PENSHURST PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Tuesday 8 May 2012 at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe Village Hall
1. PRESENT: Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, J Broadhead, A Campbell, I Carson, S Frederick, J Horsford, J O’Shea, B Townsend.
2. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN/VICE-CHAIRMAN:
Cllr Campbell nominated Cllr Cass for the position of Chairman, this was seconded by Cllr Mrs Broad and supported by Cllrs Frederick, Horsford and Townsend.
Cllr Cass nominated Cllr Mrs Broad as Vice Chairman, this was seconded by Cllr Frederick and unanimously supported by the other members.
Appointment of Representatives: The following members were nominated and approved:
KALC Representatives: Cllrs Broadhead and Carson
Village Hall Representatives: Cllr O’Shea remained as Treasurer of the Organisation
Cllr Mrs Broad – Penshurst, Cllr Townsend – Fordcombe
Planning Representatives: Chairman plus councillors available to attend site meetings at time of application
Transport Forum Representative: Cllrs Broadhead & Campbell
Swaylands Representative: Cllr Mrs Broad/Mr R Sellings as necessary
Footpath/ Bridle Path Representative: Cllr Mrs Broad
Allotments: Cllrs Frederick and Campbell
Highways: J Cass
Play Area: Cllr Horsford
Alms Houses: Cllr O’Shea
Becket Trust: Cllr I Carson
3. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 2 April, having been circulated were approved and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of interests 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.
Personal Interest registered by Cllr A Campbell in planning 12/00946 – family member living at Glebelands.
Cllr Cass advised that most of the members of the PC visited the site the previous Saturday and spoke with two of the Becket Trustees and a number of residents.
There were considerable issues with congestion and parking and the PC had concerns in this regard although KCC highways would be responsible for making representations to SDC.
A question regarding whether the skylights in one of the units faced east would be answered by one of the trustees when the information was checked.
The existing sense of community at Glebelands and Becket Field was noted and concerns were raised over the loss of this should over intensification of the site with building and consequent parking problems occur.
The lack of space for the existing vehicles was noted together with the narrowness of the access road.
The increased parking problems which would be caused by the increased development were considered to be an insoluble issue.
The current Forge Field application covered six properties, if this was approved Becket Trust would need to carry out a further housing survey to prove further need.
Although the current application covered ten properties this was nearly twice as many as identified in the previous needs survey. The survey identified a need of 11 families but only up to half the units needed can be built.
The Becket Trustee advised that they had wished to show the full potential of the site when submitting the application, they had asked SDC for advice but this had not been forthcoming other than the fact the application needed to be submitted quickly to be considered in relation to the current survey results.
The Trustee advised discussions had started with WKHA to develop their garages which was shown as Site A; the other two sites – B & C – were the Trust garages and the area next to No. 8 which would lose the parking area and garden.
The Becket Trust had a good relationship with their residents which they did not wish to jeopardise, nor did they wish to upset the wonderful community that existed. They had been unable to find other sites to develop so had looked at their own as a route to providing further homes.
The Trust had been advised by SDC that they already had an application for affordable housing at Forge Field based on need and they would only be able to consider one site for the project, this had been made clear at pre-application discussions to explain why they had to submit their plans before the Forge Field site decision was made.
The differentiation made between parking allowable for houses and apartments was questioned.
It appeared the density of the proposed build would be in excess of 60 per hectare if approved, the density of the current site was already over 30 per hectare.
It was stated that if everyone looked for a site between Penshurst and Fordcombe it was felt sure that even if it was outside the centre of the villages it would be possible to accommodate everyone as it appeared they would all have cars.
WKHA would not agree to a moratorium on the Forge Field decision to accommodate a further search for sites.
It might be possible for the Becket Trust to alter the project size.
Beckets Field was originally an orchard, why intensify even further the building density.
It was confirmed there had been opposition to the two newer properties at Beckets Field but not to any great extent.
Penshurst Place had refused to offer further sites.
Current proposals include flats and houses with no gardens, a play area was included by the lorry/van turning area.
Designated parking areas were shown close to properties.
An offer was made by the trust to discuss the issue outside of the meeting.
