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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 16th March 2015

Birdham Parish Council

 Minutes of the

Meeting of the Parish Council

 held on Monday 16th March 2015

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

 Present:                     Cllr Pocock (Chairman), Cllr Hamilton (Vice Chairman), Cllr Finch, Cllr Brooks, Cllr Ayton and Cllr Firmston

Apologies:                   Cllr Barker, Cllr Cobbold, Cllr Montyn (WSCC & CDC) and Cllr Marshall (CDC)

 In attendance:             The Clerk, and 16 members of the public.

Absent:                        Cllr Churchill

124-14 Public Question time in accordance with Standing Orders 1d -1l:

          A resident asked about the parking arrangements for the redevelopment of the Marina. It was suggested by the Chairman that as this application was decided two years ago the best place to find the information would be the CDC Planning web site.

A resident suggested that the owners of the Church Field should be asked to cut back their hedges which were becoming both an eyesore and a danger to pedestrians.                    

125-14 Declaration of Interests:

There were no declarations of interest given.

126-14 Approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on the 16th February 2015.

it was resolved to adopt the minutes of the 16th February 2015 as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

127-14 Matters arising from the minutes of the 19th November 2012:

Minute 89-12 - Land Bequest. The Clerk said that had chased the Land Registry Office and the solicitor in attempt to speed things up but had been unsuccessful however, he would continue to press both organisations.

128-14 Clerks’ Report:

i)       WSCC – The Clerk reminded members that at the last meeting he had given information concerning the cuts to the Fire Service. It now appeared that the initiator of the letter to us was becoming somewhat bothersome in his approach to WSCC and others.

ii)      CDC – Nothing to report

iii)     Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC – In the absence of both Cllr Montyn and Cllr Marshall, Cllr Hamilton reported that the Traveller Site at Westhampnett had opened which now meant that the Police had greater powers to move on Travellers.

She went on to say that with effect from the 1st of April it was now permissible to put items such as margarine and yogurt pots into the recycling bin which had not been possible until now.

iv)     Other related matters

129-14 Finance and Corporate:

i)    To receive and approve the financial report.

The Clerk presented the financial reports for the month of March (shown at annex a). The current balances are as follows;

Balances held at Bank £40076.19
Designated Funds £21063.13
Ring Fenced Funds £13033.00
Available Funds £  5980.06
Creditors £  2790.79

The Clerk offered to answer any questions that Councillors may have.

It was resolved to adopt the Financial Report.

ii)   A hard copy of the 2013 Model Standing Orders with amendments having been circulated to all members it was duly resolved to adopt the 2013 amended Model Standing Orders.

iii)  The date of the Annual Parish Meeting of the 13th April 2015 was noted.

130-14Update on the Neighbourhood Plan

Cllr Finch said the Plan had been out to consultation with CDC for the required number of weeks which ended on the 28th February. No material comments had been made or changes required so the Plan was now to be submitted for examination by an independent examiner. Should the examiner find no faults then the plan will be submitted to referendum.

In the meantime a number of examiners had submitted their CV’s and of those submitted it was felt that Mr John Glester more closely fitted the requirements of Birdham Village.

It was therefore proposed and resolved that Mr John Glester be appointed the independent examiner of Birdhams Neighbourhood Plan.

131-14 Planning matters including applications and CDC delegated decisions:

i)              Planning Applications to be decided.

BI/15/00433/PLD - Mr & Mrs Alexander Blackwood 2 Oakmeadow Birdham

Replace existing conservatory with single storey rear extension. No Objection.

BI/15/00525/TPA - Mr Andrew Grafham 2 The Saltings Birdham

Crown reduce by 30% and remove dead and crossing branches on 1 no. White Poplar tree (T1) subject to BI/90/00028/TPO. The Council are to content to leave the decision to the CDC Tree Officer.

