Minutes of the Council Meeting held on the 16th July 2012
Birdham Parish Council
Minutes of the Meeting of the Council
held on Monday 16th July 2012
at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall
Present: Cllr Parks, Cllr Cobbold (Vice Chairman), Cllr Finch (Chairman), Cllr Tilbury,
Cllr Leach and Cllr Barker.
Apologies: Cllr Grafham.
In attendance: The Clerk, Cllr Montyn (WSCC & CDC), Cllr Marshall (CDC) and 12 members of the public.
38-12 Public Question Time in accordance with SO’s 1d -1l:
A resident asked, that in the light of the transgressions that had been carried out on the Longmeadow development site – trees being cut down during nesting, a soak away being dug that was not in accordance with the Archibald Shaw plan, damage to tree roots, garages no longer on the plan, pumping water into the sewer and into the ditches and other breaches of the conditions that had been set by CDC – should this not now be subject to an enforcement action and possibly a re-submission of a planning application due to the material differences taking place on-site? All of the incidents had been reported to Mr A Frost of CDC, Cllrs Montyn and Marshall (CDC) and Cllr Tilbury (BPC).
Cllr Tilbury in response said that BPC was in a very difficult position as it was not party to the various conditions that been imposed on the current agreed application. The original application had been refused by the EA who then later reversed its decision. A further drainage plan was the submitted by Archibald Shaw for attenuation tanks which was then changed for large permeable tanks. He went on to say that BPC have no rights when it comes to decisions being made which involved Building Regulations. He had heard that a new drainage plan may well be submitted to DC Planning who may well decide that a new planning application should be submitted.
Another resident said that given the current weather the ground water level is only about 20cm below the surface. He also said that he has photographs of the contractor pumping water into the foul sewer and the ditch.
Cllr Tilbury offered to keep in touch and where he could help to deal with problems he would do so.
39-12 Declaration of Interests:
There were no declarations of interest.
40-12 Approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on the 18th June 2012:
It was resolved that the minutes of the 18th June 2012 be signed as a true and accurate record.
41-12 Land Bequeathed to the council:
The Clerk reported that he had heard nothing since the last meeting but, was hopeful that the Executors may respond prior to the next meeting in September,
42-12 Clerks’ Report:
i) WSCC – There was nothing to report.
ii) CDC – The Clerk reported that he had now heard from CDC that both vacancies that had been declared could now be filled by co-option. The Clerk said that he would advertise the vacancies on the notice boards and the web site.
The Clerk said that he had received a letter from CDC in which the developers of the Longmeadow site had suggested that on completion of the building works the name of the site should be Longmeadow Close. It was felt that this was unacceptable and would cause confusion with other areas that had Longmeadow in the name. It was suggested that Councillors put forward suggestions to the Clerk who would carry out a survey to find a name acceptable to all.
iii) Other related matters – There was nothing to report.
iv) Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC –
Cllr Marshall said that in relation to the recent flooding problems in the area the EA was to commission an independent investigation to determine the problems.
Cllr Montyn said that he had attended the recent Peninsula Forum and was disappointed that so few Councillors from across the Peninsula were present and thus unable to hear what was said by the EA. He did confirm that the EA were in the process of appointing engineers to get to the bottom of the problem.
As for the Longmeadow development Cllr Montyn said that he would continue to press for a solution to the problem.
43-12 To receive and approve a financial report:
The Clerk presented the current financial situation to the Council. In doing so he reminded Council that on the 8th August a payment of £8591.04 was due to be paid to the PWLB.
|Balances held at Bank:||£37595.55|
It was resolved to accept the financial report.
44-12 Consider adoption of the New Code of Conduct:
The Clerk reported that the accepted advice was to adopt the same Code of Conduct that the CDC would be working with. The problem with this advice is that CDC had not yet completed its work on producing the new code and was not scheduled to do so until the end of October. CDC had elected to retain the existing Code of Conduct in the interim period. Cllr Tilbury proposed that the same action should be carried out by BPC.
It was duly resolved that Birdham Parish Council would retain the existing Code of Conduct until the new Code had been accepted by CDC.
