Minutes of the Council Meeting of the 20th July 2009

Minutes of the Council Meeting of the 20th July 2009

Birdham Parish Council

Minutes of the Meeting held on Monday 20th July 2009 at7pm in Birdham Village Hall

Present: Cllr Tilbury; Cllr Ms Leach; Cllr Meynell; Cllr Mrs Parks; Cllr Ms Huskisson; Cllr Mrs Cobbold;  Cllr Howat.

In attendance: The Clerk; 4 members of the public; 1 member of the press; District and County Cllr Pieter Montyn

37-09cl. Apologies – none was received.

38-09cl. Declaration of interest: Cllr Tilbury, Cllr Mrs Cobbold and Cllr Ms Huskisson  re Village Hall

39-09cl. Minutes of the Meeting held on 15th June 2009

It was proposed by Cllr Meynell and seconded by Cllr Ms Leach RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of 15th June 2009 be approved and signed by the Chairman.

40-09cl. Matters arising from the Minutes dated 15th June 2009

i) Min 29-09cl Seat by the bus shelter – The Clerk reported that Iain Grant has said that the seat by the Bird and Ham is too old to move. She has received quotes from two companies with one costing £458 plus VAT and £28 plus VAT delivery, but until the permission is given for the placing of the seat it is not possible to go ahead with ordering it. It was proposed by Cllr Tilbury and seconded by Cllr Mrs Parks RESOLVED to purchase that seat and install it when permission arrives.

ii) Min 35-09cl letter to the Environment Agency – the Chairman reported that he had written concerning the problems at Apuldram Treatment Works in the winter. The reply says that the discharge is not completely untreated sewage. Monitoring of the water quality in the Harbour is undertaken on bi-weekly basis. The installation of a new tank has improved the situation greatly.

iii) Min 35-09cl - Date for the drainage meeting – Tuesday 1st September at 7.30pm. Julie Whitney will be invited to attend.

iv) Dean Miles – information from his colleague has been received. Ask them to go ahead.

At this point Mr John Harding and Mr James Fraser presented the plan for Birdham Pool. Some of the Council had already been at a presentation last year. Councillors asked for clarification of some points. The chairman thanked them for their input.

Then Sam Irving from CDC updated the Council on the issue of affordable housing. 27 households on the Council waiting list have local connections to Birdham. Birdham is in top third of need in rural parishes. Planning policy team now has five year supply of land. Priority has changed: length of time living in Parish is top criterion, then employment in parish and then those forced to move away because of lack of affordable housing. He would like to do some sort of consultation event, possibly an open day or a web-site or on-line poll. The rules have changed and some affordable housing can now be designated for local people. The Chairman thanked him for his input.

41-09cl. Clerk’s Report including:

a) WSCC Reports, highways matters and correspondence

i) Richard Bird has sent the Council a great deal of correspondence about the proposed PFI lighting project. It includes all the details except the price of the contract as they are still negotiating with possible contractors. It appears that the final costs will be sent in August, and that the contract will have to be signed fairly soon after that. It was proposed by Cllr Tilbury and seconded by Cllr Meynell RESOLVED that the Clerk could be authorised to sign the document if it comes before the September meeting, as looking for private maintenance and replacement of lights is likely to be much more expensive.

b) CDC reports including correspondence

i) The District Council has sent the Council a letter about the Community Action Chest giving the closing dates for applying for grants of up to £5000. Parishes may also be asked to sponsor community groups which wish to apply for such grants. This was noted.

ii) The District Council is also sponsoring the Shirley Henry Award for the Best Volunteer in the Observer Community Awards. This was also noted.

iii) The District Council is also publicising Westgate Leisure Chichester Holiday Club at the Westgate Leisure Centre. The Clerk has placed this information on the notice board.

c) other related matters

i) The Clerk reported that she would be away on annual leave from 22nd July to 6th August inclusive. This was noted.

ii) She further reported that all the charities to whom donations had been made have written letters of thanks.

42-09cl. Planning matters including CDC decisions

A paper detailing planning matters had been circulated to all councillors

Plans to be considered:

BI/09/02537/DOM – Penmayne Cottage, Martins Lane, Birdham – Proposed single storey side extension. It was proposed by Cllr Meynell and seconded by Cllr Mrs Cobbold RESOLVED NO OBJECTION

BI/09/02564/DOM – Pipkins, Crooked Lane, Birdham – single storey side extension for garden room. It was proposed by Cllr Tilbury and seconded by Cllr Mrs Parks RESOLVED NO OBJECTION

Plans considered by the Council since the last meeting to be ratified:

BI/09/01808/FUL - The Dinghy Park, Birdham

This dinghy park has existed for a number of years and the Council is sympathetic to the need for facilities for sailing in this area. We do however have several problems with this application.