BI/15/00534/DOM - Mr & Mrs N Von Schirnding Hammonds Farm  Westlands Lane Birdham

Single storey rear extension, alterations to an existing fireplace and the reduction in rear garden ground levels and closing off of existing pedestrian access. No Objection.

BI/15/00535/LBC - Mr & Mrs N Von Schirnding Hammonds Farm  Westlands Lane Birdham

Single storey rear extension, alterations to an existing fireplace and the reduction in rear garden ground levels and closing off of existing pedestrian access. No Objection.

BI/15/00614/FUL - Birdham Farm, Birdham Road, Birdham

Proposed field gate access - creation of new access with hard standing, post and rail fence and gates. The Council raised No Objection to this application provided that it was conditional that the application was for agricultural purposes only.

BI/15/00723/FUL - Ayton, Main Road, Birdham

Variation of Condition 2 of planning permission BI/14/04049/FUL - To reference amended plans showing the inclusion of a small single storey rear porch/bootroom on plot 1 and plot 2, plan numbers being 0829/DPA11 rev04, DPA12 rev04, DPA13 rev04, DPA14 rev04, DPA15 rev04 and DPA17 rev04. No Objection.

 It was resolved to authorise the Clerk to notify Councils decision to DC Planning.

ii)             Delegated Decisions to be noted.

BI/14/02662/OUT  Koolbergen And Ramsay Bell Lane Birdham

Outline application for the erection of 81 houses, B1 floor space, retail and open space with the retention of 1 dwelling. Refuse

The delegated decisions were noted.

132-14 Correspondence – Not previously circulated:

There was none.

132-14 Reports:

i)      Play Area and Playing Field. – A meeting with Sovereign Play and a Landscape Architect has been arranged to design the possibility of an improved play/healthy environment for all age groups of Birdham.

ii)     Village Green and Pond. – Cllrs Hamilton and Firmston have worked on the Village Green, drawing up a plan of planting and areas of land that should not be mown.

iii)    Condition of Village Ditch/Drain Network. – Mr Barrington in giving his report said that he was becoming remarkably frustrated had the inability of WSCC to give the answers and follow-up that was required to resolve the Walwyn Close situation. He had asked Cllr Montyn to chase up the work required to complete the 20 point plan that had been agreed with WSCC against which some 13 points were still outstanding.

An Op Watershed application had been made for the Walwyn Close work. However, the Clerk had raised the point it was expected that the Parish Council would fund the VAT element of any invoice as they are able to reclaim it. The problem was that the VAT element of any such invoice equated to as much as the Precept which, in the short to medium term would mean that the Council would not be able to pays its bills. A compromise with WSCC had been arranged where WSCC would fund the VAT on the understanding that the Parish, once it had been reclaimed, would refund WSCC. It would require a resolution by Council to do this.

It was resolved that Birdham Parish Council would refund the claimed VAT directly to WSCC in respect of any invoices pertaining to the Walwyn Close project.

iv)    Police and Neighbourhood Watch – In giving her apologies PCSO Bainbridge asked for the following comments to be made.

Please accept my apologies for this meeting.  There have been very few, incidents being reported from Birdham, which is good! The only significant one that comes to mind is a phone call to an elderly resident claiming to be from a bank and that his account had been accessed.

The caller wanted to make further checks on his account and asked for details and sent a courier round to collect his bank card.  Luckily, this was not collected successfully.  Please could you remind all to never disclose bank details, or indeed any private and personal information to an unknown caller, even one claiming to be a bank/organisation including the Police.

I still hold my Meet Me in Person meetings at 11am Wittering Medical Centre, 11:30am EW Library.

The next Neighbourhood Management Panel Meeting is on Monday 11 May at 7pm in East Wittering Fire Station.  I am mindful that there will be an election on 7th May and would like to invite any Birdham parish councillor who is responsible for Policing and Neighbourhood Watch, that they would be more than welcome to join the meeting.

v)     Communication Working Groups – Cllr Finch asked for as many volunteers as possible to get the delivery of the Parish Council Newsletter out as quickly as possible.

vi)    Other -

a)     Members and residents were reminded that the Elections would be taking place on the 7th May.

b)    Cllr Ayton who was to comment on footpath 39 asked that this item be deferred to another meeting and that the Clerk be asked to contact WSCC for a definitive answer to the question of signposting this pathway.

