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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of the 21st June 2010

Birdham Parish Council

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council

held on Monday 21st June 2010

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

Present:                    Cllr Meynell (Chairman), Cllr Mrs Parks (Vice-Chairman), Cllr Churchill,

Cllr Tilbury, Cllr Mrs Barker, Cllr Ms Huskisson and Cllr Way

Apologies:                Cllr Mrs Cobbold and Cllr Mrs Leach

In attendance:         The Clerk, Cllrs P Montyn and P Jones and two members of the public.

19-10 Election of Vice Chairman

Resolved that Cllr Mrs Parks be elected Vice-Chairman of the Council until the date of the next Annual Meeting of Council.

Proposed Cllr R Tilbury and seconded by Cllr R Huskisson

20-10              Urgent/Additional items notified to the Chairman or the Clerk prior to the meeting.

The Chairman raised concerns about the possible introduction of radio controlled model yachts in Birdham Pool. The Pool is SSSI and SSNC registered and the introduction of these model yachts could both upset the delicate balance of nature and be in stark contravention of the certification held by Birdham Pool. The Clerk was tasked with investigating the situation with the WSCC Officer for Ecology -Graham Roberts - and then if deemed appropriate write to the Yacht Club expressing the concern of the Council.

21-10 Declarations of Interest

There were none.

Councillor G Churchill entered the meeting at this point.

22-10 Minutes of the meeting held on the 17th May 2010


Cllr Tilbury felt that Minute 17-10 could be misleading as it stood and should read: All matters concerned with this land are in the hands of solicitors and there is nothing further to report. The CDC Officer dealing with the matter - Sam Irving -  has asked if might make a report to this Council’s July meeting.

Subject to that amendment it was Resolved: that the minutes of the 17th May 2010 be signed as a true and accurate record.

Proposed by Cllr Tilbury and seconded by Cllr Huskisson

23-10              Matters arising from the Minutes

i) Land Bequeathed to the council – The Clerk reported that he contacted the Councils Solicitor dealing with matter on behalf of the Council and was told that nothing further had been received from the Bolitho Way Solicitors. He therefore instructed the Councils Solicitor to write to the Bolitho Way Solicitors giving them one last chance to respond positively by a given date and failing that response then make a formal complaint to the Law Society.

The Clerk also said that he had written to one of the other beneficiaries informing them of the current situation and his actions to date.

ii) The Chairman thanked Cllr P Montyn on his action in dealing with the footpath from Church Lane to Landsdown Marine

24-10 Clerks’ Report:

i) Information has now been received from WSCC concerning the South Coast Street Lighting Maintenance Agreement. The final costing quoted was £643.00 for the 21 units. However, this cost was due to be increased or decreased annually on the anniversary of the contract by the Retail Price Index (RPI). The Clerk requested authority to sign the agreement on behalf of the Parish Council.

Resolved that the Clerk sign the agreement on behalf of the Birdham Parish Council.

Proposed by Cllr Churchill and Seconded by Cllr Meynell

ii) The Clerk reported that he had received a letter from the CDC quoting the likely costs for the elections due to take place on the 5th May 2011. If the Parish Council was contested, with Poll cards the costs would be £2241.00 and without Poll Cards £1616.00. These costs will need to be considered when we calculate the budget for 2011/12.

iii) A two part document had been received from the Corporate Information Officer – Shona Turner of CDC informing the Council that we had been awarded a Section 106 Contribution of £20738.00 against planning application number BI/07/05640/FUL, the Longmeadow development. However as at the 5th May 2010 no commencement of the development had taken place. Once paid to CDC this money would be available to be spent on the playing field/recreation ground improvements ie drainage.

iv) The second part of the document was Annual Update of Community Buildings and Facilities Audit. This needs to be completed and returned by the 3rd July. The Chairman said that he would carry out this task.

v) Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC

Cllr P Montyn commented on the Government’s decision to restrict the practice of ‘Garden Grabbing’. Both WSCC and CDC Leaders have been asked to look at the new government’s policies to determine, if possible, the likely impact on the Councils. Eg if the Regional Assemblies are to be scrapped how will this impact on the LDF. Will the LDF remain intact or will it need to be modified. CDC Officers had been told to continue working on the LDF.

Officer of CDC were working towards what they thought might be a reduction of 50% in Government Budget Contribution. Statutory Services would not be affected but others may be delayed or dropped. CDC like others were going through a period of total uncertainty

25-10              Planning matters including CDC decisions:


BI/10/01871/DOM The Moorings, Westlands, Birdham

This is an application to alter and extend the existing house and to incorporate an existing annexe within it. The site lies on the edge of Chichester Harbour and is within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We have visited the site.