The site is bounded on two sides by the Salterns Way path for walkers, cyclists and the disabled. Under normal circumstances this would mean that the movement of boats between the park and the water has to be carefully managed to avoid conflict. But, as the applicant notes, changes at Birdham Pool mean that boats will now have to be taken to Chichester Yacht Basin, or further afield, for launching which will increase the amount and scale of movement. Manoeuvring a boat by hand or with minimum transport over a hundred yards is different from towing it with a large vehicle (implied by the need to widen the access or provide an alternative) for several miles. The conflict could therefore be hazardous to those using the Salterns Way, many of whom are cyclists with young children.

By the same token, access to this site from both directions is over private roads which are maintained at the expense of the riparian owners. Increased traffic would have to be negotiated with the owners of the road. We have no evidence of their agreement to this increase in size and volume of traffic. One of the roads is part of the Salterns Way.

We note that the Planning Officer has already raised the question of noise. At the moment the site has no services and is simply a parking place for dinghies. There are several houses adjacent to this site which is extremely quiet and within the AONB. If services are provided in the building shown we are sceptical that they will only be used inside the building and would be reluctant to see the peace and tranquillity of the area disturbed, especially at weekends, by the noise of boat maintenance and repair. The agents reject the need for a noise assessment and its accuracy. It seems to us to be simple enough to try a variety of machinery (sanders, angle grinders etc) on the site in the open air and to assess the impact on the adjacent houses.

The applicant states as one reason for the building on the site two recent thefts and his expectation that the economic climate may increase them.  The security of the site is not a planning matter and seems to us to have no relevance to this application.

Our final concern is about future development. The site is at present a grassy triangle with dinghies parked on it: essentially a green field. The provision of a building on this site could lead to a change of designation. If the dinghy park and repair facilities were to fail this could open the way to further redesignation. Even though plans would have to be approved by the Planning Authority, the process of redesignation (e.g. for industrial or residential use) could be made easier by previous redesignation as a result of this development.

For these reasons we feel we must OBJECT to this application.

BI/09/02237/TPA – 25, Walwyn Close, Birdham – Crown reduction of 20% to oak (T8) and also to oak (T7) remove branch over house/conservatory by 2 metres. Branches are damaging garage/house/conservatory and cars by garage – NO OBJECTION

It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Cobbold and seconded by Cllr Mrs Parks RESOLVED to ratify the decisions taken since the last meeting.

Letter from Mr Bell was noted.

43-09cl. Correspondence

Correspondence to be circulated includes:

Emails sent to councillors since the last meeting:

16/6 – Manhood Parishes Road Safety Group; 18/6 – West Sussex PCT’s ebulletin (Issue 43); 19/6 – Sunshine, seals and the solar heritage; 29/6 – South Chichester Local Committee 7th July; 29/6 – Crimestoppers SALC; 1/7 – Chichester Harbour Events July; 3/7 – Chichester District Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership; 6/7 – Rural Services Community – Weekly Rural Focus Digest; 6/7 – Rural Services Network – Parish News from the RSN; 6/7 – Chichester District Commander’s Message; 7/7 – HTF Update; 9/7 – East Head group receive award; 14/7 MPRSE Response to a Safer Way; 16/7 Minutes from South Chichester Local Committee; 17/7 – South Downs National Park Meeting.

Correspondence to be circulated:

WSCC – Approved Traders’ Directory 2009

Connections July 2009

Forward Plan of Key Decisions July – October 2009 and August – November 2009

CDC Initiatives Summer 2009

Clerks and Councils Direct July 2009

CPRE – Sussex Review Summer 2009

Chichester Harbour News and Guide 2009

Action in Rural Sussex - Various

44-09cl. Reports:

i) a) Play area and playing field – the Clerk reported that Knight Fencing has quoted £165 plus VAT to repair the fence between the Hall and the Scout Hut, and she has told them to proceed with the work. The Rospa report has been received and there are some items which may need attention. She has given copies to Cllr Churchill and Cllr Tilbury so they can discuss it and report to the September meeting. Cllr Churchill reported that some of the panels at the bottom of the fencing are damaged.  Mrs Geary had told the Clerk that the hedge along Crooked Lane is dangerous as the brambles are growing onto Crooked Lane. The Clerk has asked Mike Kennedy for a quote to do the work as it was his staff who had pointed it out to Mrs Geary, and they have quoted £70 plus VAT. After discussion it was proposed by Cllr Tilbury and seconded by Cllr Mrs Parks RESOLVED to have the work done.

