Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News October

Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green


at The Jessel Room, Goudhurst Parish Hall on Monday 09 October 2017 at 7.30 pm

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


200/17 were accepted from Cllrs Chris Ditton (business), Phil Kirkby (family illness) and Mrs Rachel Washbourn (holiday).


201/17 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.


202/17 The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.  It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2017, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed by the Chairman as a correct record with an amendment to show Cllr Barry Noakes as present.


203/17 There were no questions from the Press or Public.


204/17 School transport.  Following Minute 175/17, it was noted that Council had heard from a concerned local resident that KCC had changed their policy and that children going to Cranbrook School will be able to use the school bus in conjunction with the High Weald Academy.  It was agreed that the Clerk will write to County Cllr Roger Gough the portfolio holder to thank him.


The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:

205/17 Glebe Field.   It was noted that Cllrs Stephen Wickham and Chris Ditton 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.

206/17 Glebe Field maintenance.  The Clerk reported that he had received a few adverse comments about the condition of the top Glebe.  It was resolved that the Clerk will arrange for the grass to be cut and the boundary hedges trimmed.  The cost is likely to be within delegated expenditure; the Clerk will report back if this is not so..

207/17 Lower Glebe Field – Barn Owl Box.  Council resolved with enthusiasm to agree a proposal by Cllr Mrs Angela Broom to establish a Barn Owl Box in the Lower Glebe. It was noted that the cost will be within delegated expenditure limits.

208/17 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 resolved 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.  The Clerk confirmed that Buss Murton is progressing the matter with TWBC.

209/17 Chequer Field Main Gate and adjacent fencing.   It was resolved to agree expenditure of up to £500.00  to replace the rotten hanging post of the main gate and for the short run of fencing on the north side of the main gate to be upgraded.

210/17 Chequer Field Wildlife Protection Area.  Following Minute 180/17.   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. It was resolved that the Amenities Committee follows up with appropriate action.

211/17 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.

212/17 Goudhurst Pond De-silting and Goudhurst Parish Hall.  It was resolved that Council will reimburse Goudhurst Parish Hall amounting to £359.00.  Also a similar reimbursement for the week in which the de-silting takes place providing the maximum amount of reimbursement does not exceed £720.00 without further reference to Council.

Furthermore it was resolved that Council will 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.

213/17 Balcombes Hill Toilets.  It was resolved 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.

214/17 Balcombes Hill Car Park – Car Parking Order.  It was noted that  Chairman Amenities Committee and The Clerk had met a Solicitor of Invicta Law Ltd (KCC Legal Dept) on 29 September in Maidstone to progress the legal aspects of the proposed Car Park Order. Both were disappointed. Little progress was made.  We await written advice from Invicta Law Ltd.  Chairman Amenities Committee will report further.

215/17 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.

216/17 The Plain Notice Board.  It was noted that the Clerk is arranging for it to be cleaned and oiled.

217/17 Goudhurst in Bloom 2017.  Following Minute 179/17.  Cllr Mrs Angela Broom was thanked for having organised a successful event this year together with a well attended prize giving .  She plans to encourage more retail outlets to enter in 2018.

218/18 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..

219/17 Play Area refurbishment funding through a S106 Agreement.  It was noted 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 as a S106 agreement in connection with a recent planning application.

220/17 Chequer Field – Proposal to purchase.  It was noted that 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.


The Chairman of the Burial Board reported:

221/17 St Mary’s Floodlighting.  Following Minute 181/17.  It was noted that the Burial Board understands that the much delayed replacement floodlights will be installed in the week of 09 October 2017..  In the meantime it was agreed to suggest to the St Mary’s PCC Fabric Committee that a suitable light be installed over the west door to the Church.

222/17 Brick Footpath across St Mary’s Churchyard.  Minute 182/17.  It was noted that the Council has received a quotation of £13.9k as one option for the refurbishment of the Path. In the meantime Chairman of the Burial Board is in touch with TWBC Conservation and Urban Design Officer, a St Mary’s Church Warden and the Chairman of the St Mary’s Fabric Committee.  She hopes to meet with the consultant architect to St Mary’s and eventually the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) be involved.  The Clerk will be in touch with the KCC Officer responsible for PROWs in this area..

