Ordinary Meeting Minutes 11/06/2012

 

PENSHURST PARISH COUNCIL

 

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 11 June 2012 at 7.30 pm in Penshurst Village Hall
Prior to the meeting Councillors were invited to meet with Chris Woodward, Chairman of Speldhurst Parish Council to discuss the current project to improve the provision of Broadband in the area. It was suggested that a volunteer be sought to represent the parish on the steering group handling this issue. Village Magazines have been asked to help in seeking candidates.

 

1. PRESENT: Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, A Campbell, I Carson, J Horsford, B Townsend.

 

APOLOGIES: Cllr J Broadhead, S Frederick and J O’Shea. These were approved.
 

 

2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 8 May 2012, 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. NONE
 

 

OPEN SESSION

 

Affordable Housing: Chairman confirmed a letter had been forwarded to SDC regarding the Becket Trust application.
It was hoped that the time allocated to the planning application for Forge Field could also be afforded to Becket Trust. WKHA had been approached on a number of occasions to provide further information in relation to their Parish Council supported application which they had done. Cllr Cooke advised that it was possible that the Forge Field application could be considered at the June meeting if the Officer’s report was complete; if the Becket Trust application could be considered an alternative option (which at present it could not) it could be read in tandem or at a later date. Becket Trust members were scheduled to meet with SDC on Thursday as part of their continuing consultation with the planning department.

 

Verge Cutting: Cllr Lake confirmed that this would be undertaken between 1 June and 31 July with one cut only. The question of cost effectiveness of the PC appointing their own contractor to carry out the work efficiently was raised again. Cllr Lake would approach Brian Sweetland, Head of KCC Highways Services to pass on the parish’s complaint.

 

3. PLANNING
Applications:

 

SE/12/01018: 14 New Road, Penshurst: Erection of single storey porch extension. No Comment

 

SE/11/02258: Land SW of Forge Garage, High Street, Penshurst, Kent TN11 8BU: Erection of Six Affordable Dwellings with associated access and landscaping works as amended by revised plans and documents received on 13.3.12. The PC have no further comment to make on the revised documentation.

 

SE/12/01336: Salmans Farm, Salmans Lane, Penshurst: Erection of a steel framed agricultural building. PC Support

 

SE/12/01447: Bowens Cottage, Poundsbridge Lane, Poundsbridge, Penshurst: Demolition of outbuildings and construction of garage

 

SE/12/01442LBC: The Old Rectory, High Street, Penshurst: Insertion of new window in the north elevation of existing Grade 2 listed building.

 

SE/12/01427: Larkfield, Saints Hill, Penshurst: Erection of two storey front/side extension, rear extension over existing catslide.

 

Decisions:

 

SE/12/00691: Warren Farm Barn, Fordcombe Road, Penshurst: Reconstruct roundel including roof and cowl. GRANTED

 

SE/12/00692: 3 Pioneer Cottages, Smarts Hill, Penshurst: Extension of time limit of extant planning permission approved under SE/09/00314: Erection of 2 storey side extension and alterations. GRANTED

 

SE/12/00757: Harts, Walters Green Road, Penshurst: Reposition partition to attic corridor, and form en-suite in first floor dressing room. LBC GRANTED

 

SE/11/02726: Upper Bullingstone, Penshurst Road, Speldhurst: Demolition of existing private dwelling and erection of new private dwelling, amended highway access and new gates. GRANTED
 

 

Appeals:

 

SE/11/02600/02599: Quaintways, High Street, Penshurst: Notification of change of venue for appeal hearing on 31July 2012 at 10 am in Conference Room, SDC Council Offices.

 

Tree Surgery:

 

SE/12/01140: Hedge Barton Trailer Park, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe: Various works to trees TPO.

 

SE/12/01240: 2 The Glebe, Penshurst: Various works to trees (TPO). PC Support

 

SE/12/01238: Steamhammer Lodge, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Various works to trees (TPO).
Cllr Carson advised he had discussed this application with the landowner.

