MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF WEALD PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON THE 25th JULY, 2018 AT THE MEMORIAL HALL AT 7.30 P.M.
IN ATTENDANCE: Mrs L Harris (in the Chair), Mrs C Beddoe, Mrs K Long, Mr R Brunner and Mr R Trapp.
In attendance were approx. 10 members of the public, County Councillor Lake, District Councillor Thornton and the clerk.
- APOLOGISES FOR ABSENCE – Mrs R Wood, Mr J Blackman and District Councillor Hogarth.
- DECLARATION OF INTEREST – there was none.
- MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 27th June, 2018 were accepted as an accurate record and were so acknowledged by the signature of the Chairman.
- MATTERS ARISING
- Portfolio Holders
Mr Brunner reported that the new litter bins are now installed in the Memorial Hall Field.
Mrs Long reported that the public questionnaire prepared by the steering committee on the Village Design Statement and the Parish Plan will be distributed to all households within the Parish in September or October.
Mrs Harris reported on her attendance at a meeting at SDC to discuss bus services in the District. This meeting forms part of a wider consultation process being undertaken by KCC.
- 2017/18 Annual Return
The clerk sought, and received, formal approval from the Parish Council for the submission of the Annual Return to the external auditors. The clerk advised that a copy of the Annual Return is on the Parish Council’s website and main noticeboard and the Parish Council’s accounts will be available for inspection until the 11th August. The audited version of the Annual Return will be posted in due course.
- The Recreation Ground – an update
The clerk reported on his meeting with the Secretary of the Recreation Ground Association and Mr Blackman. It was agreed that due to uncertainty about the long-term future of the Association that any grant funding or financial support should be applied for by the Parish Council, as owners of the Recreation Ground, and that following the possible dissolution of the Association users of the Recreation Ground would have to agree specific access rights directly with the Parish Council.
At the above meeting the clerk urged the Recreation Ground Association to ensure that users of the Recreation Ground do not park their vehicles close to the Ground’s entrance on Morleys Road as on this blind bend there is a risk of collisions with moving traffic and potential injuries to users of the Ground and passing vehicles. Accidents involving injuries were recorded at this spot during the previous football season which the Parish Council wish to avoid at all cost.
It was agreed that, subject to funding being available, hard parking should be provided in the Recreation Ground. In the meantime, users should be encouraged to park in the church car park and other locations in the village.
- The Memorial Hall Committee – an update
The clerk reported on his meeting with the Chairman of the Hall Committee. The Committee has so far been unsuccessful in recruiting additional members to the Committee. In the absence of new members coming forward it was agreed that the Committee should consider employing a Hall Administrator to reduce the administrative duties borne by the depleted Committee. The Chairman advised that a suitable candidate has been identified who could possibly fill this position later this year.
The Chairman agreed to share the current constitution of the Committee and correspondence with the Charities Commission with the clerk to check that the Committee, as currently constituted, was in line with the Committee’s constitution and the Charity Commission’s regulations.
- Litter Pick
It was agreed that a Litter Pick should be held on Saturday 8th September.
Mr Brunner agreed to take the lead in organising.
Sevenoaks District Council – draft Local Plan for consultation.
Responses are due by 10th September, 2018. The clerk advised that the implementation of the plan will have minimum impact on Weald.
Planning results are notified to members of the Parish Council by email when the results are advised to the clerk by SDC.
The undernoted planning applications were reviewed by the Parish Council:
SE/18/02006/HOUSE Hale Oak Farmhouse, Hale Oak Road – Erection of single storey wooden stable block and manure clamp on a concrete base additional hard standing and stone track.
The Parish Council supported this application.
SE/18/02047/HOUSE – Clover Cottage, Wickhust Road – Erection of detached garage.
The Parish Council objected to this application.
Although the size of the garage in isolation may appear modest the Parish Council is concerned about the cumulative impact of developments on this site. The house has already breached the 50% allowance and the officer report for the property states:
Policy GB5 of the ADMP outlines that “where new dwellings are permitted in the Green Belt on grounds of very special circumstances or as part of a rural exception scheme, the Council will remove permitted development rights for extensions and outbuildings to prevent future additions that cumulatively impact upon the openness of the Green Belt. Applications to extend dwellings or erect or extend outbuildings to dwellings that have or are permitted on grounds of very special circumstances, or as part of a rural exception scheme will not be permitted.
This development was allowed on the basis of very special circumstances (officer’s report 3/11/2015) and permitted development rights were removed. Policies GB1, GB2, GB3 and GB4 do not apply to dwellings permitted under Very Special Circumstances.
An application for a large stable block has already been allowed (within 20 metres of the house) and to allow another outbuilding again within 20 metres of the house damages the openness of the Green Belt. The Parish Council also notes that the residential boundary appears to have been increased to include the stable block (not as shown on the approved plans).
The Parish Council considers that the positioning of the proposed garage at the front of the property and bordering the road as visually intrusive. It does not therefore conserve and enhance the AONB. Furthermore, it appears to result in the loss of boundary hedging which would be unacceptable in AONB/Green Belt (question 7 of the application appears to be answered incorrectly).
The Parish Council notes that the property previously had a garage. This was considered surplus to requirement and converted to residential accommodation. For this garage now to be replaced by an additional building causes damage to the openness of the Green Belt.
- PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
The Meeting adjourned at 7.30 p.m. and resumed at 7.40 p.m.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Mrs Long requested that the clerk provide details of the assets owned by/leased to the Parish Council.
Mr Lake reminded the clerk of the deadline (end of July) to submit Grant applications under the Local Members Grant Scheme with respect to the Village Design Statement/ Parish Plan and for outdoor furniture for the Community Shop. Both applications were submitted and grants duly awarded.
- CHEQUES FOR SIGNATURE
The Meeting closed at 8.30 p.m.