Minutes of the Council Meeting held on the 19th March 2012

Minutes of the Council Meeting held on the 19th March 2012

Birdham Parish Council

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council

 held on Monday 19th March 2012

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall


Present:                     Cllr Barker, Cllr Cobbold, Cllr Leach, Cllr Tilbury, Cllr Grafham, Cllr Finch and Cllr Parks (Chairman), Cllr Bolton and Cllr Crossley.

Apologies:                 Cllr P Montyn (WSCC & CDC)

In attendance:           The Clerk, Cllr Marshall (CDC), PCSO’s Bainbridge and Broad, Mr R Boisier and Mr G Bristow (Chichester Marina) and 24 members of the public.

137-11 Public Question Time in accordance with SO’s 1d -1l:

There were no questions from members of the public but Mr David Barrett asked if it could be minuted that he had written to Mr Sam Irving of CDC concerning the rejected sites for affordable housing, and as at today’s date had not received a response.

138-11 Declaration of Interests:

i)      Cllr Parks declared a personal interest in planning application BI/12/00542/DOM as she is a neighbour of the applicant.

ii)     Cllrs Parks, Leach and Barker declared a personal interest in planning application BI/12/00475/FUL as they are members of the Yacht Club.

iii)    Cllr Crossley declared a personal interest in planning application BI/12/00475/FUL as he is a past member of the Yacht Club.

139-11 Approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on the 20th February 2012:

It was resolved that the minutes of the 20th February 2012 be signed as a true and accurate record.

 140-11 Land Bequeathed to the council:

The Clerk reported that he was now in receipt of the required documentation to register the land in the Councils Name. All of the conditions that the Council had asked for had been allowed without objection. The documentation has also been submitted to all of the other beneficiaries of Mr Adams Will and as at today’s date no objections had been received.

The Clerk therefore recommended to Council that the Chairman and he should be allowed to sign the necessary documentation and once completed the documents should be copied and the copies retained by the Clerk whilst the originals should be lodged with Thomas Eggar – the Councils Solicitors.

It was resolved that the recommendation of the Clerk should be adopted.

141-11 Report on the Funding Applications.

            In the absence of Mr Tofts, Cllr Bolton reported that the LEAF application had not been successful and that no news had been received concerning the application to the Big Lottery Fund.

142-11 Clerks’ Report:

i)              WSCC – The Clerk reported that he was in receipt of an email from Andrew Tofts of WSCC reminding Council that a free workshop – Planning for the Low Carbon Living - was available to interested people.

In addition notification had been received informing Council of the schedule for the Highway Rangers. The Clerk asked that if anyone knew of work to be carried out would they please advise him accordingly.

ii)             CDC – Notification has been received from the Revenues Department that the first tranche of the precept would be paid on the 13th April.

iii)            Other related matters – The Clerk reported that the setting up of the ‘Dog Watch’ scheme, in conjunction with the Police, Environmental Department of CDC and the School was well under way. Children from year 6 of the School had been involved in designing the art work, which would be judged by the Chairman, and then turned into metal signs which would be attached to lampposts in Crooked Lane.

iv)           Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC – Cllr Marshal (CDC) reported that, as published in the various papers and media broadcasts, Chichester District Council had maintained its level of Community Charge without increase.

 143-11 Planning matters including CDC decisions:

Cllr Tilbury introduced Mr Rupert Boisier – MD of Premier Marinas the owners of Chichester Marina – who would make a presentation to planning application BI/12/00475/FUL.

Mr Boisier took the floor and introduced Mr Graham Bristow – the Marina Manager. Mr Boisier went  on to outline the background behind the application and then outlined the application in brief detail. He explained how the business was going to be split forming two distinct areas of operation, leisure and industry. He said that the Chichester Marina was the second largest in the UK and currently employed twenty staff. The planning application that was before Council now had been going through the various phases and it was hoped that the application would be granted in May 2012, with the work completed by December 2012. Those currently occupying portacabins would be moved into permanent buildings and the portacabins removed. Extensive landscaping will be taking place throughout the Marina and no large transport vehicles will be used on a daily basis.

He then opened the floor for questions.

Questions ranged from the colour pallet of the completed buildings, building design including heights and styles, during construction what assurances could the developer’s give that construction traffic would park in specific areas, opening time of the new restaurant and drink driving?

