561 Merit Thornton NDP Consultancy £1,956.96

4562 Cranbrook DIY (pay SPW) Chain for field gate security £46.70

4563 Fenland Leisure (pay SPW) Play Area wetpour maintenance £86.40

4564 MAP UK (pay SPW) Hardened padlock £51.54

4565 Craig Broom NDP consultancy £250.00

4566 Viking Stationery £142.26

DD Veolia Environmental Services Burial Grounds bin Dec 18 £144.54

DD BT Broadband Parish Hall VP85597370 £191.52

DD E-On UK Energy The Plain light & K’down kiosk £19.45

364/18 Receipts in December 2018      

Burial Board £1,000.00

Fishing Club membership £25.00

NatWest Business Reserve interest £10.90

CCLA dividend £12.12

365/18  Bank reconciliation.  Resolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the end of December 2018 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was:

Nat West Current a/c £4,620.86

Nat West Business Reserve £58,756.41

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund £20.342.55

£83,719.82

UNITY TRUST BANK

366/18 Goudhurst Parish Council to open a current account at Unity Trust Bank (UTB). 

Following Minute 326/18.  At Council’s request both Cllr Stephen Wickham and Cllr Guy Sutton had independently carried out a background check on UTB.  This bank offers an account tailored to the requirements of Parish Councils e.g. two electronic ‘signatures’ for each payment.  The bank is well established, is profitable and is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £80,000.00.  It was noted that many Parish and Town Councils in Kent have UTB accounts.  The Clerk is keen to cut down on the number of cheques he is writing every month; electronic payments will save much time.  It was unanimously resolved that Council should open a UTB account whilst retaining our NatWest and CCLA accounts for the time being.

BROADBAND  

36718 Broadband at Goudhurst Parish Hall.  It was resolved to reconfirm the arrangement whereby Council will continue to cover the cost of Broadband to the Parish Hall.  This is essential for the Parish Council especially with the TWBC requirement for Parishes to implement ‘paperless planning’ procedures.  The cost is approximately £700.00 annum.

POLICY and STAFF COMMITTEE

368/18 Review of Council’s Committees and Responsibilities.  The Chairman had on 03 January 2019  e-mailed all Members seeking their views on the various committee portfolios.  Some Committees, for example Amenities and Highways & Footpaths are busy and have quite heavy workloads compared with other Committees.  It was agreed that Members will reflect on this and be ready to debate it at the next Council on 11 February 2019.

369/18 Recruitment of a part-time Clerk.  Following Minute 336/18.  It was noted that the Clerk has drafted a job specification, a job description and a draft advertisement for the vacancy.

370/18 New Office Accommodation.  The lease on Council’s new office at Risebridge is likely to run from 01 March 2019 at the suggestion of the landlord.  He has some minor repairs and redecoration to do before the formal start of the lease.  A draft licence is awaited.  Meanwhile some quality office furniture (obtained at no cost to Council) will shortly be delivered from London to the new premises. 

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

371/18 11 February 2018.    Jessel Room, Goudhurst Parish Hall.  7.30 pm.  

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

  • It was noted that the 1st Goudhurst Scout Group will be taking the lead in organising this year’s  Goudhurst Fete. 

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

Clerk to the Parish Council Anthony Farnfield MBE

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