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Birdham Parish Council > Minutes > Minutes Nov 2007

Minutes Nov 2007

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 19th November 2007 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall.Present: Cllr Tilbury; Cllr Howat; Cllr Ms Leach; Cllr Mrs Cobbold; Cllr Ms Huskisson; Cllr Churchill; Cllr Meynell

In attendance: The Clerk; 7 members of the public; PCSO Rose Bainbridge;

61-07cl. Apologies were received from Cllr Mrs Parks.

62-07cl. Declaration of interests Cllr Meynell declared interests on BI/07/04978/LBC, BI/07/04976/FUL and BI/07/04892/DOM.

63-07cl. Approve and sign the Minutes of the Meeting held on 15th October 2007 It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Cobbold and seconded by Cllr Howat RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15th October 2007 and that they be signed by the Chairman.

64-07cl. Matters arising from the Minutes dated 15th October 2007.
i) Min 52-07cl i) Japanese knotweed. The Clerk reported that Steve Johnson had replied to her latest letter saying that the County Council does not deal with Japanese knotweed when it is on private land, and the Council will need to approach the owners of the land to encourage them to remove it.
ii) Min 52-07cl iv) Dog bins – the Chairman reported that he had spoken with the Chairmen of Westlands and Greenacres and they had responded that they are happy about it. The Clerk had been in contact with Richard Gill from the depot at CDC (who would be responsible for installing it). He has said that if it is on the public highway it will be installed for nothing, but if it is on private land it will cost £340.91 to install. It will also cost £202 per annum to empty. However, he knows the area and does not think there is sufficient demand for a bin there. He has offered to visit the area with the dog warden to see if just putting up more signs or speaking to dog walkers would be sufficient to get them to take their dogs’ mess home. After discussion it was agreed to ask Mr Gill to do this before the next meeting.
iii) Min 53-07cl b)ii) Licensing policy – the Chairman reported that he had been unable to access the information on-line. This was noted.
iv) Min 53-07cl b)iii) Local Character enhancement grants – councillors had been asked to suggest ways in which one of these might be used. The Chairman felt a village sign might be appropriate. Clerk to find out from Stebbings how much it might cost.
v) Min 54-07cl possible footpath in Church Lane – the Chairman reported that he had written a draft letter to Chris Stark of the Highways Department which had been circulated to all councillors. After discussion it was decided to send the letter.

65-07cl. Clerk’s Report including:
a) WSCC reports, highways matters and correspondence
i) The Countryside Access Forum for West Sussex has sent its Annual Report which will be placed in the correspondence file. This was noted.
ii) Kathy Eels the Access Ranger will be visiting the parish shortly. If councillors are aware of any paths which need attention, they should let the Clerk know and she will pass the information on.
iii) West Sussex Tree Wardens have written to offer more trees under the Trees for Shade plan. Grants up to £50 may be available. Tree wardens will be asked to propose places for these trees. It was felt that they would like to have two larger trees which might be better able to survive, and possibly alders if they are to be in the field. Possible sites to be suggested by the next meeting.
b) CDC reports including correspondence
i) The Clerk had advertised a casual vacancy for the place on the Parish Council and no election had been called for, so the Council may co-opt as soon as it finds someone who is interested in being a councillor. The Clerk will advertise the vacancy as a co-option as soon as possible.
c) other related matters
i) The Standards Board for England wrote to the Clerk to ask if the Council had adopted the new Code of Conduct. She replied that they have, and apologised for omitting to inform them of this at the time.
ii) The Council has received some information about the Cats’ Protection League’s neutering programme. This was noted and will be placed in the next newsletter.
iii) The Clerk is proposing the following dates for the Council to meet in the first half of next year – 21st January; 18th February; 17th March; 21st April; 19th May; 16th June. These are all the third Monday in the month. It was agreed to approve these dates.

66-07cl. Planning matters including CDC decisions:
A paper detailing planning matters had been circulated to all councillors.

Plans to be considered by the Council:

BI/07/05327/DOM – Mr NA Hayes, Havenhurst, Sidlesham Lane, Birdham – Single storey garden shed and store. It was proposed by Cllr Meynell and seconded by Cllr Churchill RESOLVED to recommend only temporary permission, and that the shed be only permitted for use as a garden shed and store, and not for any commercial use or as accommodation.