Mr Boisier responded that the design styles of the building including the colour pallet are those indicated by CDC Planners, he also felt that a modern design would not be accepted by either the local community or CDC. Turning to the concerns of the additional restaurant facilities he said that they would be licensed, opening times would be dictated by the seasons and clientele. Drink driving would as far as possible be controlled by the on-site security staff. Construction parking on-site would be in a compound and the use of the compound would be required in the construction contracts awarded.

Cllr Tilbury then took Council through the application in detail.


 BI/12/00475/FUL Chichester Marina, Birdham

This is an application to redevelop the south west corner of the Marina. The site consists at present of three industrial buildings containing a boat shed and workshops, some temporary portacabins, open boat storage and parking. It lies outside the Birdham SPA but within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Forty metres from the site is Chichester Harbour which is a Ramsar site (under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as a Wildfowl Habitat), a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area, and a Solent and Maritime Special Area of Conservation. The adjacent Chichester Canal is a Site of Nature Conservation Importance.

The application is to demolish the existing workshops and boatshed and construct four new buildings in an L-shape to provide workshops, offices, storage and retail spaces with an outside boatyard.

The sensitivity of the location is obvious because of its proximity to Chichester Harbour with all its designations. It would also be fairly close to the existing Chichester Yacht Club building and the Marina lock building. The Council has considered whether this would become  too much of a built up area but is satisfied that the new buildings would not be significantly more obtrusive than the existing ones, would be an improvement in quality, and would be read in the context of the surrounding stored boats,  marina paraphernalia, houseboats and car parking. The only view which will be significantly different will be from the end of the Egremont Bridge and there will be some loss of amenity in this respect to the houseboats moored to the east of the bridge (and not shown on the plans).The layout would also serve to separate the industrial and leisure uses of the site in a way that accords more with modern practice.

The design of the buildings, while it will not make an outstanding contribution to the architectural heritage of Birdham, is in a style reminiscent of local buildings of similar use and in design terms will sit well with the adjacent Yacht Club and lock building. However, the use of the rap tackle style in three large, adjacent building runs the risk of monotony and we would ask that the uniform black staining/paintwork should be looked at again to see if there can be some suitable variation. The height will be no greater than the present buildings. The mass of the development is mitigated by being divided into four buildings which are articulated along the line of the marina road so as not to present a flat frontage. Some planting will also soften the line. We are concerned however about the security fence adjoining block D, shown on the perspective from the lock building but not on the plans, and would like to be assured that some thought will be put to softening the line of this fence, for example by suitable planting of indigenous species as a hedge. We would also like to be assured that the roof of block B (the boatshed), which is in a different material, will be of a colour which will match the other blocks and nearby buildings. The Chichester Harbour Conservancy design guidelines should be used here.  We also note the provision of solar panels on the south elevations of the roofs which will make a significant contribution to the buildings’ energy use and carbon footprint but would ask that these be black in colour to minimise their visual intrusion. The internal arrangements of the buildings are flexible for future use. We note that the Café and chandlery will occupy the centre units of block D. We have some concern that these two features could attract to the site traffic which is not essential to the operation of the Marina and hope that a way can be found to ensure that the retail features do no become the most important part of the development by limiting the approval to these two units and the appropriate classes of use. We look to the continued employment of staff at the Spinnaker bar and restaurant.

As noted above, there will be some loss of amenity to the residents of the houseboats to the east of Egremont Bridge. We are concerned to see that the perspective drawings all show a hard surface on the marina road up to the edge of the Canal. The existing grass verge constitutes part of Footpath 37 on the West Sussex County Council’s definitive footpath map. The Canal is also a known habitat for water voles which are a protected species. Any interference with the footpath on the edge of the Canal is unacceptable for both of these reasons. The Flood Risk Assessment concludes that there is minimal risk. We have some concerns however as our experience is that the land to be developed has shown signs of instability. There is for example a half metre drop from the road to the edge of the site adjacent to the existing corrugated iron shed. We understand that this will not be the case with the proposed development. We have been told that the subsurface of the boatyard is concrete and has been demonstrated to take weights of up to 35 tons. We are not sure that this is uniformly true over the whole site. We would like more assurance than we can find in the documentation that the ground is stable and that surface water will drain effectively in the ways set out in the proposal. We note the precautions recommended, especially during the construction phase, to avoid silting at the on-site treatment works which also services the houseboat residents, and hope these precautions will be kept in place after the construction. There is a proposal to put in external lighting angled away from the Marina. We accept the need for security lighting, as exists at present, but in this sensitive, rural location we request that any other lighting should be at a low level to avoid general light pollution and to avoid loss of amenity and tranquillity to residents.

