Minutes of the 17th January 2011
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Minutes of the 17th January 2011

Birdham Parish Council

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council

held on Monday 17th January 2011

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

Present:                    Cllr Mrs Parks (Vice Chairman), Cllr Mrs Barker, Cllr Mrs Cobbold, Cllr Tilbury, Cllr Mrs Leach

Apologies:               Cllr Meynell (Chairman), Cllr Churchill, Cllr Ms Huskisson,

Cllr P Jones (WSCC & CDC) and PCSO A Bromley

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

101-10 Declarations of Interests

There were none.

102-10 Urgent/Additional items notified to the Chairman or the Clerk prior to the meeting.

The Clerk informed the Council that he had received, that morning, a letter from Cllr Way resigning from the Council for personal reasons. The Clerk went on to outline the options open to the Council.

Under s.87(2), s.89(6) LGA 1972; s.36, RPA 1983 and 1986 Regulations it was resolved that the vacancy be notified to the Electoral Services Office of Chichester District Council and that the Council would not seek to fill the vacancy.

Proposed by Cllr Tilbury and Seconded by Cllr Leach

103-10 Minutes of the meeting held on the 20th December 2010

.Resolved: that the minutes of the 20th December 2010 be signed as a true and accurate record.

Proposed by Cllr Cobbold and seconded by Cllr Barker

104-10 Matters arising from the Minutes

Land Bequeathed to the council – The Clerk has again chased the solicitors to determine any further progress. He was in receipt of a letter dated the 21st December from our solicitors to the executors of the late Mr Adams estate in which they have expressed their frustration in not receiving a response to a letter written on the 14th December.

105-10 Clerks’ Report:

i)             The Clerk reported that he had been contacted by Cllr Tilbury and shortly thereafter by WSCC to say that the finger post at the junction of Mapsons Lane and Sidlesham Lane had been damaged. On visiting the site it seemed that during the bad weather a vehicle coming from Mapsons lane had hit the finger post and lifted it out the ground, in doing so it had also damaged the CDC road name sign. If it is the wish of the Council that the traditional style of finger post is retained then the onus for repair/re-instatement falls to the Parish Council with match funding available from WSCC and possibly some from CDC. The Clerk has been in contact with both WSCC & CDC to determine if a partnership arrangement could be entered into to retain the style of finger post, re-instate the name sign and reduce the cost to the three councils involved. Knights fencing have been asked to quote for the work but, as yet nothing has been received.

ii)            The Clerk was in receipt of a Consultation Document produced by CDC on the Councils Biodiversity Action Plan 2011-201. It is important that Birdham Parish Council submit a view on this document hence the circulation by email. Councillors are requested to forward their views to the Clerk in order that a corporate view may be submitted to CDC. The Closing date for responses is 18th February.

iii)           A request has been received from CDC that the Parish Council nominates a person to be the central contact for the issue of nomination papers for the upcoming election in May. The Clerk advised Council that he would carry out this role.

iv)           The Clerk reminded those present that the seminar scheduled to take place on the 20th January was going ahead as planned. He anticipated that turnout would be fair and requested assistance from Councillors in setting up the hall.

v)            Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC

Cllr Montyn reported that both the WSCC and CDC had been shocked by the level of grant awarded to them by the Government. Both Councils were now working extremely hard to find the necessary savings to provide the services expected by residents. He predicted that things would get much tougher in the near future.

106-10 Planning matters including CDC decisions:


BI/10 05078/DOM Shalford, Lock Lane, Birdham

This is an application to alter an existing dwelling house by incorporating an integral carport into the main structure to provide more accommodation, to convert some of the roof space, to reclad some of the exterior and to make alterations and extensions to the dormer windows. Shalfords lies outside the Birdham SPA and within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Council has a number of detailed concerns. The loss of the eyebrow window and the re-cladding are matters of taste but the aim should be to use materials and colours which help the structure to blend into the open landscape at this point. The addition of glazing bars to the fenestration seems to us to add an unwelcome heaviness to the elevations. The proportions of the ground floor glazing also seem to lack coherence especially on the west elevation. There is a possibility that the enlarged building could become over-dominant when viewed from the public footpath to the south west and we would like to see a condition that the hedge should be maintained at a suitable screening height. On the assumption that these matters can be negotiated before the grant of permission the Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/05434/DOM Boughtons, Greenacres, Birdham

This is an application to construct a two-storey side extension to the existing house at 26 Greenacres following the withdrawal of application BI/09/04868/DOM. This Council did not object to that application but expressed concern to the Planning Authority about the quantity of glazing. We note from this application that there was subsequently considerable correspondence and guidance on this matter from the Authority and from the Chichester Harbour Conservancy and we now believe that we should have taken a stronger line on the original application.