The first element of the proposal is to demolish two-thirds of a three car garage to the east of the main house. Associated with this is the extension of the main house on to part of the footprint of the demolished section of the garage to create a family room. The increase in the footprint of the main house would be small.

The second element is the extension of the present house upwards to create a two storey building for its entire length, incorporating an earlier extension. We note that the ridge line of the extension is marginally lower than that of the existing house. The south east elevation would be more coherent than the present one but the overall effect would be of more massing. We consider, however, that this would not be disproportionate to the existing building or to the site. There would be little alteration to the view of the site from the neighbouring property. The north east elevation faces Chichester Harbour but much of the increased mass of the building from this angle would be masked from the water by trees. The maintenance of the trees and hedges might be made a condition if the proposal is permitted. Some thought has also been put into materials and colour schemes which may have the effect of reducing the intrusion into the landscape. The glazing is not such as to concern us from the point of view of reflected glare.

The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application. We begin to be concerned, however, about the number of applications to extend already considerable properties on the edge of the Harbour. This type of accretion has resulted in a slow expansion of modest properties into considerable mansions over the years and we lay down a marker now of our concern about the effect of this trend on the visual amenity of the Harbourside. We can find no planning reasons to object to this particular application but would not wish to see the extension of this property (particularly the increase in floor area, because of the extension upwards) used as a precedent for further increases in the future, here or elsewhere. They would have to be assessed on their merits in the context we have set out.

BI/10/01411/EXT Houseboat “Eloise” Chichester Canal, Birdham

This is an amended application to replace the existing houseboat with another two-storey boat of Dutch design.  The Council raised no objection to the original application. We note that the height of the boat has been reduced. Many of the other boats have been replaced with boats of similar design and our only concern is that there is beginning to be a certain uniformity in this characterful area of the Parish. The fact that this boat will be of two storeys may contribute to a more varied canalscape. The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/01593/COU Locksacre Farm, Wophams Lane, Birdham

This is an application to change the use of existing car park and hard-standing facilities to storage for caravans and boats. Our only concern would be the access from and onto Wophams Lane for towed vehicles of indeterminate size and frequency. This concern has also been highlighted by WSCC Highways but there was no response in the papers we received. If this can be properly resolved the Council has NO OBJECTION in principle to this change of use.

BI/10/00861/FUL Shepherds, Alandale Road, Birdham

This is an application to convert the 1933 former electricity sub-station, which has stood empty or only been used for storage in recent years, into a residential dwelling. There was a previous application on this building some years ago to which the Council did not object.  The building is screened from almost every angle and care has been taken in the design to avoid interfering with the amenity of the neighbours. Little exterior change is made to the building (except for the skylights) and its period character will therefore be maintained. The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/02327/DOM Old Cottage Row, Hundredsteddle Lane, Birdham

This is an application to erect a summerhouse in the garden of this cottage. We are satisfied that the modesty of the design and the positioning of the summerhouse will not detract from the character of the main house and that the screening of the site will lead to no loss of amenity for the adjacent properties. The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/02247/DOM 3 Whitestone Fm Cottages, Main Road, Birdham

Number 3 forms part of the division of Whitestone Farmhouse into three cottages. The Farm dates back at least to 1258, and probably to 1169 but the present farmhouse is of comparatively recent construction and of no historic merit. It does however sit well in the landscape. The proposal will have the effect of tidying up some ad hoc extensions which have appeared over the years and extending the property under a complicated but workable roof structure. We would draw the Officer’s attention to the entrance hall which incorporates the outside structure of a chimney to the lounge fireplace and will also necessitate some thought in moving a soil pipe shown adjacent to the chimney. And the space for maintenance of the rear wall of the garages (two of which which belong to other cottages) needs to be sufficient to be practicable. The materials  in this extension must be also carefully controlled to maintain the architectural integrity of the whole farmhouse. The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

It was Resolved that the Clerk be instructed to forward the decisions of the Council to the Planning Department of CDC.