133-14 Reports of meetings attended by Councillors;

          The Chairman said that attended the Manhood Peninsula Forum. The Fire Service who were due to speak did not arrive and the Police emphasised the cuts that are being made to the Sussex Police Service.

134-14 Items for inclusion on the next agenda:

135-14 Date of Next Meeting:        

20th April 2015 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall


There being no further business to discuss the meeting was declared closed at 8.23pm


Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________




Annex A


Financial Statement as at 16th March 2015


Bank Accounts as at 31st March 2014


Receipts to date


Expenditure to date




Represented by;
Current Account (Barclays Community A/c)


Deposit Account (Barclays Premium Business A/c)


National Savings




Reserve @ 50% of Precept


Loan Reserve for half year
Outstanding Cheque/s -


Ringfenced Funds
Op Watershed


New Homes Bonus


Available Funds Total



Clerk to the Council
16th March 2015
Payments to be considered
B Geary (Litter Picking)


Clerks Expenses (Telephone/stationary etc.)




AMS Contracting (Pond)


Cllr Finch (Instantprint) Newsletter




Winter 2015 Newsletter


Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 26th April 2014


Minutes of Birdham Annual Parish Meeting

 held on Saturday 26th April 2014

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall


Present:                     Cllr Finch (Chairman).

Apologies:                   Nil

In attendance:              The Clerk, Cllr Montyn (WSCC &CDC), Cllr Marshall (CDC), D Ayton, M Hobson, L Pocock, C Delahunty, R & H Rawlinson, A Parks, E Hamilton, T Dalby, R Green, M Evans and J Haig.

1-14APM        The Chairman thanked all of those present had said that she hoped they would find the meeting useful.

Prior to the commencement of the formal part of the meeting an opportunity had arisen for those attending to hear from the Director of the Harbour Conservancy – Ms Siún Cranny.

Ms Cranny was introduced by the Chairman who then went on to say that she was grateful for the opportunity to speak about the work of the Harbour Conservancy – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), its aim and its aspirations to become an integral part of everyday life to local communities and businesses throughout the area. The hierarchy of the Conservancy was explained and how the conservancy relied heavily upon the large group of volunteers that it had at its disposal and without whom the Conservancy would not function as well as it does.

At the completion of her talk Ms Cranny took a number of questions from members of the audience which were in the main concerned with the water quality in the Harbour and the impact that the Apuldram waste water treatment plant was having when it released poorly or untreated effluent into the Harbour.

The Conservancy is aware of the problem and has been working with the treatment plant to resolve the issues. Recent UV treatment has reduced the problem to almost zero and the water now exceeds that expected at Blue Flag Beaches. Southern Water has also been ordered to invest in the structures to prevent the rainwater from leaking into the foul water system.

The Chairman thanked Ms Cranny for giving up her time to come along and make her presentation and invited her to take tea and perhaps stay around a little longer prior to the formal start of the meeting.

2-14APM        Approve and sign the Minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting held on the 18th May 2013

It was resolved by those present that the Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 18th May 2013 be signed as a true and accurate record.

 3-14APM        To receive the Chairmans Annual Report of the Parish Council.

                        The Chairman’s report is reproduced in full as annex a. to these minutes. 

4-14APM        To receive the Councils Observations on its Finances for the current year;

The Clerk presented the accounts for the year and explained the variations of the Council Tax Banding system and what it means to households. He went on to say that the Council went to great pains and spent considerable time on presenting a budget that it felt would meet the aims and aspirations of the Council without imposing a tax burden on residents that was impossible to meet. He explained that the largest proportion of the budget was for the loan repayment on the village hall refurbishment and this would be the case for a considerable number of years to come.

