Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 21st March 2016
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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 21st March 2016

Birdham Parish Council

 Minutes of the

Meeting of the Parish Council

 held on Monday 21st March 2016

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall


Present:                       Cllr Pocock (Chairman), Cllr Hamilton (Vice Chairman), Cllr Bird, Cllr Firmston, Cllr Barker, Cllr Wells, Cllr Campbell and Cllr Churchill.

Apologies:                   Cllr Brooks and PCSO Bainbridge.

 In attendance:              The Clerk, Cllr Montyn (WSCC), Cllr Barrett (CDC) and 27 members of the public.

Absent:                        None

115-15 Public Question time in accordance with Standing Orders 1d -1l:

A resident raised the subject of postal voting at the forthcoming Neighbourhood Plan referendum, would it be available.


A resident raised the question of the Crooked Lane site. Was it still likely to go ahead? Rumour suggested that there were problems with the proposed access and that a new access was being suggested.

The Chairman said that the Council had no knowledge of this and did not speculate or act on rumour.

A resident raised the subject of Birdham Farm at which point the Chairman said that prior to saying anything about Birdham Farm he wished to bring forward planning application BI/16/00480/FUL for the erection of building comprising stables, tack room, rest room, hay and machinery store along with associated hard standing. He went on to ask for comment from the audience present.

Many residents said that they had already written to the CDC objection to the application. Others felt that it as were the other applications destroying the AONB.

When Councillors were asked to comment they were all commenting against the application. Some had written to the local MP objecting to the way that the Planning Inspectors had arbitrarily decided to postpone the planning appeal that had been due to start in early April.

When put to the vote the application was objected to most strongly as it was against the NPPF, The Local Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan, plus enforcement notices that had been issued.

The Chairman went on to say that he was aware that the CDC Legal and Enforcement teams were working very hard to resolve the deliberate destruction of the AONB in this area by the people who had moved onto the site illegally, however they were being let down by the Planning Inspectorate who by delaying the process were also delaying the process of law.

A resident asked about allotments. Would there be any? And if so when?

Cllr Well said that the whole of the area was up for discussion at the moment and until a firm strategic approach had been decided everything was in play, but this would be dealt with later on in the agenda.

116-15 Declaration of Interests:

There were no declarations of interest.   

117-15 Approve and sign the minutes of the 15th February 2016.          

It was resolved to adopt the minutes of the 15th February 2016 as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

118-15 Clerks’ Report:

  1. WSCC – There was nothing to report
  2. CDC – The Clerk reported that he had received from CDC various Stop and Enforcement Notices in relation to Birdham Farm.

In addition to the Stop Notices the Clerk reported that he had received a notification of an Appeal that was due to be heard on the 7th April together with notification that the appeal had been cancelled in order that all appeals could be heard together in relation to Birdham Farm.

3. Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC – Cllr Montyn (WSCC) said that he had spoken to Andrew Tyrie MP concerning the current situation at Birdham Farm, and has expressed his displeasure at the way the Parish has been treated.

He went on to report that the CEO of Highways England had telephoned the Leader of WSCC – Louise Goldsmith - apologising for the way that it had handled the ‘consultation’ process of the A27.

4. Other related matters – There were none.

119-15 To receive an update on the Neighbourhood Plan:-

In the absence through illness of Cllr Brookes, Cllr Campbell said that the Neighbourhood plan was now complete and ready for printing. There would be meeting on the 23rd to discuss the pre-referendum process leading up to the actual referendum on the 5th May.

120-15 Finance and Corporate:

  1. To receive and approve the financial report.

The Clerk presented the financial report up to and including the 18th March 2016 shown at Annex a. The current balances are as follows;


Balances held at Bank £   89682.51
Designated Funds £   21063.13
Ring Fenced Funds £   13297.90
Available Funds £   46705.04
Creditors £    48013.09

The Clerk offered to answer any questions that Councillors may have.

It was resolved to adopt the Financial Report.

Should the Parish Council sign the petition asking for parish councils to be given the right to

appeal planning permissions?

The Clerk introduced this item saying that whilst developers and other applicants had the right, if they so wished, to appeal any planning application that was refused them Parish Councils and Planning Authorities did not. It has therefore been suggested by way of a petition to ask the government to provide a level playing field and extend those same rights to objectors.

After a brief discussion a proposal was put forward by the Chairman that the Parish Council should support and sign the petition. When put to the vote it was so resolved.

121-15 Correspondence – Not previously circulated: -

There was none.

122-15 Reports:

  1. Play Area and Playing Field. – The Chairman said that the ‘Open Day’ had gone remarkably well and lots of ideas and comments had been received. It was intended that a more detailed summation would be brought to the Annual Meeting of the Parish on the 23rd

A resident asked if the Parish Council were pursuing housing on the playing field.

