Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of the 15th March 2010

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of the 15th March 2010

Birdham Parish Council

Minutes of the Meeting held on Monday 15th March 2010

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

Present:                    Cllr Tilbury (Chairman), Cllr Meynell, Cllr Mrs Leach, Cllr Ms Huskisson,

Cllr Mrs Cobbold, Cllr Churchill, Cllr Mrs Parks

Apologies:                Nil

In attendance:         The Clerk, County and District Councillor P Montyn, and 5 members of the public.

118-09cl. Chairman’s remarks

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending.

119-09cl.       Declarations of interest

Cllr Mrs Parks declared an interest in Planning Application BI/10/00236 Fir Trees, Sidlesham Lane

.                                   Cllr Mrs Cobbold declared an interest in Planning Application BI/10/00321/FUL inc Substitute plans, Yendor Farm, Hundresteddle Lane.

120-09cl. Minutes of the meeting held on the 15th February 2010.

Resolved: that the minutes of the 15th February 2010 be signed as a true and accurate record.

Proposed by Cllr Mrs Cobbold and seconded by Cllr Mrs Leach

121-09cl.       Matters arising from the Minutes

i) Land Bequeathed to the council – The Clerk reported that he had again written to the solicitors pressing for both more information and a quicker response. We have now received a draft copy of the documents required to transfer and register the land. However, the information is both incomplete and inaccurate. The Clerk had since telephoned the solicitors but had not yet received the promised information. The Clerk now requests authority to seek legal advice from our solicitors.

Resolved: that the Clerk is authorised to seek professional advice from the Councils Solicitors

Proposed by Cllr Churchill seconded by Cllr Mrs Parks

ii) Co-Option of Councillors –Mr N Way and Mrs M Barker having shown an interest in becoming Councillors completed the declaration and Acceptance of Office and having been welcomed by the Chairman, joined the meeting as Councillors for the first time.

iii) Bus Shelter Seat – The seat has now been received as have the bolt down kits. The plaque is on order and should be received in approximately seven days time. The insurance company have been contacted as the seat is now part of the Councils insured assets. WSCC have granted the required permission for which we now await the written confirmation; once received we are able to install the seat.

iv) Notice Board – The Chairman reported that he was sure that a notice board did exist at Birdham Stores but would speak to the owners about both its suitability and positioning.

122-09cl.       Clerk’s Report:

i) The Clerk had received the latest information from WSCC on Library opening hour’s consultation.

ii) WSCC are in the process of starting a review of West Sussex Youth Services. There is a Government investment in West Sussex of £125 per head of population compared to a county average of £201.

iii) Nothing further had been received from CDC

iv) The Clerk reported on the copies of the new edition of Model Standing Orders. He had intended to summarise the differences but, felt that it was better for each Councillor to have the opportunity to read the Standing Orders, then have the opportunity to comment at the next meeting of Council when it would be hoped that the Standing Orders might be formally adopted.

v) The Clerk reported that he had attended the New Clerks.

vi) Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC

Cllr Montyn said he had returned from holiday that day and had no comments to make.

123-09cl.       Planning matters including CDC decisions:


BI/10/00615/DOM Straight House, Church Lane, Birdham

This is an application to add one dormer window to an approved application. The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/09/05156/DOM Manhood End Farm, Birdham Road, Birdham

This is a proposed loft conversion to an existing garage constructed in 2003. The garage lies adjacent to a listed building outside the Birdham SPA and within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The conversion will have little effect on the existing structure externally and will not detract from the environment more than the present structure. We would suggest a condition that the garage cannot be sold separately from the main house but otherwise the Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/00516/ADV Advertising sign at the junction of Birdham Road and Sidlesham Lane, Birdham

This is a retrospective application for a sign at the junction of Birdham Road and Sidlesham Lane, directing potential customers to the joinery business of Mr Froud in Third Avenue, Batchmere (Earnley Parish). The criteria for the approval of such signs are set out in PPG19 (1992) Outdoor Advertising Control. There are two criteria: amenity and public safety. We have no reason to doubt the testimonials to Mr Froud’s work or the need to advertise small businesses, attached to this application, but they are not relevant to the planning decision. Mr Froud is also claiming that this is a class 13 sign, in that it is on a site which has been used for the previous ten years for the display of advertisements.

