Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting

 

PENSHURST ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 4 May 2010 at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe Village Hall
1. PRESENT: Cllrs R Sellings (Chairman), A Campbell, S Frederick, D Geal, M Gilbert, R Horsford, C Viccars
APOLOGIES: Cllrs Mrs D Broad, Mrs A Hill. These were approved. KCCllr P Lake
2. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN/VICE-CHAIRMAN:
It was proposed by Cllr Viccars, seconded by Cllr Geal and unanimously agreed that Cllr Sellings be appointed Chairman for the ensuing year.
It was proposed by Cllr Gilbert, seconded by Cllr Viccars and unanimously agreed that Cllr Mrs Broad be appointed Vice Chairman for the ensuing year.
Appointment of Representatives: The following appointments were confirmed for the ensuing year:
KAPC Representatives: Cllrs Gilbert & Mrs Hill
Village Hall Representative (Penshurst): Cllr Mrs Broad, (Fordcombe): Cllr Geal
Planning Representatives: All councillors to be available, Chairman to contact as necessary
Transport Forum Representative: Cllrs Sellings and Mrs Broad
Swaylands Representative: Cllrs Sellings and Geal
Footpath Representative: Cllr Mrs Broad
Allotments: Cllrs Sellings, Campbell and Mrs Hill
3. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 6 April, having been circulated, were approved and signed by the Chairman.
MINUTES OF ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY held on April 12 were noted.
Declarations of Interest in Agenda Items
If a Member has a prejudicial interest, this should be declared at the start of the meeting.
Personal interests may be declared at this point or alternatively can be declared at the time when the specific item is being discussed, if a Member wishes to speak on an item in which s/he has a personal interest. None
Cllr Frederick arrived and apologised for late attendance.
4. MATTERS ARISING:
 
a. Fordcombe Hospital Bus Stop: Letters forwarded to Spire Hospital and Speldhurst Parish Council to advise that although Penshurst PC consider the issue to be one of health and safety no solution had been possible due to the fact the land was not within the Penshurst parish. Acknowledgement received from Spire Hospital, further response awaited from Speldhurst Parish Council.
b. Saltbins: List of current salt bins and amount of salt contained required, together with list of other sites where bins considered to be necessary. Members to provide proposed sites for new salt bins at June meeting for submission to Kent highways.
5. REPORTS:
 
a. Swaylands: Cllr Sellings advised that six apartments were available in the main house with one unit sold in the block nearest to Bidborough. The landscaping was now looking very attractive. Building materials, pallets, brambles etc. had been cleared from site but no further trees had been cut.
b. Kent County Councillor: No report
c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: SDCllr Cooke updated everyone on the Climate Change Agenda and the Local Development Plan. It had been assessed that 75% of properties were emitting too much energy and visits would be made to advise on help available to make them more energy efficient. Homeowners and businesses would be encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint. A requirement of building 3,300 houses in the district during the course of the next twenty years had been identified under government guidelines, Sevenoaks had already either built, or approved for building, one thousand five hundred units. The MGB would be protected. Larger developments required set percentages of affordable housing to be included with smaller sites being required to contribute towards future affordable housing schemes.
d. KALC: No report
e. Community Officer : No report
f. Alms Houses: The gardens at the rear had been cleared, the front gardens were managed by the residents. A contractor was dealing with the staining on the walls.
g. Proposed Affordable Housing/Medical Centre Project:
 