He asked if there were any questions on the accounts or any aspect of the budget. There were none.

5-14APM        To receive the observations of the County and District Councillors for the Parish.

Cllr Marshall for CDC said that the Government was reducing funding overall and that savings across the board on both Chichester District Council and WSCC would have to be made.

                        Pressure to supply homes across the District continues and as such the CDC has agreed its Local Plan which now moves to the next stage, external inspection. It is hoped that the Local Plan will be approved by December. CDC now has quite a large number of Neighbourhood Plans that are progressing well.

Cllr Montyn for WSCC & CDC introduced himself and went on to say that some of the financial problems experienced by WSCC were also impacting on CDC and like WSCC it was anticipated that the Council would, over the next few years, be subjected to similar financial pressures.

He went on to say that the Planning Committee of CDC will be deciding on a planning application to provide some 9 pitches for travellers in Westhampnett which although not a lot will enable the Police to exercise greater powers to move on travellers from an illegal site.

The 20 mph speed restriction which was requested will not happen until sufficient consultation has been carried out and at the very earliest 2015.

The Better Roads Program has begun with a two year programme of repairs. £30M had been put into the budget from the reserves and would pay for improvements to urban, residential and unclassified roads. £25M had also been received from Government which will be spent on A road network.

Sewage and foul water network problems are still ongoing but WSCC is committed to keeping on top of the problem with £1M being put into Op Watershed which should help resolve some of the problems experienced in and around Birdham.

The second runway at Gatwick is taking a lot of work.

WSCC are still examining very closely the budget reduction requirements and trying very hard not to reduce services.

Q - A resident asked if it was known when Westlands Lane would be re-surfaced.

A – Not yet

Q – How will just nine sites at Westhampnett resolve the traveller problem?

A – It enables the Police to exercise an additional law to move them on which currently is not available.

Q – If there are insufficient pitches to keep the traveller family together are they likely to use the Human Rights Act?

A – Unknown.

6-14APM        To consider questions that had been submitted.

There were none.

7-14APM        To deal with any other business.

There was none.

8-14APM        Presentation by speakers.                   

The Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group after saying why it was being done and under what authority gave a short update on the current position of the Neighbourhood Plan.

                        A tremendous amount had been done already with the formation of seven forums looking at all aspects of Birdham Village life. Open days had been held and the residents consulted, questionnaires had been designed and sent out, the answers from which had led to the design of the draft policies which were currently being checked with the help of a professional planning advisor.

It was hoped that the draft documents would be ready for consultation by the Parish from the 24th May for a 6 week period. Assuming the consultation didn’t throw up any problems the next stage would be the CDC consultation period of a further 6 weeks finally being sent to the Independent Examiner and if judged sound then to referendum.


Mr C Barrington of the Birdham & Earnley Flood Forum

Mr Barrington said that the Village had been lucky this year as although we had received some surface water there had been no reports of homes being flooded this year.

The ditch network was now getting its spring growth and care would be needed to ensure that this did not create a problem for the coming 2014/15 winter months. He stressed that it is the responsibility of the riparian owner to ensure that their ditches were clear and that water could be allowed to drain.

He went on to say that he had been working with Wetlands Wildlife Officer who has the responsibility to ensure that the water voles and other protected species are cared for.

Where work needed to be done it was proposed to recommend a competent contractor to carry out the work.

Q – Has much progress been made with the riparian owners along Westlands Lane?

A – Talks are being held with owners and a programme of works is being devised. The riparian owners will be advised of their responsibilities.


9-14APM Questions from members of the public who are resident in Birdham.

A resident suggested that the Village Pond was something and nothing.

It has been suggested that the pond be expanded into the field behind it thus enlarging the ponds ability to accept more water and preventing further flooding and with the right management becoming a destination rather than an eyesore.

