Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News May

Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green

Parish Council Logo


at The Jessel Room on Monday 14 May 2018 at 7.00 pm

PRESENT:  Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), Alan Foster, Mrs Angela Broom, David Boniface, Chris Ditton, Phil Kirkby, Mrs Susan Newsam, Barry Noakes, Guy Sutton and Stephen Wickham.   2  members of the public for item 038/18 and 1 for 041/18. 


032/17 It was resolved unanimously that Cllr Antony Harris be elected Chairman.  He signed a Declaration of Acceptance of Office which was witnessed by the Clerk.


033/18 were accepted from Cllr Mrs Caroline Richards (holiday).    


034/18 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. 


035/18 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 09 April 2018, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed by the Acting Chairman as a correct record.


036/18 There were none.


037/18 A comprehensive report (Appendix A attached) from Borough Cllr Edmund Hastie was noted.  It covered matters relating to the escalating cost of the proposed new Town Hall and Theatre, the possible withdrawal of the Sunday Amenity Lorry service to the Rural Parishes, the possibility of a charge of at least £35 for garden waste collections and a large cut in the Citizens Advice Bureau grant.  We understand that the glass recycling banks in the Parishes are to be removed in 2019 and replaced by a kerbside service.


038/18 Mr Colin Willis and Mr Craig Broom reported.  Council noted that their schedule for this important part of the NDP is:

09 May: Policies Review meeting #1

14 May: Parish Council meeting to brief members on proposed agenda for 24 May 

15 May: Steering Committee meeting to discuss agenda and content for 24 May

17 May: Policies Review meeting #2

21May:  Policies Review meeting #3

23May:  Short presentation to the KALC Area Committee meeting on Goudhurst NDP progress

24May: Public Launch evening at St Mary’s Church

1st week in June: Issue the draft Plan to the Steering Committee and the Parish Council. Comments to be returned by the end of the 3rd week in June.

02 July: Steering Committee meeting to sign off the draft Plan, subject to agreement on any changes resulting from a meeting with TWBC.  Also to agree the form of the response questionnaire to accompany the draft Plan.

03 July: Send draft NDP policies to TWBC to give them time to read (but before Goudhurst Parish Council formally approve).

09 July: Briefing to the Parish Council meeting.

12 July: All day meeting with TWBC to discuss sites and policies

Week beginning 16 July: Feedback any resulting changes to the Steering Committee and Parish Council.

Week beginning 23 July: Draft plan to printers

Early August: Draft Neighbourhood Development plan hand-delivered to Parishioners.

Council expressed very grateful thanks to the whole NDP team for their work so far.

Post Meeting:  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has approved a further grant of £8,000 towards the Goudhurst Parish NDP’s costs.


039/18 It was resolved that Cllrs Alan Foster and Phil Kirkby will continue to be Vice Chairmen for the 2018/19 year.

040/18 It was resolved that the only change to the Committee structure will be that the Glebe Field Committee (set up to negotiate the proposed lease) will be dissolved as and when the lease on the Glebe Fields with the Diocese of Canterbury is signed.  Day to day responsibility for the Glebe Fields will continue to be with the Amenities Committee.    


The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:

041/18 Defibrillators.  Following Minute 006/18.  Council resolved to approve expenditure of up to £1,500.00 towards the cost of refurbishing the unserviceable defibrillator from the wall of the Star & Eagle and to provide a regulation cabinet for it.  This refurbished defibrillator will be allocated to the Goudhurst & Kilndown CE Primary School on the understanding that the School raises funds towards the cost.  It was noted that Borough Cllr Hastie had offered a contribution to costs from his discretionary Borough Council allowance

042/18 Chequer Field.  Minute 389/17.  No progress.  Council understands that TWBC is still dealing with outstanding matters with KCC and perhaps the Diocese of Canterbury.

