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Birdham Parish Council > Minutes > Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 21st September 2015

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 21st September 2015

Birdham Parish Council

Minutes of the
Meeting of the Parish Council
held on Monday 21st September 2015
at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

Present: Cllr Pocock (Chairman), Cllr Firmston, Cllr Campbell, Cllr Barker.

Apologies: Cllr Bird, Cllr Hamilton (Vice Chairman), Cllr Wells, Cllr Brooks and Cllr Montyn(WSCC)

In attendance: The Clerk, Cllr Barrett (CDC), PCSO Bainbridge and 22 members of the public.

Absent: Cllr Churchill

42-15 Prior to the commencement of the meeting the Chairman announced that he may be called upon to leave urgently, as the Vice Chairman was on holiday and on the advice of the Clerk, it was proposed, seconded and resolved that should the Chairman have to leave then Cllr Barker would take the Chair for the remainder of the meeting.

43-15 To receive a report from Nicholas Bennett – CDC – Senior Litigation Solicitor – ref Birdham Farm.
Mr Bennett introduced himself and outlined his general responsibilities were as a solicitor working for CDC. He said that his current number one priority was dealing with the illegal Gypsy encampment at Birdham Farm. It is taking all of his available time as new actions are taking place by the Gypsies on a daily basis. He stressed that CDC are very much aware of how important this situation had become for the residents of Birdham. He went on to say that he had considerable experience when dealing with both Gypsies and travellers in Hampshire to the extent that in all cases the sites had been vacated. He put this down to the fact that action had been taken before roots could be established. In the case of Birdham work had been ongoing since day one to ensure that roots could not be put down by the occupants.
Mr Bennett stressed that he and his colleagues had to work within the law and the steps that had been taken to deal with that had been followed. For example if planning is refused then efforts will be made for immediate removal of all illegal building works.
So far in the case of Birdham Farm four emergency stop notices have been issued.
An Article 4 notice has been issued to prevent the installation of fencing.
Enforcement notices have been issued and is a permanent prevention measure without planning approval.
However, they have still continued to flout the instructions.
The CDC then issued an injunction to prevent any further development with a court hearing scheduled for January 2016, developments continued.
An interim injunction was issued at which the defendants swore an undertaking to the Court not to carry out any more development works which if broken could result in prison sentences. They have broken the undertaking that was given.
CDC has now gone back to the Court with contempt proceedings which are to be heard in early October.
A large number of prosecutions are taking place and if found guilty the defendants are liable to large fines or even imprisonment.
A Barrister has been appointed to represent CDC throughout the entire procedure to ensure consistency.
If there are appeals to planning applications that have been refused then a separate Barrister will be briefed. In fact one was briefed just that afternoon.
CDC is aware of other parties who will be appearing for the defendants.
If CDC wins then the defendants will be required to leave the site immediately and return it to its original condition and put right the harm that they have caused at their own cost. If this does not happen then it may well be that CDC will have to step in to repair the damage.
In summing up Mr Bennett said that he and the Officers of CDC understood the frustrations of the local community and would do everything in its power to resolve the situation as speedily as possible.

44-15 Public Question time in accordance with Standing Orders 1d -1l:
Various questions were asked of Mr Bennett as under;
Q – Would the Council take direct action?
A – No.
Q – Do we have to submit our comments to the appeal?
A – Not unless you wished to add fresh comments.
Q – Are they liable for costs?
A – That is a matter for the Courts to decide.
Q – If the appeal is upheld will the work that has already been carried out be negated?
A – Not necessarily.
Q – Have they cited an action or legal precedent?
A – No. They have offered nothing in open Court.
Q – In your opinion as a lawyer do you think they have a case?
A – Can’t answer for either the Courts or the Inspectorate however, the NPPF presents a strong case within the AONB.
Q – Is there anything that has happened in other areas that could give them an edge? Are there other parcels of land where they could start again? If there is no road or footpath do they have a stronger case?
A – There is both a road and a footpath.
Q – If they lose their appeal could it be taken to a higher court?
A – Yes, but costs may well come into play.
Q – Do letters from residents have any impact on the thinking of the Inspector?
A – A well drafted letter may help. It certainly would not be disregarded. Inspectors have said that it is always helpful to have letters from residents.
Q – When will the appeal be held?
A – Uncertain but, probably in the New Year.
Q – The property has changed hands a number of times, how difficult has this been to deal with?
A – We know that various changes to ownership have taken place and initially it was rather difficult however, we now have systems in place to help.
Q – How are their children given spaces in the local school when we have been told by the school that the school is full? There no places available for local children, why?
A – Cllr Hunt (WSCC) has been contacted but has yet to reply.
Q – Has there been an instance of this nature that has gone to the European Courts?
A – Not to my knowledge.
Q – The appeal is heard and hopefully refused, what happens then?
A – CDC would start the eviction enforcement procedures and anything on the site which had been changed by the occupants must be removed and or made good. CDC has issued a similar notice to quit on a site in Earnley.