 

SE/12/01346: 3 Rectory Cottages, High Street, Penshurst: Fell 1 conifer tree (WTCA). PC Support

 

General:

 

SE/12/00191: Penshurst Place Estate, Penshurst Road, Penshurst. Enlargement and improvement of woodland access off Penshurst Road to facilitate HGV movements. Application withdrawn.

 

4. MATTERS ARISING:

 

a. Speedwatch: Cllr Broadhead to update, matter deferred.

 

b. SDC Governance Review: Documentation circulated to parishioners providing information on proposal and opportunity to respond to SDC.
The Chairman advised that two options of either splitting the parish or altering the voting system had been dismissed by SDC but the possibility of unwarding the parish had been put to parishioners for their comments. Comment was invited until 31 July.
Cllr Cooke reported that Ian Bigwood, SDC, had received a number of comments from parishioners requesting that the current system be retained rather than alter any aspect of representation or warding.
Chairman recorded his thoughts that the existing system had worked well over many years, even when contentious issues had previously been raised, in view of this he felt no alteration should be made to the current PC, he invited comments from members, asking for their decision on the situation.
Cllr Mrs Broad had spoken with many parishioners who also expressed a wish to keep the current system which supported her view to maintain the status quo. Cllr Mrs Broad also felt that should the system be changed it would make it easier for single issue protest groups to be elected.
Cllr Townsend felt the current system worked extremely well and saw no reason to alter it, he had also received many approaches to keep to the existing system.
Cllr Carson felt it was an issue of representation, he considered that having been elected by the community he should represent it. There were strong feelings about the current affordable housing issue and he felt people had voted for him to represent these opinions. He felt the members not elected held a controlling influence over the issue, as was the case with Fordcombe councillors.
Clerk explained the system of nominations and requirements for elections, mention was also made of a decision to abolish a PC which was overturned on Judicial Review when the Judge took into account the fact that a high percentage of parishioners had not responded to the issue at all, thereby inferring they were happy with the existing PC arrangements.
Cllr Townsend advised that he had responded to the approach of a number of parishioners asking him to stand for the council, he considered that had they not wished to see him to represent them then other candidates would have been put forward to stand against him, this had not been the case.
Cllr Carson appreciated the democratic aspect of elections, he considered Cllr Campbell had been de-selected on certain issues and therefore parishioners had felt it unfair that he was on the council.
Chairman pointed out that Cllr Campbell had subsequently been voted unanimously from the available candidates to take the vacancy on the council and was in fact a Penshurst resident.
Cllr Horsford confirmed he too had been approached by a number of parishioners to stand for the vacancies in Fordcombe and was of the opinion that had his nomination not been acceptable to anyone in the parish other candidates would have been put forward to oppose him.
Cllr Campbell could see the merits of canvassing throughout the parish in an attempt to prevent any group gaining control although it could also mean that factions from small areas could gain control more easily.
In conclusion the Chairman recorded that five of those present were in favour of the current organisation of the PC with one against.
Cllr Cooke asked that Ian Bigwood be made aware of the results of the PC’s discussions.
A member of the audience requested to make a point, this was accepted, the parishioner stated that he would prefer the parish be separated rather than be unwarded.

 

c. Public Toilets: Cllrs Mrs Broad and O’Shea to report back on approach to Penshurst Village Hall committee regarding toilet facilities, matter deferred to next meeting.

 

d. Fordcombe Noticeboard: Local contractor approached, information on refurbishment promised for following day. Repairs to hinges, glass and wood treatment required.

 

e. Defibrillators: Cllr Peter Lake confirmed, in response to Cllr Townsend’s request, that he would fund the provision of one unit for each of the village halls in Fordcombe and Penshurst; the forms for completion would be forwarded to the clerk.

 

5. REPORTS:

 

a. Swaylands: Representative of Alexandra Boyes undertaking inspection of lights during hours of darkness to ascertain problem affecting properties in New Road area.

