Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Highways and Footpaths Committee August

Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green

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Minutes of a Meeting held on 29 August 2017 at the Jessel Room

Present: Cllrs David Boniface (Chairman), Alan Foster, Antony Harris, Phil Kirkby, Mrs Susan Newsam and Guy Sutton.  1 Member of the Public for the item on Footpaths.

Apologies: Cllr Mrs Angela Broom.

Declarations of Interest.  None.

Footpaths – PROW

WC24 and WC25.  A local landowner and farmer reported that some stiles with dog gates had been vandalised.  This had put the farmer’s young livestock at risk.  The farmer requested that Council put up notices to deter such behaviour in future.  It was noted that the dog paddles (sometimes referred to as gates or latches) had been installed by the landowner who should then be responsible for the repairs..

WC26A and WC26.  The same landowner reported a tree down on WC26A, and a problem with a kissing gate half way down the slope from North RoadIn addition there has been (wilful?) damage to stiles at the junction od WC26A and WC26 at Smiths Lane.  It was agreed that the Clerk will obtain more details of the damage and report back on progress with repairs.  


Footway on A262 Station Road from Ranters Lane  junction to Bluecoats Lane Junction.

Cllrs David Boniface and Antony Harris with the Clerk had a cordial meeting on 14 August with a representative of Fernham Homes.  Council learned that the south east boundary of the Fernham Homes development on the old Sargeant’s garage site does not have access to WC40; there is a ransom strip between.  It follows that pedestrians from the Hope Mill area wishing to walk to Goudhurst Village will have to take WC39 in a south east direction and then turn onto WC40 northwards towards the junction of Blue Coats Lane with Station Road.

The ‘swale’ at the junction of Blue Coats Lane.  It was noted that the owners of the land at this point are willing to discuss future arrangements with Council.  The Clerk is arranging a meeting.  Meanwhile a property developer has agreed to contribute £1,000 towards the cost of a stairway down into the swale from Station Road together with a ‘boardwalk’ through the swale.  They will not, however, be able to carry out the work.

Highways and Parking

Speed limit reduction on A262 Cranbrook Road.  Following Council Minutes 123/17 and 155/17. Members noted an e-mail of 02 August 2017 from Kent Highways Schemes Project Manager (Michael Hardy).  Highways has assessed A class roads across the County for risk ratings.  It is unlikely the A262 will be considered for alteration (of the present speed limit).  However the Parish Council can make a formal submission which should be made to the Highways District Manager for the Tunbridge Wells area.  This means that the Parish Council would have to complete a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) and obtain the Police view on the proposal.  The Parish Council would have to fund the scheme, including obtaining a consultant for design and checking current speed levels.  It was agreed that the Chairman of Highways & Footpaths Committee will speak to Kent Highways about the project but in the meantime this Committee recommends to Council that this proposed scheme is put on hold, including the instruction to the Clerk to write to all residents on the Cranbrook Road eat of Goudhurst asking them to log incidents.

A262 at Goudhurst – change in classification from A to a B road.   It was agreed that the Chairman of Highways & Footpaths Committee will speak to Kent Highways Schemes Project Manager (Michael Hardy) about the procedures and practicalities of such an application.  Meanwhile Cllr Guy Sutton has carried out research which seems to confirm that the A262 could qualify for a change of classification.  Cllr Sutton agreed to look into the proposal in more detail.

Electric Vehicle Charging Points.  Members noted that Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam had carried out some initial research and some documentation had been cascaded prior to this meeting.  It is evident that grant funding is available and this would be processed through TWBC.  Informally Members expressed the view that to have a charging point in Goudhurst, possibly at Balcombes Hill car park, would be a positive attraction for visitors to the Parish.  Cllr Mrs Newsam will follow up with TWBC and report further.

Speed Indicator Device (SID) in North Road.  It was noted that the local resident in North Road on whose land a SID pole is to be erected has signed a Deed of Easement.  The Clerk will send a signed copy to Kent Highways who will not install the pole until they receive this document.

Speed Indicator Device (SID) in Chequers Road.  Chairman Highways & Footpaths Committee reported that had carried out a brief investigation as to possible suitable sites for a pole on which to mount the SID in Chequers Road.  However he concluded, and the Committee agreed, that would lead to the SID being used too infrequently at each site.  It was agreed informally that the Chequers Road installation would be kept as a reserve for the future and not progressed now.

B2079 North Road and B2084 Chequers Road Junction.  The owner of a property at this junction had put forward a request in March 2017 for a minor realignment of the B2084 at Grange Farm House.  The purpose is to establish some traffic calming to slow traffic southbound on B2079 turning into B2084.   This had not obtained the support of Kent Highways.  Chairman Highways & Footpaths Committee believes that there is a good case for the proposed scheme.  It was noted that the Parish Council would have to meet the costs of any Kent Highways approved scheme.  The Clerk will investigate how to proceed in getting an appropriate scheme designed and approved together with forecast costs.

HGVs using unsuitable roads: The KALC meeting with Kent & Medway MPs on 04 July 2017.  A report on this meeting, which had been distributed to Members beforehand, was noted.  The will be a further meeting of the same group in October 2017.

Traffic signage on A262 at Hope Mill.  This is currently a 40 mph area.  However Council is aware that there are a significant number of accidents of varying seriousness occurring there.   It was noted that the housing developer in that area has offered £475.00 as a contribution towards the cost of  advisory signs indicating 30 mph.  The Clerk will put the request for extra signage to KCC.

Road Naming

Sargeant’s Garage site at Hope Mill.  It was noted that the developer of the site, in response to an alternative proposed by Council intends to keep the name of the new road through the development as Market Place Close.  The two plots on Station Road will be named Whistle Halt Cottages.

12 Traffic Measures.

This document was considered briefly as it is being used as input to the Neighbourhood Development Plan Workshop on Traffic and the Economy on 07 October 2017at Kilndown Village Hall from 9.00 am.  Highways & Footpaths Committee will be represented at this event.

Hop Pickers Line Heritage Group.

Chairman Highways & Footpaths Committee had distributed, prior to this meeting a draft text for the Goudhurst specific information panels.  This was considered by the Committee and the Chairman agreed to consider some minor text changes.  Cllr Mrs Newsam will research grant funding for this project although it was noted that Council does have the power to approve expenditure for it.

The meeting closed at 9.05 pm.

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