We appreciate that this development may in part compensate for the loss to the local economy of BA Peters which went into administration in 2007. Our desire would be to see as many local people employed at the site as possible and no loss to the present marine businesses on the site. In particular we are concerned about the number of car journeys and parking needs implied by the increased numbers of people on the site when complete. We note that a transport survey has been undertaken, revealing the startling amount of traffic already using the A286. It might be claimed that the numbers involved on this site will not contribute significantly to the problem but we say again that development on the Manhood cannot be seen in isolation. The Local Planning Authority’s draft Core Strategy suggests that the final LDF, to be produced in early 2014, will demand more housing on the Manhood and it is the totality of this which concerns us. We are pleased to see that this development has a strategy to encourage cycling and car-sharing with an annual review by a designated member of staff. Even so, we doubt that the extra 23 parking places will suffice, especially in the winter when much of the car parking space is taken for the storage of boats.

We note that the Public Consultation document claims that the Clerk and Councillors of Birdham Parish Council received information about this development prior to the exhibition of December 2010. As far as we can tell, apart from those members of the Council who received an invitation to the exhibition because of other connections, this did not happen. And, because of illness, the Managing Director of Premier Marinas, was unable to give a presentation to the Council which had been arranged for the 20th December 2010. The Managing Director of Premier Marinas attended the Parish Council meeting at which this response was discussed and contributed to the meeting, in addition to residents.

Birdham Parish Council has NO OBJECTION to this application but asks for the following points to be clarified and agreed with the developer before the granting of permission, by suitable conditions where necessary:

  • Reassurance that the disturbance to residents during the construction phase will be kept to a minimum and that residents will be kept informed of likely problems. A site or sites should be designated for the parking of construction vehicle to ensure free use of the marina road at all times, especially emergency vehicles.
  • Strict implementation of the ecological mitigation plan
  • Strict implementation of the archaeological plan
  • Conditions concerning the security fencing as to height, materials, colour and planting
  • Conditions concerning the roof colour of block B
  • Conditions concerning the colour of the solar panels
  • Attempts to be made to mitigate the amount of uniform black colour used
  • Restriction of the café and chandlery to units 2 and 3 of block D
  • Discussions with the  Spinnaker bar and restaurant on an equable arrangement to ensure  the continued employment of the local staff
  • Conditions that the other buildings may only be used for marine-related uses and services to them
  • Recreational disturbance to residents and wildlife to be strictly controlled
  • Prohibition of hard surfacing to the path beside the Canal
  • Reassurance on the stability of the subsoil to enable it to support the development or conditions to ensure stability of the development
  • Reassurances concerning the drainage of surface water from the finished site
  • Reassurances that the existing Waste Water Treatment facility will be able to deal with the additional load and the needs of residents
  • Conditions that the lighting on the site will not contribute to light pollution or the disturbance of residents
  • Reassessment of the year-round parking spaces. Extra spaces to be found by decreasing the amount of on-shore boat storage.
  • Removal of the portacabins as soon as the new buildings are ready for occupation

BI/12/00640/LBC Hammonds Farm, Westlands Lane, Birdham

 This is an application to refurbish some internal doors, walls, partitions and a staircase and to replace windows which are beyond repair on this grade II listed 18th century farmhouse. The proposal has been prepared with great sensitivity to the original building in order to undo the effect of some unsympathetic previous changes and bring the house back to a style in character with the age of the property. All external work will be done on a like for like basis.

The Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

BI/12/00542/DOM Havenhurst, Sidlesham Lane, Birdham

 This is a resubmission of application BI/11/04784/PLD which was itself an application to renew a previously granted planning application. The Parish Council had no objection to the application of December 2011, but it was refused by the LPA because the extension to the house extends beyond the rear wall of the original dwelling house by more than 4 metres.

