Minutes of the Council Meeting held on the 16th May 2011
Birdham Parish Council
Minutes of the Meeting of the Council
held on Monday 16th May 2011
at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall
Present: Cllr Parks (Chairman), Cllr Tilbury,Cllr Leach, Cllr Finch, Cllr Barker, Cllr Grafham,
Cllr Crossley, Cllr Bolton.
Apologies: Cllr Cobbold
In attendance: The Clerk and eight members of the public.
1-11 The Chairman welcomed new members and returning members to the Council. In doing so she hoped that although the year would be busy it would be interesting to all involved. She hoped that members would agree with her request to the Clerk that a letter is written thanking those Councillors who were not returned for the work that they had carried out on behalf of the residents of Birdham.
2-11 Election of Chairman of Council.
It was proposed and resolved that Cllr Parks be and is elected to the office of Chairman until the date of the next Annual Meeting of Council.
3-11 Election of Vice Chairman of Council.
It was proposed and resolved that Cllr Cobbold be and is elected to the office of Vice-Chairman until the date of the next Annual Meeting of Council.
4-11 Urgent/additional items notified to the Chairman or the Clerk prior to the meeting
There were none
5-11 Public Question Time in accordance with SO’s 1d -1l
Mr Wright asked for clarification of the comment made in the last minutes concerning culvert levels.
Cllr Tilbury responded that there was speculation that the culvert from Langmeads Field was running at a level that would not encourage water flow. The EA had looked at the culvert on the 18th April and had agreed that there was indeed a possibility of this being the case and had returned to the site at a later date and had confirmed that levels are incorrect. To resolve the problem they had suggested that a ditch be dug the full length of Church Lane. This would be an extremely expensive thing to do and possibly beyond the finances of the Parish Council without a massive hike in the Precept.
Cllr Crossley asked what we should do now assuming the EA are correct?
Cllr Finch asked if there was a map of the area showing the ditches.
Cllr Tilbury responded that a map was not available and proceeded to give a verbal description of ditch directions. It was agreed that this could possibly be mapped locally.
6-11 Appointment of members to outside bodies.
i) Play Park and Playing Field – Cllrs Bolton & Grafham
ii) Civil Protection/Emergency Planning – Cllr Crossley
iii) Village Hall Trust – Cllrs Tilbury, Grafham, Barker & Finch
iv) Manhood Mobility Volunteer Service – Cllr Leach
v) Peninsula Community Forum – Cllrs Crossley, Cobbold & Barker.
7-11 Declaration of Interests.
There were none.
8-11 Approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on the 18th April 2011
Resolved, that the minutes of the 18th April 2011 be signed as a true and accurate record.
9-11 Matters arising from the Minutes
Land Bequeathed to the council – The Clerk reported that the Councils Solicitor had requested information concerning the final use of the land, the utilities required and the type of fencing to be used. In his reply to the solicitor the Clerk said that until the land was in the Councils possession no decision could or would be made on its use, water and foul drainage connections were likely to be required and the fencing was to be vertical close boarded fencing as existed on the Longmeadow end of the property.
The Clerk also requested that the solicitor look into taking action to speed up the process.
10-11 Clerks’ Report:
The Clerk was unable to give any report concerning WSCC or CDC as nothing appeared to be happening in either of the organisations possibly due to the elections.
There was no Councillor representation from either of the WSCC or CDC Councils present.
11-11 Planning matters including CDC decisions:
BI/11/01637/Ful Mr P Lansdale, Lansdale Marine, 3-4 Premier Business Park
Replacement of existing outbuilding with new outbuilding.
The Council raised No Objection to this application.
BI/11/01674/DOM Mr Stephen Martin 3 Whitestone Cottages
Proposed single storey extension with pitched roof to the side and rear of the property.
The Council was minded to Defer this application for a site visit.
BI/11/01724/DOM Mrs R Douglas 15 Walwyn Close Birdham
Single storey rear extension.
The Council raised No Objection to this application
BI/10/03606/FUL 6A Burlow Close Birdham Substitute Plans
The Council raised No Objection to this application.
It was resolved to instruct the Clerk to notify DC Planning of the decisions.
BI/11/00668/PLD Mr Peter Barker 10 Burlow Close Birdham. Shed REFUSE
BI/11/00755/FUL CEA Settlement Trust Auto Barn Birdham Road Birdham
Erection of covered parking for car preparation. PERMIT
BI/11/00233/FUL Mrs J Manning Mansfield Church Lane Birdham
Proposed detached bungalow and garage. REFUSE
BI/11/01312/DOM Mrs J Watson By Harbour Westlands Estate Birdham
Demolition of existing garage and construction of replacement garage/boat store.
It was Resolved to note the decisions made by CDC.
Additional Planning Matters
Cllr Tilbury again spoke about the problems associated with the development at Longmeadow. His full report can be seen as Annexe A to these minutes.
Other than correspondence concerning the elections which had been posted on the notice boards the Clerk had received nothing further.
i) Play area and playing field – The Clerk reported that the cradle swing had been received and that he had installed it. A problem with the wooded bridge had been reported to the Clerk just prior to the meeting which he would resolve as soon as time permitted. It was not considered dangerous.
The Clerk also reported that he had received notification from RoSPA of the impending inspection in June of the Play Area and Pond.
ii) Village green and pond – The Clerk said that so far he had attended two GCN Surveys and there had been no sign to date of anything. Two more surveys have yet to be carried out after which if there is still no sign then we must provide an environmental plan on how the Council intends to dredge the pond.