 

b. Kent County Councillor: Cllr Lake reported that the specification for the road surfacing at Laundry Cottages had been advised, a request had been submitted to ensure there would be no increase in noise. Chevrons and signage were being installed. Further information was awaited on the SID unit. Cllr Lake advised contractors were given four weeks to remove road signs indicating speed limits after recent resurfacing work.

 

c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: Cllr Cooke confirmed that £2,200 had been allocated from the Community Fund towards Fordcombe Village Hall.

 

d. KALC: Cllr Carson had been unable to attend the recent meeting.

 

e. Alms Houses: Mr Johnson advised a meeting of all the trustees was scheduled for Thursday to discuss the maintenance work required.

 

f. Neighbourhood Watch: Members were informed that some despicable people had stolen the chains from the childrens’ swings at the Fordcombe Play Area, it was difficult to understand who would stoop so low to carry out this crime. Police warned parishioners to take extra care with callers at the door, someone purporting to be from the Water Board had tried to gain entry to a property in New Ash Green at the weekend but the resident was suspicious and had telephoned the company who confirmed he was bogus.
Everyone is advised to check identification of those requiring entry to properties.

 

6. HIGHWAYS:

 

a. Cleaning of Signposts/Road Signs: List of signs requiring attention emailed to Allan Gibbons, these would be actioned during the coming weeks.

 

b. Longbridge Footpath: Missing handrail reported, PROW Officer away until end June, awaiting inspection by alternative officer. (Clerk informed after meeting by PROW office issue resolved, Cllr Campbell confirming)
 

 

c. Penshurst School Access: Clerk had written to the Headteacher to advise result of discussions with representative of Latymers, information on access had been passed on to parents via the school newsletter. Cllr Cass had met with Mr Johnson at The Glebe to walk a possible route to school, this was being considered by the residents. Cllr Carson advised he had attended a school Governors’ meeting and Cllr Lake was arranging for a highways expert to attend another meeting to discuss options available to improve the safety for the children walking to school. The possibility of using the pub car park for parent parking had been mentioned, it was also suggested an approach be made to Penshurst Place in this respect.

 

d. Poundsbridge: Flooding at Marlpit Corner reported (Ref. 42889) together with flooding near corner (Ref. 17417192). Work at Marlpit Corner requires traffic management, completion anticipated by 21 June, report awaited on flooding near corner.

 

e. The Glebe – New Road: Clerk to report laying water covering road to centre line of road on Penshurst side of Long Bridge. (Reported under Ref: 43877)
 

 

7. FINANCE:

 

The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:
Mr I Streeter Lengthsman £86.00
Goldservice Contract Cleaning Ltd Public Toilet Contract £390.01
South East Water Public Toilet Water Supply £15.24
RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal £97.20
Penshurst Place Allotment Rental £7.50
South East Water Public Toilet Water Supply £15.24
Mrs E M Divall Clerk Salary April-June £952.00
HMRC Clerk Salary Income Tax £188.00

 

8. CORRESPONDENCE:

 

a. KCC: Formal notice of Preparation of KCC’s Minerals and Waste Local Plan available on line at http://consult.kent.gov.uk/portal

 

b. Becket Trust: Email received from Louise Howard regarding recent meeting of Trust, circulated to councillors.

 

9. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

 

a. PC Responsibilities: Chairman asked those unable to attend meetings in connection with their responsibilities on the PC to advise the clerk in order that an attempt could be made to find someone to take their place.

 

b. Blocked Drains: Clerk to report blocked drains in Chafford Road to St. Peter’s Row (Ref: 43880); Spring Hill (still under investigation from previous report under Ref: 17722855); near Fordcombe Village Hall at the junction with the main road and The Lane (Ref: 43881); Reeves Court, The Lane (Ref: 43882); opposite the centre of Keymer Court (Ref: 43883).