As far as we can discern, the extension beyond the rear wall of the original dwelling house is 4.45 metres of which 3.15 metres is attributable to a previous extension. As we said in our response to the December 2011 application there is no material change from the application which was previously granted and in our opinion, and taking into account the site on which the building stands, the extension of 45 centimetres beyond the 4 metre limit is immaterial.

The Council had NO OBJECTION to this application

It was resolved to instruct the Clerk to inform the CDC Planning Department of the Councils decisions.


 BI/12/00073/DOM Mr And Mrs Daniel And Jana Van Der Veen Barn Tiles Pescotts Close Birdham

Rear extension 1 1/2 storey, pitched roof; single storey ground floor front extension; alterations and extensions to existing roof to include one new dormer; various rooflights and new window to gable end. PERMIT

  It was resolved to note the decisions made by CDC.

144-11 Correspondence – In addition to that already circulated.

The Clerk had received the following;

  • The CPRE Newsletter – The Sussex Review.
  • The Spring 2012 Newsletter of the Friends of Chichester Harbour.
  • The LCR from NALC
  • A letter from the Chairman of the Village Hall Trustees confirming that the Trustees had discussed the Councils request to use the village hall free of charge and had granted the Council use of the hall for its monthly meetings free of charge, and would review any additional usage costs as and when they arise.

145-11 Affordable Housing – Site Selection Working Group.

Cllr Bolton as the Chairman of the Working Group said that the Group was now operating as an ad-hoc group. They had compiled a list of questions which they had forwarded to Ms Thomson of CDC that they wished to have answered at the meeting on the 12th April or earlier if possible. The Chairman asked if it was possible for the questions to be emailed to all Councillors and the Clerk by the latest the 4th April. In addition would any resident who had questions they would like answered would they please forward them to the Clerk who would then collate them, forward them to Ms Thomson and also put the questions onto the web site for all to see. This was agreed.

146-11 Emergency Planning.

Cllr Crossley reported that a meeting had been held in the village hall with a number of interested Residents and Councillors including Lloyd Harris – Emergency Planning Officer of CDC. The small group that had the opportunity to test Mr Harris and quickly discovered that whilst he was very committed he was grossly under resourced for his work. The group also discovered that if a mistake was made they could be sued for damages which required that the group requires indemnity of some form.

It was discovered that Mr Hope a Resident was in fact a member of the Neighbourhood Watch Searches Team which had been set-up following the Sarah Payne murder investigation, they took their instruction from the Police and are properly equipped with radios, a vehicle based in the Bognor Police Station and are properly insured.

Lloyd Harris said that the ‘Plan’ should be generic but should cover emergencies brought about by the weather, pandemics, cyber-attacks etc. with the key objectives being command, control and co-ordination. The plan should be kept simple and local, ideally including a database of useful resources, skill sets and machinery, names, addresses, contact numbers. It must be held securely in multiple and key locations and should be tested at least annually.
Example plans could be found at Fernhurst. East & West Wittering & Earnley are in the process of compiling plans, it was suggested that there may be some merit in joint discussions although advice was given to keep the plan local to Birdham however, it may be worthwhile for joint discussions to create ideas and working through issues.

It was suggested that the database should be created locally based on Residents Associations who may then be able to cascade information down.

A number of questions from the group to Lloyd Harris remain unanswered but cover such topics as Public Liability insurance, who and what is covered? What is the scope/remit of the Group? Should it be containment of the situation or maintaining communication etc? What additional training if any would be available and by whom?

The group would be putting forward some proposals for the next meeting but felt that the whole system should be based on community and neighbourhoods. Examples of good practice were needed.

Cllr Tilbury was asked to provide a list of Residents Associations and their contact details if possible.

It was agreed that a follow up meeting was required at a date to be agreed.
The Chairman thanked Cllrs Crossley and Grafham for their combined report.

147-11 PC/Web Site demonstration for the 14th July.

Cllr Cobbold had suggested this idea as something that could and should be used during the Village Fete on the 14th July to show people how the web site could be used. Cllr Grafham said that he should be able to do this and all that was needed was access to the wireless broadband connection of the village hall.

