Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

9th October 2001




Meetings 2001
9th January 2001
13th February 2001
13th March 2001
10th April 2001
Annual Parish Meeting
8th May 2001
12th June 2001
10th July 2001
14th August 2001
11th September 2001
9th October 2001
13th November 2001
6th December 2001
11th December 2001

Minutes of a meeting of the Biddenden Parish Council

Held on Tuesday 9th October 2001 at 7.30p.m. in the Club House

Present: Cllr. Mrs. G. Scott - Chairman Cllr. D. Harrison
  Cllr. G. Raffe Cllr. T. Richards
  Cllr. M. Conway Cllr. Mrs. E. M. Griffiths
  Cllr. Mrs. E Cansdale Cllr. H. M. Stokes
  Cllr. Mrs. B. Swain Cllr. N. Bell
  and Mr. R Carr (VDS Report)  
Apologies: Cllr. E Farris Cllr. B. Wingham


There were no questions raised.

It was proposed that this item be put on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting. AGREED


The minutes of the meeting of Tuesday 11th September 2001 were approved and signed.


Rural Housing Trust Proposals - The Clerk updated the Council on recent correspondence from the Rural Housing Trust.

It was proposed that Ashford Borough Council be contacted for advice on obtaining independent confirmation of the housing need. This was seconded and AGREED.

Millennium Beacon - The Chairman is currently making enquiries in an attempt to resolve the problem of locating the beacon and will report further at the next meeting. NOTED.

Skate Park Petition - Cllr. Harrison gave a brief report on the scheme currently underway in Smarden, which has been achieved as a result of efforts by local parents. The scheme was financed by a £500.00 donation from Smarden PC, grants and local fundraising.

The demand for such a facility in Biddenden was noted. In order to progress such an idea with the Borough Council full details of the levels of support and funding proposals would be required. Local parents are to be advised accordingly and asked how they would support and propose to fund such a scheme. AGREED.

A letter and map detailing the problems of rubbish/bonfires at the Cheeselands recreation ground has been sent to Ashford BC. NOTED.

High Street pavements - Details of the recent site meeting between Mr. Jamie Watson (Highways Engineer), Cllr. Wingham and the Clerk were discussed. The £10,000.00 allocated by Ashford BC will not cover all the required works so Mr. Watson has suggested that this be viewed as a long term project, with priorities agreed for the money currently available. He also suggested giving further consideration to identifying possible grant funding opportunities (English heritage has since confirmed that it has no funding on offer).

The Council felt unable to prioritise without a further meeting being arranged with Mr. Watson, the Conservation Officer and English Heritage, to establish exactly what would and would not be allowed. The Clerk will contact Mr. Watson accordingly. AGREED.

Village Junction Layout

Two residents of North Street have written regarding traffic speeds outside their properties and the lack of measures to reduce this. NOTED.

Correspondence from the Highways Unit has been received in respect the Government’s speed strategy for rural roads and villages together with a document "Road Safety – Tackling Speeding Traffic". The purpose is to assist Parishes in addressing questions raised with regard speeding issues, however it does not appear to offer any assistance with the current concerns. NOTED.

Cllr. Bell agreed to pursue the matter of the Speed Indicator Device and will report back by the next meeting. He will also contact the Highways Unit in an attempt to speed up the implementation of the junction alterations as it has stated that it will not carry out any speed checks or consider further improvements until 3 months after the work has been completed. NOTED.


Cllr. Bell reported on the new cabinet (executive) structure at the Borough Council and the continuing restructuring of Officers. NOTED.

(Cllr. Bell left the meeting at this point)


Mr. Carr addressed the meeting and thanked the Vice-Chairman, the Clerk and all Councillors who attended the meeting on 25th October.

He reported that 45 interested individuals have given their details at the end of the meeting.

The next step is to form the Steering Group. Mr. Carr is also attempting to arrange a meeting with Jo Rose, which he may do in conjunction with another local Parish to reduce costs.

An application for funding is to be made to KRCC, which will require counter-signing by the Parish Council. NOTED.

Progress reports at future Council Meetings will now be given by one of the two appointed Parish Council representatives.

The Chairman thanked Mr. Carr for all his efforts and congratulated him on a very successful first meeting.


Full Council Decisions:

01/01341/AS 13 Cot Lane
NO OBJECTIONS One rooflight, other half of oriel window
01/01362/AS Crosswell Farm, Fosten Green
NO OBJECTIONS Amendment to previous application 00/01165/AS alterations to change conservatory to garden room
  Listed Buildings Consent
01/01363/AS Crosswell Farm, Fosten Green
NO OBJECTIONS Demolition of Chimney
  Listed Buildings Consent
01/01378/AS Tate Door House, 7-9 High Street
NO OBJECTIONS Siting of "Sky" mini dish on flat roof rear addition
  Listed Buildings Consent
TC/01/05080/AS The Old Coach House, High Street
  T1 & T2 Ash, T3 Horse Chestnut – fell

A copy letter from WKPS expressing concern was noted.

