Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of the 19th September 2011
Birdham Parish Council
Minutes of the Meeting of the Council
held on Monday 19th September 2011
at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall
Present: Cllr Parks (Chairman), Cllr Cobbold, Cllr Tilbury, Cllr Finch, Cllr Barker,
Cllr Grafham, Cllr Crossley, Cllr Bolton, Cllr Leach.
Apologies: PCSO Bainbridge.
In attendance: The Clerk, Cllr Montyn (WSCC & CDC), Cllr Marshall (CDC) and sixteen members of the public.
44-11 Apologies for absence
There were none.
45-11 Urgent/additional items notified to the Chairman or the Clerk prior to the meeting
The Chairman raised the subject of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in 2012 and asked that members give consideration to initiating a working group.
46-11 Public Question Time in accordance with SO’s 1d -1l
A member of the public asked about the progress and consultancy concerning the affordable housing. The Clerk said that the CDC Enabling Officer was due to speak to the Council at its October meeting and until that point the Council had no facts to offer.
A question was also raised about the provision of a waste bin to be installed in the bus stop opposite the Birdham Stores. The Clerk said that this was to be included in the budget for 2012/13.
There were no other questions.
47-11 Declaration of Interests
The Chairman declared a personal interest in planning application number BI/11/03520/FUL
Bell Caravan Park, Bell Lane, Birdham.
48-11 Approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on the 18th July 2011
It was resolved that the minutes of the 18th July 2011 be signed as a true and accurate record.
49-11 Emergency Planning
Unfortunately Mr Lloyd Harris of CDC was unexpectedly detained elsewhere and was unable to be present to brief the Council.
50-11 Land Bequeathed to the council
The Clerk reminded the Council of the decision made at the July Council meeting to proceed with the advice of the Councils solicitor. Subsequently two weeks’ notice to respond had been given to the Executors of the late Mr Adams will. It was no surprise that the Executors failed to respond until a second letter had been sent outlining the possibility of seeking their removal as executors. This letter initiated a response that, whilst not what had been expected, did include the draft transfer documents. These documents exceeded what was included, and the intent, in the will and have as a result been returned to the executors for amendment by our solicitors and the solicitors acting for the other beneficiary.
The Clerk was now in the position of waiting for the Councils solicitor and those of the other beneficiary to arrange a date and time for a meeting to determine the next course of action.
It was resolved that the Clerk be authorised to continue with, and along the current path.
51-11 Clerks’ Report:
i) WSCC – The Clerk reported said that he had received an invitation from East & West Sussex Fire Service to a meeting on the 28th September at 2.30pm at The Assembly Room in Chichester. He asked for an indication of Councillor attendance however, at the time there was no-one available.
ii) CDC – An invitation had been received by the Clerk for two members of the Council to attend the CDC Meeting With The Parishes on the 19th October. It was resolved that Cllrs Finch and Cobbold should attend.
iii) Other related matters – There were none
iv) Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC – Cllr Montyn reported that as yet no indication had been received from Stagecoach concerning the proposed cuts to bus subsidies. He went on to say that at the moment a tremendous amount of time was being spent on the Highways as a matter of some priority and acknowledged the application by Birdham Parish Council for a 20mph speed limit. A resident asked why there had been no Police presence in Sidlesham Lane to enforce the 40mph speed limit and why could this not be included in the 20mph proposal? In answer it was stated that the 20mph proposal was requested for the north of the Birdham Straight as a first step in obtaining a village wide limit
Cllr Tilbury encouraged all residents to complete questionnaire on the back of the last newsletter and return it as soon as possible.
52-11 Planning matters including CDC decisions:
BI/11/02728/FUL Birdham Nursery School, Crooked Lane, Birdham
This is an application to build a new nursery school on the Birdham Primary School site in order to move the Nursery from its present accommodation in the Village Hall.
We are aware that our scope for comment is limited as the County is its own planning authority. Nonetheless there are factors we would like the planners to take into account before approving this application at either District or County level.
