Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of 20th February 2012
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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of 20th February 2012

Birdham Parish Council


Minutes of the Meeting of the Council

 held on Monday 20th February 2012

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall


Present:                     Cllr Barker, Cllr Cobbold Cllr Leach, Cllr Tilbury, Cllr Grafham, Cllr Finch and Cllr Leach.

Apologies:                 Cllr Parks (Chairman), Cllr Bolton and Cllr Crossley.

In attendance:           The Clerk, Cllr Montyn (WSCC & CDC), Cllr Marshall (CDC), and 29 members of the public.

119-11 In the absence of the Chairman, Cllr Parks, on Holiday, the Vice-Chairman Cllr Cobbold took    the Chair.

 120-11 Public Question Time in accordance with SO’s 1d -1l:

There were no questions from members of the public

121-11 Declaration of Interests:

i)      Cllr Barker declared a personal interest in planning application BI/12/00067/FUL as she is a berth holder.

122-11 Approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on the 16th January 2012:

It was resolved that the minutes of the 16th January 2012 be signed as a true and accurate record.

 123-11 Land Bequeathed to the council:

The Clerk reported that the Councils Solicitor had again contacted the Executors of the Adams Estate on the 14th February 2012, advising them that the Council had been given advice about making an application to the Court to have the current executors removed, new executors appointed and to make a formal complaint regarding the lack of progress in the administration of the Estate. On the 16th February a response was received from the co-executor, Mr Grinstead, who expressed concerns about the complaint and promising to speak to Mr Worsley on his return to the office during the week commencing 20th February 2012.

124-11 Neighbourhood Planning:

The Clerk reported that in accordance with the wishes of the Council he had contacted Action in Rural Sussex (AiRS). AiRS had replied that they no longer carry out support at no cost however, both the support and the current price of £2996.00 + VAT was felt to be a reasonable cost.

It was resolved that the Clerk be given the authority to commence the process via AiRS as soon as possible.

125-11 Staffing Committee:

The Clerk was asked by the Chairman to introduce this item. The Clerk said that in order for all functions dealing with staffing issues of whatever nature, a Staffing Committee should be set-up. The Committee would report to the full Council and, ideally, should consist of the Vice-Chairman plus three ordinary members of the Council, thus allowing for a further tier of Council should it be required.

It was resolved that a Staffing Committee be formed with the Vice-Chairman Cllr Cobbold, Cllr J Finch, Cllr M Barker and Cllr A Grafham as its members.

126-11 Clerks’ Report:

i)              WSCC – The Clerk reported that he had received the Capital replacement programme under the Street Lighting Private Initiative (PFI). During that later part of 2011 the programme of works showed that Birdham would have all lighting columns changed in January 2012. The new programme now shows that the replacement work in Birdham will not start until the week commencing 12th March.

ii)             CDC – The Clerk had received a document from CDC entitled Approaches from developers for pre-application discussions. He considered that it was one of the most important documents currently in circulation for people who had more than a passing interest in Planning and Development. He commended it to all present and said that if anyone was interested in receiving a copy he would email it to them if they gave him their email address.

iii)            Other related matters – The Clerk said that he had received an email asking if anyone in Birdham had made a complaint about the amount of ‘Dog Fouling’ that was being experienced, especially in Crooked Lane. Had any fines been handed down to dog owners?

The Clerk had contacted CDC Environmental Protection Department who had said they had received no complaints and had not issued any fixed penalty notices. They went on to say that CDC had only two wardens to cover 300sq miles.

Another suggestion was that Birdham Parish Council form volunteer dog wardens. However, for protection of any volunteer this would need the full support of the both the Police and CDC which had not yet been received.

iv)           Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC – Cllr Montyn said that he had received criticism on the repair work that had been taking place on the Birdham Road when resurfacing work was scheduled to be carried out later this year. He said that the repair work was necessary prior to the resurfacing work being carried out probably over a two day period in June. It had also been signed off during 2011 by the SCLC as necessary repair work.

 127-11 – Advertising in the Newsletter:

            Cllr Finch said that she had been contacted by a number of companies who wished to take advertising space in the Councils Newsletter. Whilst she felt that there was some merit in the idea which could potentially reduce costs to the Council, she was concerned that it would also reduce the available space which may well necessitate increasing the number of pages and the production costs. Equally she was of the opinion that some advertising was of a nature that may not be desirable. Cllr Finch did think that a form of sponsorship might be preferable to advertising and as such she was asked to carry out some research and report back to the Council at the next meeting.