45-15 Declaration of Interests:
There were no declarations of interest given.

46-15 Approve and sign the minutes of the 20th July 2015.
It was resolved to adopt the minutes of the 20th July 2015 as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
47-15 Clerks’ Report:
i) WSCC – There was nothing to report.
ii) CDC – There was nothing to report.
iii) Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC – Cllr Barrett (CDC) whose report may be found at Annex A to these minutes, said that discussions were taking place to re-design the Selsey Tram round-about. He said that the footpath that used the Chaucer Drive was now closed to enable culvert work to take place.
The Leader of CDC and Southern Water had met to discuss the setting up of a focus group to address the problems of flooding and sewage across the Parishes.
Traveller site is now open and is working well and from August changes to Planning Policy means that travellers must be able to demonstrate that they travel. Failure to do so convincingly will mean that planning rules that apply to the settled community will also apply to them.
iv) Other related matters – There were none.

48-15 Finance and Corporate:
i) To receive and approve the financial report.
The Clerk presented the financial reports for the month of September (shown at Annex B). He said that the second tranche of the Precept had now been received and that the PWLB payment had been made in August. The current balances are as follows;

Balances held at Bank £ 36732.62
Designated Funds £ 29654.17
Ring Fenced Funds £136058.41
Available Funds £ 17402.79
Creditors £ 1146.21
The Clerk offered to answer any questions that Councillors may have.
It was resolved to adopt the Financial Report.

The Chairman proposed from the chair that a sum of £300.00 be spent to provide a laptop suitable for the electronic projection of planning applications. The laptop would be held and secured by the Clerk in his office. When put to the vote it was resolved unanimously to adopt the Chairmans proposal.

ii) To receive and approve the half yearly budget report.
This item was deferred to the October meeting.

iii) To determine the use of the Adams land bequest.
The Chairman said that the Council was looking at a fundamental re-think of the use of the playing field and the land bequest. The Council had recently appointed Cllr Wells as the lead Councillor in this project who would be working across the village to garner ideas which may be put into a strategic plan. It was therefore suggested that this item should be deferred pending the outcome of Cllr Wells report. This was agreed.

49-15 Correspondence – Not previously circulated:
The Clerk reported that he had received the recent edition of the CPRE newsletter.

50-15 Reports:
i) Play Area and Playing Field. – Nothing to report
ii) Village Green and Pond. – There was nothing to report.
iii) Condition of Village Ditch/Drain Network. – Mr Barrington was unable to deliver his report and had asked that Councillor Campbell to be allowed to deliver the report in his sted. This was agreed and the full report may be seen as Annex C to these minutes.
At the conclusion of the report Councillor Campbell proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Barrington. In his proposal Councillor Campbell said that he believed that Village owed a great deal to Mr Barrington for the amount of work and time he had committed to the welfare of the Village. When put to the vote it was resolved unanimously to adopt the proposal by Councillor Campbell.
iv) Police and Neighbourhood Watch – PCSO Bainbridge gave a brief update on the nature of Police working in the future. There would no longer be a dedicated Police Officer but there would still be a Response Team. The Neighbourhood Policing Team would cover a larger area but they were now able to work more productively, for example a considerable number of complaints had come in concerning the anti-social use of motorcycles in Selsey. The NPT were called in and put on patrols and resolved the problems, in other words if you report it we can deal with it quicker and more efficiently.
She went on to say that the Community Messaging had been rather quiet of late, although theft from a motor vehicle outside of the church had been reported. She reminded everyone present that security was paramount and to support anything that was suspicious.
A lot of work has recently been done on combating scams. The driver who hit the swan has been charged and she asked that if anyone sees the lady who was evicted from her houseboat to contact the Police, she is now homeless and concern is growing. CDC are in the position of being able to help her.
The NMT will be meeting shortly and she will let people know as soon as a date and venue have been arranged.
Q – A resident said that they had reported the sound of gunfire coming from the gypsy site what is happening?
A – We do have poaching in the area so it could be that.
v) Communication Working Groups – The Chairman said that the latest newsletter would be out for delivery very shortly
vi) Other – The Clerk reported that finance had become available for a bus shelter in Birdham and requested suitable locations. It was considered and resolved that with the development at Tawney to take place at some point a shelter in Bell Lane would be ideal.
51-15 Reports of meetings attended by Councillors;
Both the Chairman and Cllr Campbell had attended the Peninsula Forum and put forward ideas concerning cycle lanes and raised question about the flooding and sewage problems that were still being experienced.
The Chairman, Cllr Campbell and Cllr Barrett (CDC) had met with planners concerning the development at Tawny Nursery in order that they could discuss the site design and materials plus the requirement for safe crossing points from the development to the centre of the Village.
52-15 Planning matters including applications and CDC delegated decisions:
i) To approve and sign the minutes of the Planning Committee held on the 17th August 2015

ii) Planning Applications to be decided.
BI/15/02590/DOM – Mr and Mrs Powell Broken Stone Martins Lane Birdham
External refurbishment works including chimney and south porch.
The Council raised No Objection to this application.