The applicant’s agent spends considerable space in his Access and Design Statement setting out the objections to the glazing in the original application but it our judgement that he then fails to meet the objections raised.  Some attempt has been made to break up the mass of the building by articulating the extension. No attempt has been made to reduce the amount of glazing on the ground floor and the first floor of the proposed extension; there is simply a nod in the direction of non-reflective glass and a claim that the ground floor will be under a balcony and so shaded. The glazed areas extend over the north and west elevations of both floors and are plain glass whereas the advice given was to break up these large areas with vertical subdivisions. We feel that the effect of this will be over-dominant on the Harbour front. In addition, this amount of glazing threatens the privacy of neighbours as will the fact that the proposed extension will mean that the structure is taking over almost all the site width.

The Council wishes to OBJECT to this application.

BI/10/05591/DOM Spinney Cottage, Lock Lane, Birdham

The agent and architect for this application is the Chairman of Birdham Parish Council who has declared a prejudicial interest and taken no part in the discussion.

This is an application for a detached building consisting of four carport bays and a garden store to the north west of Spinney Cottage, which is an isolated cottage in a rural location outside the BIrdham SPA and within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We have no concerns about the design of the building or the materials proposed. However, the proposed structure is extremely large at 9 metres by 12 metres and 5.3 metres high at its highest point. The approach to the site from the south west is along Lock Lane and the road dips markedly where it crosses the stream which feeds Birdham Pond. The lane then rises rapidly towards the site and the south west elevation of this application. The character of this lane is of views over open countryside punctuated by trees and hedges. The effect of the size and positioning of this structure and its silhouette for much of the day will be to block the view straight ahead from the lane and to interrupt the view of trees and open skyline. This is shown to some extent by the elevation marked “south”. We believe this is harmful to the visual quality and distinctive character of the environment and therefore contrary to Policy RE4 in that it would be unduly prominent and detract from the view here. We therefore OBJECT to this application. Should the Planning Authority be minded to grant the application we would ask for conditions that the building should not be adapted for residential use or sold separately from the main dwelling?

BI/10/05672/DOM Bricks, Bell Lane, Birdham

This is a revised application to refurbish and extend this dwelling in Bell Lane which lies inside the Birdham SPA. Having satisfied itself that the rear first storey window and balcony will not affect the amenity of neighbours, the Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/05426/DOM Oakhurst, Crooked Lane, Birdham

This is an application to build a new front porch to the house and to extend it to the rear. The house stands on a large site and even though the extension will make it one of the largest in this part of the village, the Council is satisfied that the enlargement is proportionate to the site  and will not interfere with the amenities of neighbours to either side. The Council raises NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/05676/ELD Westlands Farm, Birdham

This is an application for a Lawful Development Certificate on the cottages at Westlands Farm. The cottages were permitted by two decisions of the Planning Authority: BI/98/01697/FUL and BI/99/00600/FUL with a specific condition (number 2) that

“The holiday chalets shall be used for holiday accommodation only and for no other purpose (including any purpose in Class 3 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987” And the reason given for the condition was that “the permanent use of the buildings would be contrary to the policies of the District Planning Authority regarding residential development”

The applicant now says that, because the condition has been breached for more than four years and the cottages used as residential dwellings, this condition should be suspended. It appears from the accompanying documents that the breach has been in existence since completion.

The cottages lie outside the Birdham SPA and in the Chichester Harbour AONB. There is no way that they would have been permitted for residential use. The permission was clearly granted for the declared policy of Chichester District Council to develop tourism opportunities in the area under current policies T1, T3 and T6. It is equally clear that the applicant had no intention of using the accommodation in this way.

This is an attempt to by-pass the will of the Planning Authority (and incidentally to

increase the value of the chalets) and drives a coach and horses through the planning system. To permit the Certificate would also establish a clear precedent to any other unscrupulous developer who wishes to flout the authority of the District Council. We understand that, although the minimum four years have elapsed, the granting of the Certificate is not necessarily automatic but may be judged against current planning legislation.

Birdham Parish Council OBJECTS to this application.