In closing the debate Cllr Finch asked for as many people as possible to sign up to receive the newsletter via email.

128-11 Planning matters including CDC decisions:

The Chairman said that the Council had been notified of the dates of the Madestein UK Ltd (Glasshouses) appeal which were to run from the 27th February at East Pallant House and would finally conclude on the 18th April. She then handed the floor to Cllr Tilbury to continue with the planning applications and decisions received.


 BI/12/00160/TPA Woodland to the west of Greenacres, Birdham

This is an application by the Chichester Harbour Conservancy to remove from a cherry tree small diameter branches (less than 50 mm) which are touching or very close to BT lines to prevent damage to the lines. The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application

BI/12/00073/DOM Barntiles, Pescotts Close, Birdham

Pescotts Close lies within the Birdham SPA and the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Close consists of five bungalows on the south side of the Close some of which have been modified since they built. This application is to build a rear extension of one and a half storeys and a front extension of one storey to fill in what is now a porch on the west end of the front elevation, together with the insertion of various roof lights and a dormer. The front extension would have the effect of squaring off the building. It would then almost exactly mirror Cornerstone to the west. The alterations would not change the ridge height or the extent of the front elevation onto the Close. There will be no appreciable change to the streetscape.

We have two concerns. The filling in of the porch will mean a loss of light, especially morning sum, to the east facing window of the adjoining property, as the new building reaches almost to the curtilage. There will be barely a metre between the buildings.  Also, at the rear of the house, considerable fenestration is shown for Bedroom 4. We note that the bottom section of the Velux roof light will be obscure glazed but are concerned about the loss of privacy to the neighbours through the installation of the dormer window.

We do not feel that these concerns cannot be overcome by negotiation and therefore have NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/12/00067 Premier Marina

This is an application to refurbish the existing ablutions blocks D and R at Chichester Marina. We would point out that the boundary of Birdham and Apuldram Parishes runs through the middle of the Marina. Block D is in Birdham but Block R is in Apuldram.  On a visit we noted that some materials have already been delivered to both sites.

The main changes are to the interior facilities of the buildings and make no significant change to the exterior.

Only a passing reference is made in section 23 of the application to the intention to provide an LPG gas tank compound to the north of each building. Firstly, we would ask that the close boarded fence surrounding this compound be stained green to minimise its visual impact. We would also ask that enquiries be made from the Environmental Health Officer with regard to the placing of this compound, particularly with Block D where it is intended to provide a coffee lounge area with a window facing the gas cylinder and a large family room with small shower, baby change, etc.  Perhaps a better position could have been found for a potentially hazardous substance than adjacent to these facilities. We understand that gas storage of this size should be at least 2.5 metres from the building. This plan shows this one to be 3 metres.

In view of the minimal changes to the exterior appearance (assuming the fence is stained green) and in the expectation that our comments on gas storage will be investigated, the Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/12/00413/DOM Broomfield Studio, Lock Lane, Birdham

The applicant is a former Birdham Parish Councillor and Chairman of the Council. He has played no part in the discussion on this application.

This is an application to re-site and enlarge a greenhouse previously granted consent under BI/05/03404/DOM. Broomfield Studio lies in the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and outside the Birdham SPA.

The re-siting of the greenhouse from the previous consent amount to a move of up to 5 metres along the wall marking the edge of the curtilage. The effect of this will be to make the greenhouse even less visible from all angles than it would have been before.

The enlargement is 2 square metres. This seems to the Council to be unexceptionable.

The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/12/00395/DOM The Hundred House, Hundredsteddle Lane, Birdham

This is an application to install 10 solar panels on the garage adjacent to The Hundred House which is a listed property. The property lies outside the Birdham SPA. The garage, according to the application, was built in 1994 and its proximity to the listed building was presumably found acceptable at that time.

The Council’s main concern was whether the installation of the panels would interfere with the views of the listed property and we are satisfied that they would not.