148-11 Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and Funding.

The Clerk reported that he had received a letter from the Leader of Chichester District Council offering match funding upto a maximum of £200 in support of local celebrations. The Chairman said that she felt that as the Council had, in the past, funded memorabilia for the young this time the Council should do something for the senior population of the Village, and suggested that a bench was purchased and installed in a suitable location on the playing field. Cllr Bolton felt that this was a good idea but we should try and use local materials and craftsmen to build one, perhaps from some of the wood that was cut down by the church.

No decision was reached and the matter was deferred pending further research.

149-11 Reports:

i)      Play area and playing field – It had been identified that more work was required on the fence surrounding the play area. Knight Fencing had been asked to quote but could not get on to the site before early April. It was therefore decided that KJB Contractors of Mundham would be asked to quote for the work which was due to start on the 20th March.

ii)      Village Green and Pond – The Clerk reported that he had now made contact with Sussex Wildlife Trust and would be meeting onsite on the 9th May during which it was hoped that plan of action could be decided upon.

iii)      Police and Neighbourhood Watch – PCSO Rose Bainbridge introduced her colleague PCSO Ollie Broad who was working with her. She went on to say that the rate of crime had increased on the Peninsula but was mainly confined to the Hunston area although it now seemed to be spreading to Birdham and Sidlesham. To counter this patrols have been increased in those areas. However, it would appear that the main problem was a lack of basic security by householders, doors and windows had been left unlocked and even keys left in cars. It was requested that anything that looked out of place or remotely suspicious be reported by telephoning 101 for non-urgent and 999 for urgent responses.

PCSO Bainbridge was aware that a car had been abandoned on Farne Lane and she was trying to get it removed.

She went on to say that the powers of the PCSO’s had been increased to the extent they now had the power to search for tobacco and alcohol and to fixed penalty notices for various offences including littering and dog fouling.

iv)     Communications/Parish Newsletter/Website – Cllr Finch apologised for two errors in the newsletter. She went on to say that the Annual Parish Meeting would be held on the 5th May at 7pm and various speakers had shown interest in attending the meeting.

The Clerk reported that the new web site was on course to be live certainly by the 2nd April if not the 1st.

v)      Other – The Chairman wished it to be publicly acknowledged that bench by the pump was in the process of being repaired by Stirlands and that thanks go to Mrs Jan Stirland for taking on this project.

The Clerk said that in common with a number of Parishes throughout Sussex the Sussex Flag would be flown on Sussex Day the 16th June and if a St Georges flag could be obtained it would be flown on 23rd April.

150-11 Finance:

i)       The Clerk presented the financial report to the Council which showed the following figures;

Balances held at Bank:           £24512.59

Designated Funds:                  £25557.04

Available Funds:                    -£  1044.45

Creditors:                                 £    579.20

The Clerk again emphasised that the negative available funds was against the budget amount for 2011/12 and had been brought about by the impact of the legal fees in obtaining ownership of the Adams bequest and the costs associated with vandalism that had taken place during the financial year.

It was resolved to accept the financial report.

151 -11 Reports from Councillors attending meetings:

Cllr Tilbury reported that he had attended the last meeting of the South Chichester County Local Committee and under the Infrastructure Plan – Highways Department Works item 3 Birdham Safer Routes the 20mph speed limit would be implemented in 2012/13 possibly 2013/14.

Cllr Cobbold had been attending the Madestein Appeal hearing which she found to be very interesting and felt that the decision was finally balanced between both sides. The Inspector was due to visit the site on the 16th April.

Cllr Finch said that she had attended a seminar on Neighbourhood Planning in Hampshire and had picked up a lot of tips concerning Community Engagement. It would also appear that Denmead Parish Council was being used by a number of other parishes as a ‘template’ council.

The Chairman – Cllr Parks said that she had hosted and chaired the meeting of the Peninsula Forum and that the Clerk would email the minutes to any Resident or Councillor who requested them.

152-11 Items for inclusion in the next meeting:

Birdham Mill

Use for the land bequest.

Emergency Planning

Meeting with Ms Y Thomson

153-11 Date of Next Meeting.

              16th April 2012 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

 There being no further business to discuss the meeting closed at 9.20pm

                         Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________