BI/15/02591/LBC – Mr and Mrs Powell Broken Stone Martins Lane Birdham
Internal and external refurbishment works including chimney and south porch.
The Council raised No Objection to this application.

BI/15/02586/FUL – Mr Mark Junak Houseboat Eloise Chichester Marina Birdham
Replacement houseboat.
The Council raised No Objection to this application.

BI/15/02632/FUL – Mr & Mrs J Slatter Brightwater 14 Greenacres Birdham
Replacement dwelling.
The Council raised No Objection to this application.

BI/15/02761/DOM – Mrs Russell The Hundred House Hundredsteddle Lane Birdham
Conversion of double garage to granny annexe, to include garden room extension.
The Council raised No Objection to this application.

BI/15/02762/LBC – Mrs Russell The Hundred House Hundredsteddle Lane Birdham
Conversion of double garage to granny annexe to include garden room extension.
The Council raised No Objection to this application.

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

iii) Delegated Decisions to be noted.
BI/15/00338/FUL Premier Marinas Ltd Chichester Canal West Of Birdham Road
Erection of a fixed pedestrian bridge and associated abutments and footpath link. REFUSE

BI/15/01992/FUL Mr C Sharpe Bell Inn Bell Lane Birdham
Renovation and extension of existing public house to improve existing restaurant and bar areas including the provision of tourist accommodation. Construction of 4 no. detached chalet bungalows and associated works within the grounds of the Bell Inn. WITHDRAWN

BI/15/02033/DOM Mr & Mrs Andrew Hobbis Loxworth Main Road Birdham
Demolition of existing conservatory and erection of new extension. PERMIT

The delegated decisions were noted.

53-15 Items for inclusion on the next agenda:

54-15 Date of Next Meeting:
19th October 2015 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

There being no further business to discuss the meeting was declared closed at 8.55pm
Signed ___________________________ Dated ____________________
Chairman

Annex A
Council Matters Arising during current period – October 2015
Youth Club
A response has been received by East Wittering & Bracklesham Parish Council from East Wittering Community School Governors. Their response makes carrying forward the plans to fully refurbish the building unviable. The Governors have stated that vehicular restrictions must be put in place to stop users of the Community facility bringing vehicles onto or leaving the site during certain times of the day. However, these restrictions do not apply to members of the school staff. It would appear that the school do not want the facility to be used by the young people of our community, a community where we are obliged through the adopted Local Plan to provide at least 280 new homes in the catchment area over the next few years. The loss of this building will mean that there will be no community facilities for young people in the Witterings.

Marine Drive Car Park
Notices have been put up warning residents about fly-tipping but these have been ignored. Further cases of dumped cardboard and garden waste have been reported.

Corporate Governance and Audit Committee
The Audit Results Report 2014/15 was presented by Ernst & Young LLP. There were no issues and the Report was duly signed. The Statement of Accounts shows the Council to be in good financial standing.

Land north of Chaucer Drive development
The situation has further deteriorated, the pavement at the entrance to the site has now been closed off. The pedestrian crossing area from the site entrance to the Church Road footpath should have been completed prior to first occupancy. Due to the developer still working on the drainage culvert at the entrance to the site work on the crossing point has again been delayed. It should be noted there is no safe crossing at this point for the local school children.

Condition 19 Northfields West Wittering
CDC Enforcement Officer has written to Southern Water requesting an update. This was addressed at the recent meeting with Southern Water but a formal update is still awaited.

Birdham Road Travellers Site
The Contempt of Court hearing will be held at Brighton Crown Court on 5th October.

Peninsula Forum
The Forum was held in Birdham Village Hall on 14th September addressed investment in infrastructure and the notes have been issued. The next meeting, on December 7th will include a presentation on the work the Manhood Peninsula Partnership undertakes on behalf of the Peninsula communities.

Community Warden
With the continued decline of Police presence on the Peninsula we are becoming far more dependent on our Community Wardens. CDC are seeking assurance that the Parishes will, through their Precept, continue to provide financial support.