The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/12/00385/DOM Mile Cottage, Birdham Road, Birdham

This is an application for a rear two storey extension, side single storey and side first floor extension of Mile Cottage which lies in the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and on the edge of the Birdham SPA. To the west and north are bungalows with similar footprints on spacious sites. Mile Cottage stands on a plot of approximately 1020m2. It is a resubmission of BI/11/00632/DOM to which this Council did not object but which was refused by the LPA because its height, scale, bulk and mass would be visually incongruous and intrusive to the visual amenities and rural landscape of the area and failed to take the opportunity to improve the character and quality of the area.

The Council has reviewed its decision not to object to the previous application in the light of the new one. We continue to be concerned that this proposal will be a 77.6% increase in the size of the footprint of the property. We are still concerned about the trend to extend dwellings in this area which depletes the number of smaller properties available to local buyers and concern has been expressed also by Development Control Committee (South) on the failure of LPA Policy H12 to control this. The new design shows a reduction in the projection of the rear extension by 45 cm (18”). This borders on the insignificant and we have discussed the attitude of some developers to make minimal alterations in the light of the LPA’s comments and then resubmit.

However, this application, like the last, must be assessed on its own circumstances. It is a spacious site and the design is such that, in our view, the impact on the locality and the surrounding properties will be minimal, especially as the site is surrounded by a 1.8 metre high fence and hedge and tree screening. It will not detract from the character of this part of Birdham Road since it will be largely unseen. It is not clear to us how this breaches policy BE12. And, contrary to the view of the LPA, neither will it have a great impact by virtue of scale or mass. It will not dominate the properties to the west and north and the only overlooking window will be obscure glazed.

Despite the previous refusal therefore, on balance the Council registers NO OBJECTION to this application.

It was resolved to instruct the Clerk to inform the CDC Planning Department of the Councils decision.


 BI/11/04680/FUL Mr And Mrs Oliver Moorings Westlands Estate Birdham

Replacement house, garage and associated landscaping. PERMIT

BI/11/04943/DOM Mr G Harford Little Burlow Burlow Close Birdham

Double car port on existing drive. PERMIT

BI/11/03616/FUL Chichester Yacht Club Chichester Yacht Club Chichester Marina Birdham Replacement of existing pontoons. Reshaping of existing safety boat zone/land together with new (small) spur taken from existing slipway. PERMIT

 BI/11/04727/DOM Mr D POWELL Boughtons 26 Greenacres Birdham

Two storey side extension. (Resubmission of BI/10/05434/DOM). PERMIT

 BI/11/03520/FUL Mr And Mrs Brown Beaver Lodge Bell Lane Birdham

Use of premises as workshop.  (Variation of BI/03/01923/FUL without complying with Conditions 2 and 3.) PERMIT

It was resolved to note the decisions made by CDC.

129-11 Correspondence – In addition to that already circulated.

The Clerk had received the following;

i)    A letter from a local resident seeking sponsorship to enable her to progress in her sport, Judo. The Clerk explained that whilst he considered this application a worthy request, under current legislation the Council is prevented, by law, in acquiescing to the request.

The Chairman felt that this was the sort of help that Cllr Crossley may well be able to provide with his contacts at Sport England and others.

ii)   A letter from Rampion of Sussex containing a free Sussex Flag. The letter explained the origins of the flag and its acceptance as the official flag of Sussex along with a request that we might fly the flag on Sussex Day on Saturday the 16th June.

iii)  A letter from the Chairman of the Village Hall Trust acknowledging receipt of the Clerks letter asking for charges to the Council for the use of the hall be reviewed. He then asked if the Council would give permission for the Village Hall Trust to use the Playing Field for car boot sales on the 28th April, 26th May, 30th June and 28th July with 25th August as a reserve.

It was resolved to allow the Village Hall Trust to use the playing field on the dates requested.

130-11 Affordable Housing – Site Selection Working Group.

In the absence of Cllr Bolton, Cllr Barker outlined the work that had been carried out by the Group. She expressed disappointment that the Officers of CDC had refused to meet with the Group to explain the reasons why of the 16 sites that had originally been submitted all had been rejected with the exception of the Crooked Lane Site.

Cllr Barton presented the minutes of the meeting that had taken place and spoke briefly about the Terms of Reference which had been circulated.