We are unhappy that the Planning Statement has been prepared by an agent based in Winchester who seems to display little local knowledge. There are a number of assertions made for which no evidence is provided and which we believe to be wrong.
The assertions on the effect on traffic movements show little understanding of the reality. For a number of years, with the increasing and deserved popularity of Birdham Primary School in the area, and the freedom of parents from other villages to choose it, there have been major traffic concerns for the Parish and the School. The School has no park or drop-off facilities for parents. The School has tried to influence parents and encourage them not to use cars to get children to school through its Travel Plan. Nonetheless, there is a problem every morning and evening with thoughtless parking.
The Nursery School children have not only been dropped off to the south of the proposed site, at the Village Hall, but the car traffic is able to use the Hall car park. There is little conflict with the School traffic.
But to assert that the situation may be improved is plain wrong. The hours of the Nursery School must be flexible to the needs of the small children involved so the traffic envelope each day may be prolonged. And the Nursery School operates a changeover at lunchtime thus introducing a new traffic stream into this road.
The Statement asserts that a Traffic Planning Assessment is not needed but bases this solely on the new building. It is the additional traffic which is the problem. We would contend that the whole site must be taken into account and that a Traffic Planning Assessment is needed. The bald statement the School and the Nursery will cooperate in the management of traffic gives us no cause for confidence.
We find the overall design of the exterior of the building disappointing. While we are sure that every effort will be made to make the interior of the building a stimulating environment for young children, the exterior is little more than a rectangular shed with a pitched roof. Not only will this add little to the architectural diversity of Birdham but it also does little to stimulate the aesthetic appreciation of architecture in the formative years of the children on the site. Considerable guidance is available on the provision of nursery accommodation and a domestic rather than an institutional feel is seen to be preferable. The building should be attractive and interesting. We also see little provision for outside play space with shelter from the elements apart from the TwinFix canopy (not shown on the elevations; why not?) by the front entrance.
As far as amenity is concerned, it might have been more neighbourly not to put the play space adjacent Longmeadow Gardens. There is also no mention of out of hour’s use of the facilities.
While we are not opposed to this application in principle we find it disappointing that, by the provision of something very ordinary, an opportunity has been lost to celebrate the excellent work of the Nursery. We believe that another look at this design, with advice from the County and National Advisers and the architects of the Department for Education, Architects and Buildings Branch, would be profitable.
BI/11/03520/FUL Bell Caravan Park, Bell Lane, Birdham
This is an application for the variation of conditions 2 and 3 on existing planning permissions (BI/20/91 and BI/03/01923/FUL), the effect of which would be to permit the use of units A and B of the workshop block standing on the Beaver Lodge land for B1 business use. The definition of B1 use relevant here is “any industrial process, being a use which can be carried out in ant residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit.”
We have visited the site and viewed the land at Beaver Lodge and at the adjoining Bell Lane Caravan Park which is also in the ownership of the applicant. This is not a residential area. The only dwelling close to the site is Beaver Lodge itself which is occupied by the applicant’s son. A well-developed hedge separates the rear of the workshop premises from the Caravan Park next door and there were no caravans adjacent to the far side of the hedge. Nor was there any means of ventilation or air extraction on that side of the building. Welding was in progress at the time of our visit and this did not produce unacceptable noise, smell, fumes or smoke in this context. We were told that an angle grinder is sometimes used on the open area outside the front of the workshop block.
The manufacture of cold framed ornate ironwork has been carried on since 1990 and we see no reason that it should not continue. We have NO OBJECTION to this application.
BI/11/03087/DOM Hollybank, Martins Lane, Birdham
We remarked on our response to the previous application for this development in June 2011 that that application was for Lawful Development. No work had been carried out on the site. It appears that this new application is for planning permission for precisely the same works and we can therefore repeat what we said on the last occasion.