043/18 The Glebe Lands lease.  Noted that our legal adviser has informed her counterpart representing the Diocese that Goudhurst Parish Council agrees all the items in the ‘final’ draft and we await the signature copy.  Post meeting note:  our legal adviser informed Council that she received the signature copy on 16 May 2018.  It was duly signed by the Parish Council Chairman and Councillors on 21 May.  

044/18 Lower Glebe Field.  It was resolved to agree expenditure:  Level the ground in the north west corner of the Lower Glebe by the Church Room to improve the surface for walkers and add a handrail £1,200; Establish a gate into Maypole Lane on the south side of the Lower Glebe as an aid to parking at various events £3,090; Level earth by the gate and spread £180; and cut the grass in the week before the Fete with tractor and flail £160.  

045/18 Play Area in Back Lane by the Church Room.  It was noted that Chairman Amenities Committee had met the Director of Craigdene, advisers on play area equipment on 26 April.  The report of the visit reflected the poor state of the equipment mainly because of rotten timber. Council has already removed the swings as being potentially dangerous.

046/18 The Plain and Pond area.  It was noted that the Pond is now full once again after the silt dredging project, that the pond fountain is back in place and working well and the white posts are being refurbished and painted.


047/18 The Brick Path across St Mary’s Churchyard.  Following Minute 013/18.   The Chairman of the Burial Board reported that the Diocesan approval for the work on the path has been obtained via the Archdeacon at Maidstone.  The TWBC Conservation Officer has no objections and the project has been approved by St Mary’s Parochial Church Council (PCC). Although Council has approved expenditure for the project of relaying the path using existing bricks (Minute 013/18) the Burial Board will explore possibilities of obtaining grant funding


The Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths Committee reported:

048/18 Footway on A262 Station Road from Ranters Lane junction to Bluecoats Lane Junction. Following Minute 015/18, it was noted that:

a. Cllr Boniface has produced a draft Agenda for a meeting with the swale landowners. 

b. KCC recommends the proposed path be designated a Permissive Path.

c. If a Permissive Path is introduced, the landowner is indemnified by KCC or possibly GPC.

049/18 Roadside Verges.  Members noted an important paper from the Open Spaces Society relating to the status of roadside verges.  

050/18 Proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) and the proposed re-grading of the A262 to a B class road.  It was noted that our Consultants, Socium, had submitted the first draft of their Technical Report.  Whilst being generally content with the draft, Members resolved that Council would like Socium to include the following points in their report so as to give it more emphasis:  

1. Other traffic problems apart from HGVs at the S-bend by St Mary’s church should be given attention in the report.

2. Photos of HGVs in central Goudhurst causing traffic congestion should be included;

3. The narrowness of the highway at various points both in Goudhurst village and elsewhere on the A262 should be included;

4. That there should be reference in the Report to the DfT 2013 circular covering speed limits, quality of life for local communities, road safety and environmental issues;

5. The increase in the volume of traffic of all types, not only HGVs.  The A262 was never  intended to carry as much traffic as it now does.  Figures show that traffic has increased by a factor of 10 since the 1950s and 60s and vehicles are much larger.  The S-band by St Mary’s Church, Goudhurst, frequently damaged, makes the A262 unsuitable for large HGVs

6. The precedent of the A229 should be included; a 12 mile section was converted to B2244 between Hawkhurst and Sedlescombe with traffic rerouted on A229 to join the A21 at Hurst Green rather than south of Sedlescombe.

7. It was noted that the proposed TRO will aim to limit HGVs of more than 7.5 tonnes transiting the A262 from A21 to Wilsley roundabout unless setting down and picking up locally.

8. It was noted that at some stage we will need more information on the potential benefit of downgrading the A262 to a ‘B’ class road.

It was resolved that the Chairman of the Highways Committee should amend the Consultants draft by adding extra text and that the Clerk will send the updated document with a covering letter. It was further agreed that before proceeding to the next stages of the consultancy, the Consultants will be asked to provide details of what they would be expected to deliver in the further stages of the consultancy, so that Council has a clearer cost/benefit picture.