Cllr Marshall said that he had spoken to the main Officers of CDC to determine the reasons behind this refusal to meet with the Working Group. It had been explained to him that rather than meet with a very small number of people CDC would prefer to speak to the whole village through an open meeting. He also recommended that the decision on the continuance of the Group and its ToR’s should be deferred until after the meeting with CDC had taken place.

The Clerk suggested that whilst the Working Group could not legally operate until ToR’s had been agreed by the Council and, coupled with the suggestion that the continuance of the Working Group be deferred until after the open meeting with CDC, he felt that the only way the Group could operate was as an ad-hoc group of interested Councilor’s and Residents with no official recognition or support by Birdham Parish Council. This was accepted as a temporary arrangement.

A resident asked if the meeting would take the form of a theatre style meeting, which would be preferred, rather than something along the lines of the previous exhibition.

Another resident said that the meeting should definitely be a theatre style. He had also written to the local MP asking him to bring pressure onto the CDC to meet with the Working Group.

The Clerk said that he had been given the impression by Sam Irving that the meeting would be a theatre style but that it should not be taken as a guaranteed.

Another resident and member of the Working Group said that he was not prepared to just step back and do nothing after the amount of work that had been done.

The Chairman in winding up the debate asked if the ad-hoc working group would put together questions that they and residents wished to have answered and forward these to the Clerk who would then forward them to members of the Council and CDC.

131-11 Emergency Planning:

In the absence of Cllr Crossley, Cllr Grafham presented a report which can be found at Annex A to these minutes.

i)      Play area and playing field – Cllr Grafham presented a detailed report on the Play Area and playing field which can be found at Annex B to these minutes. The Clerk thanked Cllr Grafham for his report and said that he would get quotes for the remedial work to be carried out.

ii)      Village Green and Pond – The Clerk said that he had again contacted the charity that had been suggested as potentially able to help with the work required to the pond but had still received no response. He would chase them again. He would also chase the seat repairs as the seat nearest the pump was possibly a danger.

iii)     Police and Neighbourhood Watch – PCSO Bainbridge had apologised for not being in attendance and asked for her report to read as follows.

Since the successful and well attended Street Briefing at St James' Close on 11th January, there had been no further reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.  However, patrols would still be conducted in Birdham day and night.

There is an abandoned vehicle in Farne Close which has been placed on the Crackdown website for removal. (https://www.operationcrackdown.org)

Neighbourhood Watch in Greenacres had reported a tipper truck whose occupants were trying to sell pea shingle.  A description of the males occupants and the vehicle have passed on for intelligence.

At the last Birdham, Itchenor and West Wittering Neighbourhood Management Panel Meeting on 30th January, the following priorities were identified:

Anti-Social Driving, Anti-Social Behaviour and the third priority Oil Theft / Burglary and Marine Theft.  These are all current issues.

Security advice is constantly being given with the message that prevention is better than cure.  Private oil tanks should also be secured and protected.

Cllr Tilbury said that a new PCSO was currently in training and would take his place on the Team as soon as possible.

iv)     Communications/Parish Newsletter/Website – Cllr Finch referred to her previously circulated paper concerning the Annual Parish Meeting. She explained that previously the Meeting had been held on the same day as a normal Council Meeting which she felt did not make the meeting special and was certainly not inclusive. Cllr Finch went on to propose that the Annual Parish Meeting should be become a more engaging event with local groups invited to speak for a few minutes. That the meeting should be held separately from any other Council Meeting.

It was resolved to hold the Annual Parish Meeting on date to be arranged, independently from any other Council Meeting.

The Parish Newsletter was due for delivery early in March. Again Cllr Finch requested that as many as possible give their permission to use email delivery.

The Clerk reported that the website was nearing completion requiring, approximately, two days to finish the work. It was suggested, and agreed, that the 1st April would be a good time to

v)      Other – Nil

133-11 Finance:

i)       The Clerk presented the financial report to the Council which showed the following figures;

Balances held at Bank:           £25286.85

Designated Funds:                  £25557.04

Available Funds:                    -£    270.19

Creditors:                                 £    312.09

The Clerk said that the report gave the indication that the Council had fallen into a negative situation which was not the case. The over spend was against the agreed budget and had been brought about by the unbudgeted amounts to cover legal fees and vandalism.

