Parish Council Meeting 11 September 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in Five Ash Down Village Hall on Tuesday 11th September 2018 at 7.30p.m.

 

Present:

Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Hoggan, Illingworth (WDC), Marshall, Roberts, Rose and Wells.

Also present: Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.

 

Public :

6. A member of the public from High Hurstwood asked the following questions:

 

  1. Local Plan – High Hurstwood has been designated as a Core Area within which development could be within and around/within and adjoining/within and adjacent/near. What exactly is meant by each of these words? What is the definition of around, adjoining, adjacent and near? Clerk to request clarification from WDC Policy Officers
  2. Clarification on what is meant by ‘windfall’ allowance for Buxted WLP7 and RAS1
  3. The Local Plan allocates a ‘settlement capacity’ for Five Ash Down and High Hurstwood of 10 each plus 26 for Buxted Village – does that mean there could be a total of 46 new dwellings within the parish?
  4. It was requested that the designation of the High Hurstwood playing field as a local green space be considered on the agenda. It was confirmed this is going to be discussed – see minute 05/09/18 below.

 

A Buxted resident requested an update on the millennium sculpture? See minute 05/09/18 below.

 

01/09/18

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies received and accepted from Cllrs Cox, Humphreys, Johnson and ESCC Cllr. Galley and WDC Cllr. Lunn

 

02/09/18

DECLARATION OF MEMBERS INTERESTS

 

All councillors declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the Ionides Trust/Buxted Community Hall by virtue of the parish council being managing agents of the site.

 

Cllr. Rose declared a prejudicial interest in any matters relating to the land west of Church Road (Taylor Wimpey site) due to having owned part of the application site and a personal interest in the Ionides Surgery/Hall site due to having a business opposite the land.

 

Cllrs. Rose and Illingworth declared a personal interest in matters relating to the new community hall by virtue of being parish council representatives on the BCHT

 

Cllr. Rose declared a personal interest in any matters relating to Crusader Vehicles by virtue of owning a business adjacent to the site.

 

Cllr. Wells declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the allotments by virtue of being an allotment holder

 

03/09/18

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minutes of the meeting held on 10th July 2018 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.

 

04/09/18

ESCC/WDC REPORT

 

Cllr. Illingworth updated the on the appointment of Trevor Scott as new Chief Executive of WDC who will take over the role formally in October.

 

05/09/18

OUTSTANDING MATTERS

 

Public footpaths: Nothing to report.

 

Trees:

 

Littlewood Lane Woods: Millennium sculpture and tree guards – Over the summer it was reported that the oak bench and sculpture that had been erected in Millennium Woods, Littlewood Lane had been cut down and wrought iron tree guards surrounding two trees had been removed. The parish council had originally commissioned the sculpture and then donated it to the Woodland Trust to be erected within the wood as part of the bench. The parish council do not own these woods and they are owned and managed by the Woodland Trust. The manager, David Bonsall, of the woods was contacted and he advised that the work had been carried as the original tree which formed part of the whole was rotten. They did try to drive an iron spike through the bench but were unable to do so because of the hidden concrete foundations. He also said that it was the Woodland Trust had purchased the tree guards and were, technically the property of the Woodland Trust but he was happy to donate them to Buxted. The tree surgeon who carried out the work advised that the tree guards were stored safely in his yard at Waldron and would deliver them to the location where they were next to be located. He agreed to look at reattaching the sculpture to the bench, if it could be made safe. He gave a ball part estimate of up to £500.00 to carry out the work. It was agreed to thank Dave Bonsall of the Woodland Trust for donating the tree guards and the tree surgeon for his help.

 

The chairman suspended standing orders to allow residents of Buxted to speak who advised that he would be happy to reinstate the sculpture for no cost if allowed due to health and safety. Standing orders reinstated.

 

Chairman would speak to the contractor to ask if this is possible. It was also agreed that one of the tree guards could be located around the James Chalmers memorial tree on the Pound Green triangle and the other could be put around any new tree planted on the Ionides Trust land.

 

Road Safety: FAD Traffic Calming: speed survey – At the previous parish council meeting it was agreed to go ahead with the speed surveys in Five Ash Down. Unfortunately, these were not carried out prior to the school holidays. The clerk has been assured that they would be in situ as soon as practicably possible. Referred to the next Parish Council meeting.