Car Parking Charges
At the next Cabinet meeting the Members will be presented with the proposed charging regime for the District. If recommended the changes will go out for consultation. Council will then vote on the proposed changes later in the Financial Year. If approved they will be introduced from April 2016. Locally we have 3 CDC car parks:

Marine Drive (Monday to Sunday)
Current Charges Proposed Charges
April to October
Up to 2 Hours £3.00 Up to 2 Hours £2.00
More than 2 Hours £6.00 2 to 4 Hours £4.00
More than 4 Hours £6.00
November to March
Up to 2 Hours 30p Up to 2 Hours 50p
More than 2 Hours £1.00 More than 2 Hours £1.50

Northern Crescent (Monday to Saturday)
Current Charges Proposed Charges
Up to 2 Hours 20p Up to 1 Hour Free
Up to 3 Hours £1.30 Up to 2 Hours 40p
Up to 4 Hours (Max)£2.40 Up to 3 Hours 60p
Up to 4 Hours 80p
Up to 5 Hours £1.00
Up to 6 Hours £1.20
Up to 7 Hours £1.60
Up to 8 Hours £2.00
Bracklesham Lane (Monday to Sunday)
Current Charges Proposed Charges
April to October
Up to 2 Hours £1.50 Up to 2 Hours £2.00
More than 2 Hours £4.00 2 to 4 Hours £4.00
More than 4 Hours £6.00
November to March
Up to 2 Hours 30p Up to 2 Hours 50p
More than 2 Hours £1.00 More than 2 Hours £1.50
Annex B
Agenda Item 6i
Birdham Parish Council

Financial Statement as at 21st September 2015
£
Bank Accounts as at 31st March 2015 36732.62
Receipts to date 179946.37
Expenditure to date 33563.22

Balance 183115.77

Represented by;
Current Account (Barclays Community A/c) 30075.80
Deposit Account (Barclays Premium Business A/c) 146229.16
National Savings 6810.81

Total 183115.77

Less
Reserve @ 50% of Precept 21063.13
Loan Reserve for half year 8591.04
Outstanding Cheque/s –

Total 29654.17

Ringfenced Funds
Op Watershed 133950.41
New Homes Bonus (balance of £209.41 remains for Village Hall) 2108.40

Available Funds Total 17402.79

Signed

Clerk to the Council
21st September 2015

Payments to be considered

B Geary (Litter Picking) 140.00
Clerks Expenses (Telephone/stationary etc.) 164.50
A Dover (Grass & Bus Stops) 220.00
M Thomas (Village Hall PC from NHBonus) 398.99
M H Kennedy & Son (Grass Mowing) 222.72
Total 1146.21

Annex C
BIRDHAM DRAINAGE UPDATE – 17.09.15

WALWYN CULVERT
Sam Langmead has now agreed to proceed with the project, which will involve running a new culvert in his field behind Walwyn Close. Apart from connections to manholes over the existing culvert in 4 gardens, there should be a minimum of disruption to the properties.
The costs have been approved by the WSCC Drainage Engineer and we are awaiting confirmation from the contractors, Landbuild, as to the start date but it is likely to be in October.

The funding from Operation Watershed will meet all the costs and there will be some left over to cover the cost of future maintenance and possibly some other works which need undertaking in the Parish.

BIRDHAM POOL CAUSEWAY
We have been advised by the owners of Birdham Pool that the lower culvert has been cleared. Though they have not excavated a trench to do this, as originally proposed, they have managed to put a chain through the culvert, which they will use to agitate the coral worm and keep it clear. We are not sure whether this will solve the problem but they are proposing further works (in the next 6 months) as part of some major redevelopment to improve the flow from the upper pond. Paul Cann, the CDC drainage engineer, is keeping in contact with them regarding this matter. In the meantime, the 8” pipe they installed earlier this year seems to have improved the situation satisfactorily.

TOP OF BELL LANE
WSCC have confirmed that a Works Order has been issued to clear the ditch on the corner of Bell Lane and the B2179 along to Pipers Mead. They have also been requested to inspect the culvert running south from this ditch on the west side of Bell Lane at the same time.

WESTLANDS LANE & KINGFISHER POND
There are further works required to clear gullies and culverts along Westlands Lane and particularly to excavate Kingfisher Pond to provide a holding area and prevent flooding on the road. The problem has been that we have been unable to establish who is responsible for the pond and after consultation with our District Councillors, they consider this has to become a Parish responsibility. It is hoped, if Parish Councillors are agreeable, that some of the monies left over from the funding of the Walwyn Close project could be used to carry out this work. This will need to be agreed with the WSCC Drainage Engineer but he has indicated positively to this proposal.

MAINTENANCE & OTHER WORKS
There are still a number of other issues under review with WSCC and these will be followed and hopefully resolved before winter sets in.
A number of ditches have been cleared this year and the emphasis must now been on maintaining these by the Riparian Owners and that involves clearing away any vegetation and not simply cutting it and dropping it into the ditches. The Parish Clerk has stated that the ditches around the Playing Field will be cleared before the winter.