The first assessment is the effect on the visual amenity in the immediate neighbourhood and the characteristics of that neighbourhood. This sign is placed in a rural environment characterised by trees, fields and hedges. There is a small retail park a short distance to the north where this Council has sought to minimise the visual intrusion into a gateway site for the4 village. Nonetheless, this is a well-designed sign, small in size and not intrusive by design or colour, providing little more than directions.  We do not believe there is an amenity issue here.

Is this sign so distracting or confusing that it creates a hazard or endangers people taking reasonable care? The junction of Sidlesham Lane and Birdham Road has a history of minor accidents. However, we believe that this one sign on this site in this form and design is not such as to distract reasonably careful drivers.

On balance the Council has NO OBJECTION to this particular application but states clearly that this does not establish a precedent for wayside advertising on the A286 at Birdham, at this site or any other,  which will be considered on its merits and by the criteria set out in planning law.

BI/09/05164/DOM The Snipe, Lock Lane, Birdham

This is an application to substitute pans for a previous application. The Council has NO OBJECTION to this revised plan.

BI/10/00236/DOM Fir Trees, Sidlesham Lane, Birdham

This property lies outside the SPA for Birdham and is not within the Chichester Harbour AONB. This is an application to add a conservatory to the south side of the house behind an existing wall linking the house and garage, such that only the pitched roof of the conservatory would be visible from the road. The Council is satisfied that there would also be no material change in the view across open fields towards the house from the rear of the property and therefore has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/00321/FUL Land south of Seldens, Bell Lane, Birdham

This is an amendment to the previous plans consequent upon the discovery of a sewer pipe under the original site. The Council has previously commented on these plans and wishes its comments to apply equally to this application. The Council OBJECTS to this application on the grounds stated in its previous comments.

BI/10/00500/DOM Samphire, Westlands, Birdham

This site lies outside the SPA for Birdham and within the Chichester Harbour AONB. It is a proposal to tidy up the west side of the house and to extend to the north. The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/00628/FUL Blue Ribbon Nursery, Birdham Road, Birdham

The application requests permission to use part of its existing greenhouse area to provide a customer refreshment area.. The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

Resolved: That the Council’s recommendations be passed to Chichester District Council.

Proposed Cllr Meynell seconded Cllr Churchill


BI/10/00075/DOM 3 St James Close Birdham Chichester

Alterations and extensions to existing flat roof garage to form annexe, including build-up walls, new pitched roof, dormer and conservatory. PERMIT

BI/09/04733/DOM Belland House Main Road Birdham Chichester West Sussex PO20 7BY Erection of play equipment. PERMIT

124-09cl.       Correspondence:

i)      The Clerk reported that he had received the following;

Action in Rural Sussex Spring Newsletter

The Sussex Review

West Sussex Connections

A letter from Cllr Derek Whittington Concerning Potholes

125-09cl.       Reports:

i)      Play area and playing field – No to report

ii)     Village green and pond – Nothing further to report but Cllr Ms Huskissson would attempt to contact the relevant CDC Officer concerning the vole survey.

iii)    Police and Neighbourhood Watch – The Chairman welcomed PCSO Ann Bromley to the meeting. PCSO Bromley went on to describe the work that had been undertaken since her last report. So far it had been a quiet winter however, there had been three incidents of dangerous driving which had been reported under Operation Crackdown. She also reported that a number of beech trees had been stolen and some unoccupied properties had been broken into.

