Minutes December 2009
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Minutes December 2009

Birdham Parish Council

Minutes of the Meeting held on Monday 21st December 2009 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

Present:           Cllr Tilbury, Cllr Mrs Parks, Cllr Meynell, Cllr Ms Huskisson, Cllr Mrs Leach

Apologies:       Cllr Howatt, Cllr Mrs Cobbold, Cllr Churchill

In attendance: The Clerk, County and District Councillor P Jones, and 4 members of the public.

84-09cl. Chairman’s remarks

The Chairman advised Council that he had received a resignation letter from Cllr Howatt which was to be effective as at the 21st December. He also said that with Councils permission he would write to Mr Howatt expressing the Councils gratitude for his work over the preceding years.

85-09cl.Declarations of interest

Cllr Meynell declared an interest in planning application BI/09/07465/FUL

86-09cl.Minutes of the meeting held on the 23rd November.

Resolved: that the minutes of the 23rd November 2009 be signed as a true and accurate record.

Proposed by Clr Meynell seconded by Cllr Parks

87-09cl.Matters arising from the Minutes

a)     Clerks contact details - All members had received full contact details prior to the meeting taking place.

b)    Casual Vacancies – The Clerk reported on the format to be undertaken in declaring the vacancies and was authorised to   proceed with effect from the 1st January 2010.

c)     Bus Shelter Seat – No prices were available at the time. However it was hoped that they would be available for the January meeting.

d)    Youth Matters – The Chairman reported that he had been unable to contact the church youth worker but would continue to try post the meeting.

e)     Affordable Housing- The Chairman reported that, as CDC had been unable to purchase the land opposite the school no further action could be taken at this time. The Chairman stated that no-one had purchased the land as some legal problems needed to be resolved. Technically Mr King still owned the Land. Mr David Barrett - a resident, stated that having talked to surveyors there seemed to be some doubt about the ownership of entrance ways etc. He also felt that confusion was rife. The Chairman was asked by Mr Barrett who the other potential purchaser might be but he could not positively answer. He did however state that the land could not be used for residential development as it was outside of the SPA. Cllr Meynell said that if housing was approved then it would be for local people only. Mr Barrett stated that his neighbour was concerned about the number of surveyors etc asking him about his boundary. Mr Way – a resident stated that he was one of the potential purchasers of the land in question and complemented the Chairman on the way that he had dealt with the subject in terms of tact and transparency.

f)     Newsletter – The Chairman apologised for the non-appearance of the newsletter and suggested that this would be better dealt with in the New Year.

88-09cl.Clerk’s Report including:

a)     The Clerk reported that he had received a report and an invitation from WSCC on the subject of Minerals and Waste Development.

b)    The Governance Committee of WSCC was advocating a change to the boundaries of the Southern Area Division County Committee, suggesting that the number of committees should be reduced with just one County Committee dealing with the entirety of the Chichester District. County Councillor P Jones endorsed the chairman’s summation of the situation and said that WSCC thought that more work needed to be done prior to any final decision being made. A member of the public asked if any good had come from the Committees. The Chairman said that whilst the Committees had monies to spend they appeared not to be of a general benefit.

c)     Drainage improvements to the northern end of the Birdham Straight are scheduled to start on the 4th January and would continue for approximately 7 weeks.

89-09cl.Planning matters including CDC decisions (if available):

BI/09/04673/FUL The Dinghy Park, Lock Lane, Birdham

This site lies within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and outside the Settlement Policy Area (Built Up Area) for Birdham. It is the policy of Birdham Parish Council to oppose new development outside the SPA under policies RE1 and RE4 of the Chichester District Council Local Plan 1999 unless a need is established. This piece of land has been used as a dinghy park and the owners had applied to erect a building and continue to use the land as a boat storage facility. As the applicant states: “ there was considerable concern from local residents”, and the Parish Council opposed that application, which was subsequently withdrawn.

This application states that “It is felt that a better alternative for this site would be for residential use in what is residential area”. That may be the applicant’s feeling; it is not the feeling of the Council. The site lies well away from the main residential part of the village. Access is by private roads from each direction. The only residential dwellings here date from before the time when planning was viewed as carefully as it is now and, as the site lies outside the SPA, considerable need would have to be established to allow any more. No such need is established. The Council is also aware that to allow this application would establish a dangerous precedent for other applications in this sensitive area close to Chichester Harbour.

While the Council appreciates the change in the launching rights from the present dinghy park it is also aware that there is a shortage of such storage facilities in the village and would view the loss of this site with regret. It would hope that a means could be found of negotiating new launching rights.

Resolved: That Birdham Parish Council wishes to OBJECT to this application

Proposed by Cllr Ms Huskisson and seconded by Cllr Mrs Leach


The Clerk reported that he had received the following:

a)     The up to date Register of Electors,

b)    A letter from CDC advising of the Core Strategy, Focus on Strategic Growth Options,

c)     A public consultation document on the Local Development Framework plus flyers,

d)    A letter from the Sussex Air Ambulance Fund requesting a contribution to the fund.

e)     The Chairman said that he had agreed with the Clerk that, in future, email communications to the Council will be forwarded to Councillors but the wallet system for circulating hard copy will be suspended. The Clerk will give a list of items received in hard copy at each Council meeting and members may ask to see them.


a)     The Clerk reported that he had contacted the insurance company with a view to submitting a claim for the shed that had been destroyed in the recent high winds. However, it was discovered that the metal shed was not insured but, that a wooden one was. It was therefore decided to take no further action on the claim.

b)    The land that has been bequeathed to the Parish has not yet been legally transferred. The Chairman will follow this up with the solicitor.

c)     An email had been received from Natural England concerning the Village Green and dredging of the Pond requesting more information on the level of protection. The Clerk was asked to contact Sarah Hughes at CDC for more information and report to both the Council and Natural England.

d)    Neighbourhood Watch - None

92-09cl. Finance:

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

Balances held at Bank: £51855.60

Designated Funds: £25579.04

Creditors: £1045.91

Resolved: To accept the financial report.

Proposed by Cllr Meynell, seconded by Cllr Leach.

b)    The draft budget/precept document was tabled for discussion. This showed a precept request of £33932.00 which allowed for the tax to remain at £44.00 on a band D property.

Resolved: That the precept be set at £33932.00

Proposed by the Chairman Cllr Tilbury, seconded by Cllr Huskisson .

c)     The Clerk reported that he had received confirmation from Principal1 that title of the photocopier had now passed to the Parish Council. He also confirmed that he had cancelled the maintenance contract and requested permission from the Council to dispose of the machine as it was no longer required.

Resolved: That the Photocopier be disposed of and the asset register be amended accordingly

Proposed by the Chairman Cllr Tilbury and seconded by Cllr Huskisson

93-09cl Reports from Councillors attending meetings:

a)     The Chairman reported on the Peninsular Forum and his and Mr Keith Morgan’s letter about the A27. An initial response had been received but was unsatisfactory. A second letter has been dispatched requesting that a fuller and more detailed response is both expected and required.

b)    The Chairman had attended the stake holders meeting of the WSCC PCT. He felt that overall the meeting was full of management speak however, the Trust are hoping to obtain University status at Chichester. The Government wants all hospitals to achieve foundation status by 2012. They also addressed the shortage of disabled car parking spaces.

94-09cl. Public session:

The Chairman asked Cllr Jones if CDC had made any decisions concerning the car parking short term costs at the Witterings. Cllr Jones stated that no final decision had yet been made. The implementation of the new system had been delayed until 2010

There being no further business to be dealt with the meeting closed at 8.35pm