051/18 Salt/Grit Bins.  It was agreed that Committee members check that the salt/grit bins across the Parish have been refilled after last winter’s snow.  The Clerk will check with Kent Highways about the ‘Jumbo bags’ and which roads are kept clear in the Parish by the local contractor. It was noted that this issue was raised at a recent KALC Area meeting by neighbouring parishes.

052/18 A21 Speed limit change between Lamberhurst (Bewl Water turnoff) and Stonecrouch .  Following Minute 017/18. It was noted that Council has written twice to Highways England and has yet to receive a satisfactory response.  A local resident who has raised this matter has collected data on the number of accidents in that area and is ready to submit them to Highways England and Rt Hon Greg Clark MP.

053/18 Goudhurst Name Sign with Kent Invicta and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  It was noted that the Clerk has made an enquiry of Kent Highways about a replacement sign in the style of the High Weald AONB Sign Guidance document and awaits a response.  He has a copy of the AONB document.

054/18 Electric Vehicle Charging Points.  Following Minute 018/18.  Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam continues her research work and is liaising with a potential business at which to establish a charging point.  One establishment has expressed an interest.  Cllrs Phil Kirkby and Mrs Susan Newsam will investigate the means by which power can be established at whichever site is chosen for the charging point equipment.

055/18 Speed Indicator Device (SID).  It was noted that the Clerk is in touch with two contractors who are interested in providing a service to move the portable SID from time to time at the 3 posts that have been established in Goudhurst and to recharge the SID batteries as required.  

056/18 Fire Hydrant Survey.  Following Minute 019/18.  It was noted that Cllr Alan Foster will carry out a follow up survey to ensure Kent Fire & Rescue has completed the repair and maintenance of the Fire Hydrants across the Parish. 

057/18 Hop Pickers Line.  Following Minute 020/18. It was noted that the Chairman of this Committee had made a successful presentation at the Goudhurst Annual Parish Meeting on the background and progress made so far on the project.  The Goudhurst version of two of the Information Panels have been printed; installation sites are to be finalised.  


058/18 CCTV.  Following Minute 021/18.  It was noted that the contractor has established the replacement camera in Goudhurst High Street and the handover to Council is imminent. 


059/18 The Children’s Play Area in Back Lane, Goudhurst. Following Minute 022/18.   It was noted that Cllr Stephen Wickham and the Clerk had met the Director of Craigdene Ltd, a consultant specialising in Play Area equipment on 25 April.  Most of the equipment needs to be replaced as a priority; there is rot in most of the timber items.  Council was advised to remove the children’s swings immediately and that was done.  Pending the signing of the lease of the Glebe lands with the Diocese it was noted that Council can not start work on planning to replace the present equipment and in any event. There needs to be a budget review to estimate how much Council can afford in the current financial year and some fundraising may be required.


It was resolved to note the following Decisions from TWBC published in April 2018:  


18/00399 School Cottage Rogers Rough Road Kilndown

Single Storey rear extension and raised decking to rear

Granted permission

18/00601 March Cottage Clayhill Goudhurst

Trees in a Conservation Area notification: Beech (T!) – Reduce by approximately 25% (2-3 metres) with a proportional width reduction cutting back to appropriate branch axles

No objection

18/00654 The Forge Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

Proposed side extension

Granted permission

061/18   APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in April 2018 with representations here approved by Council:

18/00587 Access adjacent to Brandfold Gate North Road Goudhurst

Alterations to road access to the Pumphouse and Brandfold Terrace Cottage

Recommend refusal

Goudhurst Parish Council would make the following observations on this application:

• At the present time the access has an informal agricultural appearance.   The introduction of the proposed bollards will urbanise the access and make it more prominent.   The bollards will also hinder the safe operation of this site as a KCC school bus stop;

 • The scheme will cause users of the access to move into the path of users of the access to Brandfold Gate;

• There is no record of accidents being caused by the use of the access, but rather by road users taking the bend, which has a reverse camber, too quickly.   For the approved use of a single dwelling, there is no need to modify this access.