Hollybank lies within the Birdham SPA and in the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The proposal is for extensions to the property to make a garden room and to extend the kitchen. The extensions would both be single-storey with pitched, partly-glazed roofs and our concern was mainly with the loss of amenity to neighbours. We have visited the site and are satisfied that the ground floor windows will not affect the neighbours and the Velux roof lights are at a height where they will not constitute a loss of privacy. We understand that there is already a condition on the hedge marking the SW boundary, that it be maintained at a height of twelve feet. We would wish this to be confirmed.
The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.
BI/11/03029/FUL Creek Cottage, Westlands Estate, Birdham
Creek Cottage lies outside the Birdham SPA and within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The application is to replace the present dwelling with a new one occupying broadly the same footprint as the present dwelling has become rambling and outdated.
We have visited the site and have NO OBJECTION to this application.
We would comment on two matters.
The application states that it is intended that the external walls be finished in a light, neutral coloured rendering in places. We are not sure what neutral means but would ask that the colour chosen should not be white as there has been a move in recent years on this estate, which is in a prominent position in the landscape, to use a more muted palette of colours to blend better into the environment.
Also, the house appears to be rated at Level 2 on the Code for Sustainable Homes. We understand that the provision of some the measures for sustainable construction and adaptation to climate change will be introduced incrementally. We would suggest the consideration be given to upgrading the level to at least 3 when this is complete.
It was resolved to instruct the Clerk to notify Chichester District Council of the decisions made.
BI/10/05592/FUL St James Parochial Church Council St James Church Church Lane Birdham. Two storey linked extension. PERMIT
BI/11/02113/FUL Mr R Felton Harbour House 22 Greenacres Birdham
Demolition of existing house, construction of a replacement dwelling and garage and associated landscaping. PERMIT
BI/11/02305/DOM Mr Clive Bush Shalford Lock Lane Birdham
Extensions and dormers (resubmission of 10/05078/DOM.) PERMIT
BI/11/01343/DOM Mrs Carol Van Rooyen Creek Cottage Westlands Estate Birdham 1.8m Hazel/Willow fence. WITHDRAWN
BI/11/02208/FUL Mr Roger Jones Granary East Westlands Farm Westlands Lane Birdham
Variation of condition 2 attached to planning permission BI/99/00600/FUL. Chalet to be occupied by staff at Westlands Farm, or used for holiday letting only. REFUSE.
BI/11/02211/FUL Mr Roger Jones Granary West Westlands Farm Westlands Lane Birdham
Variation of condition 2 attached to planning permission BI/98/01697/FUL. Occupation by Mr Mark Barker and his dependants only, or otherwise for holiday letting only. REFUSE
BI/11/02235/DOM Mr And Mrs R Dale Tradewinds Lock Lane Birdham Chichester
Construction of a new garden store. PERMIT
BI/11/02522/EXT Doctor Frederick Winston Cornerways House 15 Greenacres Birdham
Extension of extant planning permission BI/08/02109/DOM. Two storey side extension.
BI/11/02670/DOM Mr Timothy Fuller Homewaters 24 Greenacres Birdham
Replacement garage comprising first floor games room and juliet balconies to north and south elevations. PERMIT
It was resolved to note the decisions made by Chichester District Council
53-11 Council Response to the Core Strategy Consultation Document
Cllr Tilbury introduced this topic and put forward the following as the response by Birdham Parish Council;-
Q1(a) Highest, Very, Very, Highest, Very, Quite
Q1(b) It should be understood that our response to the fourth Factor reflects our firm belief that affordable housing should be allocated to those people with the highest priority needs who can show a close connection with the village, in our case to Birdham.
Our response to Factor 6 is because we believe that, in a relatively affluent part of the country,
there is a need to disperse economic activity way from the South east of England to support the more deprived areas of the country, especially those which have seen little replacement for the collapse of manufacturing industry.
Q2(a) Target B
Q2(b) Despite the undersupply of affordable housing we believe that, on balance, Target B provides a sustainable strategy. It also allows for a decline in movement into the area in the early part of the plan which gives time to sort out the infrastructure problems, especially in Chichester. It assumes a continuation of the current trend towards smaller households which is important for the large elderly population as well as younger people. It sustains the projected employment growth trend for West Sussex.