BI/07/05056/DOM – 114A, Crooked Lane, Birdham – demolition of garage and erection of 2 storey extension. – It was proposed by Cllr Ms Huskisson and seconded by Cllr Meynell RESOLVED to OBJECT on the grounds that the original development was to be a smaller, more affordable property, as is much needed in Birdham, and this would take the property out of that range.

Plans considered since the last meeting to be ratified:

BI/07/04978/LBC and BI/07/04976/DOM – Well House, Lock Lane, Birdham – Fenestration alterations and cladding reinstatement to painted joinery shiplap.
The architect for this development is a member of Birdham Parish Council and has taken no part in the consideration of this application.

The Council considers that great care has been taken in this application to strip away unfortunate previous work on this listed building and to restore it to something like its original form. The Council raises NO OBJECTION to this application but would like to see further consideration paid to the unsightly solar panel on the west elevation. We support the use of solar panels but would like to see a design more suitable to the listed status of this house.

BI/07/04815/FUL – Far End, 6, Burlow Close, Birdham – proposed first floor rear extension, dormer windows to front and rear and conversion of Far End into 2 no. self-contained, semi-detached cottages.
Burlow Close is a private road of detached bungalows on the edge of Birdham village, some of which back directly onto the Chichester Harbour AONB. Their rear boundaries form the border of the Birdham Built Up Area. Far End lies at the end of this cul-de-sac. The maintenance of the road is paid for by contributions from the riparian owners and the road was resurfaced in the last five years.

The proposal is to convert this three bedroom bungalow into two smaller dwellings of one and a half storeys with dormer windows in the roof. Comparison has been made with a similar conversion at Sandpipers in Crooked Lane. Despite the proximity of Sandpipers, the character of Burlow Close is entirely different and we consider that this application has to be seen on its own merits.

Policy RE14 sections 3 (first sentence) and 6 would seem to apply here. The Council does not consider that the conversion would materially alter the character of Burlow Close or that the development could be refused under Policy RE4. Consideration should be given however to the creation of a precedent in this part of the close by the conversion of a bungalow into (effectively) a two storey house.

Concern has been expressed to us about access to the site during building operations and, having visited the site, we share those concerns. The section of the road approaching the site is, we are told, tarmac on hard core and would be easily damaged by heavy lorry traffic. The entrance to the site itself is bordered on the right by an oak tree with a Preservation Order which we would insist must be protected by a two metre fenced zone during building work. This would however reduce the width of the entrance which is bordered on the right by a neighbour’s unfenced lawn under which run the main services. There is also no room for vehicles to turn in this part of the road and on the site and any vehicle parked on the road would inevitably block neighbours’ entrances. We would like to see a scheme by the developer to overcome these problems and also to know that he is fully insured against damage to neighbours’ properties and their main services. It should also be a condition that the road and the verges approaching the property must be returned to their original condition after work is completed. Because of the character of this road there should be a condition limiting the times at which work can take place, i.e. during the normal working day and not in the evenings or at weekends.

The site is enclosed to the north and east by substantial planting. It is important that this should be maintained and developed, especially to the east, where the nearest neighbour would suffer significant loss of privacy from the installation of the dormer window on the north end of the east elevation. We would like to see a scheme for this.

Our final concern is with parking spaces. The property lies at the highest end of the close and impermeable surfaces for parking would cause run-off which would exacerbate existing problems at the house marked 5 on the location plan.

It will be clear that the Council can find no material grounds to oppose the application on the property itself but must OBJECT unless satisfactory reassurances from the developer can be given on the points made on the consequences of the development.

BI/07/04892/DOM – The Old Rectory, Crooked Lane, Birdham – buttress support on road side.

The architect for this development is a member of Birdham Parish Council and has taken no part in the consideration of this application.

The Council raises NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/07/05006/FUL – Birdham Business Park – demolish existing bungalow and erect 3 no. B1 units on bungalow site and adjoining industrial land.
Birdham Business Park (Allmans) is a self-contained collection of offices, warehousing and manufacturing units, situated on the south side of Birdham Road (known locally at this point as Birdham Straight) approximately half a mile north of the Built Up Area of Birdham and on the other side of the road from the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site would be clearly visible from the AONB were it not for a screen of mixed trees and shrubs on the road edge of the site. There has been another planned extension to the site in the past year.