NO OBJECTIONS providing that the Tree Preservation Officer is in agreement.



The cheques presented at the meeting were approved and receipts noted.

The following additional items of expenditure were APPROVED:

KAPC Parish News - to order additional copies (1 for each Councillor).

Blaze Advert - the payment of £45.00 to BEST to cover the cost of an advert in the Blaze Magazine. Payment authorised (219)

KAPC Annual General Meeting – the payment of £7.00 to cover the cost of lunch for one Councillor attending the meeting. Payment authorised (222).

Maintenance charge for hire of playing field by Cricket Club 2001/02 – The figure is to be set at £194.00 (approx. 5% increase). AGREED.

Parish Council finance – details for the year-to-date, as at the end of October were tabled and NOTED.


Parish Council Noticeboard (outside Red Lion)

D T Stroud

Rub down and make good.

Paint one undercoat and one gloss

Re-write sign board




£88.00 (no Vat)

The quotation from Mr. Stroud was ACCEPTED and the work APPROVED.


Drainage problems at the Bowls Club

The Bowls Club is to be asked to provide a quotation for the remedial work that it suggested. AGREED.

Vacancy at no.39 Cheeselands - Details of the Southern Housing Group’s proposed tenants were given. Using its right under the terms of the agreement the Council decided that a second applicant had sufficient local connection to qualify for consideration and that she should be offered the opportunity of an interview before the vacancy is allocated. The Housing Trust is to be advised accordingly. AGREED.

Wood House, 58 North Street – As a result of a meeting of residents a report has been produced expressing numerous concerns over the R J Kingsland site. It was agreed that support should be given to the residents in the areas for which the Council has powers to do so. The Chairman and Cllr. Mrs. Cansdale agreed to attend the group’s next meeting on 14th November 2001.

The following items of correspondence were NOTED:

Genetically modified crops – Local Consultation and consent

The Environmental Health Manager, Ashford BC is consulting Parish Councils with regard to proposals to introduce a scheme of controls and consents for GM crop trials. Cllr. Conway will pass on any comment at the KAPC meeting in December.

A Questionnaire on Transport & Social Exclusion has been received from the Cabinet Office’s Social Exclusion Unit. Responses are required by 26th October. TABLED.

KAPC’s ‘Vandalism in our Villages’ meeting will take place at the Civic Centre on Wednesday 17th October, 7.30pm. All Parish Councillors are welcome to attend.

Footpath AT26 (Sissinghurst Road) – As a result of objections received to plans to upgrade this to Bridleway status, a public local enquiry meeting will take place at the St George’s Institute, Sissinghurst at 10am on 24th October.

Ashford BC’s forward plan of key decisions – (October – January) TABLED.


The specification and the three parties to whom it is to be sent were AGREED.


RosPA Report – Cllr. Mrs. Swain will consider and report back at the next meeting, if possible.

Five-a-side goal posts – Cllr. Conway reported that the second goal is now missing and that consideration needs to be given to replacing both. AGREED. The Clerk will check the insurance schedule.


Cllr. Conway briefed the Council as to the main points of recent meetings, including:

Future Development in the South East – The levels for new housing have been reduced and there is now more emphasis on sustainable growth

Planning Compliance – Since the appointment of an enforcement officer, Ashford BC has drastically reduced the number of outstanding cases although approximately 10-14 new cases are being reported each week.

New Code of Conduct – A more simplified version is being proposed for Parish Councils

The Chairman took the opportunity to remind Councillors of Clive Powell’s presentation at the next month meeting and encouraged all to attend.


Cllr. Conway briefed the meeting on various recent police campaigns relating to speeding and burglary. He will also make a request for speed checks to be carried out in the village via PC Gilmore. AGREED.



No firm decision as to the Council’s plans can be made until the dates of the Kentweek Festival are known.

The idea of planting a commemorative tree on the Village Green was raised. The Tree Warden is to be asked for suggestions and the matter is to be raised again at the next meeting. AGREED.


Additional land –It was proposed that a Finance Plan - to cover the possibility of the purchase of additional land - be produced. This was seconded and after a vote, AGREED.


Include: approve quotes for grass cutting, consider budgets and precept, review item "Questions/Comments from parishioners" and Jubilee celebrations.


The next meeting of the Council will take place on Tuesday 13th November 2001 at the Club House.

The meeting closed at 9.50p.m

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