45-12 Update on Neighbourhood Planning:
The Chairman reported that she had met the Chair of Kirdford Parish Council – Cllr Ramsey – who had said that he would be prepared to come to Birdham to talk about Neighbourhood Planning and the problems that they had faced.
The Clerk reported that he had been in contact with CDC Planning and was to have a meeting with CDC to go over administrative details with them and that he would report back at the next meeting. He did however, confirm that from initial contact CDC would require that the area to be covered by the plan would be the entire Parish.
46-12 Flooding – Chair and Vice Chair to report:
The Chairman said that rather than her talk about what was already known she wished to get feedback from residents who had been affected by the flooding as such she opened the meeting to comments from the floor.
A resident said that he was continuing to suffer problems with drainage ditches just not draining away. He had been visited by the CDC Drainage Officer Paul Cann who had gone on a fact finding walk-about and had discovered that the school had built a weir on their land which in his opinion had created part of the problem, as such he had ordered its immediate removal which would then mean that the schools pond would drain.
Langmeads had given instructions that the ditch bordering their land was to be cleared.
Mr Cann had given advice that soak-a-ways should be built long and wide rather than deep due to the clay that could be found just beneath the surface.
Q – Who is responsible for clearing culverts, which seemed to be the fundamental problem behind the flooding?
A – The responsibility lies with the land owner. Cllr Tilbury said that some of the ditches had been built across and some owners had installed culverts that were inadequate for the needs and, even when the correct size culvert had been used they had become blocked or no maintenance had taken place. He went on to describe the Hedges and Ditch Act which clearly laid down the requirements for landowners to maintain the ditches on their land.
Q – Are the residents of Walwyn Close responsible for the culverts that run under the close?
A – Yes.
Cllr Cobbold said that the law had changed and that the Lead Authority was now WSCC.
Cllr Montyn (WSCC) confirmed this and said that as the Lead Authority they would be working with other authorities to try and find solutions. He went on to say that funding is available for communities who have come up with a plan to prevent the situation from either re-occurring or reducing the impact of future flooding. He suggested that Birdham Parish Council should work with Earnley Parish Council. Cllr Montyn said that earlier plans which WSCC had been asked to carry out had been and that he was now working to find out if others had done what had been required of them and whether they are adequately equipped for the job they are being asked to do.
Cllr Tilbury said that owners are responsible for clearing their own ditches and or culverts and if they didn’t maybe enforcement should be used. He also said that in some cases that ditches which had been dug generations ago may require re-digging.
Cllr Cobbold said that the EA were in the process of employing an independent examiner and it was imperative that all residents were aware of the findings and possible resolutions to the problems. She intimated that developers could and should be asked to contribute to any flood protection plan that may be suggested.
Cllr Marshall (CDC) suggested that flooding should be a major part of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Cllr Tilbury said that he still had all of the work that had been done in the past to identify direction of flows of the ditches in and around Birdham and would be prepared to work with Mr Cann on formulating some form of working group if it was felt helpful. He said that an open meeting was to be held sometime in September concerning the flooding but, was currently unaware of the date or venue.
47-12 Planning matters including CDC decisions:
i) To consider adopting the Terms of Reference for the Planning Committee
The Clerk presented a draft set of TOR’s for the Councils consideration. After a short debate it was considered that the proposals were satisfactory with the exception of the Membership. This should be amended to read – To be drawn from members of the Council as required.
It was resolved to adopt the Terms of Reference subject to the amendment being incorporated.
ii) To approve the Minutes of the Planning Committee held on the 9th July 2012.
It was resolved that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 9th July 2012 be signed as a true and accurate record.
iii) Applications to be resolved:
BI/12/02101/OUT The Triangle, Westlands Lane, Birdham
This is a re-application for outline planning permission to build in the garden of The Triangle. The Triangle lies inside the Birdham SPA and inside the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Previous applications have been made every three years on this site in order to keep the permission alive. As far as we know, the circumstances have not changed since the last application which was approved on 2009. The Council has NO OBJECTION to this outline application but this would be without prejudice to any future full application.