18/00797 Goudhurst Service Station, Station Road Goudhurst

Minor Material Amendment of 15/504550/FULL (Demolition of existing service station, outbuildings and dwelling, and erection of 7 No. detached dwellings with associated access, parking and landscaping) – Elevations changes to plot 7 (house type D) including additional flat dormer on side elevation and increase in window size to existing dormer

Recommend approval

Subject to officers confirming that the proposed changes will not lead to unsatisfactory overlooking, GPC is content that the application is approved.

18/00858 Woolpack Cottage Winchet Hill Goudhurst

Erection of a car port & loft conversion

Recommend approval

The impact of these proposals on the neighbours and the locality will be minimal.

18/00898 Brandfold Farm North Road Goudhurst

Conversion of outbuilding to a residential unit with an ancillary garage  

Recommend refusal

This proposal will lead to an attractive traditional building changing to an alien structure with excessive glazing.   Officers should consider whether increased use of the access on a 50-mph road is acceptable.

18/00878 2 Bankfield Way, Goudhurst

Erection of a two-storey side extension

Recommend approval

This proposal will have minimal impact on the locality and the AONB.   Subject to officers confirming that the proposed extension is compliant with TWBC policy on volume increase, GPC is content that the application is approved.

18/00973 5 Cliffe Cottages North Road Goudhurst

Single storey rear extension with glazed link

Recommend approval

A modest proposal, with limited impact on the host building and the conservation area.   Subject to the views of the conservation officer Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted

18/00974 5 Cliffe Cottages North Road Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – Single storey rear extension with glazed link

Recommend approval

A modest proposal, with limited impact on the host building and the conservation area.   Subject to the views of the conservation officer Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted

18/00985 1 Three Chimneys Farm Cottages Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

Two storey addition to existing residential property

Recommend approval

Subject to the proposed increase in volume complying with TWBC policy, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted

18/01016 3 Clay Cottages Clayhill Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent: Repair works to the first-floor jetty joists, reinforcement works to the first floor and some timber reinstatement

Recommend approval

These would appear to be essential works to restore this listed property.   Subject to the views of the conservation officer Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted

18/01037 Lakeview Oast Three Chimneys Farm Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

Insertion of 2 no. roof lights (Part Retrospective)

Recommend approval

This proposal will have very limited impact on the locality and the AONB.   Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted

18/01071 Riseden House Riseden Goudhurst

Demolition of existing garage & construction of a replacement garage.

Recommend approval

On the assumption that the proposed replacement garage is of similar proportions to the existing and does not therefore have a detrimental impact on the setting of the listed host building, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted


062/18 It was resolved to agree expenditure of £3,396.50 + VAT to purchase equipment to meet TWBC requirements for ‘paperless planning’ in the Jessel Room.  Council agreed the Planning Committee’s recommendation to accept the Arron Services quote of a laptop to a 75” TV screen via HDMI cable rather than laptop to projector to projector screen.  The former will be more satisfactory since it would entail minimal set up and break down time per meeting and includes installation and back up service.  This decision was taken on the basis of two quotations.


063/18 Following Minute 025/18.   It was noted that the Clerk met with Cllrs Chris Ditton, Mrs Caroline Richards and Alan Foster on 10 May to consider bids from 3 organisations who are offering Data Protection Officer services.  It was resolved that GDPR-info Ltd be appointed at a cost of £600.00 annum. It was noted that Paddock Wood Town Council and Marden Parish Council had appointed the same company to carry out the DPO role.