223/17 Complaint relating to Ashes memorial tablets at St Mary’s Churchyard.   It was noted that Members had received a summary of the issues raised by a local resident and it was resolved that the Clerk be instructed to draft a response for approval by the Burial Board and the Chairman.


The Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths (H&F) Committee reported:

224/17 Footway on A262 Station Road from Ranters Lane  junction to Bluecoats Lane Junction.  Following Minute 186/17.  It was noted that we do not yet have a firm date to meet the owner of the swale alongside Station Road to explain Council’s outline plans for this project.  The Clerk will follow up.  Meanwhile the Clerk will contact the PROW Officer responsible for this area to ascertain if KCC can recommend a contractor that can quote for building a broadwalk through the swale.


225/17 CCTV.  The Chairman of this Committee was not present but the Clerk reported that he   understands no progress had been made on this project.  Members agreed in principle that a CCTV should be installed on The Vine as a priority with other aspects of the wider CCTV scheme being dealt with separately.  It was resolved that the Clerk should contact one of the suppliers that Council had contacted previously to request a quote for one camera for Goudhurst High Street and to keep the Chairman of this committee advised on progress.


226/17 GUFC Junior Footballers (The Dynamos).  The Chairman of this Committee was not present but the Clerk reported that their junior football group are now due to pay their fee for the use of Chequer Field during this coming winter 17/18 season.  One Member proposed an increase from £650 to £750 due to the increase in the numbers of youngsters now playing but no vote was taken pending a report and recommendation from the Chairman of the Youth Committee.


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

227/17   DECISIONS

17/00706 Garage Site Mary Days Goudhurst

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

Application withdrawn

17/02499 Lapwing Farm Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

Proposed conversion and extension of existing building and land to form dwelling

Granted permission

17/02505 Jetwells Cranbrook Road Goudhurst

Demolition of existing conservatory and erection of replacement conservatory

Granted permission

17/02505 Jetwells Cranbrook Road Goudhurst

Listed building consent – Demolition of existing conservatory and erection of replacement conservatory; demolition of chimney breast at ground floor level & re-modelling rear elevation at ground floor level including erection of loggia and replacement windows/doors

Granted permission

17/02604 Flimwell Radio Station, Lady Oak Lane, Flimwell

Telecommunication Notification – Erection of satellite dish and support pole on new proposed concrete base; Erection of antenna on existing equipment cabin

Granted approval

17/02875 Pharmacy Cottage High Street Goudhurst

Tree in Conservation Area Notification:  Magnolia – Prune

No objection

228/17   APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in September 2017 with representations here approved by Council:

17/02211 Lower Ladysden Farm Winchet Hill Goudhurst

Demolition of existing agricultural buildings (including farm shop) and erection of replacement agricultural building incorporating farm shop, packhouse and coldstore

Recommend approval

This scheme entails a beneficial tidying up of the site at a location which is not readily visible from public viewpoints.

17/02881 1 Lurkins Rise Goudhurst

Erection of two storey side extension with roof dormers

Recommend refusal

Whilst this scheme does not create an additional unit, as did application 16/505087, which was refused, and confirmed at appeal, this proposal in a similar way expands the footprint of the dwelling to within a few meters of the steep bank above the footpath and the road.   It will thus have a similar overbearing impact on the location and the AONB.

17/02975 Pinehurst West Road Goudhurst

Change of use of large outbuilding to form a single dwelling

Recommend refusal

The agent’s ‘D & A and Historical Report’ contains 2 critical errors:

• The proposed is situated …….. and in the village development boundary of Goudhurst;

• the existing use already has associated traffic movements and thus no additional impact in this respect is anticipated.

It is clear from the Local Plan map that the subject building is outside the limits to build; a fact which is emphasized in the appeal inspector’s decision when allowing the appeal against refusal of 12/02805.   Secondly, as the building is ancillary to Pinehurst, it is probable that its separation from Pinehurst will indeed lead to additional traffic movements.