Q3(a) Blank Q3(b) Blank
Q4 Answers as for Q1(a)
Q5(a) Option 1
Q5(b) In our consultation with residents there was some support for a new town at Ford with cross border co-operation between Districts.
Q6(b) Development at Tangmere as well as North East of Chichester and at Portfield/Shopwhyke must assume that plans to resolve the flooding and congestion problems on the A27 are guaranteed prior to development.
Q7(b) As for Tangmere above
Q8(b) As for Tangmere above.
Q9(b) There must be recognition that any development at East Wittering and Bracklesham will impose strains on the infrastructure and all the traffic will be funnelled through Birdham. The western Manhood is essentially a cul-de-sac. Individual developments should be small. We have serious concerns about the sustainability of any development below the 5 metre contour.
Q10(b) Selsey is at the end of the other cul-de-sac on the Manhood. Any development here should be small scale.
Q11 (a) Blank Q12 (b) Blank
Q12 (a) Possibly
Q12(b) There is widespread concern about development on the Manhood Peninsula and this is mirrored by our consultation with Birdham residents. There is a need to protect the AONB, for both aesthetic and commercial reasons, and the homogeneity of village settlements. The unwillingness of planners to accept the severe problems caused to residents and businesses on the Peninsula by the need for upgrading and now the flooding of the A27 is thought laughable by local people and leaves them aghast. The inability or unwillingness of Southern Water to solve the problems at the Apuldram WWTW, and consequent discharge into the Harbour for three months of the year of sewage which has only undergone stage 1 treatment, endangers the health of riparian owners and sailors and the tourist economy. The run down nature of the local surface water drainage system puts the area in danger of flooding. Climate change makes building below the 5 metre contour probably unsustainable. The quantity of traffic on the A286, which is the main traffic artery for the western Manhood, endangers safety, encourages noise and air pollution and is a problem for the agriculture and horticulture industries. Further ribbon development along the roads on the western Manhood will only make matters worse. The residents of Birdham will take a lot of convincing that any development at all is sustainable until the infrastructure problems are solved.
Q13 (a)Blank Q13(b) Blank
Q14 Concern has been expressed about the reality of the consultation process which has been cumbersome and taken place at a time when many people’s ability to respond has been restricted by the holiday season. The lack of hard copy documentation may have excluded those without access to the Internet. Some people found the extensive and extremely detailed information hard to find. We would have wished that planning officers could have visited Parish Councils and/or their consultations with residents to explain some matters.
It was resolved that the Clerk be authorised to complete the consultation document on behalf of the Council with the statements above.
54-11 Correspondence – In addition to that already circulated.
a) The Clerk reported that he had received emails from Mr Steve Culpitt of Seaward Properties asking for a meeting with the Council and subsequently withdrawing the request.
b) A letter and petition had been received from Mr Haslam and some residents of Longmeadow Gardens complaining about the noise and fumes from the children’s fairground.
c) An invitation had been received from AiRS and SALC for two members of the Council to attend their AGM on the 4th November at Ardingly. There were no available members to attend.
d) Two emails had been received from Mr G Churchill, past member of Birdham Parish Council. One expressing to the Council the privilege that he felt at being able to serve both the Council and the Community for nine years.
e) Mr Churchill’s second email pointed out that the waste bin in the children’s play area had been used by dog owners to deposit dog waste. He had cleared the waste that he had discovered and suggested that a further two bins should be purchased and installed by the Council to prevent further occurrences.
It was resolved that the Clerk should investigate the possibility of installing additional dog waste bins.
f) Recent publications had been received from the CPRE – Field Work and Countryside Voice, and from NALC the autumn edition of the LCR.
i) Play area and playing field – The Clerk reported that vandals had broken down the Farne Lane gate to the children play area and that he was awaiting quotations to have the repair work carried out. He also reported that the goal posts had now been painted and the new nets could be installed. Cllr Grafham and Bolton undertook to carry out this work.
ii) Village Green and Pond – The Clerk said that he had discovered an organisation that would be prepared to help the Parish Council bring the pond back as a worthwhile asset to the community. Although they did not charge for the work that they do, relying on volunteers, they do request a donation be made at some point.