It was RESOLVED to instruct the Clerk to forward the decisions of the Council to CDC Planning

Proposed Cllr Leach and seconded by Cllr Cobbold

CDC Decisions

BI/10/03553/DOM Mr and Mrs L Keen The Old Poorhouse Alandale Road Birdham

Ground floor bedroom extension of BI/10/01107/DOM. PERMIT

BI/10/03940/FUL George Haines (Itchenor) Ltd The Triangle Land South Of Holt Cottages Shipton Green Lane,  Boat storage building. PERMIT

BI/10/04721/DOM Mr R Felton 22 Greenacres Birdham

Amendment to the design approved under BI/10/01041/DOM to add a single storey side extension, a dormer and rooflights. PERMIT

BI/10/04823/FUL Mr I Chase Teals Lock Lane Birdham

Demolition of existing dwelling and annexe and erection of new dwelling and detached garage/annexe.  (Re-submission of BI/10/02559/FUL.) PERMIT

BI/10/04363/FUL Mr and Mrs Brown Bell Caravan Park Bell Lane Birdham

Use of permitted holiday caravans throughout the year subject to their occupation being limited to holiday use only. (Amendment of condition 2 of BI/19/53 I, BI/45/68 and BI/19/53 'J'). PERMIT

BI/10/05158/FUL Mr and Mrs Oliver Moorings Westlands Estate Birdham

Replacement house, garage and associated landscaping. WITHDRAWN

BI/10/04925/FUL E Allman And Company Limited

E Allman And Company Limited 2 Allman House Birdham Road Birdham

Demolition of existing buildings and erection of light industrial (B1) building, comprising two units with car parking. PERMIT

The Council Resolved to NOTE the decisions of CDC Planning.

107-10 Correspondence:

The clerk has received the following correspondence that has not been circulated;

i)             A letter plus attachments from the CPRE asking for donations to fight a planning development at Polegate.

ii)            A letter plus attachments from the Royal British Legion encouraging the Council or residents to hold Poppy Party Weekend over the 10th, 11th and 12th June 2011

iii)           A letter from The National Flood Forum advertising a flood protection exhibition as part of exercise Watermark to be held at the Westgate Leisure Centre on 25th January

iv)           An email had been received thanking the Council for the work that it had done on Planning Application BI/10/04925/FUL.

108-10 Reports:

i)                   Play area and playing field – Nothing to report

ii)         Village green and pond – The Clerk reported that Ecological Planning & Research Ltd had been tasked with carrying out the initial survey and we are now awaiting a date for them to do so.

iii)           Police and Neighbourhood Watch – PCSO Bromley whilst apologising for not attending, it was her rest day, gave a written report as follows;

December 26th – A Romanian national has been charged and remains in custody for the murder of another Romanian citizen

January 6th2 suspect males had been seen in the vicinity of St James Close, when challenged they had driven off. The registration number of the vehicle had been taken and officers are aware of the situation.

January 4th6th – silencers from 8 vehicles at Premier Motor Homes had been stolen.

109-10 Finance:

i)       The Clerk has received notification from the PWLB reminding the Council of its duty to pay the next payment of £8591.04 on the 8th February. This is included in the creditors list contained within the financial report.

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

Balances held at Bank:      £48076.43

Designated Funds:              £25557.04

Available Funds:                  £22519.39

Creditors:                               £10840.12

Resolved: To accept the financial report.

Proposed by Cllr Tilbury and seconded by Cllr Parks

110-10 Web Site

Owing to the resignation of Cllr Way this item was deferred pending the detail of the work so far carried out being forwarded to the Clerk.

111-10 Reports from Councillors attending meetings

i)             Cllr Tilbury reported that he and the Chairman, Cllr Meynell, had attended a meeting with the architect who has been commissioned to redesign the Old Birdham Yacht Club building. No commitments had been given by the two councillors however, it various problems had been pointed out to the architect including the vicinity of Tidal Mill.

ii)            In his absence Cllr Churchill had submitted a written report of the CDC ’Meeting the Parishes’ that he had attended with the Chairman. This was noted and Cllr Churchill was thanked for his contribution.

112-10 Public session:

Cllr Tilbury reported to the Council, that he had been contacted by Mr K Wright of Leaholm in Church Lane. Mr Wright was in receipt of a letter from Mr Andrew Frost of CDC in response to his letter of the 9th November. A copy of both letters was handed to the clerk and both are now on file and a matter of public record.

Cllr Tilbury reported to the Council that the Water Act of 2003, in which the transfer of all drains, outside a property curtilage, to the Water Authorities, was expected to be implemented by the Government in October of 2011.

There being no further business to be dealt with the meeting closed at 8.16 pm

The next meeting of Council will be held on the 21st February 2011 at 7pm in the Village Hall.

Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________