Proposed Cllr Tilbury seconded by Cllr Parks

CDC Decisions

BI/10/01884/NMA Mr And Mrs J O'Brien Cross Lanes Batchmere Road Birdham

Substitution of stained s.w boarding for fibre cement weather boarding. PERMIT

BI/10/00453/PLD Mr S TerryBricks 18 Bell Lane Birdham

Extension to rear incorporating new garage. Relocation of flue. Installation of solar panel. REFUSE

BI/10/01812/TPA Mr Desmond Burnand 18 Longmeadow Gardens Birdham

Reduce 3 no. limbs on east sector back behind adjacent hedge line (to alleviate overhang into neighbouring property 22a Longmeadows Garden) on 1 no. Ash tree (T3) subject to BI/72/00014/TPA. PERMIT

BI/10/00821/FUL Lansdale Marine Premier Business Park Birdham Road

Variation of condition No 9 of planning permission BI/03/02203/FUL.  Use of 4 no. existing car parking spaces for the display of dinghies in connection with yacht chandlers. PERMIT

BI/10/01809/FUL Mr S Nunns Oakdene Sidlesham Lane Birdham

Erection of stable block. REFUSE

26-10 Correspondence:

i)             Email from WSCC concerning Space Hop a reading challenge with rewards for 4 – 12 year olds.

ii)            Email from WSCC informing us of the Birdham Public Rights of Way routine maintenance that will be taking place shortly.

iii)           Email from CSC Regeneration offering assistance, at a cost, should we wish to apply for Lottery Funding.

iv)           Email from WS Fire & Rescue informing us that it will start a consultation program from 19th July to 8th October concerning its Service Plan for 2011-12.

v)            Email from SALC notifying us of the Launch of the Lottery Funded Community Wildlife program.

vi)           Email from WS Council for Voluntary Youth Services informing us of funding up to £400 for groups who are running something really special for PlayDay 2010 on 4th August

vii)         Email request from Village Hall Trustees to hold extra car boot sale on the 18th September as the first one to be held this year was washed out.

viii)        A letter had been received by Cllr Tilbury from a resident requesting that the verge around the village pond be cut back. Cllr Tilbury responded to the letter with the reasons why this was not possible and what might be happening in the short to medium term.

ix)           An invitation has been received from the CPRE to attend their AGM at Arundel Wildfowl & wetlands Trust on the 6th July.

x)            An invitation has been received from the Samaritans for the Chairman to attend an Evening Reception on Friday the 10th September. RSVP by 31st July.

27-10 Reports:

i)      Play area and playing field – The Clerk has carried out an inspection of the fencing around the play area. Various works had been thought prudent to carry out and this was now in the hands of Knights Fencing.

ii)     Village green and pond – Cllr Tilbury & the Clerk attended ‘training’ on the 5th June at Birdham Pond to determine if the pond was home to water voles, it is. A report from the CDC environmental Officer – Sarah Hughes- is in the pipeline but has not yet been received.

Although not part of the pond it was felt that a report by Cllr Huskisson concerning the Canal Bank and the wild flowers and orchids that had been identified should be included. It was also noted that Grass Vetchling – a rare grass - had been identified on the bank.

iii)    Police and Neighbourhood Watch – PCSO Ann Bromley gave her apologies and asked that the Clerk deliver her report.

28-10 Finance:

A financial paper had been prepared by the Clerk and was circulated to Councillors. This showed:

Balances held at Bank: £51582.61

Designated Funds: £25557.04

Creditors: £1183.78

Resolved: To accept the financial report.

Proposed by Cllr Tilbury and seconded by Cllr Parks.

29-10 New Complaints Procedure

The Clerk had tabled a new Complaints Procedure for discussion and consideration.

Resolved to accept the new Complaints Procedure as tabled.

Proposed by Cllr Churchill and seconded by Cllr Way

30-10 Web Site

The Clerk raised the subject of the Councils Web Site. It was difficult to amend and keep up to date, and was not seen as a useful site in its present format. The Clerk had received a quote from the original designers - Access – by – Design – to update the site with new software, making the site more user friendly and an asset to both the Council and to the Village.

It was decided that this should be looked at by a small working group comprising Cllr Way, the Clerk and one other and that the working group should report back to Council their findings.

31-10 Confirmation of Clerk in Post

The Clerk having successfully completed the requisite 6 months probationary period was confirmed in post.

32-10 Reports from Councillors attending meetings

Cllr Way reported that he had attended the meeting of the Peninsula Forum at which the main topic of discussion had been the Ditching on the Peninsula and how the work that had been carried out by Birdham was of tremendous help to CDC in identifying problem areas and problem landowners.

A discussion also took place on the Coastal Change project.

33-10 Public session:

Cllr Way asked what the situation was with the Consultation concerning the Leader of Directly Elected Mayor for the District. The Clerk responded that he had bought the subject up at the previous meeting but that a decision had not been formally agreed.

It was resolved that the Clerk should write to CDC with the decision that Birdham Parish Council favours the Leader and Cabinet Option.

Proposed by Cllr Way seconded by Cllr Meynell

34-10 Items for inclusion on the Agenda for the next meeting

There being no further business to be dealt with the meeting closed at 8.30 pm

Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________