The Chairman said that this was one idea that had been put forward. He summarised the financial position of the Council and said that to provide everything it just would not be affordable unless finances could be gleaned from another source. The current s106/CIL and New Homes Bonus did not provide sufficient funds in isolation but there were significant issues to work through.

A resident said that more development would create even more flooding and would cause more WC’s to overflow and backup.

The Chairman said that there were concerns about all development in and around Birdham.

A Councillor said that the main problem was that the Council was asset rich but cash poor and ideas that had come forward so far were simply that and they needed to be discussed prior to rumours being seen as fact.

A resident said that they would be against any re-positioning of the Play Park as the current position was the best that could be achieved on security grounds for the children.

Cllr Wells aid that the whole idea of the exercise was fact finding. To find out what residents wanted.

A resident handed in to Cllr Wells a number of forms that had been completed. As it turned out in the main by people who had not been at the ‘open day’ and had not seen the various presentations. They had therefore based there comments on what amounted to rumour but, they would be included.

A resident complained that they had not received any information about the ‘open day’ even though every household had received a flyer and it had been posted on all Parish Council noticeboards and the website.

In summing up the Chairman said that all of the ideas put forward were simply that, just ideas for discussion and comment. He was under no illusion that rumour control would be saying that it was all being imposed. At the end of the day if the residents wanted nothing done and everything to remain as it is then that is what will happen. It would certainly reduce the workload on the Council.

  1. Village Green and Pond. – The Chairman said that both the Village Pond and the Triangle pond could be made into places of destination with the Triangle Pond making an excellent bluebell wood. He has asked various organisation if this could be done and how.
  2. Condition of Village Ditch/Drain Network. – The Chairman said that Mr Clive Barrington was standing down as the Birdham representative of the Birdham & Earnley Flood Prevention Group. During his tenure he had done a considerable amount of work making the Village less likely to flood and making us all more resilient to potential flooding. The Chairman went on to say that in Mr Barringtons place Cllr Bird would take over as the lead Councillor with Cllrs Campbell and Firmston. The Chairman of the Flood Prevention Group – Robert Carey has said that he will work with the Birdham Group but he will not work on the Birdham requirements.

Cllr Bird is keen to keep it all together and will work with the Group to maintain the work carried out by Mr Barrington.

Mr Barrington the delivered his last report to the Council which can be found at annex b. to these minutes.

The Chairman then proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Barrington for the hard work and hours of time that he had expended on behalf of the Village. This was wholeheartedly resolved and was followed by a round of applause.

3. Police and Neighbourhood Watch – PCSO Bainbridge had given her apologies for the meeting but had submitted a brief report which can be found at annex c. to these minutes.

4. Communication Working Groups – There was nothing to report.

5. Community Resilience: - Cllr Firmston reported that there was nothing urgent to report and the group were making good steady progress.

6. Other – There was nothing to report.

123-15 Reports of meetings attended by Councillors; -

            Three Councillors had attended the Peninsula Forum at which it was discovered that there were currently 42 PCSO’s employed in the area. All 42 are to be made redundant and will have to reapply for their positions of which only 37 will be successful. The PCSO’s will not be re-employed on the same basis as now and will also not necessarily be employed in one area but may well be used collectively in problem areas.

In addition the number of armed Police Officers in Sussex will be increased.


124-15  Planning matters including applications and CDC delegated decisions:


  1. To determine a response to the permitted gates across the Birdham Pool Causeway.

A number of residents had raised concerns about the proposed closure by gates across the Birdham Pool Causeway and felt that this should not be allowed to happen.

The Clerk said that he had made enquiries and had discovered that the inclusion of the gates was part of the planning application which had been allowed on appeal. He had also spoken to the Public Rights of Way Officer (PROW) at WSCC and had discovered that the Causeway did have a public right of way over the full width of the Causeway. Also, no application had been made to the PROW Team to obtain permission for the closure or the type of gate to be used.

Mr John Hiltunen – Manager of the Birdham Pool Marina – said that the gates had been part of the conditions imposed under the granting of the appeal decision and was designed to prevent the occupants of Yachtsman’s Cottages from obtaining access to the working boatyard. Mr Hiltunen went on to say that he did not want the gates there and that if the Council could get the condition removed he would be happy with that outcome.

After a further brief discussion it was proposed that the Clerk write to the various departments to try and get the condition to provide gates removed from the permitted application. When put to the vote it was resolved.

While Mr Hiltunen was in attendance he was asked about the pile of debris that had been stacked on the edge of the pool and how long was it going to remain there prior to removal.

Mr Hiltunen said that he was both annoyed and disgusted to find out what had taken place and had already put in place instruction to have the debris removed within the next couple of days.


  • Planning Applications to be decided.

BI/16/00425/DOM - Mr Mike Fairall Police House Crooked Lane Birdham Chichester

Proposed side single/double storey extension and new pitched roof to garage.