BI/12/02351/DOM Cotswold House, St James Close, Birdham
St James Close lies within the Birdham SPA and within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is an application for a single storey side and rear extension, a first floor extension, a new garage and internal alterations.
The side extension would be built over part of the existing garage and would be visible from the street to the west but its mass would not be such as to intrude unreasonably into the landscape. The north elevation of the extension has no fenestration. However, it is also the intention to build into the roof space to provide two extra bedrooms. The two bedrooms have roof lights which should be at least 1.8 metres from the floor to avoid overlooking. However it appears to be the intention to provide light to the stairwell and landing by means of a large dormer window. This would be only ten metres from the northern curtilage of the property. There is a hedge approximately 2 metres high on this boundary but the view from this dormer at this height would be directly onto the neighbours’ patio and into their sitting room through their patio doors. We feel this is an unnecessary and un-neighbourly intrusion into the neighbours’ privacy. The light to the stairwell and landing could be provided equally well by another roof light.
With this exception the Council has NO OBJECTION to this application but would OBJECT if the dormer is retained in the plan.
BI/12/02635/TPA 23 Longmeadow Gardens, Birdham
This is an application to fell or manage a 19 metre high hybrid Black Poplar tree adjacent to the drive which leads to number 23 23a Longmeadow Gardens. The Council insisted on the retention of this tree when these two houses were built and OBJECTS to felling it now.
A thorough evaluation is given by a tree consultant who recommends that the tree should be reduced from 19 metres to 11 metres and maintained at that height by regular five year attention. This may also involve the shortening of some branches. Epicormic growth may be encouraged by the pruning and needs to be attended to as well on a regular basis. There are a number of these trees near this site and their history is that they tend to weaken as they reach maturity and maximum height. They require careful management. An evaluation needs to be made as to whether such a radical reduction in height reduces the significance of the tree within the landscape which was the ground for the Tree Preservation Order. If there is any implication that this radical reduction in the height of this tree would invalidate the Order, the Council would OBJECT and look for a reassessment of the scale of the reduction.
If the points made above are given great weight in the decision on this tree the Council’s inclination is to make NO OBJECTION to this application, provided that the work is done by a qualified tree surgeon and subject to the relevant British Standards.
It was resolved to instruct the Clerk to inform the CDC Planning department of the Councils decisions.
iv) Decisions – to be noted
BI/12/00475/FUL Premier Marinas Ltd Chichester Marina Birdham
Demolition of three workshops/sheds for the comprehensive redevelopment of the South-West area of the marina comprising four purpose built buildings including marine related workshops, offices, storage, reprovision and extension of the retail (chandlery) and a cafe/restaurant together with an additional 23 car parking spaces, boat parking and storage and appropriate landscaping. DEFER FOR SECTION 106 THEN PERMIT
BI/12/01918/FUL Mr and Mrs Oliver Moorings Westlands Estate Birdham
Amendments to design approved under BI/11/04680/FUL. PERMIT
It was resolved to note the decisions made by CDC.
48-12 Correspondence – In addition to that already circulated:
There was none.
49-12 Village Fete Report:
Cllr Parks reported that due to the bad weather and the state of the flooded playing field the committee had decided to postpone the fete until 9th September.
i) Play area and playing field – There was nothing to report.
ii) Village Green and Pond – There was nothing to report at this time.
iii) Police and Neighbourhood Watch – There was nothing to report.
iv) Communications/Parish Newsletter/Website – Cllr Finch said that the she had started the project to put together the next newsletter.
v) Other – There was nothing to report.
51-12 Reports from Councillors attending meetings:
Cllr Cobbold said that she had attended an extraordinary meeting of the Earnley Parish Council concerning the flooding at which she discovered that there was to be an independent enquiry.
Cllr Finch said that there was growing concern from Councils on the Manhood that single planning applications were not seen as important even though they added to the problems of traffic and potentially flooding. She spoke of the move by other Councils via CDALC to keep each neighbouring Council informed of developments in each other’s areas.
52-12 Items for inclusion in the next meeting:
Recording of meetings.
53-12 Dates of Next Meeting:
17th September 2012 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall
There being no further business to discuss the meeting closed at 8.53pm
Signed ___________________________ Dated ____________________