The first part of this application proposes the demolition of The Old Cottage, which is shown on the 1875 Ordinance Survey map and appears to be older than that. The front of the cottage has retained its integrity as a modest, rural labourer’s cottage and we wonder why it was not listed earlier as an example of the vernacular architecture of this area. It has been much neglected, although it is lived in at present, and allowed to fall into a certain amount of decay. More seriously, the development of Allmans Engineering works and now the Business Park have left the cottage surrounded and dwarfed by industrial buildings. With reluctance, the Council feels it cannot oppose the demolition of this building.

The major part of this application is for the erection of three B1 industrial units on the bungalow site and adjoining land, the provision of parking spaces for cars, cycles and lorries and the extension of the visibility splay at the entrance to the site.

The Council is not opposed to the erection of these units on this self-contained site and policy RE12 encourages proposals for additional employment opportunities. However, the Policy goes on to make the provision that such buildings will not be visually damaging or obtrusive in the landscape. Policy B5 makes further provisions to protect the impact of the appearance of the building in the landscape because of light pollution (subsection 3) and height and bulk (subsection 5). The Council therefore raises concerns about
• The materials to be used for the building, which will not match others on the site. Silver grey panels and a grey roof will be much more obtrusive in a building which will be clearly visible from the AONB. Darker colours have been used to good effect elsewhere on the site. The present suggestions are aesthetically unacceptable in a rural context. Similar colours are a source of constant criticism at Premier business Park further along the A286.
• The screening of the site. We understand the need to extend the visibility splay and assume this will mean the loss of the existing laurel hedge which appears to be about fifteen feet high. We are further alarmed that drawing P102 appears to show retail development on the Birdham Road elevation. (It is not possible to tell if the car is inside the building or outside; if it is outside it is an right angles to the parking space) We would be totally opposed to any extension of the operations on this site beyond offices, warehousing and light manufacture.
• The affect of this development, close to the road, on a gateway site for Birdham. We do not wish to emulate the situation in many French villages and increasingly in this country where the first impression of a rural village is of banal, commercial development. Neither do we wish to encourage ribbon development along Birdham Straight. We note that only low level planting is envisaged along the visibility splay. There are some indications of trees on drawings P100 and SK001 but these appear perfunctory. The Council wishes to see the entire scheme screened from the road and the AONB by planting at least as high as the existing laurel hedge and extending the full length of the development at least as far as the gates to the removals warehousing. We would press for consideration of a four metre wide buffer zone between the visibility play and the car parking.
• The extra traffic movements occasioned by the further extension of the site, adjacent to the A286 which is already notorious for its heavy use at all times of the day.

The Council considers that it has enough questions about the quality, suitability and screening of this development to OBJECT to it until we have satisfactory assurances from the developer that our concerns about the preservation of the character or this part of the village have been met.

CDC decisions:

BI/07/03838/TPA – 23 Longmeadow Gardens, PO20 7HP – Crown reduce by 30% 1 no. Black poplar tree (T5) and fell 2 no. Larch trees (T6 and T&) all three subject to TPO/27/BI – PERMIT

BI/07/04056/DOM and BI/07/04058/LBC – The Thatched Cottage, Shipton Green Lane, Itchenor, PO20 7BL – construction of new three-bay single storey garage and new entrance to Itchenor Road. Existing parking are changed to garden with new fence to adjacent service access road. PERMIT

BI/07/04531/TPA – 31 Walwyn Close, Birdham PO20 7SR – Cut back to previous wound points thin by 20% south east segment, remove lowest branch overhanging school playing field on 1 no. oak (T4) subject to TPO/28/BI – PERMIT

BI/07/03759/DOM – By Harbour, Westlands, PO20 7HJ – Conservatory to rear of property – PERMIT

BI/07/04658/DOM – Yendor House, Hundredsteddle Lane, PO20 7BL – change of use of garage into ancillary accommodation (granny annexe). Change of use of loft to habitable rooms, Detached garage. PERMIT

BI/07/02832/FUL – Premier Business Park, Birdham Road, PO20 7BU – Replacement office accommodation – PERMIT

BI/07/03767/TPA – Magherymore, Claytons Corner PO20 7HQ – Removal/tidy up of damaged limbs on 1 no. horse chestnut (T2) reduction of north east sector by 2m and thin by 15% on 1 no. Silver Birch tree (T3). Re-pollard 1 no. weeping willow tree (T4). All three trees subject to TPO/32/BI – PERMIT

BI/07/04495/DOM – Windward, Westlands, PO20 7HS – Two storey and single storey side extensions and relocation of garage – PERMIT
It was proposed by Cllr Howat and seconded by Cllr Churchill RESOLVED to ratify the decisions taken since the last meeting.