The Parish Council Birdham to OBJECTS to this application by dint of its bulk and mass coupled with the removal of the buildings character.


BI/15/04114/FUL - Birdham Pool Marina , Birdham, West Sussex, PO20 7BG

Erection of a replacement crane in connection with the operation of the existing marina.

Birdham Parish Council now raises No Objection to this application.


BI/16/00237/DOM - Mr Hemal Patel Bay Trees 7 Redmoor Estate Main Road Birdham

Part ground floor and first floor rear extension.

Birdham Parish Council now raises No Objection to this application.


BI/16/00480/FUL - Mr J Morley Land South West Of Premier Business Park Birdham Road

Erection of building comprising stables, tack room, rest room and hay and machinery store along with associated hard standing for parking and turning.

Birdham Parish Council Strongly Objects to this application.

The application is for an area of agricultural land situated within an AONB.

Is contrary to the Birdham Parish Neighbourhood Plan, The Local Plan and the NPPF.

The site lies outside of a designated SPA and is already subject to a Stop Notice Ref BI/32 and

Enforcement Notice Ref BI/31


BI/16/00495/DOM - Mr & Mrs J Slatter Brightwater 14 Greenacres Birdham

Proposed detached garage building.

Birdham Parish Council now raises No Objection to this application.


BI/16/00496/FUL - Mr & Mrs Slatter Brightwater 14 Greenacres Birdham

Variation of Condition 2 of planning permission BI/15/02632/FUL -  To reference amended plans (14-52-3 Rev K, 14-52-4 Rev K, 14-52-5 Rev K) showing a non-material change to the southern projection.

Birdham Parish Council now raises No Objection to this application.


BI/16/00581/DOM - Mr Chris Harrison Longstone 12 Greenacres Birdham

Replacement of windows, renewal of existing render finish, replacement of roof and re-cladding of the existing front extension and the demolition of existing small side extension.

Birdham Parish Council now raises No Objection to this application.


 It was resolved to authorise the Clerk to notify the Councils decision to CDC Planning.


  1. Delegated Decisions to be noted.

BI/15/04106/DOM Mr & Mrs Glyn & Deborah Smith & Nunn 10 Pescotts Close

Single storey extension, new porch structure, attic conversion with raised ridge height. PERMIT


BI/15/04153/FUL Premier Marinas Building D Chichester Marina Birdham

Variation of condition 3b of permission BI/12/00475/FUL.  To allow for the vacant unit to be occupied by a retail (A1) occupier. WITHDRAWN

 BI/16/00004/DOM Mrs Charlotte Sercombe Martins Lea Martins Lane Birdham

First floor extension to front of property and conversion of part of the roof void with dormer windows. PERMIT


The delegated decisions were noted.


125-15 Items for inclusion on the next agenda:       

126-15 Date of Next Meeting:    18th April 2016 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall


There being no further business to discuss the meeting was declared closed at 9.22pm




Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________


Annex a.

Birdham Parish Council
Financial Statement as at 18th March 2016
Bank Accounts as at 31st March 2015 36732.62
Receipts to date 183522.91
Expenditure to date 130573.02
Balance 89682.51
Represented by;
Current Account (Barclays Community A/c) 26557.15
Deposit Account (Barclays Premium Business A/c) 56263.47
National Savings 6861.89
Total 89682.51
Reserve @ 50% of Precept 21063.13
Loan Reserve for half year 8591.04
Outstanding Cheque/s - 102396 25.40
Total 29679.57
Ringfenced Funds
Op Watershed 11255.85
NHB 2042.05
Total 13297.90
Available Funds Total 46705.04
Clerk to the Council
18th March 2016
Payments to be considered
B Geary (Litter Picking) 70.00
Clerks Expenses (Telephone etc.) 81.86
West Sussex ALC Limited NALC/WSALC Subs 461.23
SSALC Limited (LCR) 17.00
Addison Law (Walwyn Close Legal) 805.00
Thomas Eggar (Legal/Easement Fees Walwyn Close) 46578.00
Total 48013.09



Annex b.

BPC Drainage Report 21 March 2016

The Chairman advised the Meeting that Mr Barrington had previously announced that he was stepping down as the Birdham representative for the Birdham & Earnley Flood Prevention Group (BEFPG) as of the end of the month. The matter of a replacement had been discussed amongst the Councillors and Cllr Bird had indicated that he was prepared to take over the lead with some support from other Councillors. Mr Barrington said that it had been agreed that a meeting would be held with Robert Carey, the Chair of BEFPG, to confirm that he was happy to continue to chair the BEFPG under this arrangement.