Speed Indicator Device (SID) training was now available which could be provided to six or more volunteers to enable self help within the community to curb speed..

PCSO Bromley outlined a new initiative by Sussex Police called Project Kraken which was designed to protect the coastline. It is similar in concept to the land based neighbourhood watch.

At the conclusion of her talk PSCO Bromley hand over a quantity of leaflets explain Operation Kraken and Operation Crackdown.

The Chairman thanked her for her input and requested that if any figures became available from the use of SID could we have sight of them, which was agreed.

126-09cl. Finance:

A financial paper had been prepared by the Clerk and was circulated to Councillors. This showed:

Balances held at Bank: £39925.84

Designated Funds: £25579.04

Creditors: £805.73

It should be noted that £8592.60 was transferred from the Business Saver Account to the Current Account in order to meet the payment to the PWLB Village Hall loan.

The invoice for the seat has not yet been received but is expected to be in the region of £530.00 Plus VAT.

Resolved: To accept the financial report.

Proposed by Cllr Mrs Cobbold and seconded by Cllr Ms Husskison

A request was also made by the Clerk to close the Village Hall account as it served no useful purpose and transfer the balance in that account of £1450.24 to the Current Account.

Resolved: to close the Village Hall account and transfer the balance in that account of £1450.24 to the Current Account.

Proposed by Cllr Meynell seconded by Cllr Mrs Leach

127-09cl Reports from Councillors attending meetings:

i)     Cllr Meynell reported that he had attended a meeting of the Harbour Conservancy at which concerns had been raised about the Premier Motor Home site. The Chairman concurred with this comment and felt that the company was in breach of its planning consent in that it was allowing for sale boats to be parked in the customer parking area and that the hedge planting had an extremely slow growth rate.

ii)  The Chairman reported on the Drainage Meeting which had taken place on the 1st March. His detailed report is attached as annex a. to these minutes.

iii) The Chairman apologised for missing the meeting of the Peninsula Forum as he was chairing the Drainage Meeting. However, that main agenda items had been Community Policing, the Coastal Change Project and the follow up to the Service Level Reviews

iv) The Chairman reported that he had attended the County Council Chichester South Committee at which he congratulated the Chairman Cllr Hall over his pursuance of graduated speed limits within the County. He then went on to say that the meeting discussed the current roads situation in respect of ‘pot holes’, traffic regulations and enforcement.

At this point Cllr P Montyn stated that the Policy regarding speed limits in West Sussex is to be reviewed and dependant on the outcome of the review the policy may be rewritten.

128-09cl.       Public session:

A member of the public asked those at the meeting to be vigilant as it would appear that ‘fly tipping’ was taking place. He had called CDC to report the matter and the rubbish had been removed speedily.

Cllr Montyn reported that he had also dealt with an incident of this nature.

129-09cl          Items for inclusion on the Agenda for the next meeting

Te WSCC Snow Summit of the 11th March

There being no further business to be dealt with the meeting closed at 8.51pm

Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________


Annex A to the Minutes of Birdham Parish Council dated 15th March 2010

Minute 127-09cl ii) refers

Report on the  Drainage Meeting at Birdham Village Hall on Monday 1st March 2010

  1. The Chairman expressed the thanks of himself and the Parish Council for the work which the volunteers had done over the winter in observing and noting data. To have had the work done professionally would have cost a fortune. By chance this winter had been ideal for observation. He produced the chart of groundwater levels at Chilgrove for the past winter showing startling rises in December . The project had raised the profile of land drainage in the public mind and there had been an effort on the part of many to clear ditches and culverts. He said that the Parish Council, as a public body, had encountered difficulties with clearing their own ditches and the Pond because of insurance problems and the need to conduct a vole survey in April or May, but this would be done.
  2. a) Since the last meeting he had met the Drainage Engineer, Gavin Holder, and attempted to clarify the hedge and ditch presumption. Advice from the District Council legal department was that questions of ownership of ditches to the centre of the ditch or under the presumption are matters of common law and looked at on a case by case basis. The Land Registry search is usually relied upon.