Goudhurst Parish Council believes that the formal separation of this annex from its current host dwelling will create a precedent which will make it difficult to refuse other applications in this part of the Conservation Area and the AONB, which is outside the ‘Limits to Build’.


229/17 Public Workshops.  The Chairman, as a member of the Steering Committee reported that it is generally going well.  3 of the 4 planned workshops dealing with various subjects have been held and well attended with 30 or more people attending each of them.

It was noted that the Clerk and Mr Craig Broom are working on the application to ‘Locality’ for a £9,000 Locality government grant towards the cost of our NDP.


230/17 Training.  Cllr Mrs Rachel Washbourn will attend the KALC Dynamic Councillor course at Hever on 08 November 2017.

Cllr Mrs Angela Broom and the Clerk will attend a Kent Highways seminar at Hadlow on

20 October 2017.

Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam to attend a KCC Community Transport Seminar near aidstone on 02 November 2017.


231/17 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

DDR BT Broadband link High St/Parish Hall 179.28

4201 AVB Farnfield September 17 salary and expenses £2,413.91

4202 HM Revenue & Customs Clerk PAYE & NI September 17 £905.65

4203 Groundscare & General Services St Mary’s mowing contract September £1,204.80

4204 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint Sep £713.25

4205 John Fermor Landscapes Christ Church lower area mowing Sep £480.00

4206 Tenterden Twilight Toilet Block cleaning Sep – 4 weeks £572.00

4207 Pearsons Landscapes The Plain and Pond maint September £103.20

4208 Paul & Eileen Landon War Memorial garden maint August £50.00

4209 KALC Clerk at Finance Conference 12 Oct £72.00

4210 PCC Goudhurst Hire chapel Hop Pickers line meet’g £12.60

4211 GM Monk Ltd Toilet block lighting test £110.88

4212 GM Monk Ltd Toilet block lighting repair £102.48

4213 Goudhurst Parish Hall NDP Meetings Aug – Oct 17 £292.50

4214 James Boot Boot NDP Consultancy fee  Sep 17 £503.40

4215 Kent Assoc Local Councils Cllr Washbourn Dynamic Cllr course £72.00

4216 PKF Littlejohn LLP Audit Council Accounts 2016/17 £480.00

4217 Mrs Angela Broom Reimburse Goudhurst In Bloom costs £30.00

4218 Janes Boot Boot NDP Consultancy fee part Oct 17 £326.70

DDR E.On UK Enegy K’down kiosk and Plain light £17.10

DDR Veolia Environmental Services Burial Ground bin Sep £140.40

DDR PHS Group Toilet block service £42.00

232/17 Receipts in September 2017

Burial Board£1,120.00

NatWest interest£0.15

CCLA dividend£5.59

Precept 2nd half 17/18 £74,970.00

233/17  Bank reconciliationResolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the end of September 2017 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was:

Nat West Current a/c£2,388.61

Nat West Business Reserve£89,331.87

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund£35,162.88


234/17 Statement of receipts and payments against budget for April to September 2017.  Members noted that there are no significant unexplained variances from Budget

235/17 NDP Accounts.  Council noted that Expenditure for April to September 2017 amounted to £9,599.00 against a budget of £17,500 for the 2017/18 year.  In addition £2,560.00 had been spent in the 2016/17 year.  It was noted that the Goudhurst NDP started in the late summer of 2016.   See also Minute 229/17 relating to grant funding.


236/17 Audit of Council’s Accounts 2016/17.  It was noted that the External Auditor PKF Littlejohn LLP appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd (SAAA) has signed off Council’s 2016/17 accounts without comment.


237/17 It was resolved to accept the list of Meeting Dates for 2018 that had been distributed to Members prior to this meeting.


238/17 13 November 2017.   “Open Meeting” at Goudhurst Parish Hall at 7.45 pm


239/17 Tunbridge Wells CAB.  Members noted a thank you letter from the Chief Officer of Tunbridge Wells CAB for Council’s annual grant payment.

The Meeting closed at  9.30 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