Mr Barrington then gave his final report to the meeting but said there had been little progress from last month’s update. Further work had been carried out in Westlands Lane and most of the trees had been felled in Kingfisher Pond and the trunks were due to be chipped and disposed of this week. He reported that, because of the trees, some residents had not realised there was ever a pond there, whilst others had expressed their displeasure at their removal. But he had explained that they had been so neglected over the years and were in such a poor state, there was no alternative, if the flooding in the lane was to be tackled properly. There had been some suggestions that some new trees should be planted to replace them, though Mr Barrington advised that the farmer, Tom Monnington, should be consulted before this was done, as it would be on his land.

Mr Barrington added that Tom Monnington had also cleared the ditches in Court Barn Lane and in his fields and asked that the Parish should record their appreciation for the considerable amount of work he had done to improve the drainage in the locality.

Moving on to responses from WSCC, Mr Barrington reported that he had eventually got an update from Kevin Macknay on the WSCC Action List since the last meeting, but found that it did not show any actual progress being made on any of the items -  only comments such as ‘will investigate further’ or ‘job raised to repair’ but no dates. He said he was very disappointed at this and added that this continual lack of progress had sapped his enthusiasm and contributed to his reasons for stepping down.

Mr Barrington also pointed out that the Parish Council had failed to follow up on several riparian owners who had been identified in the village as needing to clear their ditches and culverts. He had displayed some maps and information on this subject at the Open Day on Saturday and said one or two people did take note of this. He was also approached by a contractor, who had done some ditch work in the village, and suggested that some collaboration between the Parish Council and the relevant owners might be arranged for the contractor to carry out this work.

Mr Barrington added that the main remaining tasks included de-silting the Village pond, getting the Church Field owners to clear the ‘Triangle’ pond in the copse and clear their ditches around their field and maybe continue discussions with them over the possible extension of the village pond – though the Chairman added that the latter may take a couple of years to become affordable.

Mr Barrington concluded that he hoped he had laid the groundwork for his successor(s) to continue the good work that had been done in to the future. He proposed to hand over all the documentation in good order by the end of the month.

Following this there was further discussion from Councillors and the floor:

The Chairman raised the possibility of ‘beautifying’ the copse, owned by the Church Field, into a ‘bluebell wood’, following a previous visit with Jane Reeve of the MWHG who said they might be interested in helping. Cllr Hamilton said she had spoken to the owners and they would have no objection. She added that as this was in the AONB the Harbour Conservancy should also be approached for assistance. Mr Barrington said Jane Reeve had already contacted them and though they had given a positive response, they had not acted on this. Cllr Hamilton said they should be followed up.

Cllr Firmston enquired as to the reason for the poor response from the WSCC on the local drainage issues. Cllr Montyn responded that budget cuts had inevitably had an impact on the situation but staffing levels in the relevant department were being increased and it had been suggested that one person would be assigned to look after issues on the Manhood. Mr Barrington hoped this would be the case to make it easier for his successor to carry forward the works that were needed. In this context, a resident stressed the need for WSCC to provide GIS mapping of all the information gathered to date so it could be more easily accessed and updated.

Another resident enquired as to whether WSCC were exercising their powers of enforcement.  Cllr Montyn replied that though they had this capability he was not aware of any cases. Mr Barrington said there had been one case where WSCC had written to the Chairman of Pipers Mead Residents requesting they clear their ditches, in November 2015, which had not produced any action and he was not aware that this had been followed up.



Annex c.

Please accept my apologies that I cannot attend as I am on a Rest Day.


If I may give a brief update:

We have had a garage entered in Church Lane whereby tools were removed.  There have been several breaks to garages in the locality;

Chapel Lane, West Wittering, two in Bracklesham and one East Wittering.

May I remind residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to Police immediately - 999 if crime in progress.


We have had several calls from residents in East and West Wittering regarding door knockers from RSPCA.  The two lads were wearing tabards and had ID but were asking for bank details from residents to do a direct debit and were described as being a little forceful on occasions.

I have called the RSPCA who confirm they were legitimate and will be in the area for a further week (which would include Birdham).

They operate 0900 - 18:30 hrs weekdays, up to 17:30 hrs Saturday and not Sunday at all.

I have written to the RSPCA to request their door knockers are more professional and considerate to residents and remind them that our residents are asked by Sussex Police not to deal at the door and certainly not provide bank details.


I have had two Meet Me In Person sessions recently at Nisa Stores.


A resident has expressed concern regarding parked cars on the bend of Crooked Lane near the junction of Church Lane.  There are no yellow lines here and it is a dangerous area which has been flagged up in the past.  The cars belong to parents using Birdham school and despite the Head reminding them about sensible parking, many seem uninterested in common sense and road safety.  I am not sure if the councillors have any

comment on this.  For my part, I will attend the area when possible.


Kind regards.



Rose Bainbridge
Police Community Support Officer/Wildlife Crime Officer
Manhood Policing Team
Tel:01273 470101 or 101 Ext.19516 Mobile: 07912896681
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