The Clerk reminded the Council of the family of a Birdham resident, who had recently died, who wished to place a bench on the village green overlooking the pond in his memory. It would appear that this was shortly coming to a successful completion.
iii) Police and Neighbourhood Watch – PCSO Bainbridge in apologising for non-attendance updated the Council on the internal movements of officers. PCSO Bromley had been posted to the Chichester Police Station and had been replaced by PCSO Jack Etteridge. NPT Officer remains as PC Dave Lyons whilst PC Emmett is acting up to Sergeant until the beginning of November.
The crime figures recently showed a slight increase in burglaries which will be dealt with by covert patrols and other methods. An outboard motor was recently stolen from Westlands Marine store. The Police are working with the Harbour Conservancy to make the area more secure.
It is hoped that in the very near future the police will be talking to pupils of Birdham School regarding road safety.
The next meeting of the WW Neighbourhood Management Panel will take place at WW Football Club on 7th November at 7pm, all are welcome to attend.
iv) Communications/Parish Newsletter – Cllr Tilbury congratulated Cllr Finch on the work that she and her team had put in on the production of the last newsletter. In doing so he also asked how many editions where likely to be produced annually. Cllr Finch thought that four editions would be an ideal number. This was agreed.
Cllr Grafham said that he had now got all of the information needed for him to produce a paper with recommendations concerning the new web site.
v) Other – The Chairman Cllr Parks wished it to congratulate two members of the Council for being recognised for their achievements to the community.
Firstly, the Director of SALC Trevor Leggo, had put forward Cllr Tilburys name as one who should be invited by the Queen to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his work to the Parish Council and the wider community. Cllr Tilbury said that it was a most magnificent day and one to remember.
Secondly, Cllr Crossley had been nominated and awarded the Volunteer of the Year by Chichester District Council.
The Clerk reported that he had finally received the external auditors report from Mazars which did show a small typographical error on behalf of the Clerk that would need to be restated at the next audit. Other than the slight error the auditors had given the Council a financial clean bill of health.
In addition to the external auditors report, the Clerk said that the Council had received the second tranche of the precept. The accounts show a healthy balance but indications were that the Council would need to do some very serious thinking if it was not to significantly increase the precept.
The presented financial report showed the following figures;
Balances held at Bank: £46520.61
Designated Funds: £25557.04
Available Funds: £20963.57
Creditors: £ 1898.19
It was resolved to accept the financial report.
57-11 Reports from Councillors attending meetings
Cllr Tilbury said that both he and the Clerk had attended another meeting on the Longmeadow site which was to do with a different system of drainage to the one agreed by CDC. This had resulted in more concerns for the immediate neighbours. Archibald Shaw the current engineers felt that newly proposed system would be far better than that originally agreed by CDC. Certainly both he and the Clerk felt this new proposal was a better solution however, the residents were not convinced and were offered a one to one at the offices of Archibald Shaw.
Cllr Tilbury said that both the Chairman and he had attended one of the walks along part of the Medmerry Development. He said that it was worthwhile and interesting with work due to start shortly. The initial meeting had been held at the Earnly Concourse which is likely to close in the near future, leaving a problem for car parking and toilet facilities.
Cllr Tilbury said that the Village Hall Committee was well run and he and Cllr Finch were trying to get greater interest by the wider community to use the hall. More up-to date details would shortly be appearing on the notice board to encourage more organisations to come forward. Consideration was also being given to expand the opportunities that would present themselves to the Village Hall should the Nursery decide to leave.
Cllr Crossley said that he would shortly be meeting with contractors on site to try and come up with a proposal for a footpath between the Church and Claytons Corner. There was apparently a possibility of funding from the Ball however, he suggested that Birdham Parish Council might also make a contribution to the work.
There being no further business to discuss the meeting closed at 2130 hours.
Signed ___________________________ Dated ____________________