064/18 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

4333 AVB Farnfield April 18 salary and expenses £2,521.73

4334 HM Revenue & Customs Clerk PAYE & NI April 18 £920.89

4335 Grounds Care & General Services Grounds maintenance St Mary’s Apr £1,807.20

4336 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint Apr £965.90

4337 John Fermor Christ Church grounds maint Apr £220.00

4338 Pearsons Landscapes The Pond & Plain grounds maint Apr £111.60

4339 Tenterden Twilight Toilet Block cleaning Apr £643.50

4340 Microshade Business Consult Citrix – Inv 10640 £61.14

4341 Paul and Eileen Landon War Memorial gardens maint £55.00

4342 Martyn Hey Hop Pickers Line sign artwork £100.00

4343 Care Signs Ltd Hop Pickers Line signs £237.00

4344 Arron Services Ltd HP Office Jet 6970 £249.00

4345 Colin Willis NDP Meeting expenses £51.55

4346 Balanced Audio Visual Replace CCTV camera High St £6298.68

4347 Colin Willis NDP Photo competition expenses £460.94

4348 Kent Assoc of Local Councils Planning training Cllr Sutton £72.00

4349 Kent Assoc of Local Councils Planning training Cllr Ditton £72.00

4350 Kent Assoc of Local Councils Planning training Cllr Mrs Richards £72.00

4351 Kent Assoc of Local Councils Planning training Cllr Foster £72.00

4352 PC World (AVBF reimburse)  Printer cartridges £65.98

4353 Richard Greenaway Repair and paint S Mary’s railings £124.75

4354 P+P Signs (AVBF reimburse) Banner Annual Parish Meeting £48.00

4355 Communicrp Clerks & Councils Direct subscrip’n  £12.00

4356 GDPR-info Ltd Data Protection Officer Audit & Services £791.28

4357 HP Inc UK Ltd (AVBF reimburse) Colour print cartridges £41.15

4358 Arron Services td Equipment for ‘Paperless Planning’ £4,075.80

4359 Complete Weed Control Weed Control Churchyards £612.00

4360 James Boot NDP Consultancy services £892.55

4361 Zurich Municipal Council’s Insurance Policy 18/19 £1151.31

4362 Craigdene Ltd Back Lane Play Area inspection £175.00

DDR Veolia Environmental Services Burial Ground bin Apr £140.40

DDR BT Office phone + B’band VP 3463 2770 209.41

065/18 Receipts in April 2018      

Burial Board £2,290.00

NatWest interest £0.76

CCLA dividend £12.15

Reclaim of VAT £7,862.42

Precept 1st half 2018/19 £76,320.00

066/18  Bank reconciliation.  Resolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the end of April 2018 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was:

Nat West Current a/c £5,309.81

Nat West Business Reserve £87,662.61

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund £35,227.27



067/18 The Clerk explained the new format Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2017/18 of which all Members present had a copy with their Agenda papers for this Council meeting.

068/18 The Clerk read out the Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2017/18.  All Members indicated Yes in agreement to Items 1 to 8.  Item 9 is not applicable to this Parish Council and it was resolved unanimously to approve the Statement.

069/18 The Clerk explained the figures in Section 2 – Accounting Statements 2017/18. There were no queries and it was resolved unanimously to approve this statement.

070/18 Both the Chairman and the Clerk then signed Sections 1 and 2. 


071/18 Office Printer. It was noted that Councils colour printer HP 377 had failed.  Council’s IT adviser declared that it would not be economic to repair it.  It has been replaced by an HP Office Jet 6970 at a cost of £207.50 + VAT including call out and labour. 

072/18 Clerk’s salary.  It was resolved to implement the new NALC pay scales for Clerks effective 01 April 2018 which gives the Clerk a 2% salary increase.


073/18 It was noted that these had been successful with a wide range of local organisations reporting on their activities.  There were no contentious item for Council to follow up. 


029/18 11 June 2018.    In the Jessel Room, Goudhurst Parish Hall at 7.30 pm.  


The Meeting closed at 9.45 pm. 

Anthony Farnfield, Clerk

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

Appendix A 

Report for Goudhurst and Kilndown Parish Council

Cllr Edmund Hastie’s Report for 2017/18 Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Last year, at the Goudhurst Annual Parish meeting, I reported that in February 2017 the plan for the new theatre and Town Hall with underground car park and office block was due to appear before Full Council for ratification to proceed to RIBA stage 3. It was permitted to do so with opposition from just over ten Cllrs, including me. The RIBA report appeared before Christmas and we voted on proceeding to build this scheme just before the end of the year, this time with 13 objectors.