 

Ionides Trust:

 

Parish Council/Ionides Trust joint initiative to resolve car parking issues – The chairman updated that she and Cllr. Wells had met several times on site to discuss this ongoing issue as Crusader Vehicles continue to take over up to five spaces in the Ionides car park, parking there all day. The surgery has not taken up the offer of their staff parking four to five vehicles in this part of the car park, thus potentially freeing up space in their car park for patients. However, this situation is not continually monitored so sometimes changes may occur without our knowledge. It is felt that the time has now come to engage directly with the partners rather than just with their practice manager. Before we do this, it would be helpful to have some idea of all the costs which may occur during the car park alterations. These may include all or some of the following. Changes to signage, posts to prevent ingress into areas which are not designated for car parking, resurfacing and possibly extending the car park. Potentially we could look at enlarging the car park along the back edge, along the same lines as cars now park parallel to the back edge of the car park, thus increasing the number of spaces by five and removing the necessity for a post fencing along this edge. Recent quotes to tarmac and make good the existing area comes to between £10,000-£12000. Just one quote has been obtained to increase the size is around £4000.00. Do we investigate building the car park as designed in the new village hall plans, 14 extra spaces, and seek to use the remaining section 106 monies?

 

Members discussed the various options available commenting that there are a lot of positives of implementing the parking and landscaping aspects as approved. It was also highlighted that there are two issues with this site 1. Crusader Vehicle Parking, 2. Demand for extra space, but members agreed that increasing the spaces shouldn’t be delayed due to the Crusader problem.

 

It was agreed to approach the Hall Trust to gauge how they would feel about using the existing Section 106 money to create the larger car park and landscaping. As an alternative, an increase to the car park of five spaces would also be possible using Ionides Trust money. To be referred to the November meeting.

 

New community hall: Nothing to report.

 

Defibrillators: Steve Holmes is currently working on the FAD telephone kiosk.

 

Wealden Local Development Framework – Local Plan: Update on public consultation – Cllr. Illingworth provided the following information regarding the newly published Plan:

 

“As you are no doubt aware the Wealden Local Plan Draft Submission has been published.

 

It has been approved by Full Council at WDC.

 

The current stage of the process is called the representations stage inviting submissions to be presented on the plan, primarily regarding its soundness and accuracy, rather than disagreements about policy which came at earlier stages.

 

These representations are the collected and submitted to the inspector with the plan. The council does not revise its draft plan based on the submissions.

 

It is unlikely that you will find anyone who will be 100% happy about the plan itself. I for example think that it could have been a lot punchier on improving our urban centres and supporting highstreets. I also think that it could include a more comprehensive strategy for supporting local businesses.

 

However, on the whole I think the plan, save a few typos which still need ironing out, is solid and will meet many of the objectives that we have for the district, particularly regarding planning.

 

Most of the development will be in the south of the district, away from the Ashdown Forest, meaning that we are spared the hundreds of houses that would otherwise be going in all the villages in the ward.

 

Within Buxted Parish the windfall allowance is 26 (from September 2017) which should be delivered within the development boundary or as policy compliant dwellings outside of the development boundary (within the wider MSOA 008 North).

 

High Hurstwood and Five Ash Down do not have windfall allowances, but both have settlement capacities of 10.

 

There does seem to have been a bit of confusion over the difference between windfall allowance and settlement capacity, so I will try to briefly explain what they mean.

 

The difference between windfall allowance and settlement capacity is that WDC have modelled the windfall allowance for the Habitats Regulations and this can be delivered as part of the Local Plan. Settlement capacity is the limit to which the settlement can grow (according to policy) but has not been modelled for the purposes of Habitats Regulations Assessment and (unless there is a windfall allowance) may not necessarily be delivered.

 

Therefore, where there is a settlement capacity of 10 and a windfall allowance of 0 WDC are not expecting the delivery of any growth because we are only mitigating the number of houses that we have modelled (i.e. the windfall allowance). However, if the Ashdown Forest constraint is no longer an issue (for example if bespoke mitigation is provided) then 10 additional houses in accordance with policy would be supported.

 

If the Planning Inspector agrees with our policy, then the settlement capacity is the limit of growth within the Plan period. So, there would be no more than 10, even if the habitats issues were to be overcome.

 

10 new dwellings could only be built if the mitigation policy on AF habitat policy allowed it, subject to usual constraints? Anybody’s guess as to how things will pan out post Brexit where I would think we had bigger things to worry about? Commenting only on legal requirements and Test of Soundness (consistent with NP), not the details.”

 

Chairman suspended Standing Orders to allow the members of the public from High Hurstwood to respond to the comments made by Cllr. Illingworth

 

For the purposes of clarification, it was established that dwellings would only be permitted in High Hurstwood and Five Ash Down if the Ashdown Forest mitigation measures could be satisfied as there is no headroom for development within the dwelling capacity agreed by WDC at the current time. The only possible way these mitigation measures could be satisfied would be to prove that no further traffic movements would be created by a development, or that there would be less traffic movements than that of an existing use. Cllr. Illingworth was asked to check with WDC that traffic generated by commercial uses cannot now be transferred to new dwellings, as Cllr. Rose has been advised of this.