Apparently the suggestion had been made to the owners of the field but met with some resistance as they - the owners – felt the maintenance of the pond would then fall upon them.

The Parish Council could undertake to provide full responsibility in the form of a contract.


A resident asked if it was possible for a pond to be built on the Land Bequest to be used as a method by which the playing field might be drained.

As no decision had been taken on what to do with the land, in fact the land was not at the time owned by the Parish Council, it was felt that this was an idea that could be explored at some future date.


As that concluded the meeting, the Chairman thanked all those who had come along and hoped that they had found it useful and enjoyable and closed the meeting at 9.20pm.





Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________







Annex A – Chairman’s Report


The Chairman – Cllr Jane Finch Report to the Annual Meeting of the Parish 26th April 2014


It is often said that Change is the only constant and so it is with the Parish Council. The council year started last May with three new councillors being co-opted onto the council and a long serving member stepping down. Angela Parks had served on this council for many years, including over a year as Chairman, for which we extend our grateful thanks. At the council meeting last Tuesday we finally filled the remaining 2 vacancies through co-option, only for Andy Grafham to regretfully resign after 3 years’ service. Parish Councillors are volunteers and many of us have other jobs as well so I thank all councillors and ex-councillors for their willingness to contribute to the success of our community in this way. And I also thank residents who have supported the council in many ways, with newsletter deliveries, attending meetings and holding us to account, joining working groups and putting in hours of voluntary effort for the benefit of Birdham Parish.


Protecting our environment from excessive development has been uppermost in the minds of many of us for the last year, which is why we started the Neighbourhood Plan process in September 2012. Watching the progress of plans in other places it was clear that this was a long process if we were to produce a legally valid plan and so it has proved. I would particularly like to thank the residents who have worked on the plan. It has been a long and difficult task, which we have achieved on a restricted budget and with very little previous experience of this kind of project. We will hear more about the plan later this evening. It has been very frustrating for all of us that we could not stop the clock on applications coming forward. However thanks to the efforts of residents, parish councillors, the BVRA and our district councillors these battles with developers have been hard fought. Birdham does not take these assaults lying down!


Another battle we continue to have is with drainage and sewage. It is no consolation that we share these problems with our neighbouring parishes but I’m very pleased to say that Birdham leads the way in actively addressing the problems with support from our County Councillor, from the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group, the Birdham and Earnley Flood Prevention Group and an increasingly knowledgeable parish. We have a speaker later to talk more on this subject.


There continue to be concerns about traffic and road safety and this year we have seen changes in the village as part of the safer routes to school scheme. Although this work is not yet completed we anticipate the benefits over the coming year of an extended car park here at the village hall and ultimately a 20 mph speed limit in the roads north west of the Birdham Straight.


And finally, although this is a report of the Council, I want to come back to what makes us successful as a parish: residents’ sense of community, which not only gets them doing all of the things I’ve already mentioned but also makes them press for a bin at the bus stop (thank you Mr Hope), encourages them to help plant trees with us on the playing field, gets them setting up a monthly Tea Party for residents to meet and chat, means they stand in front of travellers to stop them driving onto our playing field, encourages them to push until Hyde Martlett clear the land behind Florence Close and so many other things that people do for the benefit of their neighbours that we never hear about.


Thank you, everybody.




Agenda for the Parish Council Meeting to be held on the 20th April 2015


Birdham Parish Council

28 Langdale Avenue, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8JQ

Tel : 01243 790402

Email : clerk@birdhamparishcouncil.org.uk Website : www.birdham.org.uk

Clerk to the Council : David J Siggs


Members are hereby summoned to attend a Meeting of Birdham Parish Council to be held at 7pm on Monday the 20th April 2015 in the Main Hall at Birdham Village Hall, Birdham.