 

c. Collapsed Road: Cllr Campbell reported on a road collapse at the corner of Bradley Road.
Meeting concluded at 9 pm Next Meeting 2 July 2012 – Fordcombe

 

PENSHURST PARISH COUNCIL

 

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 11 June 2012 at 7.30 pm in Penshurst Village Hall
Prior to the meeting Councillors were invited to meet with Chris Woodward, Chairman of Speldhurst Parish Council to discuss the current project to improve the provision of Broadband in the area. It was suggested that a volunteer be sought to represent the parish on the steering group handling this issue. Village Magazines have been asked to help in seeking candidates.

 

1. PRESENT: Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, A Campbell, I Carson, J Horsford, B Townsend.

 

APOLOGIES: Cllr J Broadhead, S Frederick and J O’Shea. These were approved.
 

 

2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 8 May 2012, 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. NONE
 

 

OPEN SESSION

 

Affordable Housing: Chairman confirmed a letter had been forwarded to SDC regarding the Becket Trust application.
It was hoped that the time allocated to the planning application for Forge Field could also be afforded to Becket Trust. WKHA had been approached on a number of occasions to provide further information in relation to their Parish Council supported application which they had done. Cllr Cooke advised that it was possible that the Forge Field application could be considered at the June meeting if the Officer’s report was complete; if the Becket Trust application could be considered an alternative option (which at present it could not) it could be read in tandem or at a later date. Becket Trust members were scheduled to meet with SDC on Thursday as part of their continuing consultation with the planning department.

 

Verge Cutting: Cllr Lake confirmed that this would be undertaken between 1 June and 31 July with one cut only. The question of cost effectiveness of the PC appointing their own contractor to carry out the work efficiently was raised again. Cllr Lake would approach Brian Sweetland, Head of KCC Highways Services to pass on the parish’s complaint.

 

3. PLANNING
Applications:

 

SE/12/01018: 14 New Road, Penshurst: Erection of single storey porch extension. No Comment

 

SE/11/02258: Land SW of Forge Garage, High Street, Penshurst, Kent TN11 8BU: Erection of Six Affordable Dwellings with associated access and landscaping works as amended by revised plans and documents received on 13.3.12. The PC have no further comment to make on the revised documentation.

 

SE/12/01336: Salmans Farm, Salmans Lane, Penshurst: Erection of a steel framed agricultural building. PC Support

 

SE/12/01447: Bowens Cottage, Poundsbridge Lane, Poundsbridge, Penshurst: Demolition of outbuildings and construction of garage

 

SE/12/01442LBC: The Old Rectory, High Street, Penshurst: Insertion of new window in the north elevation of existing Grade 2 listed building.

 

SE/12/01427: Larkfield, Saints Hill, Penshurst: Erection of two storey front/side extension, rear extension over existing catslide.

 

Decisions:

 

SE/12/00691: Warren Farm Barn, Fordcombe Road, Penshurst: Reconstruct roundel including roof and cowl. GRANTED

 

SE/12/00692: 3 Pioneer Cottages, Smarts Hill, Penshurst: Extension of time limit of extant planning permission approved under SE/09/00314: Erection of 2 storey side extension and alterations. GRANTED

 

SE/12/00757: Harts, Walters Green Road, Penshurst: Reposition partition to attic corridor, and form en-suite in first floor dressing room. LBC GRANTED

 

SE/11/02726: Upper Bullingstone, Penshurst Road, Speldhurst: Demolition of existing private dwelling and erection of new private dwelling, amended highway access and new gates. GRANTED
 

 

Appeals:

 

SE/11/02600/02599: Quaintways, High Street, Penshurst: Notification of change of venue for appeal hearing on 31July 2012 at 10 am in Conference Room, SDC Council Offices.

 

Tree Surgery:

 

SE/12/01140: Hedge Barton Trailer Park, Chafford Lane, Fordcombe: Various works to trees TPO.

 

SE/12/01240: 2 The Glebe, Penshurst: Various works to trees (TPO). PC Support

 

SE/12/01238: Steamhammer Lodge, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Various works to trees (TPO).
Cllr Carson advised he had discussed this application with the landowner.