The small fence around the front of the pond had been damaged and a quotation to carry out the repairs is awaited.
iii) Police and Neighbourhood Watch – PCSO Bainbridge reported that serious criminal damage had been perpetrated at the Cricket Club. The offender had been caught and the whole subject was now being dealt with under Community Resolution powers.
Items had been stolen from the Chandlery and also from a property in Westlands.
Vehicle checks were still being carried out under the joint initiative with the Fire Service. Offenders are being offered the choice of watching a video relative to their offence or being fined with possible points added to licences.
i) The Clerk presented the financial report which had been circulated to members which showed the figures;
Balances held at Bank: £51535.67
Designated Funds: £25557.04
Available Funds: £25978.63
It was Resolved to accept the financial report.
ii) The Clerk presented the report of the Internal Auditor which showed that the accounts and books of the Council were in good order and that the administration was well run. The only adverse comment related to VAT which had in fact been claimed post the 31st March and the Council had received £1618.04 in recovered VAT payments.
It was Resolved to accept the Internal Auditors report.
iii) The Clerk presented the Annual Return for the year ending 31st March
after which it was Resolved that the Chairman be authorised to sign Section 1 – Accounting Statements and Section 2 – Annual Governance Statement.
iv) The Clerk presented the quotation of Came & Company to the Council and recommended that the Council accept the quotation.
Resolved to accept the quotation of Came & Company.
15-11 Reports from Councillors attending meetings
Cllr Tilbury referred the Council to his report at Annex A. of the meeting that had been held on the 18th April.
Cllr Grafham reported that he had attended the AGM of the Scout/Cub Group where it was discovered that the lease on the Scout Hut has six years to run but the Cub/Scout group are currently re-negotiating with BVHT in advance of the lease expiring as they wish to secure the future lease before taking any further steps towards planning the new Scout hut.
There being no further business to discuss the meeting closed at 9.00pm
Signed ___________________________ Dated ____________________
Longmeadow update (BI/07/05640/FUL) 16.5.11
On the 18th April we had a meeting in the Village Hall with Phil Hailey from the Environment Agency (temporarily on secondment for two days a week with CDC), Gavin Holder (CDC) and Adrian Johnson (EA). Also present were Trevor Phillips, the developer of the Longmeadow site and about twenty concerned residents, including Clive Barrington and David Hollands-Hurst. The discussion focussed on the drainage of the site and particularly the ditch into which the surface water will be emptied from the attenuation tank.
The concerns had been engendered by a note on the CDC website, showing that CDC had accepted advice from the Environment Agency in December 2010 to discharge conditions 34 and 43 of the planning permission. These conditions only apply to clearing the watercourses on and off site (nearby) and there are others which also apply to the surface water and foul water drainage which have not yet been discharged.
Technically, once the Development Control Committee (South) of CDC has granted planning permission; subject to Section 106 Orders (the detailed conditions), the Parish Council and the public have no further rights to consultation. However, this planning application was so contentious, especially on the matter of drainage, that, not only did the Parish Council take the District Council to a stage 2 complaints procedure about how the Development Control Committee had reached its decision, but warned CDC that we would appraise the conditions and raise objections if they seemed to us unreasonable or to represent a threat to local residents. At the Village Hall meeting it was stressed that we had no right to information from CDC or the developer (who expressed surprise and concern at the level of openness being asked for) but, on behalf of the Parish Council, I urged the maximum amount of transparency and cooperation in the interests of all parties.
After the meeting the Clerk and I received an email from Phil Hailey which said that he had now seen the CCTV survey, commissioned by the developer, of the culvert under Longmeadow Gardens (which carries the water from the ditch through to Crooked Lane) and, although it showed some cracking/deformation in some areas, he did not consider that it would significantly affect flows. The Clerk responded that we were grateful for the meeting which showed that the concerns of the Parish Council and residents were now being listened to and an attempt made to resolve them.
David Hollands-Hurst sent us a copy of an email he had sent to Gavin Holder on the 27th April, asking for full disclosure of the extent of the CCTV seen by Gavin and full disclosure of any correspondence between CDC, the EA and the developer. Gavin Holder replied that he had seen the CCTV which was Trevor Phillips’s property. Any further comments from Mr Phillips or his engineers will be posted on the Council’s planning website. Phil Hailey has now written to landowners above the culvert in Longmeadow Gardens to highlight the quality of the culvert at various locations along its route, as requested at the Village Hall meeting. Repairs are the responsibility of the landowner above the culvert.
In a letter from Gavin Holder to Trevor Phillips, written on legal advice, Gavin says that there is a high risk of future collapse of the culvert. I have spoken to Gavin about this and he says that, on reflection, the words “high risk” was perhaps overstating the situation. David Hollands-Hurst has expressed concern that if the culvert collapsed it would endanger the foul water sewers which cross the culvert. Gavin says that since the sewers are contained within manholes there is no danger of foul water becoming mixed with the surface water drainage.
A further issue is that the developer has now been advised that the height of the concrete bases of the properties should be increased by another 150mm to 300mm on the Longmeadow site. David Hollands-Hurst claims that this could mean a change in the approved plans.
Clive Barrington and David Hollands-Hurst are planning a website to keep interested parties up-to-date with information.
Although these individuals may be pursuing CDC, the developer and the EA there is, in my opinion, nothing further that the Parish Council can do formally as we have only a consultee status up to the granting of the permission. But in view of our original misgivings and our care for all residents I think we should continue to monitor events and intervene in whichever way seems best where we feel we can be of help.