b) The Church Commissioners Agent, Andrew Shaw at Strutt and Parker, had provided maps showing the Commissioners’ landholding in Birdham.

c) Councillor Montyn had provided a copy of the Southern Water sewerage map for the Sidlesham Treatment Works which serves Birdham.

d) The Chairman had had discussions with the owners of Birdham Stores about the chronic flooding problems in the rear car park and offered advice on where professional support might be sought.

e) The District Drainage Engineer has constructed a new website on drainage problems and information which would be available imminently on the District Council’s website  under “Environment and Planning/Land Drainage”.

f) It had become clear that WSCC Highways are responsible for culverts under adopted roads.

3.         Thee was still some work to be done for the survey on local farmland, some parts of Crooked Lane, Sidlesham Lane and Hill Land and some sections of Westlands Lane.

4.         Monitors then commented on their own reports and highlighted problems and successes. As a  result of this discussion the key problems were identified as:

a) Cowdry Farm. This had been an ongoing problem and the District engineers were already involved. No further action was needed from this meeting  unless the present plans were not achieved.

b) Whitesrone Farm. A new pump had been installed at the rear of Briery Cottage and this was essential as part of the largely culverted system. A lot of clearance work had taken place here. Discussion is needed about the run off from the land into the hard standing.

c) he Drainage Engineer is also aware of the problems between Church Lane and Walwyn Close which also include Cherry Lane. It was thought that a meeting of interested parties would help to understand the problem and seek solutions.

c) The ditch from Longmeadow to Crooked Lane, which is subject to the planning condition on the Longmeadow House site, still gives cause for concern. It now appears that the culvert under Longmeadow Gardens is cut across by a sewer pipe which may limit the culvert’s capacity and flow. Different sections of the ditch and culvert show different rates of flow. Monitoring will continue but an independent expert view might be needed.

d) The ditch from Florence Close to Crooked Lane is silted up. Even the direction of flow is uncertain, although it is thought to be to the west. The ditch is thought to be owned by HydeMartlett and they should be approached to maintain it and thus to clarify the issues of flow. The direction of flow of the pond in Florence Close needs further investigation too.

e) Opposite the Scout Hut a culvert joins the ditch on the west side of Crooked Lane where the ditch from Florence Close (d, above) also joins the Crooked Lane ditch. This needs investigation as it may come from the end of Farne Lane.

e) The pattern of drainage at Hundredsteddle is very confused but the ditches on farmland are generally not well maintained. A meeting of concerned parties might help to unravel the issues here.

5. The survey had highlighted the issue of water storage. It was felt that as time went on there would be an increasing need to create ponds on farmland to store water until it could run off into ditches or drain into the ground. It was thought that grants might be available from the NFU or the Environment Agency for such work.

6. Action.

a) Once all the data have been received they should be transferred to the District Council’s records with a copy kept in the Parish.

b) The Parish Council should write to landowners in the first instance to tell them of the results of the survey and the need for action, pointing out that the problems will get worse if neglected.       The meeting considered seeking a group of volunteers from the village to carry out work but this was thought to be an unlikely course. If landowners do not take action the matter can be referred to Chichester District Council for enforcement, if appropriate. A notice would be issued directing the landowner to clear, desilt or re-excavate the ditch or culvert. CDC has no budget or resources to carry out this work itself but it can get the work done and then charge the landowner. An alternative would be for individuals affected by neglected drainage to take the landowner to Court; we were told this would cost about £286.

c) Bosham Parish Council has a one-day-a-month water bailiff who reports to the Parish Council. They have the Bosham stream running through the Parish which can cause acute problems. The Parish website carries information. This might be tried in Birdham or alternatively the monitoring carried out this winter could be continued by small voluntary teams in different areas of the Parish.