A breakdown of the responses to the exhibition indicated that the red proposal was preferred. 71% were in favour of the housing but there was little support for the new toilets. A number of sites had been considered but the current proposed one was preferred by the estate. Members were advised that the reason for the project was that Lord and Lady de L’isle wished to give something to the parish.
Clerk provided information on the project, which had predated the current PC, the first survey having commenced in 2002. Three surveys had been undertaken, one by the Rural Housing Trust, a private developer and the current one under the administration of the Action with Communities in Rural Kent at the request of SDC. These surveys had been delivered by hand to all parishioners, with a small number being posted. The option to nominate suitable sites had been afforded in the survey papers to those responding. A short list of approximately half a dozen had been visited by the steering group, the others were subsequently discounted by English Heritage, Kent Highways or due to non compliance with the affordable housing site specification criteria.
PC members had been invited to meet with the estate representatives when the proposal was first suggested and confirmed they were, in principle, in favour of the project. Three PC members, Cllrs Sellings, Geal and Mrs Broad, subsequently met with other members of the steering group as observers for preliminary discussions and to view the draft design options prior to the exhibition. Analysis of the results of the responses to the exhibition was now awaited and would be discussed at a meeting in May. The result of this meeting would be minuted.
Clerk confirmed local businesses had been approached during 2007/8 regarding parking problems, raised as a consequence of problems experienced by the school. This issue had been minuted during 2008.
The most recent housing survey report had also been minuted during 2009. Cllr Cooke would check the issue of affordable housing requirements in relation to the Swaylands site but the clerk felt that this project pre-dated the legislation now in force.
Current problems were experienced with lack of privacy in the village hall afforded to patients attending Warders’ surgeries and it was felt this had prompted the estate proposal to provide a purpose built surgery.
West Kent Housing Association was the preferred partner of SDC with regard to housing development, councillors were concerned at the possible allocation of housing to people other local residents and had favoured working with the Beckett Trust on the project but had been advised this was not possible. In view of this they had requested that special allocation criteria be introduced in the Section 106 agreement accompanying any development agreed to ensure that the housing remained for use by local families, including any property that the estate might be able to nominate for occupancy.
Clerk confirmed that a couple of letters had been received as a result of the exhibition and information was being collated by SDC in answer to points raised so that parishioners could be kept updated on the situation.
It was pointed out that during the course of the housing surveys, which had been delivered to all households, the issue had been minuted as it had arisen, with agendas and minutes being posted on the notice boards before and after each meeting. Information had also been carried in the parish magazines and minutes were also available on the PC website. With regard to the exhibition, notices had been posted on the notice boards, at the school and at the post office/garage, on the website and in the parish magazines.
Parishioners were advised that as and when any planning application was received this would be tabled for consideration, members of the public would also be able to submit responses to SDC at that time.
6. HIGHWAYS:
Longbridge: Repairs commenced 12 April, work due to be completed during May. Traffic lights would restrict traffic but no diversion to be in operation.
River Medway Bridleway Bridge: Clerk had been advised by Nicky Biddall that this work should be completed by August to coincide with the end of the closure notice.
Road Surface – Fordcombe: Reported to Sue Ireland, no further information available.
Interactive Road Signs: Confirmation received from Sue Ireland that the sign on the B2188 near the junction with The Lane, Fordcombe has been approved; the sign requested for Penshurst does not meet the county location criteria and has subsequently been refused. Clerk to check with Sue Ireland regarding criteria applied. Clerk also to request notification of siting of Fordcombe sign prior to installation.
Penshurst Churchyard: Cllr Gilbert confirmed reinstatement work had been carried out but suggested Nicky Biddall visit site to inspect, clerk to advise.
Potholes: 4494 Poundsbridge Lane, Speldhurst: Sent to utility/ Third Party for action on 10 February, still no information on website.
Fordcombe Drainage:Issue reported to highways under reference number 10004579, work indicated as being scheduled for completion on website by 21 April 2010.
Footpath Signs: Tenders being sought for missing footpath sign from Spring Hill/Manor Drive area and damaged footpath sign adjacent to Daneby Hall, The Lane.
Ice Indicator Signs: Request for ice signs on current speed signs along New Road registered under reference number 10004590, no information logged on website.
OPEN SESSION
 
Parishioners were advised to make 4 x 4 vehicles secure due to the ease with which catalytic converters could be removed by criminals.
The bridge on the coach road was still moving, measurements having recently been taken, it was considered the level of heavy traffic was causing the problem. Clerk to write to landowner and confirm continuing damage, also to confirm to the estate that work was still required to the culvert.
There appeared to be some confusion over the state of the recent planning application relating to the polytunnels and whether a re-submission had been requested. Members unanimously confirmed that the PC would only lend support to the application if all conditions requested by the members in their planning response were complied with by applicant, clerk to confirm to planning officer.
7. PLANNING:
 
Planning Applications:
 
SE/10/00685: Horns Lodge, Coldbarbour Road, Penshurst: Connect existing house to utility room range by enclosing existing open loggia. Alteration to fenestration on main house. The PC would object to this application due to the fact that the site has already been the subject of previous alterations and additions and should this application be approved, the footprint of the building would be increased beyond the size of permissible development.
 
