Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Highways & Footpaths Committee June

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HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

Minutes of a Meeting held on 26 June 2018 at the Jessel Room, Goudhurst

Present: Cllrs David Boniface (Chairman), Alan Foster, Antony Harris, Susan Newsam and Guy Sutton.  

 

Apologies were accepted from: Cllrs Mrs Angela Broom and Chris Ditton

Declarations of Interest.  None.

Footpaths – PROW

WC40 Junction Bluecoat Lane and Station Road, Goudhurst:  A new finger arm has been ordered.

WC4 Bethany School: Cllr Boniface will check whether the new signage is in place.  

WC61 Bewl Water: The Clerk has been in touch with  South East Water to ask if they would reintroduce the former winter cycling ban but has learned that it is the responsibility of Southern Water.  The Clerk will follow up.

WC31 St Mary’s Churchyard: The project is being run by the Burial Board.. A contractor has been appointed and work will be carried out between 30th July and 18th August. There is to be a “pre-works starts” meeting on site on 17th July 2018.

WC40 in the Riseden area. The PROW is severely overgrown. Pete Watkins has been asked to strim this. The adjacent hedge needs cutting. Cllr Newsam will find out the name of the owner of the field and hedge so that Clerk can follow up.  In addition the Millennium Walk post has been moved from one side of the path to the other. Pete Watkins has been briefed to deal with this. 

WC50 at the junction of WC40 at Riseden. Vegetation on the steps needs clearing.  Pete Watkins will action.  

Footways

Footway on A262 Station Road from Ranters Lane  junction to Bluecoats Lane Junction:  Chairman H&F Committee and the Clerk have met with the owners of the Swale.  They have agreed to a path being established through the Swale despite their concerns about the dangers of traffic. They asked that that the Parish Council will cover their legal costs in connection with the creation of a permissive path.  Committee seeks approval from Council for £1,000 to cover this legal cost..

Grant Funding from Fernham Homes.  Chairman H&F Committee will seek increased funding from Fernham Homes over the £1000 already promised to the swale path  project. The aim is to obtain a commitment to 50% of the total project cost. 

Bollard in Goudhurst High Street. The stump of the bollard on the north side of the High St by the Pharmacy is now a trip hazard.  The Clerk has reported the matter to Kent Highways.

Highways and Parking

The Socium Contract.  Following Parish Council Minute 050/18 of 14 May 2018. Council’s consultant Socium has produced a revised draft of their report on the downgrading of the A262 to be a B road. The revised draft contains most of the points raised by the Parish Council in connection with Parish Council research. On the list of points:

Points 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7: have been dealt with satisfactorily.

Point 4:  some reference should be made to the Department of Transport (DfT) 2013 circular regarding quality of life for local communities.

Point 8:  Parish Council wants to see reference to the fact that the A228 has been recommended to be included in the proposed main road network.

Point 9 has not been covered. This is refers to Section 6 – Conclusion.  TheParish Council requires mention of the assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the case where it states: “reclassification of the road is considered to be feasible within the DfT guidance”  This has not been done, but our Consultant has indicated that he has not yet made an explicit assessment as he considers it more appropriate to discuss this informally with the Parish Council in the first instance. 

Point 11:  The Parish Council has sought advice from the Consultant on how to progress matters. This includes how we should make the formal application, the likely timescale, how he plans the invoices to match up with the work delivered, a meeting, and more information on the potential benefit of downgrading the A262 to a B road.  The consultant would like to deal with these at a meeting. It was therefore agreed that the Clerk will arrange an extra meeting of the Highways and Footpaths Committee 

Downgrading the A262 to a B class road: planning implications.   A local resident has raised a matter about the planning implications should the road be downgraded.  The suggestion is that a quieter road might lead to property developers finding it easier to obtain planning permission for new developments, in particular along the Cranbrook Road.  Chairman H&F Committee has discussed this aspect with Mr Colin Willis, Chairman of the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) and others.  The conclusion is that without some control on traffic, Goudhurst would have a dismal future that would see families not wishing to set up house in the area.  Property values might suffer. In any case the potential applications would have to be considered against the AONB status of sites. 