i) b) The Chairman has drawn up an agreement to be sent to Mr Wills about the circus to take place.

i) c) the Village Hall charity has asked the Council if they have any objection to the piece of land immediately outside the Hall fenced to the distance of 20 feet and 60 feet wide. If approved it will have to be done by the Village Hall Trust it will have to be paid for by them, maintained by them, and they will have to remove it if at any time the Parish Council requires them to. Could be for five years renewable. It was proposed by Cllr Meynell and seconded by Cllr Churchill RESOLVED that the Chairman should write to the Trust in those terms.

ii) Village green and pond – the Chairman has spoken with Julie Whitney about the £500 which the Council is giving to the Manhood Peninsula Partnership and she will in return help with the pond. Cllr Ms Huskisson and Cllr Tilbury have met with Adrian Dover. They discussed with him the schedule of work around the pond, and the maintenance of habitat. The field at the back of the pond has caused concern in the past. The owner has accepted that we maintain the pond. Next time the fence is replaced it will be moved back to give the Council its two metres. The Chairman spoke to the Harbour Conservancy about removing the silt from the pond and a mini-digger or similar will be necessary to remove the silt.

iii) Neighbourhood Watch – Wendy Pitty had reported that there were no incidents in Birdham in the past month, although the Chairman added that there had been some incidents of breaking and entering locally.

iv) Tree Wardens – the Clerk reported that she had emailed the tree wardens to see if they wish to continue – Ann Marcer’s email was returned as undeliverable, and Marianne Strong has replied that she wishes to stand down. This was noted.

v) other – the Village Hall Trust will be making the new doorway in the Hall during August.

45-09cl. Finance

A financial situation report had been circulated to all councillors.

Payments since the last Meeting to be ratified:

Clerk’s salary                                                                                        556.72

MH Kennedy and Son Ltd (grsss includes 48.00 VAT)                           368.00

Geof Muffet – repair bus shelter roof                                                 170.00

National Playing Fields Association – subs                                              35.00


Current account:          VAT refund                                                      657.16

Copies                                                                 21.00

Village Hall account: Interest 0.74

Deposit account: Interest                                                                        4.75

Payments to be considered:

Mrs Geary, litter, June                                                                           70.00

Clerk’s expenses, (includes 5.95 VAT)                                                     59.79

Southern Electric (street lighting electricity inc.9.92 VAT)                 208.38

Principal 1 Ltd (copier service inc. 9.33 VAT)                                          71.50

Playsafety Ltd (Rospa Report inc. 10.35 VAT)                                         79.35

Manhood Peninsula Partnership                                                                        500.00

Notes: The Clerk has today transferred £1500 from the deposit account to the current account to pay for expected expenses, and £8591 from the Village Hall account to pay the PWLB loan due in early August. It was proposed by Cllr Tilbury and seconded by Cllr Churchill RESOLVED to accept the financial report.

46-09cl. Reports of meetings attended by councillors

i) Medmerry workshop on managed re-alignment – Cllr Cobbold reported that there will be inter-tidal defences. Bunn will defend his own land. The Environment Agency has bought some farms in the area for the inter-tidal use. Some of the land needed to be used for fresh water storage. There is a need for an alternative route from Selsey to the Witterings, even for an emergency link.

ii) CDALC – Cllr Tilbury reported that the main point of their last meeting was a talk from Mike McEwen the waste water manager from Southern Water. There is enough capacity in the system but it is not evenly available. If drains are inundated we should complain at once to Southern Water. Every complaint helps them to get more money for improvements.

ii) County Local Committee South – Cllr Tilbury reported on this meeting. He had raised the question of parking standards on new developments. There is currently consultation on local parking standards which may be changed. The list of traffic regulation orders was reviewed. 20mph speed limit on roads north of Birdham Straight is now number 6 on the list, but we need to ensure we do not get bumped down the list.

47-09cl. Public session

i) Water levels plummeted in the canal recently but have now risen again. Nobody seems to know where the water comes from, but the Canal Trust is now starting a hydrological study to find out where the water comes from. The Chairman will write to both the Trust and Premier Marina to ask what is being done about it.

ii) Trees are dying in Court Barn Lane between Mariners and the Pool. All the land they stand on belongs to the Church Commissioners, and the Chairman will contact them about the drainage survey and mention this at the same time.

iii) The Youth Service has problems with staff in holiday time because many of the staff do not want to work in school holidays.

There being no further business, the Meeting closed at 9.10pm

Signed__________________________________      Date_________________