By this time, the costs had ratcheted up gradually from the initial £30m to £50m and £72m to reach £92m, the current estimated cost. I do not believe this sum includes the £5m for the RIBA report and other unspecified sums which the officers’ earlier report mentioned when referring to ‘unexpected exploratory costs’ in stage 2.  Nor have they factored in estimated costs of the CPOs that TWBC will be required to engage in, as Hooper’s department store, the BBC and Sainsbury’s all seem ready to challenge the decision to take Hooper’s carpark for access for the large vehicles delivering the huge apparatus for the grand London musicals that it is claimed that the new theatre will show. It seems that my original estimate, derived more than a year ago from a London surveyor, of £120m, is likely to be met, if not superseded. It is interesting to note that David Jukes has in the past insisted he hates CPOs, and would avoid them at all costs, as their costs can grow exponentially and they enrich only lawyers. I believe him.

As a result of the need to find funds to pay the interest on the loan of up to £100m from the PWLB, there will have to be cuts to services as well as charges for others that are currently free as part of a larger package. For example, we have been told that the reduced service of weekend rubbish lorry will disappear altogether, as it costs £15,000 per annum. A number of local Cllrs have been fighting to persuade the leadership of the need for its retention. Some cllrs have suggested a tip in the eastern part of the borough. In my view this is not acceptable, as it will not cater for the next cut that is to come into operation with the new waste contract.  The decision has been taken to charge at least £35 per brown bin per annum for the garden waste collection. Residents have told me that they will burn their leaves and other garden waste, which will add to pollution, of course, while others have suggested they will pop their leaves and twigs in the household waste bin. I doubt they will be allowed to get away with that. I would be pleased to hear of any other ingenious solutions. For those of us with more than one bin, it could be very costly.

As far as the new housing development is concerned, our total borough wide numbers have been increased from 6,000 to 13,689 which, unfortunately, means TWBC now does not have a five year housing land supply. This means that a number of developers could descend on the borough to develop sites that we have not allocated and the inspectorate could allow it. However, though this is the usual officer threat, it has not happened. That being said, we are struggling to find enough sites to fulfil this allocation. There have been two calls for sites.  Moreover, the planning policy dept. is considering a garden village or new settlement of anything up to 10,000 houses, which is hardly a village.  By comparison, Cranbrook has fewer than 2,000 houses. Planning Policy Working Group has decided that all Green Belt and AONB areas are to be ruled out for development, but that is a view that might change, while some developers have options on sites in the AONB and GB. Several sites are under consideration as I write, but I am unable to inform you of them, as everything discussed in the meeting is confidential. I have discovered that PPWG’s equivalent in Sevenoaks is designated as a Committee and so it meets in public and publishes its minutes on its website. Why we (TWBC) do not do the same is hard to fathom.

At large, further cuts are pending, again in order to save enough money to pay the £2.5m+ repayment charges for the PWLB loan.   The CAB is to lose a large part of its TWBC grant. The TWells Forum described the latest budget as a ‘Robin Hood in reverse’ budget, removing grants that help the poor, while spending huge sums on a theatre which only the well-off can afford to use.

Some of you may well have noticed the amount of litter smothering the verges of the A21 and the roads leading from it to Goudhurst and beyond. Fly-tipping seems to have increased and no litter pick has been instigated by the council despite my encouragement for months. The result is that the rural areas are looking distinctly tatty, and unattractive to visitors. I don’t need to remind you that Planning and litter are the two matters that are of greatest concern to residents. 

I have decided for my annual Bike Ride this year to raise funds for a defibrillator for Goudhurst. I have raised funds in previous years for a defibrillator at Hook Green, so hope the appropriate funds can be raised to provide one for Goudhurst as well.

Borough Cllr Edmund Hastie, April 2018

Anthony Farnfield, Clerk

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

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