Traffic Regulation Order (TRO):  Council wishes to clarify why it is proposed by our Consultant that the TRO would aim to limit weight rather than the length of vehicles since Kent County Council (KCC) has always focussed on length.  Council notes that the existing road signs are warning/ advising long HGVs not to travel through Goudhurst. 

Implications of Brexit for A262.  The Chairman of the H&F Committee reported that he had noticed a press report that Operation Stack might have to be expanded enormously if Brexit causes problems of traffic flow towards Dover. This might have adverse effects for roads such as the A262 when traffic tries to find short cuts to Dover to avoid the M20.

BBC Southeast News: Chairman H&F Committee reported that he had not as yet obtained the South East news items on HGVs through Sissinghurst and Goudhurst.  He is unable to find the date of broadcast. Cllr Mrs Newsam volunteered to track this down and obtain the necessary permission. 

A21: Application to reduce the speed limit on A21: Mr Ted Bennett is leading this project and had reported that a representative from Highways England has agreed to meet  him and other interested local residents from the London Road, Flimwell area.  He will be arranging a meeting which Cllr Boniface and Clerk will attend. 

Goudhurst name signs with Kent Invicta:  The Clerk will contact Kent Highways in connection with the availability and cost of these signs showing the Invicta symbol, Goudhurst and AONB.

EV Charge Points: Cllr Mrs Newsam gave an update. A recent meeting with UK Power Networks had resulted in some disappointment. The power supply required – 66 kVA – is a very large amount of power and could not be taken from the power mains in the vicinity of  the proposed site for the vehicle charging units.  UK Power Networks is providing: quote options for running a cable down Back Lane; quotes for powering only one or two charge points, as well as exploring if there is another mains cable that would be more suitable/economical. The possibility of providing fewer than three charge points was considered and the possibility of providing the charge points somewhere on Balcombes Hill car park was also discussed. More information will follow.

The Speed Indicator Device (SID) installation: A volunteer had been identified for the initial three month development phase. The provisional date for installation of the equipment and training session is Friday 06 July 2018.   

North Road adjacent to Goudhurst Tennis Club.  It was noted that there are two blocked drains on the roadside verge which had caused the area to be flooded during recent heavy rain. The tennis club would like to see “Warning – Children” signs due to narrowness of parking area.  The Clerk has reported both matters to Kent Highways.

Fire hydrant survey: Cllr Foster reported that Kent Fire & Rescue Service had taken his original survey of hydrants seriously. Remedial work is almost completely finished.  Yellow marks are now evident on roads all over the Parish.

Hop Pickers’ Line: The next meeting will be the Annual General Meeting in the Council Chamber of Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Parish Council at 13.30  Tuesday 17 July.  All are welcome.to attend.

Hop Pickers’ Line information panels.  One of the printed versions of the information panels relating to Goudhurst has been installed on the rear of the notice board on the Plain.   

Horsmonden Nostalgia Group.  Cllr Mrs Newsam reported that this Group will be holding a  “Nostalgia Day” on Saturday, 06 October, 2018.  The Hop Picker’s Line Heritage Group will be attending and the aim is to raise knowledge and interest in the project among residents of Horsmonden. It as agreed that Cllr Mrs Newsam will take the spare Goudhurst printed Information Panel to the event and display it on its easel in order to raise interest and inform visitors at the event. 

Public Transport: KCC has launched a consultation called “Big Conversation”. Chairman agreed to produce a draft response on behalf of the Parish Council which he will distribute for comment. All local residents are encouraged to complete the consultation individually.  See 

https://www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/travelling-around-kent/big-conversation

There will be a presentation and opportunity to share views at Cranbrook High Weald Academy 

on Wednesday 11 July from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm

Council’s finances.

Cllr Antony Harris in his role as Chairman of the Parish Council briefed the meeting on our current financial situation.  He and the Clerk have carried out a detailed review of projected receipts and payments up to 2020/21.  Whilst there is no call for alarm, it is evident that we may  need to carry some 2018/2019 expenditure over to future financial years so as not to allow our reserves to fall dangerously low.

Meeting closed at 8.30pm 

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