It was resolved to accept the financial report.

ii)      The Clerk reported that he had received a quotation from M H Kennedy & Son to carry out grass maintenance which showed an increase of just 4%.  However, other companies had been asked to quote for comparison purposes and were awaited.

134 -11 Reports from Councillors attending meetings

Cllr Finch reported that she had attended a Seminar on Supporting Communities in Planning. She had found the seminar to be invaluable in helping her understand the planning process and the structure of Neighbourhood Planning. Cllr Finch said that she would be attending a more technical seminar on planning in March.

135-11 Items for inclusion in the next meeting:

Situation of the Funding Applications.

Site Selection Working Group.

Web Site.

Emergency Plan.

PC/Website demonstration 14th July.

136-11 Date of Next Meeting.

              19th March 2012 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall


 There being no further business to discuss the meeting closed at 8.47 pm



Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________




Annex A



Cllr Crossley has contacted:

‣      Lloyd Harris (CDC Emergency Planning Officer)

‣      Sally Lillywhite (Birdham Nursery)

‣      Wendy Pitty (Birdham Neighbourhood Watch) - Not available for meeting but will send representative (tbc after 21st Feb).

‣      Justin Goodwin (resident)

‣      Birdham Stores

‣      Russell’s Nursery

‣      Sure Fields Farming

‣      Alan Drew

‣      Birdham School


Lloyd Harris has sent through links to documents on the CDC website that all participants need to be familiar with.

Link: https://www.chichester.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=19467

First Meeting

The first meeting of the key stake holders in the development of an Emergency Plan for Birdham will take place in the village hall on Friday 2nd March, 1.30pm to 3.00pm.

Newsletter Update

Cllr Crossey has sent information through for including in the next BPC newsletter (to be edited as necessary).

Birdham takes steps to develop its own Emergency Plan/Community Resilience Plan.

 What is this?

A community resilience plan is the increasing ability of a local community to respond to, and recover from, an incident or emergency either alongside the emergency services, or in their absence due to abnormal circumstances.

To find out more, please look at the Chichester District Council webpages and be familiar with the relevant documentation links.


Lloyd Harris

Emergency Planning/Business Continuity Officer

Health and Community Wellbeing

Chichester District Council

Tel: 01243 53 4616 | Fax: 01243 776766 | lhharris@chichester.gov.uk | https://www.chichester.gov.uk

www.facebook.com/ChichesterDistrictCouncil | www.twitter.com/ChichesterDC

Crossley has organised a first stage meeting of key stakeholders who will be working on the development of a plan for Birdham. The meeting is scheduled for Friday 2nd March at 1330hrs until 1500hrs. Stakeholder volunteers currently include representatives from Birdham Stores, church, school, petrol station, neighbourhood watch, local business and residents with key skills, such as medical and engineering. If you can volunteer please contact sr_crossley@onetel.com or telephone Cllr Crossley on 01243 512547.

Annex B

Birdham Parish Council – Play Area and playing field

 Date of last check: 19th Feb 2012



Play park – fencing 3 posts in need of repair/replacement/additional support : 1st, 2nd and 4th posts from southwest corner (facing out to field) – concrete spur as per other repairs?
Play park – gates Main gate from village hall entrance:

  • Springs are rusty.

Gate at Farne Lane end:

  • bottom hinge is coming away from gate causing the gate to lean outwards and not close properly.
Play park – swings Good
Play park – toddler swing Good
Play park – roundabout Good
Play park – slide Good
Play park – wooden bridge Good
Play park – wobble board Good
Play park – climbing frame Good
Play park – chain walk Good
Play park – grass Recently cut and looking good, apart from the moles!
Play park – bins Good
Play park – general
  • Some litter, but not excessive
  • Ground is a little uneven in places following earlier mole treatment and the holes and dips have become a hidden menace as they are hidden by the grass
Field – hedges Good
Field – trees
  • Rope swing on one tree inside boundary. Swing currently out of reach!
  • This and another trees could do with some minor attention to remove low broken or dead branches.
Field – goal posts
  • Nets still in good condition and being used regularly (village hall end at least)
Field – grass Good
Field – gates Good
Field – bridges Good
Field – bench Good
Field - general Good
Other Following reports of dog-fouling in nearby areas of the village I have been checking the fields. I found a few examples.