SE/10/00743: 3 Smarts Hill, Penshurst: Hard standing for vehicles in front garden. The PC have no objections to this application and note that the sight lines would improve.
 
SE/10/00868: The Grove Cottage, Grove Road, Penshurst: Erection of stone wall to front boundary. The PC have no objections to the erection of the wall but are sorry to see yet another natural hedge being removed.
 
SE/10/00761: Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Amendment to Section 106 Agreement dated 14 May 2003. The PC oppose any deviation from the wording agreed in the original Section 106 agreement which was finalised after extended discussions. Should the agreement be disseminated to individual owners the PC calls for all requirements of the original agreement be applied to each individual party and where, of necessity, collective responsibility exists, this must continue to be the case with all parties being jointly held responsible in the future.
 
SE/10/00840: Ivy Cottage, Poundsbridge Lane, Penshurst: Erection of detached garage (replacement). No Comment
 
TW10/00986 Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Provision of two additional disabled car parking spaces and overflow car parking area for visitors on open days to the estate.
The PC have no objection to the provision of the disabled car parking spaces.
The PC object to the formal parking provision for the open days. The PC understands that the site will be open four days per annum for a few hours during daylight hours at weekends. Having visited site it is considered there is sufficient casual parking already available on site to facilitate a large number of vehicles and, if overflow parking is required, in view of the limited time this will be required, members are of the opinion that grassed areas (as for example used in Penshurst Place on a daily/weekly basis) would provide a surface of sufficient standard to accommodate same. Members would point out that there is an ample grassed area suitable for parking near Drummond Hall which would again alleviate the necessity of introducing further tarmac areas to the site.
In view of the fact that any grassed area designated for visitor parking in connection with the garden scheme would only be required during daylight hours, the PC requests that no lighting be permitted and a condition be placed on the area restricting its use to coincide with the garden visit days only.
 
TW10/00989: Swaylands, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Extending exiting driveway onto Poundsbridge Lane to form new in/out driveway to Estate.
The PC object to this application in view of the fact that the wall is listed and it would be necessary to remove a substantial area to accommodate the entrance. The tree loss is unacceptable, in particular two yew trees would be lost which are exceptional specimens. The safety of road users both exiting the site and using the lane would be compromised. Although not strictly a planning issue, it was felt that this alteration might also cause drainage problems which would affect the surface of the lane itself, particularly in icy conditions.
DECISIONS:
SE/10/00416: Walters Green Farm, Walters Green Road, Penshurst: Erection of single 10KW Wind Turbine. WITHDRAWN
SE/10/00428: The Old Rectory, High Street, Penshurst: Installation of reclaimed gate. LBC GRANTED
SE/10/00319: Little Chart, Smarts Hill, Penshurst: Erection of a two storey side extension. GRANTED
APPEALS:
SE/09/02937: Beech Glade, Doubleton Lane, Penshurst: Single storey extension to dwelling
SE/09/02583: Log Cabin, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst: Erection of extension to log cabin to provide kitchen and studio/garden room
8. CORRESPONDENCE:
 
a. KCC: Changes to KCC consultation procedures for consultations on planning applications
b. SDC: Notification regarding TPO on land located to the south of 14 New Road, Penshurst
c. SDC: Launch of Community Plan 2010-2013
d. SDC: Temporary Street Closure: Penshurst High Street, Penshurst Road, Fordcombe Road and Ensfield Road – Macmillan Cancer Support Sponsored Walk in Penshurst on Sunday 16 May 2010
e. SDC: Invitation for councillors to attend launch of Community Plan at Wildernesse School and Sports Centre on 2 June 2010 from 11 am – 2.30 pm.
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9. FINANCE:
 
The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:
 
Mr I Streeter Lengthsman 78.00
Fordcombe Village Hall Hall Hire Fee 18.00
AON Ltd Annual Insurance Premium 640.95
Mrs E M Divall Clerk Salary April/May 550.00
a. Annual Accounts: Final accounts circulated to members together with internal audit report and Audit Commission form. Internal audit completed with no matters of concern having been raised. Chairman and clerk signed Statement of Assurance and completed Annual Return. Terms and conditions of parish council accounts confirmed for forthcoming year. All legal rights for electors with regard to accounts complied with, ie posting of notices.
10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS – None
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Meeting concluded at 10.35 pm         Next Meeting 7 June 2010 – Penshurst