SE/12/00757: Harts, Walters Green Road, Penshurst: Reposition partition to attic corridor, and form en suite in first floor dressing room. PC in support
SE/12/00740: Palmers Cottage, The Lane, Fordcombe: Erection of a single storey side extension. PC in support
SE/11/02726: Upper Bullingstone, Penshurst Road, Speldhurst: Demolition of existing private dwelling and erection of new private dwelling with basement, garage building, amended highway access and new gates. Amended on Drawings received 6.2.12 and 5.4.12. Previous response in support stands.
SE/12/00767: Chafford Park, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe: Rear dormer windows to the roof, conservation skylights to the inner main roof slopes, new casement windows at first and second floor levels to the West and East facing elevations, new soil and vent pipes extruding from inner roof slope, new hopper head and down pipe to east facing flank elevation, removal of rear conservatory. PC in support
SE/12/00946: 1-8 Beckets Field, Penshurst: The erection of 10 affordable dwellings at Beckets Field, Penshurst.
Members had visited the site with optimism to consider the plans for the affordable housing but were disappointed at the lack of space available for the number of properties proposed. The PC are totally in support of affordable homes, however, they could not support the application as submitted by the Becket Trust. It was noted that the incorrect references to land area caused by misplaced decimal points had been revised on the SDC planning website. The density of build was too high, at present being in excess of 30 properties per hectare and could be in excess of 60 if the application was approved. Traffic congestion and the limited parking space available is unacceptable. Members reiterated the fact that there was an amazing community spirit that, with a heavy increase in building, could be destroyed. Chairman was disappointed that the major part of the statement supplied with the application contained detrimental remarks regarding Forge Field rather than substantive evidence in support of the Beckets Field project. Clerk to advise SDC Planning of PC response.
PC Response: The PC support the provision of affordable housing, however we regret we are unable to support the application submitted by the Becket Trust for the following reasons:
The proposed high density of build resulting in over intensification of the site and the consequent impact on those living in the area
The number of properties proposed is not in accordance with the requirements of the needs survey
The current access, congestion and parking problems would be exacerbated further if more units were introduced
The Chairman permitted a question from the floor concerning the wording of the response in comparison to that submitted for the Forge Field application where he confirmed that the PC had supported the Forge Field project with conditions attached. In this instance the PC were unable to support the project as presented for the reasons attached.
SE/12/01018: 14 New Road, Penshurst: Erection of single storey porch extension. TBA
SE/11/03004: 4 New Road, Penshurst: Retrospective application for two storey side/rear extension. Variation on application reference SE/08/02529: REFUSED
SE/12/00367: The Limes, 10 Latymers, Penshurst: The erection of a single storey side extension, installation of a velux window, re-configuration of internal layout and changes to fenestration and installation of an external flue. GRANTED
SE/11/02599: Quaintways, High Street, Penshurst: Change of use of ground floor Class A3 use to residential with alterations and internal works. PC in support.
4. MATTERS ARISING:
a. Speedwatch: Cllr Broadhead had met with the new Speedwatch co-ordinator and identified nine sites suitable for use. Landowners to be approached regarding use of private land, training to be provided for volunteers.
b. SDC: Governance Review: Information on next part of procedure anticipated during mid May with subsequent time for consultation ending on 31 July 2012. Cllr Cooke would check whether all parishioners would be circulated with information or just the PC.
c. Public Toilets: Members were aware of the high cost of maintaining this facility in relation to the limited value it provided for parishioners, its benefit being mainly for visitors and walkers to the parish. Clerk advised she was disputing the current water bills which had been submitted as estimates of nearly £700. Cllr Campbell suggested the facility be retained until April 2013 to give time to transfer it to another local organisation with the PC making a smaller financial contribution towards the running costs. Cllrs Mrs Broad and O’Shea to discuss the possibility of Penshurst Village Hall assisting with the provision of toilets.
a. Swaylands: Clerk had been unable to get a response from Alexandra Boyes but would continue to pursue the issue regarding overnight lighting affecting properties in New Road. There were ongoing difficulties in relation to water supply at Lower Swaylands and sewerage disposal.