 

SE/12/01346: 3 Rectory Cottages, High Street, Penshurst: Fell 1 conifer tree (WTCA). PC Support

 

General:

 

SE/12/00191: Penshurst Place Estate, Penshurst Road, Penshurst. Enlargement and improvement of woodland access off Penshurst Road to facilitate HGV movements. Application withdrawn.

 

4. MATTERS ARISING:

 

a. Speedwatch: Cllr Broadhead to update, matter deferred.

 

b. SDC Governance Review: Documentation circulated to parishioners providing information on proposal and opportunity to respond to SDC.
The Chairman advised that two options of either splitting the parish or altering the voting system had been dismissed by SDC but the possibility of unwarding the parish had been put to parishioners for their comments. Comment was invited until 31 July.
Cllr Cooke reported that Ian Bigwood, SDC, had received a number of comments from parishioners requesting that the current system be retained rather than alter any aspect of representation or warding.
Chairman recorded his thoughts that the existing system had worked well over many years, even when contentious issues had previously been raised, in view of this he felt no alteration should be made to the current PC, he invited comments from members, asking for their decision on the situation.
Cllr Mrs Broad had spoken with many parishioners who also expressed a wish to keep the current system which supported her view to maintain the status quo. Cllr Mrs Broad also felt that should the system be changed it would make it easier for single issue protest groups to be elected.
Cllr Townsend felt the current system worked extremely well and saw no reason to alter it, he had also received many approaches to keep to the existing system.
Cllr Carson felt it was an issue of representation, he considered that having been elected by the community he should represent it. There were strong feelings about the current affordable housing issue and he felt people had voted for him to represent these opinions. He felt the members not elected held a controlling influence over the issue, as was the case with Fordcombe councillors.
Clerk explained the system of nominations and requirements for elections, mention was also made of a decision to abolish a PC which was overturned on Judicial Review when the Judge took into account the fact that a high percentage of parishioners had not responded to the issue at all, thereby inferring they were happy with the existing PC arrangements.
Cllr Townsend advised that he had responded to the approach of a number of parishioners asking him to stand for the council, he considered that had they not wished to see him to represent them then other candidates would have been put forward to stand against him, this had not been the case.
Cllr Carson appreciated the democratic aspect of elections, he considered Cllr Campbell had been de-selected on certain issues and therefore parishioners had felt it unfair that he was on the council.
Chairman pointed out that Cllr Campbell had subsequently been voted unanimously from the available candidates to take the vacancy on the council and was in fact a Penshurst resident.
Cllr Horsford confirmed he too had been approached by a number of parishioners to stand for the vacancies in Fordcombe and was of the opinion that had his nomination not been acceptable to anyone in the parish other candidates would have been put forward to oppose him.
Cllr Campbell could see the merits of canvassing throughout the parish in an attempt to prevent any group gaining control although it could also mean that factions from small areas could gain control more easily.
In conclusion the Chairman recorded that five of those present were in favour of the current organisation of the PC with one against.
Cllr Cooke asked that Ian Bigwood be made aware of the results of the PC’s discussions.
A member of the audience requested to make a point, this was accepted, the parishioner stated that he would prefer the parish be separated rather than be unwarded.

 

c. Public Toilets: Cllrs Mrs Broad and O’Shea to report back on approach to Penshurst Village Hall committee regarding toilet facilities, matter deferred to next meeting.

 

d. Fordcombe Noticeboard: Local contractor approached, information on refurbishment promised for following day. Repairs to hinges, glass and wood treatment required.

 

e. Defibrillators: Cllr Peter Lake confirmed, in response to Cllr Townsend’s request, that he would fund the provision of one unit for each of the village halls in Fordcombe and Penshurst; the forms for completion would be forwarded to the clerk.

 

5. REPORTS:

 

a. Swaylands: Representative of Alexandra Boyes undertaking inspection of lights during hours of darkness to ascertain problem affecting properties in New Road area.

