Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village


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Minutes of a Meeting held on 06 March 2018 at St Mary’s Church

Present: Cllrs David Boniface (Chairman), Mrs Angela Broom, Chris Ditton and Antony Harris

2 Members of the public:  Ted and Heather Bennett.

Apologies were accepted from: Cllrs Alan Foster, Phil Kirkby, Mrs Susan Newsam and Guy Sutton..

Declarations of Interest.  None.

Footpaths – PROW

The condition of a number of PROWs was reviewed;

WC4 at Bethany School.  Has been inspected by KCC in 2017.  Clerk to check.

WT343 (Horsmonden).  North of Stone Bridge. Clerk will speak to his counterpart at Horsmonden.

WC28.  Clerk will report a problem with the steps at the east end of this path

WC42. East of Goudhurst at map ref 573800  136400.  Quagmire of deep mud.  Clerk to report to KCC.


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

  1. Cllr Boniface will check his availability for a meeting in April with the swale landowners.
  2. Council has a quote of £5,800 to build steps down from Station Road and establish a path through the Swale.
  3. The Clerk will check with KCC the status of the proposed path across the swale.
  4. Chairman H&F Committee will ask Fernham Homes to double their grant offer towards the cost of the Swale path.
  5. Extra verge cutting on A262. The Clerk will arrange with our Contractor for extra verge cutting to the west of Green Cross Inn in conjunction with the existing verge cutting on Station Road.

Highways and Parking

Proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO).  It was noted that our Consultants, Socium, will start work on two projects in April 2018:

  1. To prohibit the use of A262 through Goudhurst Village by HGVs except for setting down and picking up.  This will include a definition of categories that will be excluded by the TRO.:
  2. To prepare a Technical Report to KCC that the A262 no longer meets the criteria for an ‘A’ road and that it should be classified as a ‘B’ road.

HGV problems in Villages.  It was noted that Cllr John Wilson (East Farleigh Parish Council) is leading the campaign on this on behalf of the Kent Association of Local Councils (KALC).  Kent Highways is working with Leicestershire County Council which has a good system of routing HGVs in that County.  It was agreed that the Clerk will contact Cllr Wilson to invite him to address Goudhurst Parish Council on this matter.

Change of Speed limit on the A21 between the Bewl Water turn off and the area of T&J Motel at Stonecrouch.  Mr Bennett had contacted Council in early February seeking, on behalf of residents along the A21 in this Parish, a reduction in the speed limit.  He informed Council that in the past 5 years there has been 43 crashes when Police attended, 2 fatal accidents and 7 serious accidents.  Since January 2018 there has been a further 6 crashes of which 4 required police attendance.  It was noted that the Road Safety Foundation has ranked all English counties on their performance to meet road safety targets and Kent was ranked 73rd out of 78. It was noted that the Clerk had written to Highways England on 16 February 2018 and had received an interim reply dated 01 March.

Main Road Network Consultation.  From the Department for Transportation.  Chairman H&F Committee will make a submission before the 19 March 2018 deadline.

Replacement sign with Kent Invicta.  The traditional Goudhurst sign that was positioned at the junction of North Road and Chequers Road at Lidwells went missing after a road traffic accident.  Clerk is in touch with the makers of the ‘traditional sign’.  However Chairman H&F Committee is keen that Council should consider one particular sign published in the High Weald AONB Unit sign guidance document.  The Clerk will research further and bring forward a case for Council to approve either one or the other.

Goudhurst Sign.  The traditional sign on the verge at the junction of North Road and Chequers Road has been lost probably as the result of a road traffic incident.  This Committee recommends to Council that a replacement be purchased at budget cost of £500.00 including installation.  Concerns were raised regarding the vulnerability of the original site.

Electric Vehicle Charging Points.  Members considered notes of a meeting held on 19 February 2018 the purpose of which was to consider a large amount of research work carried out by Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam.  Members at the 19 February meeting considered that Tesla is the best option for Goudhurst.  As a result it had been agreed that Cllr Chris Ditton and the Clerk would ‘sound out’ one of the establishments in Goudhurst that might be willing to have an EV charging point on their premises.  Council to agree at the 12 March meeting whether or not to submit a letter of intent to Tesla.

Speed Indicator Device (SID).  Council awaits delivery from Kent Highways.

  1. Of the 3 poles that have been erected, the one in North Road is not in the correct position; Chairman H&F Committee is in touch with Highways about this.
  2. Those who will be putting up, taking down and moving the SID from site to site will need training and this will include a Contractor who may or may not take on the job..
  3. Noted that the Clerk has written a draft Risk Assessment and Council’s insurers has a copy.
  4. The responsibility of who will extract the vehicle speed and frequency data from the SID has to be decided.

Downgrading of A262 to a B road and Speed limit reduction on Cranbrook Rd.  

  1. This proposal will not be implemented until the current part of the Socium contract is completed.
  2. H&F Committee envisages that the proposal will include both the Cranbrook Road and that part of Station Road past the Green Cross Inn in the same TRO.
  3. Chairman H&F Committee will consider whether Council should ask Fernham Homes for a greater contribution than that already agreed towards the cost of this TRO.

Fire Hydrant Survey.  

It was noted that, following a query from Council, Kent Fire & Rescue has started on the repair and maintenance of the Fire Hydrants across the Parish.

Hop Pickers Line.

It was noted that expenditure of up to up to £350.00 had been agreed by Council on 12 February 2018 (Minute 361/17). For the printing of two copies of the Goudhurst panels after the final sign off  by the Hop Pickers Line Heritage Group.

The meeting closed at 9.10 pm.

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