b. Kent County Councillor: Cllr Lake confirmed he would meet Steven Noad of Highways on Thursday to discuss various issues including the reintroduction of the Speed Indicator Device, as EDF were being unhelpful a solar unit would be installed by the property belonging to the Crookenden family, with their agreement. He would also discuss the outstanding road repairs required as a result of the diversion routes used last year. The road works scheduled for the Laundry bend were still to be completed. Hedgecutting was necessary in many areas, particular The Glebe in Penshurst to make walking safer for pedestrians using the area, landowners were urged to ensure boundary hedges were kept well cut back. Landowners were also reminded that it was their responsibility to clean mud from roads deposited by vehicles using their property. Cllr Lake had been dealing with a number of appeals for local schools and was concerned at the implications of new housing when this aspect was not taken into account.
c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: Cllr Cooke confirmed he had received an email confirming the A21 Pembury road widening was to be carried out over the next three years.
d. KALC: No report
e. Alms Houses: All residents are now back home in the Alms Houses. A meeting is being arranged with all the Trustees to discuss the maintenance of the Alms Houses. The reason for the government department change from TSA to NROSH for those dealing with the Alms Houses is unclear at present and what changes will result are unknown.
f. Neighbourhood Watch: The last report of theft in the parish was a bicycle from Fordcombe some weeks ago. The most frequent crime, not always reported, is unsolicited telephone calls. The elderly are particular targets and can be subjected to financial losses via bogus calls. Information on the Good Neighbour Scheme provided by the Rural Community Development Officer, Kathy Bugden, has been printed in the village magazines, this might be a scheme worth considering for the parish.
a. Cleaning of Signposts/Road Signs: Final list of signs being collated for clerk, these would be forwarded in the next week.
b. Longbridge Footpath: Missing handrail reported but not fixed, clerk to chase.
c. School Access: Cllrs Cass and Mrs Broad had met with the Latymers Management Committee who were happy for parents to park in the layby and walk through the pathway to the school, clerk to confirm to school. Members were advised that the problem of access from The Glebe to the school still existed, the preferred option would be via the field opposite but this had been refused by Penshurst Place due to implications of the route being used as a regular route.
The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:
Mr I Streeter Lengthsman £86.00
Fordcombe Village Hall Hall Hire £18.00
AON Annual Insurance Premium £1520.93
Complete Weed Control Fordcombe Weed Treatment £170.80
RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal £43.20
South East Water Warren Allotments £30.66
Goldservice Contract Cleaning Public Toilet Cleaning £407.95
Sevenoaks District Council Bulk Freighter £159.60
James Dean Pottery Jubilee China Cups (Penshurst) £525.60
GoPlastic Ltd Jubilee Picnic Table/Seat (Fordcombe) £690.00
a. Jubilee Celebrations: Mugs delivered for Penshurst School Children, order for seat/picnic table for Fordcombe play area placed, pro forma invoice received.
b. Annual Accounts: Annual accounts had been finalised by the clerk and made available at the Annual Parish Assembly, the internal audit had been completed, year end balances checked and PC documentation inspected with no points of concern having been raised by the internal auditor. Annual Governance Statement checked and complied with. Sections 1 & 2 completed by Chairman and Clerk, Section 4 completed by Internal Auditor.
a. KCC: Consultation on Commissioning Plan for Education Provision 2012-17 – to view draft plan and submit comments by 19 June 2012 follow link: www.kent.gov.uk/EducationProvision.
9. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
a. Poundsbridge: Clerk to report flooding along straight and blocked drains at Marlpit corner.
b. Fordcombe Village Hall: Cllr Townsend had been asked to check details of the new dog bin, Clerk had provided the information required via email.
c. Fordcombe Noticeboard: Cllr Townsend raised the poor condition of the noticeboard, clerk to check and obtain costing.
d. WKHA AGM: Chairman advised this would be held on 31 May 2012.
e. PC Meetings: Fordcombe: 2 July, 3 September, 5 November; Penshurst: 6 August, 1 October, 3 December.
f. PORC: Cllrs Cass, Mrs Broad, Campbell and Townsend had visited the site at the invitation of the landowner in response to concerns raised with regard to tree removal and other activities at the site
Meeting concluded 9.30 pm Next Meeting 11 June 2012 – Penshurst