Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of the 19th April 2010

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of the 19th April 2010

Birdham Parish Council

Minutes of the Meeting held on Monday 19th April 2010

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

Present:                    Cllr Tilbury (Chairman), Cllr Mrs Leach, Cllr Churchill,

Cllr Mrs Parks, Cllr Mrs Barker and Cllr Way

Apologies:                Cllr Mrs Cobbold, Cllr Ms Huskisson and Cllr Meynell

In attendance:         The Clerk, County and District Councillor P Jones, and 3 members of the public.

130-09cl. Chairman’s remarks

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

131-09cl.       Declarations of interest

There were none.

132-09cl. Minutes of the meeting held on the 15th March 2010


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

Proposed by Cllr Mrs Barker and seconded by Cllr N Way

133-09cl.       Matters arising from the Minutes

i) Land Bequeathed to the council – The Clerk reported that he put together a portfolio of letters and emails and together with a copy of the late Mr Adams Will and this had been forwarded to Samantha Ewing – Solicitor of Thomas Eggar. Ms Ewing had come back briefly via telephone to both assure the Council that they would be putting in a quotation of costs and also to give a brief insight into what she considered to be the main problem. She would be in touch again after contacting Owen Kenny to determine if it was possible to work jointly with the third party in resolving the problems.

ii) Bus Shelter Seat – The recommended contractor has been contacted by the Clerk. It is hoped that the seat will be installed by the end of the week commencing 26th April 2010

iii) Notice Board – The Clerk reported that there was indeed a notice board at the Birdham Village Stores to which he had the Key. It was in need of a little TLC but, was, and in fact is, now in use.

134-09cl.       Clerk’s Report:

i) The Clerk had received a copy of the ‘Snow Summit’ final report, which he felt to be somewhat of an expensive re-iteration of what was already known and accepted. The report finalised with two conclusions that in themselves where both obvious and to a certain extent somewhat inconclusive.

ii) Although nothing directly has been received from CDC on the subject of the LDF the Clerk had attended a meeting in a neighbouring parish at which a CDC Officer gave a very informative talk on the LDF. During the talk it became apparent the completion of the LDF would cost in the order of £700k, and that following the Election in May, if the Conservatives where elected as the Majority Government they would cancel the project.

iii) Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC

Cllr Jones reminded everyone present that Civil Parking Enforcement was now in place across the District.

He then went on to say that the largest budgeted area within the CDC was mainly for social needs and amounted to some £60million. The CDC was responsible for the collection of the Business Rate throughout the District and, unlike other comparable Districts who received some 66% of the rate collected, received a return of only 60%. This required the District to find savings of at least £1m per year for the next three years.

The Audit Commission has rated the District highly in its annual report.

135-09cl.       Planning matters including CDC decisions:


BI/10/010341/FUL Teals, Lock Lane, Birdham

This is an application to demolish and rebuild on a site outside the Birdham SPA and within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The footprint of the building will not be increased and the proposal is on a large site and not out of proportion with other developments which have been permitted in this road. Somewhat extravagant claims are made for the architectural merit of what is proposed. It seems to us that there is a lack of coherent fenestration which adds up to what Frank Lloyd Wright referred to as a certain amount of architectural millinery. We would like further thought given to this for aesthetic reasons even though the effect on neighbouring properties or the streetscape is not really an issue on this site. We note that the garage/annexe includes the provision of a bedroom and would therefore request a condition that the garage/annexe may not be disposed of separately from the main house as we do not wish to see the sites in this part of the village subdivided and lose their character. We also note the considerable area of glass at first floor level on the southern elevation of the garage/annexe and were concerned about the privacy of the adjoining property. We note however that the dividing hedge between the two properties is four metres high and would ask for a condition that it be maintained at that height. With these caveats the Council raises NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/01107/DOM the Old Poorhouse, Alandale Road, Birdham

As the name implies, this is remainder of the old poorhouse for the Parish of Birdham. In other circumstances it might have been considered for listing. But the fact is that piecemeal development over the years has meant that there has been an almost total loss of historical context and the effect of this application is to tidy up the exterior and extend the accommodation. We received no Design and Access statement with this application but on the assumption that there is nothing there to cause problems we raise NO OBJECTON to this application.

BI/10/01028/TPA Stumps Cottage, Crooked Lane, Birdham

The applicant states that this tree is in poor condition and of not amenity value. We would have liked to see an assessment by a qualified tree surgeon with this application. The fact that a tree casts shade is not a sufficient reason to fell it.  Our preference is to have the tree managed by pruning back to the previous growth points but in this particular instance we would be content to rely on the advice of the Authority’s Arboriculturist.

BI/10/00821/FUL Lansdale Marine, Birdham Road, Birdham

The previous application for this site (which is within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) covered the adjoining business at Premier Motorhomes. This is an attempt to divide the application and show that what was objected to on the joint application should not apply to one half of the application. The Council is not convinced and maintains its OBJECTION to this application. As we explained previously, the Council wishes to preserve the approach to the village from the north-east from ribbon development and an overly commercial intrusion into the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. To this end we asked for the hedge along the main road to be maintained at 1.4 metres. The hedge was planted into 5 centimetres of soil on top of hard core and has never thriven. We are not inclined to consider further applications at this site until something is done about this. Also, the original application designated customer parking at the front of the building and employee parking at the side. These designations have been frequently ignored. A later application to turn the former office building into a classic car showroom designated some of the same parking for the showroom. The result is an area which, if a sales area is added, will be even more confused and congested. We consider that it is time for the Authority’s Enforcement Officers to visit the site, sort out a clear designation which can be enforced and demand that the screening hedge be properly planted, nurtured and maintained. The Council was widely criticised for supporting the original application on this site and is not inclined to allow things to get worse.