David J Siggs - Clerk to the Council


 1. Public Question Time: (In accordance with Standing Orders 1d – 1l)

2. Declaration of interests and granting of dispensations if any.

3. Approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 16th March 2015.

4. Matters Arising

i) Land bequest to the Council

5. Clerks Report including:

i) WSCC Reports, highways matters and correspondence

ii) CDC Reports including correspondence

iii) To receive reports from Division Members of WSCC and Ward Members of CDC as appropriate.

iv) Other related matters

6. Finance and corporate:

i) To receive and approve a financial report.

7. Neighbourhood Plan – Update.

8. Planning matters including applications and CDC delegated decisions.

i) Planning Applications to be decided.

BI/15/00388/DOM - Mr Stephen Terry Houseboat Infinity Chichester Marina Birdham

To extend houseboat by 6m x 3m to incorporate bedroom and storage.

BI/15/00795/TPA - Mrs Rosemary Page 26 Longmeadow Gardens Birdham

Reduce northern sector by 2-3m (back from property) on 1 no. Oak tree (T1) BI/95/00032/TPO.

BI/15/00646/DOM - Mr Chris Bateson Timbers Crooked Lane Birdham

Single storey extension to kitchen.

BI/15/00796/ADV - Mr & Mrs M Eade The Barnyard Birdham Road Birdham

Erection of freestanding V forecourt sign.

BI/15/00915/ELD - Mr Paul Knappett Kellys Farm Bell Lane Birdham

Used as an office for over 10 years.

BI/15/00989/DOM - Mr & Mrs Morelli 11 Greenacres Birdham

Ground floor and first floor extension (to the west facing elevation), internal alterations and roof conversion.

ii) Delegated Decisions to be noted.

BI/15/00003/DOM Mr David Thompson Copper Beech Church Lane Birdham

Rebuild first floor side extension with new design and two flat roofed rear ground floor extensions. PERMIT

BI/15/00403/DOM Mr Peter Mckenzie Field Cottage  Westlands Estate Birdham

Extensions, partial raised roof, loft conversion, garage conversion and recladding. PERMIT

BI/15/00339/FUL Premier Marinas Former Chandlery Building Chichester Marina

Change of use of ground floor from retail (Use Class A1) and restaurant (Use Class A3) to create five self-contained two-bedroom residential units (Use Class C3). Replacement of existing flat roof with pitched roof including dormer windows to create upper levels to the existing flats. PERMIT

9. Correspondence - Not previously circulated to be noted.

10. Reports

i)  Play area and playing field

ii) Village Green and pond

iii) Condition of Village Drain/Ditch Network – To include an update/decision on current

Op Watershed applications

iv) Police & Neighbourhood Watch

v) Communication Working Group

vi) Other

11. Reports of meetings attended by Councillors

12. Items for inclusion on next agenda.

13. Date of Next Meeting Monday the 18th May 2015 (Members will please note that this is the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council and the first meeting of the newly elected Council.)



Agenda for the Annual Parish Meeting


Birdham Parish Council

28 Langdale Avenue, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8JQ

Tel : 01243 790402

Email : clerk@birdhamparishcouncil.org.uk Website : www.birdham.org.uk

Chairman of the Council : Cllr Laurie Pocock

Clerk to the Council : David J Siggs





The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held on Monday the 13th April 2015 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall. All residents of the Parish are welcome and encouraged to attend.


1. To receive and approve the Minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting held on 26th April 2014.

2. To receive the Chairman’s Annual Report of the Parish Council

3. To receive the Council’s observation on its finances for the past and current year

4. To receive the observations of the County Councillor and the District Councillors for the Division in which the Parish is situated

5. To receive the observations of the Police (if available)

6. To consider resolutions of which written notice has been given 3 days prior to the meeting

7. To deal with any other business that is of benefit to the residents and life of Birdham Village

8. Presentation by speakers from local groups including:

  • The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
  • Flood Forum to talk about Ditches and Culverts
  • The Village Hall Trust

9. Questions from members of the public who are resident in Birdham

Signature             LPocock                                              Date  1st April 2015.


Cllr L Pocock

Chairman of the Parish Council