 

In conclusion, the Parish Council agreed that it would not be responding to the consultation as it has no comments on the legal soundness of the way the plan has been formulated. The consultation does not allow comments to be made on the details or specific policies of the plan.

 

Property issues:

 

Update on Reading room Repairs – Works to repair the Reading Room are now complete and have been carried out to a high standard.

 

Japanese Knotweed Update – The parish council has paid its share for the three-year end of treatment programme, but as there are still signs of knotweed presence in the neighbours garden an eradication programme to continue for two more years will be necessary. Clerk to ensure our contractors do not cut the grass on the Reading Room side.

 

Verbal report on Allotment track meeting – The clerk reported that she had met with the landowner and representatives from the Allotment Association the previous week on site. The state of the track and the usage of Network Rail was discussed. The owner did confirm that a service agreement is in place and this paperwork has been requested from solicitors. It was also suggested that as Network Rail often unload quantities of Type 1 or MOT onto the rail track, they would be asked if some of this could be offloaded onto the track to fill the holes. Clerk is awaiting a further update from the land owner.

 

High Hurstwood Recreation Ground – The parish council had received a request by the HHVHC who wish to investigate securing a long-term protection for the High Hurstwood recreation ground. Although the parish council has no intention of changing the status of the recreation ground and do not believe it is even possible as it is designated as such, the Parish Council agreed to the HHVHC looking into this matter.

 

Communications Matters: Website: Nothing to report.

 

Railway station planters: No one came forward to carry out looking after the planters and therefore they have now been removed

 

06/09/18

CORRESPONDENCE

 

P1 WDC: Publication of Wealden Local Plan and public consultation – See minute 05/09/18 above

 

P2 Local Business Owner: Querying parking notices and highlighting damage to parked vehicles – Correspondence was received from a local business owner querying the legality of the notices in Gordon Road asking for people to not park outside their properties. It was confirmed that although they have no legal basis, they are permitted development and a polite notice. With regards criminal damage to vehicles, this has been happening for a while and all incidents should be reported to the Police. The business owner also asked if there is any redundant land which could be parked on, or if the Reading Room car park could be used. Members commented that the Reading Room is used during the day on a very regular basis, so the parking area is required at all times for hall users. With regards redundant land being used for additional car parking space, the parish council could not afford to implement such a scheme having been advised that each space would cost £5,000 to construct. It was also commented that as part of the planning permission for the new business was the provision of staff car parking spaces to the rear of his property. Neither would the parish council be installing CCTV within the village unless this was funded by local business wishing to do so.

 

07/09/18

COMMITTEE MEETINGS

None

 

08/09/18

FINANCE

i)    Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Illingworth seconded by Cllr. Rose, payments totalling £8,983.44 covered by cheque numbers 4187 and 4201 were approved.

ii)     Bank reconciliations: The clerk had circulated completed reconciliations for August and September which were signed

iii)    Grants – Not all annual grant applications have been received – deferred to October.

 

09/09/18

OTHER MEETINGS

No other meetings

 

10/09/18

MEMBERS QUESTIONS

Cllr Rose requested that the front window frame of the Reading Room be painted now that the repair work has been completed. Clerk would ask Steve Holmes to do this and replace wooden buffers around the copper pipes.

 

The clerk was also asked to obtain the invoice for the replacement window to the rear of the Reading Room.

 

11/09/18

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

·   There But Not There appeal – prior to the meeting, the Chairman circulated details of an appeal in the Buxted Messenger for the There But Not There charity which raises funds for The Royal Foundation, Walking With The Wounded, Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, Project Equinox: Housing Veterans and Medical Students, Commonwealth War Graves Foundation through the sale of silhouette figures. Given it is the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 it was suggested that silhouettes could be purchased by the Parish Council. Although the parish council did not consider the Perspex models appropriate, it was considered that an aluminium model on a solid base to be placed in the centre of Buxted village at a cost of £750 – a vote was taken, and it was resolved to purchase a suitable memorial. Clerk asked to consult Beechbrook Park resident’s association with a view to the memorial being situated at the entrance to the estate.

 

·   Request for Parish Council to purchase bulbs for planting event on 20th October 2018 – The Parish Council had previously agreed the purchase bulbs for this event. It was suggested and agreed that 350 mixed daffodil and 150 crocuses would be purchased.

 

·   Next Litter Picking Event 29th September 2018 – details available on Buxted Talk Facebook Page.

 

Chairman not present at the next meeting in October.

 

  The meeting closed at 20.30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

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