67-07cl. Correspondence
Correspondence to be circulated includes:

CPRE Countryside Voice Autumn 2007
South Chichester County Local Committee 28th November
Meals on wheels leaflets
Fields in Trust Fields Focus September 2007
Chichester Harbour Conservancy Press Release – Earth Air and Water
CPRE Sussex Review Autumn 2007
Action in Rural Sussex – various
Welfare Benefits Project
CDC Policy Development Committee Minutes – health service meeting
The Local Column October 2007
WSCC – forward plan of Key Decisions November 2007 – February 2008
LCR November 2007
National Training Strategy – Continuous Professional Development- Working with Local Councils

68-07cl. Reports:
i) Village Hall – the Chairman reported that there will be a few changes to the hall shortly. The Clerk reported that the Village Hall Trust has now paid for the use of the playing field during the past summer.
ii) Play Area and Playing Field – PlaySafety will be carrying out the work in the play area as soon as possible. The Clerk has written to the Council’s insurers who have said that they would wish to see a sign saying No Golf unless the Council can find some other practical measure to control the problem. The Clerk also met with the Chairman and David Slater from Goodrowes, to try to obtain a current price for draining the field. They felt the work was more complicated than they would usually cope with, but they will contact someone else who may be able to give an approximate price.
iii) Village Green and Pond – the Chairman was asked last March to look at the flooding at the end of Court Barn Lane. This will involve a large number of people and it may be difficult to get them all together. It probably needs a large size conduit under the road.
iv) Neighbourhood Watch – Wendy Pitty had reported that there had been no reported crime. She and her husband had attended the Neighbourhood Watch AGM and there had been a lot of concern about the police changes to the system. It seems that none of the coordinators is happy with the proposed alterations. This was noted. PSCO Bainbridge commented on this. There will be a dedicated PC for this area. It is hoped that the link will not be lost for the Neighbourhood Watch although it will be done differently. Street briefings will also be available.
v) Tree Wardens – packs have been sent for each of the tree wardens from WSCC. The Council was asked to agree to apply for permission to have some work done on Mr Adams’ oak tree which overhangs the playing field. The Clerk is to ask Arbortech if they wish to do this, or if we should. This was agreed. The Chairman raised the issue of the twisted willow at the pond, and whether it could be re-planted near the church. After discussion it was decided that the Chairman would speak to Mr Francis’ widow and the church about this. Oak trees in Lock Lane form an avenue. The Council would like to TPO these. It was agreed that the CDC Tree officer should be asked to look at these. Also the footpath alongside the upper pool has oaks which would benefit from protection.
vi) other

69-07cl. Finance including first part of setting the precept.
Payments made since the last meeting to be ratified:

Clerk’s salary October 530.33
Adrian Dover, grass September 88.00
Principal I Ltd – photocopier contract, includes 9.74 VAT 65.39
WSCC – streetlight maintenance, includes 70.82 VAT 475.49

Receipts, current account – Playing Field rental (150) and contribution to phone plus photocopies (17.77) 167.77
Receipts, Village Hall account – nil
Receipts, deposit account – nil

Payments to be considered:

CDC grass cutting includes 29.80 VAT 200.08
Adrian Dover, grass October 70.50
Chichester Ship Canal Trust, donation 75.00 and subscription 25.00 100.00
(approved in May 2007)
Clerk’s back-pay and expenses, includes 3.59 VAT 202.20

Notes: The clerk has reclaimed £603.64 VAT, which has not yet appeared on the bank statement. She has transferred £2000 from the deposit account to the current account to meet this month’s bills.
It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Cobbold and seconded by Cllr Tilbury RESOLVED to approve the financial report. The council then discussed the first part of setting the precept and agreed to leave further discussion and approval until the following meeting.

70-07cl. Reports of meetings attended by councillors
Annual Meeting with the Parishes – Cllr Howat reported briefly.
The slides of the presentation on Post Office and the spreadsheet of the village shops are both available for councillors to look at. Cllr Howat had also attended an Espace and Manhood Peninsula Partnership meeting and will give a fuller report at the next meeting. Cllr Churchill attended a session of the Sussex Wildlife Trust and has learnt to spot water voles.

71-07cl. Public session a member of the public said that a slow worm has been spotted by the pond. He also asked if the dips in the field could be filled in, or was there anything such as a drainage-promoting worm? This was noted.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9.35pm