 

b. Kent County Councillor: Cllr Lake reported that the specification for the road surfacing at Laundry Cottages had been advised, a request had been submitted to ensure there would be no increase in noise. Chevrons and signage were being installed. Further information was awaited on the SID unit. Cllr Lake advised contractors were given four weeks to remove road signs indicating speed limits after recent resurfacing work.

 

c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: Cllr Cooke confirmed that £2,200 had been allocated from the Community Fund towards Fordcombe Village Hall.

 

d. KALC: Cllr Carson had been unable to attend the recent meeting.

 

e. Alms Houses: Mr Johnson advised a meeting of all the trustees was scheduled for Thursday to discuss the maintenance work required.

 

f. Neighbourhood Watch: Members were informed that some despicable people had stolen the chains from the childrens’ swings at the Fordcombe Play Area, it was difficult to understand who would stoop so low to carry out this crime. Police warned parishioners to take extra care with callers at the door, someone purporting to be from the Water Board had tried to gain entry to a property in New Ash Green at the weekend but the resident was suspicious and had telephoned the company who confirmed he was bogus.
Everyone is advised to check identification of those requiring entry to properties.

 

6. HIGHWAYS:

 

a. Cleaning of Signposts/Road Signs: List of signs requiring attention emailed to Allan Gibbons, these would be actioned during the coming weeks.

 

b. Longbridge Footpath: Missing handrail reported, PROW Officer away until end June, awaiting inspection by alternative officer. (Clerk informed after meeting by PROW office issue resolved, Cllr Campbell confirming)
 

 

c. Penshurst School Access: Clerk had written to the Headteacher to advise result of discussions with representative of Latymers, information on access had been passed on to parents via the school newsletter. Cllr Cass had met with Mr Johnson at The Glebe to walk a possible route to school, this was being considered by the residents. Cllr Carson advised he had attended a school Governors’ meeting and Cllr Lake was arranging for a highways expert to attend another meeting to discuss options available to improve the safety for the children walking to school. The possibility of using the pub car park for parent parking had been mentioned, it was also suggested an approach be made to Penshurst Place in this respect.

 

d. Poundsbridge: Flooding at Marlpit Corner reported (Ref. 42889) together with flooding near corner (Ref. 17417192). Work at Marlpit Corner requires traffic management, completion anticipated by 21 June, report awaited on flooding near corner.

 

e. The Glebe – New Road: Clerk to report laying water covering road to centre line of road on Penshurst side of Long Bridge. (Reported under Ref: 43877)
 

 

7. FINANCE:

 

The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:
Mr I Streeter Lengthsman £86.00
Goldservice Contract Cleaning Ltd Public Toilet Contract £390.01
South East Water Public Toilet Water Supply £15.24
RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal £97.20
Penshurst Place Allotment Rental £7.50
South East Water Public Toilet Water Supply £15.24
Mrs E M Divall Clerk Salary April-June £952.00
HMRC Clerk Salary Income Tax £188.00

 

8. CORRESPONDENCE:

 

a. KCC: Formal notice of Preparation of KCC’s Minerals and Waste Local Plan available on line at http://consult.kent.gov.uk/portal

 

b. Becket Trust: Email received from Louise Howard regarding recent meeting of Trust, circulated to councillors.

 

9. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

 

a. PC Responsibilities: Chairman asked those unable to attend meetings in connection with their responsibilities on the PC to advise the clerk in order that an attempt could be made to find someone to take their place.

 

b. Blocked Drains: Clerk to report blocked drains in Chafford Road to St. Peter’s Row (Ref: 43880); Spring Hill (still under investigation from previous report under Ref: 17722855); near Fordcombe Village Hall at the junction with the main road and The Lane (Ref: 43881); Reeves Court, The Lane (Ref: 43882); opposite the centre of Keymer Court (Ref: 43883).

 

c. Collapsed Road: Cllr Campbell reported on a road collapse at the corner of Bradley Road.
Meeting concluded at 9 pm Next Meeting 2 July 2012 – Fordcombe