BI/10/01113/DOM Broomfield Studio, Lock Lane, Birdham

This is a modest (7.5 sq.m.) application to provide space for an internal staircase as part of the re-ordering of the interior of this building which lies outside the Birdham SPA but within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The applicant is a member of Birdham Parish Council and therefore known to all Council members. He himself has taken no part in the discussion on this application. The existing building is regarded by the Chichester Harbour Conservancy as an exemplar of appropriate development in the AONB and this extension will not diminish this an any way. The Council raises NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/00861/FUL Prof Tony Welch, Shepherds, Alandale Road, Birdham

Extension. Other external works, and change of use of the existing, original electrical substation, to form single dwelling. Whilst raising NO OBJECTION to this application the Council were minded to request that CDC apply a condition that the property not be sublet as a holiday home.

BI/10/00453/PLD Mr S Terry Bricks 18 Bell Lane Birdham Chichester

Alter drainage to suit (minor alteration).  Strip foundations concrete slab, standard brick and block construction, cut and pitched timber roof, plain concrete tiles, velux windows in roof. The Parish Council raises NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/10/01041/DOM Mr R Felton Harbour House 22 Greenacres Birdham

Two storey front extension.  Single storey rear extension.  New and replacement garage/workshop.  Associated works and landscaping. Due to the proximity of the Harbour the Council felt that this application should be the subject of a site visit and was therefore deferred.

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

Proposed Cllr Churchill seconded Cllr Way


BI/10/00615/DOM Mr David Owen, Straight House Church Lane Birdham

The addition of one pitched roof dormer to south west elevation of property to compliment the alterations already made post approval of application no. BI/07/05793/DOM. PERMIT

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

Erection of play equipment. PERMIT

BI/09/05156/DOM Mr D Wylie, Manhood End Farm Birdham Road Birdham

Change of use and alterations of existing roof space over garage to form playroom, including new access thereto PERMIT

BI/10/00236/DOM Mr D Brown, Fir Trees Sidlesham Lane Birdham

Conservatory to side elevation. PERMIT

136-09cl.       Correspondence:

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

A letter from the CEO of CDC concerning information on obtaining Broadband services.

A letter from the Parking Services Manager – Mr Lewin outlining the new car park charges that came into force on the 1st April.

An invitation from the Chichester Ship Canal Trust to attend their AGM on the 12th May together with March newsletter. This was to be offered to Cllr Huskisson.

A letter from the Harbour Conservancy containing their Footpath Maintenance Program for 2010.

A letter from the Harbour Conservancy outlining information about the Annual Progress Report 2009-10 and how we may contribute input to the plan. Cllr Meynell to be asked if he would carry out the required work

A quotation from M H Kennedy & Son which appears to be a very small increase on 09/10.

A copy of Fieldwork the magazine/newsletter for the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

137-09cl.       Reports:

i)      Play area and playing field – The small gate hinge post had to be replaced at a cost of £215.65. A report of possible repair work to be carried out post the ROSPA inspection.

ii)     Village green and pond – Cllr Huskisson to contact CDC

iii)     Police and Neighbourhood Watch – Although no representative was present from the Police, it had been reported that drain covers had been stolen from across the area including Birdham, which was creating a hazard particularly to cyclists.

There had been a number of thefts from garden sheds.

A motorist had been dealt with for speeding in the Birdham.

138-09cl. Finance:

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

Balances held at Bank: £36789.89

Designated Funds: £25557.04

Creditors: £2269.93

This statement was the basis for the Annual Audit of the Councils Accounts

Resolved: To accept the financial report.

Proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Cllr Mrs Barker

The Clerk requested guidance on the Mandate names for the NS&I savings account. Do we wish to maintain it or close the account and purchase a bond or some such? Councillors Tilbury, Parks and Meynell were the Councils nominated signatories and will sign the mandate form. In the meantime the Clerk was asked to research possible forms of investment that would benefit the Council.

139-09cl Reports from Councillors attending meetings:

There were none.

140-09cl        To review and adopt the New Model Standing Orders:

Generally it was felt that the new S/O’s were an improvement on the old. However, the Council wished to change S/Order 3 Proper Officer, b, i, to read the second paragraph which represented the method of working currently adopted and was more expeditious than the paragraph in bold type.

This being the case it was resolved that in accordance with Standing Order number 79 of the existing Standing Orders the resolution shall be adjourned until the date of the next ordinary meeting of Council

Proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Cllr Mrs Barker

141-09cl Public session:

A question was raised concerning the land opposite the school entrance. What was the current situation? The Chairman replied that this was being dealt with by lawyers and we would be notified of the outcome in due course.

142-09cl        Items for inclusion on the Agenda for the next meeting

Standing Orders

There being no further business to be dealt with the meeting closed at 9.25 pm

Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________